Saturday, December 25, 2010

emperor's new clothes...

since this one isn't really about milo, i'll start with a brief update to satisfy the masses ;P

- we're getting better at figuring out a sleep schedule where he'll sleep at least 5 hours to start, and then usually 3 hours and 2 hours, or something close to that. i'm hoping to continue to figure out this sleep schedule better and stick to a routine so that the waking-every-other-hour nights become non-existent; those nights are still so hard on me.

- he's started smiling on a schedule, too. usually late mornings, he gets a major case of the smiles, and it keeps me from losing my marbles on mornings when we've had a rough night.

- not a huge fan of tummy time, he'll be content for maybe a few minutes tops, and then wants to be on his back again to look at the toys hanging from the play-mat. but he's becoming more content on his own (on the play-mat or in the swing) for longer periods of time while he's awake, which is helpful for me in still trying to get more stuff done throughout the day.

- he doesn't nap well on his own in the crib, but if we're holding him or he's in his swing, we can get him to nap for at least an hour or so, again, very useful for getting stuff done (or catching up on sleep, myself).

onto the clothing issue. i feel like i'm trying to grow my hair out, only worse, because it's my body, and i can only manipulate it so much (very unlike an awkward phase in hair length which can easily be bobby-pinned, hair-sprayed or pulled-back into submission). i'm torn between buying clothes that fit me now, but which i plan to no longer fit into in a matter of months (the goal is only three, but possibly up to six). for christmas i received several gift cards towards target, and one towards kohl's. my dilemma is do i continue to wear clothes that are uncomfortably too small (if only just barely, as i find ways to make them fit), or do i give in and buy clothes that fit me comfortably? the latter is so tempting, and with the fact that i have a plethora of clothing from my pre-preggo days that fit me quite nicely, once i'm ::ahem:: "a few" pounds lighter, i'd very much like to go to on a shopping spree tomorrow or monday to pick out some new duds.

but the "practical" side of me says, "no zoe, just hold out. you have enough clothes that more or less fit you, and it's more incentive to stay on the straight and narrow of healthy eating and regular exercise (which i haven't been very good at this past week and a half) if your clothes are uncomfortable. save the gift cards until you've reached your goal weight, and then enjoy splurging on the new clothes."

and then the jiminy cricket of social justice who loves to hang out on my back burner whispers in my ear, "zoe, even with giving a bunch of your old clothes to good-will recently, you still have way more clothes than you need. there are people with no clothes what-so-ever. if you want to get more new clothes, then you really should give away the clothes you have in storage."

and can you see why i get so indecisive sometimes? uffda.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

well whaddya know...

last night, milo had a serious case of the wiggles. at around 7:30 or 8 at night, he usually starts getting pretty sleepy, and it's all we can do to keep him awake a little longer so we can feed him once more and so that we're going to sleep soon after putting him down. but last night was different; he was wide awake and being very interactive. it was definitely fun, but i was worried i'd be up with him till 10:30 or 11 just trying to get him to fall asleep.

my go-to method? just keep feeding him until the food coma hits and he's ready to conk out.

within an hour i think i got about 7 ounces or so in him (usually he's been taking 4 ounces at a feeding these past few days), and by 9:30 pm he was down. and he slept for a full 7 hours! ::gasp:: it was so glorious. he let out a little squeal at 3:30 am, but then turned his head and went back to sleep, and so did i.

and then after his 4:30 am feeding, he went back to sleep and we both slept for another hour and a half.

i feel so ambitious today, so awake, so energetic, so full of life! hallelujah for a really good night's rest. :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

a rolling milo gathers no stones?

milo's great feat for today happened when i put him facing down on the playmat for some tummy time this afternoon: he rolled over.

so i put him back on his belly, and he rolled over again!

granted, it was mostly a lot of leaning combined with some upper arm strength just to push himself up enough so that his face wasn't smothered, but still, it's an exciting accomplishment.

now if only we can master sleeping though the night!

Sunday, December 12, 2010


this morning, as i put milo down on his playmat so he could entertain himself while i did the dishes and ben snow-blowed the driveway, i smiled at milo and he smiled back at me... i've been waiting for this :D

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

oh good glory, hallelujah!

last night milo slept from 9:30 PM (and i was asleep by 10) 'till 2:30 AM, and then from 3:30 AM until 6:30 AM (roughly, of course), and i was able to fall right back to sleep after getting up for the one feeding that he needed.

can it be like this every night?

it's funny how one day can feel so different from the next, and all because of a good night's sleep. :D

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

burning the candle at both ends...

i keep finding myself trying to do too much, and then burning myself out...

on top of taking care of milo day and night (ben helps on his days off and when he gets home from work, but otherwise, it's a matter of trying to do anything around milo's schedule of eating, pooping, burping and cooing, the last of which he hasn't really started yet, but is suppose to start happening soon), there's also the daily task of eating (which also means preparing food) and bottles and dishes to wash, the bi-weekly task of laundry, and then what i like to call "the want-to's" - the things that don't need to get done for our family to function:

i want to exercise 3-5 times per week. i want to keep the house picked up and organized. i want to stay on top of the bills that need to be paid so that ben doesn't have to worry about them and/or we don't get late fees. i want to keep up with my blogging/pictures of milo. i want to keep working on my art and pursuing that as another source of income for our family. i want to re-organize milo's closet.

on top of which, we're still in the process of getting our home organized and in order from having moved in barely 2 months ago, and welcoming milo to the mix just one week after the move...

suffice it to say, life still feels a little chaotic, and i'm still learning how to get into the swing of things, and how to let go on some things and give myself more grace (as ben keeps telling me i need to do.)

but we're all healthy, milo isn't sleeping through the night yet, but he does get some longer stretches in, he just had his 2 month check-up, got his vaccines and is growing in height and weight at a healthy rate (he's at about the 57th percentile for both), so i know we have to count our blessings.

and now milo's resting on my chest after just having finished a bottle and burping (ahhh, the joys of multi-tasking!), so i should probably grab some food myself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

statistically speaking...

okay, there's a lot i want to get done today - including a milo update - so i'll try to make this short and sweet:

  • milo now weighs about 10 pounds (according to my wii fit - i figure it's not perfectly accurate, hence the "about" factor, but tomorrow i'm going to try and take him to the amazing newborn clinic at the hospital so they can weigh him and get his measurements and such.)
  • he's up to eating 2.5 - 3 ounces at each feeding; when we started feeding him from bottles, it was only about 1 - 1.5 ounces at a time. sometimes now, he'll even eat 4 or 5 ounces. he's definitely a growing boy! :P
  • milo sleeps in his crib (which is in the nursery) at night. i had planned to keep him in the cradle in our room a little longer, but the little fellow grunts like a rhino in his sleep, which kept me up at night. and as stated in the last post, i'm learning the value of sleep. so we keep the video monitor on him and that way i'm able to sleep through the grunts and wake up for the "i'm hungry" noises that he makes when he's awake. which also leads me to the fact that...
  • milo sleeps for 5 hours at night! it's so glorious. who knew 5 hours could feel so refreshing? but that straight shot of sleep (instead of waking every 2 or 3 hours) leaves me feeling great in the morning. usually we get him to sleep by 9:30 or 10 o'clock, and after his 5 hour stretch, he takes two more 2 - 3 hour "naps" (and i go back to sleep, too) before it's morning and he's wide awake.
  • he's gotten very handsy. i'm not sure if he's aware of what his hands are doing/grabbing/feeling, but they're all over the place. sometimes he likes to grab his bottle (he's definitely not able to really hold it on his own, let alone feed himself, but hey, it's a start!), and sometimes while he's feeding, he'll take in too much air (i think), and starts to freak out a little bit. well if he's holding onto the bottle, he'll push it away when he starts to do this, and his recovery time to "okay let's start eating again" goes much smoother. amazing. and it's from this that i learned to watch for that "oh no, too much!" face he makes and pull the bottle out before he starts to get upset about it. thanks kiddo! :P
  • his goopy eyes are still a little goopy (sometimes a lot goopy), but he's also started producing tears now, too, so hopefully the goopies will start to clear up.
that's about all i can remember for now. he isn't colicky, which is a huge relief. and overall, he really doesn't cry much unless he needs something, and it usually doesn't take us too long before we figure out which it is (diaper/food/burp/hold me/put me down).

now that i'm starting to get this sleep thing figured out, and i'm able to stay awake for most of the day, i've started figuring out how to get more things done than just taking care of milo and myself - like laundry, dishes, painting even :)

i'm totally loving this stay-at-home-mom thing. (thanks for making this possible, ben!!!) <3

Sunday, November 14, 2010

lessons on self-preservation

i find that while i'm learning how to take care of milo, i'm also re-learning how to take care of myself; the importance of making sure i get enough to eat during the day, or getting enough sleep one way or another, or asking for help so that my brain doesn't explode and make a huge goopey mess for ben to clean up.

we had a late night last night. and milo's sleeping right now. i'm so very tired and i should be sleeping, too. i know i should. and yet i'm wandering aimlessly on the internet?

gahhh! apparently i'm still learning how to take care of myself and make healthy choices...

so that being said, while i really want to write a whole post on everything we've been up to and all that's happening with milo (i'm horribly overdue for a good post), i know it's better for me to take a nap right now.

i'd promise that i'll write more soon, but i've also learned i can no longer make promises that involve a definitive timeline, because with milo, it's very hard to keep those promises.

so i'll just say "good night" (even if it is "good morning").


Thursday, November 4, 2010

food and fairy tales

milo has just been guzzling down everything we give him. we're pretty sure he's in the middle of a growth spurt, and ben claims that he can already see the difference in milo's hands and feet, and that they've gotten bigger already. (i can't see it, but i would think that's normal, to not be able to notice much of a difference, when i see him all day every day.)

last night, i decided to tell him familiar fairy tales while he was finishing his third ounce of formula. (a side note on feeding milo: i just wasn't producing enough milk for him, so i hook up to the "utter machine" - as i like to call it - when i can to pump out milk for him. however, we had to go to formula to supplement and make sure he was eating enough, so he gets everything from a bottle now. it was hard at first; i really wanted to be able to nurse him, plus it would have been so much easier for those late night feedings. but for now, i'll keep mooing along, and maybe when his motor skills are a little more developed, and he learns to ease up on that bite of his, nursing just might be a possibility.)

last night, i gave him my own version of the ugly duckling as well as goldilocks and the three bears. i stayed pretty close to the classic versions we all know and love, but in my retelling, there were 7 ducks and the ugly duckling. the 7 ducks were named monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday and sunday. tuesday had the softest fluffy yellow fuzz, wednesday was impeccably witty, and friday had the best webbed feet of them all. the ugly duckling was named december, because he was grey and cold and grumpy looking, they said. it ended with the swans saying that december is a perfect name, because of the beautiful white snow, and he was a beautiful white swan. and then december filed a complaint with the hospital where he was hatched, having been convinced he'd been switched at birth.

as for goldilocks and the three bears, goldie had muddy shoes that she left on baby bear's chair, she spilled the oatmeal and grits (no porridge in this story) all over the floor, and she wet the bed. when the bears found her, they assumed she was a runaway and tried to report her, but then realized she was an orphan, so they adopted her. she was henceforth teased by her bear-cousins at all the holiday gatherings for not being bear-like enough.

only 2 days left with my parents, then i'm on my own while ben's at work. i think i might be getting the hang of it, though. today's gone pretty well, so far...

last thing: i'm on the last three owls of the mobile (i've finished the front stitching for 1, and half of another, then i just have to stitch the fronts and backs and stuff 'em all). once they're complete, i can attach them to my painted white branches, and then we can hang it above milo's crib! (he only sleeps there during the day, since we have him in the cradle next to our bed at night, but still, it'll be the last finishing touch to his nursery, and then i can take/post pictures - yay!)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

is there a problem, officer?

i'm not sure how street legal post-partum-brain is... not that my driving is dangerous, but my brain feels so dysfunctional lately, that i'll forget where i'm going, or i'll get in the left-turn lane when i want to go straight, or i won't even notice when i'm going in the complete opposite direction from what i should be driving.

and i've currently got the help of my parents so i can take extended naps during the day to make up for all of milo's wakings during the night.

i don't know how the single moms (and dads) out there do it, but my hat goes off to all of you. i know that if i had to do it all on my own, i'm pretty sure i could survive. still, it sure is nice to have them around for the time being.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

see ya, stumpy!

milo's stump (the dried up leftover piece from where they clamped his umbilical cord) finally fell off today. there's still some leftover residual stuff, but it's fun to finally see his cute little bellybutton without that black stumpy bit in the way.

it's also very clear that milo's absolute least favorite activity is still getting his diaper and/or his clothing changed.

but otherwise, the little peanut is thriving. he gained 8 ounces at his last checkup (which is a vast improvement from his first and followup checkup, where he had lost a pound, and hadn't been gaining anything back yet).

i'm totally in love with the little guy.

he even peed on the wall the other day. ben was proud. i wiped it off, and i'm still in love with him. (milo, that is. and ben too, of course. although if ben peed on the wall, i don't think it'd be nearly as comical.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

one week today! one week ago...

i can't believe it's been a whole entire week already!
i can't believe that at this time last week, milo was inside me, and now he's not. one week ago, we had no clue if we were having a boy or a girl, and now we have a milo.

it's pretty mind boggling, really.

it's also milo's "supposed to be" birth-day today. but instead he was born exactly one week early, and i'm so glad he was!

so, in honor of his one week old-ness, this one's for him:

dear sweet little milo,

one week ago today you were born. the night before, your daddy and i had made a dish that was supposed to help women go into labor, because we were so excited to meet you, and we just didn't want to wait anymore. it was delicious, but when i woke up that next morning, i didn't really feel any different. i figured it probably wasn't going to work, and we went about our day like any other.

it was a perfectly gorgeous day out. brightly sunny, blue skies and even a little warm for this second weekend in october. we had decided we wanted to check out the farmer's market that's at the town square (isn't it so fun that we live in a town that has a town square?) every saturday till the end of this month.

so we got up a little bit early (for a saturday morning, anyhow), and got dressed, and headed out. there were so many fun vendors - a lady who sells mittens made from old wool sweaters, bird-house crafters, pastry bakers, honey-bee keepers, and of course, the farmers with their produce. we bought some kolodgekies (i have no idea how that pastry is spelled) for breakfast and ate them as we walked along checking everything out. there was also a muffin lady from whom we bought a pumpkin muffin that was quite delicious.

i got asked many times "when are you due?" with a clear indication that they were worried i might pop right then and there, and while i was certainly hoping it would be that day, i reassured them all that i still had a week to go.

we bought some homemade jams (a wild plum and a black raspberry), and some honey, since we were running out, and i love getting local honey. also a butternut squash which i had planned to bake that day and make filling to freeze for future butternut squash ravioli. next we went to the bagel place in town where they make their own bagels. except we only got a chai latte for me, and coffee for your dad, since we had already eaten plenty.

while we enjoyed our beverages and watched the people coming and going, we also planned out our day and the days ahead. we discussed which church we wanted to try out on sunday, since this was our first sunday we would have the chance to do so. we talked about what else needed to get done around the house, and decided that we would check out the walmart/target/fleet farm/etc to see if we could find a hanging pot rack and possibly a dvd rack (we didn't). as you can see, we weren't entirely convinced that the eggplant parmesan we'd eaten the night before would ensure your arrival.

as we went about, i was finding that i had to pee just about every 5 seconds. entering a store? "ooh, ben, i gotta pee!" leaving a store? "ooh, ben, i gotta pee!" on our way to the next store? "ooh, ben, i gotta pee!" we figured you had probably finally dropped, though i still couldn't tell from looking in a mirror.

by our last store, i was also feeling ravenously hungry for chocolate. we were at wal-mart, and we had bought something else too, but in looking for a check out line, i searched for the one with the crunch bars.

as i wolfed down the crunch bar (ben said it was scary, i opened it, and three bites later it was gone... i told him i was hungry), i started to notice that my stomach was getting hard, and all over hard, too. could these possibly be the fabled braxton hicks? i was also a fiery inferno of heat. it was a hot day to begin with, but every store we went into felt like a sauna... "ben, is it hot in here?" "no dear, it's just you." he said he could even see the sweat on my face and feel the heat in my hands. i was sure i was going to spontaneously combust at any second. after wal-mart, i told him to take me straight home so i could take a cold shower.

after showering, i had your dad feel my stomach during what i thought was a contraction; he felt it, too, and we both noticed that afterwards, my tummy felt squishy. so false or true, these were definitely contractions... they didn't seem all that regular or frequent though, so we decided i would drink some water, lie down and we watched a movie while we waited to see if they went away. they didn't.

i wanted it so badly to be true contractions, but i was also afraid to get too hopeful. i didn't want to get all excited to meet you and have it turn out that i still needed to wait another week. i decided that first, the dishes needed to be done and my hospital bag repacked incase this was true labor.

while running about, trying to get all these things done, feeling nervous, anxious, and completely absent minded about what i should be doing, i called christina who said to call the hospital and see what they had to say. (your dad said the same thing... i really need to get better about taking his suggestions.) so i did, and they said to start timing the contractions. doy! so i did. they were consistently 3-5 minutes apart, each lasting 30 seconds to 1 minute, and this went on for an hour (and continued). i called the hospital again, because they still were completely painless; it just felt too easy. (while i was timing, i got your dad to finish the dishes and install your carseat. i was in total nesting mode, and it was all i could do to force myself to just lay there and count.)

i was told that there was no guarantee that i was in labor, but that i should come in anyway. so your dad packed the car and i got myself in; i made him put the waterproof mattress liner on the passenger car seat in case my water broke on the way there (i did not want to have to deal with that mess).

i tried to stay calm as we made the 45 minute trip to the hospital, but the closer we got, the stronger the contractions got. i was sure this had to be it, and yet still so afraid to believe it and have my hopes dashed. the anxiety and tension of "is this or isn't this?" was entirely worse than the contractions (which, while still not quite painful, had started to become rather uncomfortable).

when we got there, they said i was 6 cm dilated and that they were keeping me!

which leads me to your birth, but i think that's a story for another day.

so there you have it, my sweet milo, that was how your dad and i spent our last day before you were born.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

more on milo!

he is just so fascinating! even when he's been crying for what seems like hours, i still can't help but adore him.

here are just a few of my observations so far:
  • his skin is the softest thing i've ever felt, and his hair is silkier than silk itself. i will never get tired of those two feelings.
  • he's too strong for his own good and has amazing motor skills (i think?) i have no idea what the learning curve is on this one, but i'm gonna go with him ranking at amazing on the charts. :P anyhow, he's already able to hold his head up and/or push himself up a little bit against our chests when we're holding him for tummy time, and occasionally he rolls to his side when we lay him down, even when he's swaddled. he's also a biter, and a really strong one at that (which is the one and only thing i don't love about him).
  • i had no idea a creature so tiny could create such an overly-audible noise... and i'm not talking about his wailing. i'm talking about his back end. (but with my middle-school humor, i still find it hilarious every time he toots.)
  • sometimes when he gets into a really hard cry, he starts to squeak on the inhale. it breaks my heart to hear him cry, as i want nothing for him but love and happiness, but i'd be lying if i said that squeak didn't bring a little smile to my mouth every time.
  • after feeding, he tends to go into what ben and i like to refer to as a food coma. tonight i was nursing him while watching "30 Rock"and he was feeding really well, so i wasn't fully paying attention... until i noticed he'd stopped eating; i looked down, he's still attached, but conked out... and snoring. it was awesome.
  • then, while ben was burping him, he managed to - at least three times - fart (possibly even poop) and sneeze at the same time.
i totally love my kid. (working on posting pictures on facebook soon.... however, i won't be posting a link for them here.... not a huge fan of anybody and everybody who's on the world wide web having access to my sweet little pumpkin's face. so if you don't have facebook, let me know, and i'll email you the link.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

marvin k mooney is here!

except that's not his name... i'm not gonna post it until we're able to tell our parents first, but he's definitely a ______ ______ _____ :)

::EDIT:: now that both sets of parents have met him and been told his name, we can finally share it: Milo Benjamin!

oh right, and he's a he!

and he's absolutely perfect.

i'm currently waiting for the nurse to return with some pain meds for the stitches (i was so hoping to avoid those, but not so much... we have quite the little fellow on our hands!)

he was born last night - 10/9/10, at 11:36 p.m. just 24 minutes shy of being a 10/10/10 baby, but as cool as that would have been, he just didn't want to stay in, and i definitely wanted him out.

he weighs 8 pounds 6 ounces, and is 19-3/4" long. (my brother - who's 6'8" - was 8 pounds 9 ounces and 19-1/2 inches long... future nba star perhaps? :P

but that's all i've got for now. the nurse has returned with the pain meds, and i'm ready to pass out. i'll post more - along with pictures - once we get home, but until then, happy 10/10/10 everyone!

Friday, October 8, 2010

marvin k mooney, will you please go now?

i'll be 39 weeks tomorrow and baby is still the size of a watermelon (and hopefully no bigger! i know ben and i are both tall, and i'm sure this kid is gonna sprout up like a tree, but if we can keep the dimensions within a healthy minimal range, my body would certainly appreciate it!)

all the baby clothes/linens/towels/what-have-you are all washed and folded. today i'll be putting them away, reorganizing the nursery, installing the car seat... (i'm tempted to take it to the fire department - i've heard they'll install the baby seat and make sure it's done properly.... maybe i'll call ahead first.... we'll see.)

so i'm definitely making the eggplant parmesan i mentioned in my last post...

either this baby had a massive growth spurt or i'm just ready to be done, but suddenly it seems like there's no room for the little squirt. i'm constantly feeling the pressure of baby against the side of my stomach, my ribs, my pelvis. it's not painful, but it's not exactly a picnic in the park either.

and i think? i've been experiencing a few braxton hicks here or there? i have no clue really - this whole thing has seemed way too easy... i mean, there have certainly been mild difficulties and a few frustrations here or there, but when i hear of other pregnant women complaining about the pains, or i know of the troubles other women have had to go through (bed-rest, gestational diabetes, etc...), i can't help but count my blessings.

but with these possible BH contractions, what i'm feeling is a tightness, i think it's throughout? it was last night that i was feeling them, though, when i couldn't sleep (which was most of the night), and so now my memory is a little hazy. did i dream them? or did i really feel tightness throughout? is this baby gonna come soon? or will i be waiting another two weeks? (oh glory, i hope not, but i suppose that would just be more time to unpack and get the rest of our stuff settled in.)

so anyhow, this tightness, it's not painful, it simply is what it is - tightness. and my stomach isn't rock hard either. (ben's mom said that hers was during contractions. my mom said that her's wasn't, even during hard labor, so i guess everyone's different, and that, if anything, i'll probably take after my mom at least a little bit...)

so maybe these are BH contractions? if so, i'm still waiting for the other shoe to drop, as they say.... i'll hope for the best, but i'm preparing myself for some intense pain... and all the while, i'm feeling done and anxious now. ready to have this baby in my arms instead of helga the ever-protective uterus over which i have no control...

i trust that God's timing will prevail, but maybe this weekend is God's timing? yes?? pleeeaaaasssse??? :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

still cookin!

well, so far, i've still had no signs whatsoever of eminent labor...

no water breaking, no contractions, no dropping... well, i don't think. as soon as the rechargeable batteries for our camera are done charging, ben's gonna take a picture so you can see how much huger i've gotten and we can compare to see if i've dropped. but i really don't think i have.

and while our house isn't completely settled in (it probably won't be for awhile, i'm guessing), it's still getting closer by the day. and the nursery - for the most part - is all set up. although i think i'll want to do some reorganizing, but that isn't necessarily necessary for baby's arrival. the only thing i still have yet to do in preparation for baby is to wash all the clothes/linens/etc, and our washer/dryer are getting delivered tomorrow! so, since ben wants this baby to be born this weekend, i suppose i'll make that eggplant parmesan that supposedly brings on babies regardless of the due date.

my only issue with the thought of giving birth this weekend, aside from the fact that while i'm incredibly excited to meet this little baby whose butt i've become very familiar with (as the baby is head down, and something round and squishy keeps poking out near my ribs, so my only guess is that it's the butt), i'm also still rather anxious about the actual birthing process and mothering adventure that is before me.

oh, and also that the new delivery wing at mayo clinic doesn't open until october 11th - which is also the date of my next appointment.

i mean, ultimately, i trust that this baby will come in God's timing, and i trust that His timing is infinitely better than my timing (as always).... but i figure it could be fun to see if this eggplant parmesan thing really works.

and it would be nice to have my body back - as in to not have major pelvic discomfort when getting up from sitting/lying down, to be able to sleep on my back or stomach, to be able to put on pants in one swift go, to have more space for my bladder so that it can actually hold a quarter of a day's worth of beverages.... i figure it'll take little while to fully recover, but i'm guessing these are the things i'll regain quite soon after delivery.

but, while i still can, i've been meaning to post about the things that i have enjoyed about pregnancy - so here it is!
  • while my cankles are horribly unsightly, it's never been easier to shave my ankles - no sharp corners or bony bumps to maneuver around, just flat puffiness to swipe past, and whoosh! ankles shaved! (getting up from sitting down in a bathtub, however, not so graceful, but we won't get into that at this point, since that's not what this list is about.)
  • people touching my belly - i believe this is rare among pregnant women? i mean, i wouldn't like some random creepy man touching my belly (and really, any man other than ben touching my belly would be awkward), but just about everyone else (ie: women and children), whether i know them or not, as long as they don't get creepy on me (which no one has), i really actually love it when the give my belly attention. i think because it helps to solidify this very surreal reality that there is a baby in there, and i figure they're really giving the baby attention, not my belly, and so it doesn't bother me.
  • being allowed to nap whenever i want/need. i love a good nap. and i suppose with that, being able to take it a little easier than normal. i'm not gonna lie, moving while pregnant - though still stressful - is so much easier for the pregnant party... i can't lift or move boxes, so i just stand there and direct where things go. i felt guilty, but it was still pretty nice to not have to do any heavy lifting.
  • ben has been a lot more sympathetic to my aches and pains and discomforts. (prior to preggo-ville, he generally has a "S.U.A." - ie: "suck it up" - attitude regarding just about everything that isn't life-threatening, but now that i'm carrying his child, he's a lot more concerned about my well-being. not that he wasn't before, but again, he wasn't overly sympathetic for minor things, which is fine. it's just nice to see that concerned side of him.)
  • feeling the baby move. it's also surreal and strange, but it's a lot of fun too. and it's another thing that helps make this baby more or a reality. (is it odd that with only 1.5 weeks left to go, i still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that there's a baby inside of me, and that incredibly soon, ben and i are going to be parents? i'm guessing it'll settle in sooner or later, but it's still a bizarre concept to me...)
  • there were other things, i think? but i can't remember them at this moment. so with that, i guess i'm done.
once again, here's the link to the facebook album with all the preggo pics so you can help me figure out if i've dropped or not, once we get the picture taken and uploaded (which will be shortly, since ben has to work at 11, and the batteries are almost done charging).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

slowly but surely...

well, we've finally moved into the house that we're renting from ben's parents. (hallelujah!)

we still have a few more things to move over, but most of our stuff is here. our furniture is set up and in place. the hot water heater and furnace have been set up. the stove and fridge delivered (still waiting on the washer/dryer/dishwasher, but those will come soon enough). even the nursery is (for the most part) all set up.

i still need to wash all the baby's clothes and sheets and such, but i'm feeling much more ready now, and much less anxious about it all.

only two more weeks to go! i can hardly believe it. i'm not sure if i'm ready to simply not be pregnant. after 38 weeks of this altered stated of being, i forget what "normal" feels like.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

all my bags are packed, i'm ready to go...

or not.

tomorrow is my (almost) 37 week appointment. i'm supposed to have my bags packed and ready for labor and delivery, because theoretically, i could give birth any day now...

in addition to having them ready, i'm also supposed to bring them with me to every appointment (or at least have them in the car) in case when i get there the midwife says, "hey looky there, you're ready to go! we're sending you straight to the delivery room!" and considering how far away our hospital is from our current, as well as our soon-to-be, residence, i almost feel it would be asking for an early delivery not to have our bags packed and with us.

but i'm just not ready yet. if we were in our own place and everything was settled in, perhaps i'd feel differently, as it's getting increasingly difficult to move around, walk, breathe (although that last one was only when i was bent over to paint my toenails this afternoon).

so anyhow, i should really pack my bag tonight, since our appointment is early tomorrow morning, but i really don't want to. i don't even know where to begin, and i think i'm still in denial a little bit?

i'm almost afraid to admit it, but i haven't even felt any braxton hicks contractions yet - let alone any of the other precursors to delivery. if this baby is coming in the next day or two, he/she certainly hasn't given me any warning signals that are usually eminent right before a birth.

but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it (as my dad always taught me so well).... so i'm off to go pack my stinkin hospital bag... :\

(i just really really really hope we don't actually have to use it tomorrow.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

which came first, johnny cash or giving birth? (or) johnny cash has birthed babies?

i've been meaning to write this one down for awhile... (obviously "giving birth" came before "johnny cash" but you'll see what i'm getting at momentarily.)

during our baby classes, and in reading/preparing myself for labor, a very descriptive term has come to my attention.

in one of the videos we watched at our baby classes, a woman described feeling "the ring of fire" as her baby crowned. she was not the first to use this term, as i've heard/read it several other times (at least), but who was?

did the term come to popularity after johnny cash's "ring of fire" hit the airwaves? or did johnny cash simply decide to give term new meaning?

i'm not feeling nearly as terrified of labor as i used to (and yet, it still makes me anxious...), but i think it could be really funny to add johnny cash's "ring of fire" to my playlist (i plan to bring my own music via the ever so fabulous iPod/iHome), and play that as the baby crowns.

i can just picture johnny cash in the corner of the delivery room, all in black, with his guitar, strumming and singing to match the intensity of my condition, his twangy voice belting out...

"and it burns, burns, burns, that ring of fire! the ring of fire!"

makes me giggle every time... at least right now it does. i doubt i'll be giggling when i feel the "ring of fire" for myself, but who knows, maybe birth will be a breeze? ha! :P

Thursday, September 16, 2010

one month and counting....

today is exactly one month from from my due date. come saturday, i'll be 36 weeks, with only 4 more weeks to go. next saturday, i'll be 37 weeks, full term!

and i have to say, even for all i gripe about the little things (or at least i feel like i do a lot of griping via this blog) i assure you, i am not all that miserable. more so just trying to keep track of what i'm feeling, all the odds and ends of what my ever-changing, constantly-growing body is going through.

really though, (i'm almost afraid to say it), this pregnancy has been pretty easy. minus the round ligament pain i was attacked with about halfway through, and then the hot flashes on those hottest days when we first got back to minnesota (did i forget to write about those?)... that's been the worst of it. (let's hope i don't have to make up for missing out on most of the miserable come labor.)

and when i think about it, pregnancy really is the easiest part of having/raising children. my child needs food? all i have to do is eat it myself. (WAY easier than trying to convince a toddler that green things are good. "open your mouth, here comes the airplane! ...please?") i don't have to worry about whether my child is too hot or too cold, i just need to keep myself at a reasonable temperature. no poopy diapers to hold my breath for. no fussiness to try and solve. with the baby currently a residential "extension" of myself, i can simply care for myself, and that covers baby's needs as well.

but despite the ease of taking care of my child in this manner, i sure am glad it's temporary... (can you imagine a 6 foot adult still curled up in my womb? terrifying!) it would be no fun if this child didn't get to become their own person, if he/she didn't get the chance to try eating dirt, to sneak cookie dough with me when grandma Z isn't looking, to figure out the difference between what is good and what is bad (in all areas of life - cookies are good, so are vegetables, cherry popsicles in barbeque sauce with seaweed is probably pretty bad; U2 is good, nickelback is bad; and so on...), to find his/her passions and know the fear and courage of pursuing said passions.

plus there are things i'm greatly looking forward to once this baby has made his/her entrance into the world (after taking some time to recover, of course), which include, but are not limited to:

  • hot baths - not just these lukewarm-ish imposters i've been stuck with for the past 8 months (and saunas, and even the occasional hot tub, which my mother believes is bad, but i find them to be good, if they are clean and preferably privately owned by friends.)
  • being able to eat eggs-over-easy (and the occasional bit of cookie dough) without feeling intense guilt for doing so.
  • a full glass of wine or a ginger ale & peach schnapps zinger (for which i know i either need to wait until i'm no longer breastfeeding, or else find alternative means for feeding my child, but still, it'll be a much more viable option postpartum than "inpartum".)
  • roller coasters
  • jumping off the diving board at the pool
  • for that matter, being able to jump at all! (and bend over, and wear shoes, and walk without waddling...)
  • sleeping on my back. or my stomach. either or would be fine with me.
the list goes on, i'm sure, but for now, i should really get back to my regularly scheduled programming of eating and trying to get my swollen feet (and hands now, too) to not be so swollen.... among other things, of course.

Monday, September 13, 2010


(or not...)

but i'm quite certain this baby was trying to escape via my belly button as we were leaving the renaissance festival yesterday. "haha! look at this! it's weaker in this spot, there's this weird bunching on the other side, this must be where the knot is tied on this weird balloon that i'm stuck in. time to break freeeeee!!!!"

baby's entire body was crammed up against my belly button and pushing out with very convincing force. but no go, baby. too bad, so sad; you're staying in!

and while ben has stated that he thinks i'll be two weeks early, he's also recently informed me that if i could go into labor on the night of october 8th (a friday), it would be perfect, since he already has that weekend off, then he could take 5 vacation days and get the entire following week off of work as well, plus he's already scheduled to have the weekend after that off as well. so 9 days off for 5 vacation days.

i'm still very anxious to get into our own place in owatonna (which has now been projected to be ready by the end of september), and things have been moving along for sure, but there are still other hinderances that keep it from being finished. but that aside, i'm continually getting more and more excited to meet the little squirt. although birth and becoming a mother still scare the dookie out of me, i'm anxious to play with the little feet that keep trying to push through my belly, or the arms and hands that try to tango with my bladder, to smell that new baby smell, and see what color eyes our baby has, and whose nose and mouth are gracing baby's face, to make faces with baby and googley gibberish noises that others would find ridiculously absurd.

so i'm thinking, as long as we are indeed able to move into the house by the end of september, and settling in is going smoothly enough, perhaps i'll try this recipe for eggplant parmesan. supposedly, over 300 babies have been born within 48 hours of their mothers eating this dish. (it's from a restaurant, and when they started noticing the trend, they began keeping track and advertising it as a way to get labor going.) if anyone wants to join us for eggplant parmesan on thursday, october 7th, let me know. we'll make a party of it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


today i am exactly 35 weeks along, and i have only 35 days left - crazzzyyyy!!!

i also have only 5 weeks left until my due date, and 2 weeks until this baby is full term. i can hardly believe it!

this morning i think the baby may have been doing some kungfu on my innerds - there was this pinching pain on the right side. i think the inside of my belly could very well be bruised from the kiddo. i thought it might have been my first episode of braxton hicks (ie "practice") contractions, but my stomach didn't feel tight or hard all across, so i'm not entirely sure.

at dinner the other night, though, we could actually see the baby moving. a little foot or knee or something bubbled across the right side near my belly button (the baby seems to favor my right side). that was pretty cool.

i also finally ordered a wrap, which i'm SO excited for!

it's this one

by lovey duds at and i'm can't wait to try it out (i'll probably test it with the cat, if i can coerce her into it).

and lastly - the midwives at mayo; this is what i am most excited for. the midwife i met with yesterday was so very wonderful and encouraging and she said that all the midwives (as i'll get whoever is on-call for the delivery) are all of the same mindset. their way of doing things - whether it's pain relief, an episiotomy, inducing, or all the other possibilities that arise during labor - is to inform the mother of the options, all the risks and benefits of those options, and then whatever the mother decides, they support it 100% and help the mother achieve that goal (for example, if a mother wanted a completely med. free birth). that is exactly what i was hoping for when it came to the person waiting between my legs to catch the little squirt.

all in all, it's been a good week. now we just have to keep the bun baking for another five!

Monday, September 6, 2010

happy birthday? to ME?!?!

today is my birthday. my last one without children (even if we are anxiously anticipating the arrival of our first), and i'm feeling such a mixed bag of emotions:

apathetic, as it feels like there's so much more going on - between the baby, the house, ben working, labor day weekend, etc. etc., and so today is just another day like any other. plus i'm sure the fact that i'm still so anxious about everything else that needs to get done (or rather, that i'd really very much prefer to have done) before this baby arrives has made just about everything else - including my own birthday - feel so irrelevant and minor in comparison.

wistful towards my youth. i know i'm still young, in my prime even, but being so very pregnant and now a year older makes me feel so very grown-up and boring. with the current condition i'm in of bending over slowly, getting tired easily, feeling winded just from climbing a set of stairs, and it practically requiring an act of congress for me to do anything involving my feet (trying on shoes, painting my toenails, stepping into pants, and that's just the basics) - nevermind the fact that i will never have the body i did when i was 16 or even 22 (a factor full of vanity, i know) - i find myself yearning for those days that lacked any great responsibility and when i didn't even give a second thought to what i ate or how much i weighed. i was sprightly, and not just in spirit. i climbed trees and jumped over puddles. i'm not even sure if i'm capable of jumping at this magnitude.

frustrated with my own self - wanting to celebrate, but back to the first feelings of apathy and anxiety, not really knowing what i want to do, or what's even available to do. (although katrina - ben's sister - and i did go shopping at the outlet malls just outside of owatonna today. that was fun. except that i'd like to take this opportunity to address gap, old navy and all shoe stores: you really need to start carrying maternity clothes in your outlet stores, as well as a nice selection of shoes size 10 and up. i know you make them, and us preggos like to try things on, too, ya know. and our poor little feet are so swollen that not even shoes fit like they should anymore. so it'd be nice to be able to get good discounts for things that were made for our bodies, and not just the extra-large or extra-extra-large version of things made for normal bodies that make me miss the days when i fit into normal clothes.)

okay, i think that's enough of the pity-party for this birthday girl. on to more exciting things:
baby is still the size of a honeydew melon (which, coincidentally, is also the name of the color for the nursery!), and, at 34 weeks and 2 days along, i have less than six weeks to go! (did you read that right? less than 6 weeks to go!!!!! yikes?) it's already gone by so fast. i'm guessing it'll continue to be a whirlwind until our kids are having kids of their own. (and even then, does it every truly stop or slow down? i'm guessing not. i believe it was c.s. lewis who said "the future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour. whatever he does, whoever he is.")

also, baby is estimated (by standard growth averages, not my doctor) to be about 5.5 pounds, crazy! i still remember when the little squirt was barely the size of an appleseed, and pounds weren't even an option when considering baby's weight.

our last baby class is this thursday, and our next check up with the midwife is friday, so i'm sure i'll have more to report at the end of this week :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

i can have redbull, right?

(just kidding, mom!)

but boy, am i ever tired! i went on a whirlwind long-weekend trip back to the chicagoland area and to door county, (with essentially two days to travel each way - i took the train, but on my way there i left early in the morning on my way back arrived late at night, so i stayed in red wing with ben's grandparents both the night before and the night after my departing/return via train) and i feel like i was going non-stop, from the time i woke up to the time i went to sleep at night...

so the day after i got back (yesterday) it was all i could do to keep my eyes open. i am one pooped out little preggo - i feel like i'm still recovering.

we only have one baby class left, and next week (on friday) we have another baby checkup, but this time with one of the mid-wives, which i'm very excited for.

one of the highlights of the weekend (and there were many, but i don't have the energy to get into it all at this time) was my dear friend kate did a maternity photo shoot for me.

it's been way too long since i've seen her, and we always have major funsies together, and this was no different. plus, it was a major boost to my idea of the gorilla-influenced body image i mentioned in my last post.

(i added pictures to my "oh baby!" album on facebook - but they're at the end of the album, so don't get confused when you see a familiar looking picture and an almost non-existent bump.)

another plus - as an early birthday present, i got a wii fit plus - i'm only on my third day of working out on the thing (not too strenuously, of course), but i feel so much healthier already! (especially after a month of not exercising and over indulging in my snacky/sugary cravings, when previously, i'd had access to a gym and managed to make it over there at least a couple times a week. eep!)

anyhow, it was a great weekend filled with loved ones and fun times, but boy am i glad to be back to the every day mundane of helping with chores and twiddling my thumbs... (for the time being, at least.)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

body image

i've been feeling a lot like this lately...

when i looked in the mirror recently, i couldn't help but notice a resemblance... i've told ben he can just start calling me "fatty gorilla" - okay, so maybe i'm not quite as hairy, but everything else feels about right. i'm okay with it though. it's not a depressing "fatty gorilla" feeling, but more so being able to poke fun at myself. i'm sure i'll probably regret encouraging this new nick-name, but for now we'll go with it. i have warned ben, though, that if he calls me "fatty gorilla" during delivery, i will probably fling pooh at him in true gorilla style.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

ben's guts

ben informed me last night that his gut feeling tells him this baby is gonna come early.

"oh? how early?" i asked a little nervously. who knows, it could be nothing, or it could be God trying to prepare us? only time will tell, but his response was, "2 weeks, so you'd be 38 weeks."


so if ben's guts are right, we'll have a baby girl (another gut feeling of his) in our arms on or around october 2nd. which gives us two weeks to settle in to the owatonna house (assuming it will in fact be ready by mid-september).

something to think about, that's for sure.

speaking of gut feelings on whether this baby is a girl or a boy, i suppose i should mention all the other "gut feelings" and predictors we've heard. (for the record, i put no stock in these whatsoever; we're either going to have a boy or a girl, and so far the only foolproof way to figure that one out is to check between the legs.)

anyhow, here's what we've found though - most point to us having a boy:

first, the chinese gender chart - using how old the mother is at the time of conception and the month the baby was conceived, found 700 years ago in some cave? supposedly, it's said to be over 90% correct. the funny thing is, i've seen charts that vary... but of the various ones i've looked at, all have said "boy" for 26 in january.

then there's the wedding ring test - dangle the mother's wedding ring on a thread or strand of hair over her belly while she lays down, if it swings back and forth, like a pendulum, the baby is a boy, but if it swings in a circle, the baby is a girl. the first time i picked up the ring, it went back and forth immediately. i tried it a few more times, and sometimes it'd start out in slight circular motions, or the ring would be twisting around, but it would always end up pendulum. i'm guessing the laws of physics have more to do with this one than my child's anatomy.

next, the knife/scissors test - someone puts a knife (we did this at my baby shower, and don't worry, they used a butter knife) under a pillow and a pair of scissors under another pillow while the mother is in another room. they have her come back and decided which pillow to sit down on. if she sits on the one with the knife (which i did), then she's having a boy; scissors for a girl.

and according to this questionnaire, i have a 54% chance of having a boy and a 46% chance of having a girl. might as well call it what it really is at this point - 50/50! :P

last but not least, there was the very "courteous" older gentleman that came in for a tasting when i worked at the wine shop back in wyoming.

as i was pouring him a glass of wine, he told me i was having a girl, and that his method has only been wrong once or twice (he failed to mention how many times he'd been right... or how many time he'd been throat-punched by not-so-patient pregnant women as myself). i curiously asked his method (as i'd heard so many), and he replied "well, when a woman is pregnant with a boy, she is beautiful and radiant, because the two compliment each other. but when she is having a girl, she (and this is when i could tell he was starting to eat his words, but i kept smiling and nodding anyhow), well, she looks more worn down and tired, and you look tired. it's because you and your little girl offset each other."

"oh, okay, that makes sense." i really didn't know what else to say. i think we made more small talk, and then he paid and left.

but really, mister, even if she's the love child of quasimotto's twin sister and frankenstein's monster, you never - even inadvertently - tell a pregnant woman that she's not glowingly radiant or gloriously beautiful. that's just not good manners, and definitely not safe for your health (especially if you run into us on our highly emotional, completely sleep-deprived, overly agitated and feeling aggressively angry sort of days). just sayin...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

new ideas for the nursery!

after talking to ben about it, i've decided that i'm going to paint a border in the nursery... i'm thinking woodland themed. or maybe just owls. (i've become increasingly obsessed with owls lately.)

i have yet to fully decide, as i'd love to do a pink border for if we have a girl, but that means waiting until after the baby is born to paint it, which i'm not sure is such a realistic idea. or i could just do brown (which i would plan to do anyway if we have a boy). ooh! OR i can do brown for the main silhouette of each creature, and then either pink or green for the details!!! prefect. :D and i'm thinking not along the ceiling, but maybe halfway up the wall or so? nothing too huge or overwhelming. i've already started sketching out ideas, and can't wait to start nesting that nursery! :P

i've also decided that instead of bugs or flowers for the small painting series i want to do for the nursery, i will definitely be doing owls. which leads me to think that a woodland themed border - owls and bunnies and frogs and foxes and hedgehogs and whatever else i can think of that resides in the woods - would be better suited for the nursery, since we already have beatrix potter curtains (and sheets) and a woodland themed crib skirt - and that way, it wouldn't feel too owl-themed.

all i want to do right now is get in that house and start putting things away, organizing, setting up, and getting everything ready before this baby arrives. i think my brain has gone into full-on-nesting-hyper-mode, but the house (while it does now belong to ben's parents) is far from ready for us to move in.

maybe this will be a good lesson on patience and how to wait quietly...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

mayo clinic

so i realized i haven't really written much about mayo yet - just that we're going there now (instead of the 1000 mile commute it would take to stay with the practice in wyoming, harty-har).

anyhow, today was our first baby check-up appointment with our new doctor. she was great; very friendly and i liked her a lot. but with the fact that when it comes time to deliver, i just get whoever is on call - which could be a male OB - i decided to switch to the certified-nurse-midwives. nothing against male doctors, and when it comes to pediatricians/family practice, i could care less, male or female. but when it comes to this delicate matter, i'd rather have someone else who understands the female body just a little more personally...

that being said, i'll be meeting with someone new at our next appointment on september 10th, and i'm actually really happy to be with the midwife staff (same as with the OB staff, who delivers my baby simply depends on who's on call at the time, but in going with midwives, they're all women, so no worries there about some random man's hands up my hoo-ha).

the only bummer was that we didn't get an ultrasound today - i was really hoping with this being our first time with a new hospital/doctor/etc that they'd want to see the baby too, but i guess a heartbeat is good enough as far as they're concerned. baby is currently head down though - let's hope he/she stays that way!

and i got a bunch of fun free informational literature for the remainder of this pregnancy - this starting all over again is really kind of exciting. as i was looking at the chart they gave me for what happens in each trimester, and looking back to the start date and where i was when we found out, i started to get the same thrilling rush i did when i first saw those two pink lines... it's still a little daunting and nerve wracking, but to be out of transition in at least one area is quite the relief.

also, at one of our baby classes, we got to tour the current labor and delivery rooms. i have to say, they weren't as warm and inviting as i would have liked or have seen from looking at the other hospitals i was possibly going to give birth in, but i suppose when i'm trying to breathe my way through a contraction, i won't really care if there are paintings on the wall or if the wall paper is a drab shade of boring. also, there's the high possibility - depending on when baby decides to make his/her entrance into the world - that i'll be giving birth in the new labor and delivery center, which is currently scheduled to open october 15th (and i'm due the 16th)... thankfully it's only the next floor up, so we still know where to go if we are in the new unit. i haven't seen it yet, but i have high hopes.

eeek.... it's becoming more and more real, and i'm both very much at peace with it all and yet at somehow at the same time, going crazy with anticipation.

only 1 month and 22 days to go!

Monday, August 23, 2010

forget "love" - the song *should* be: "SLEEP is a battlefield"

i think it's getting to the point where i should pretty much give up any hope of getting a full-night's rest until well after this child has been born (i'm guessing about 6 months from that exciting day, maybe he/she will be successfully sleeping through the night?)

considering i don't have to work, it's not so bad - i try to get up with ben (at about 6 a.m.) and eat breakfast with him before he does his daily 45 minute commute to work, and after he leaves, if the dog (ben's parents', not ours, we still only have the cat) hasn't been walked yet, i try to remember to do that, too, but then usually i go back to sleep and don't wake up till 9:30-ish or so...

yesterday night i was wide awake until about 1 a.m. - it didn't help that it's been muggy and hot, and we can either keep our bedroom door closed so that the cat doesn't get in, but then the air conditioning doesn't flow through to keep the room cooler, or we open the door to get the air flow, and have to keep kicking the cat off the bed all night. oy.

and last night, i couldn't fall asleep because for the life of me, i couldn't remember the name of the jewish director with those overly-sized dark rimmed glasses, who's famous for his quirky movies and married the adopted daughter of his previous wife. and it was driving me nuts - you know the feeling, when you know you know something (a name, date, place, etc.), but it's escaped you, and all you can remember is everything about it, but not that one little detail that is the thing itself - it's so entirely aggravating. so after half an hour? an hour? of trying to remember his name, and then trying to ignore the aggravation of not being able to come up with it, i finally tip-toed over to ben's side of the bed to get the computer and look it up. woody allen. duh! now i could finally put my thoughts at ease and fall asleep.

until a few hours later when i woke up feeling like i was in, wait, strike that, feeling like i was a sauna located at the center of a volcano - i've stopped even using sheets or blankets, i'm just so warm all the time - but i was sweltering so intensely that i thought i was going to be ill and that i might have to go for a ride on the porcelain bus. so at about 2 a.m. i took a cold shower, and thankfully, that did the trick. i was cool as a cucumber, and not one bit nauseous.

even when katrina feels my belly, she always comments how warm it is. i'm starting to actually believe that i might be a furnace. can anyone find my thermostat? i'd like to be turned down, please.

so simply being overly hot and without much to remedy the situation keeps me tossing and turning.

but then there's this huge bulge attached to my abdomen where there's this little person forming inside who, most nights, likes to become most active when i'm trying to be least active - in all manners, not just physically, but mentally, consciously, etc... plus it gets in the way. i used to be an expert belly sleeper. i can still find a decently comfortable position from time to time, kind of angled up and surrounded by pillows. however it usually doesn't take long before one of my arms or legs starts to feel tingly and cut off, or my back starts to ache, or my side is no longer comfortable from the weight, and i need to flip over to the other side. which - no joke - takes a good minute or two to get resituated, what with all the pillows and beach-ball-belly to contend with.

and there's also the fact that my bladder's reserve space is becoming more and more restricted. a small glass of water before i go to bed will easily have me up at least twice at some inconvenient hour in the middle of the night - and that's in addition to the three or four other times i get up for whatever liquids i consumed prior to that goodnight-glass of water...

so i've started taking my fish oil and prenatal vitamins around dinner time, and i try not to drink anything past 7 (which will usually still have me waking up once or twice in the middle of the night), but then i get so very thirsty, and sometimes that parched pucker will keep me more awake than the brimming bladder. it's a delicate dance, to be sure.

i also haven't been exercising like i was back in wyoming - we had a membership to the local rec center, and i would try to get there a couple of times a week and between my warm up/cool down on the track and the half-hour i spent on the elliptical, i'd get in about 3 miles each time i went. i had heard that exercise - aside from being really good for me and baby - could also help me sleep better at night. i'm not sure if it did, but i'd like to think it did. however, with how hot and muggy it's been here lately, and with my feet morphing into full-time puffer-fish, the idea of walking three miles in heavy sneakers that barely even fit (i think the laces are about as extended as the shoe will allow) has no appeal to me whatsoever, and i haven't even bothered to think about what it would take to muster up the discipline to do so.

but even if i did start getting in 3 miles a day a couple of times a week, i'm not sure that it would help the sleeping. (i should get back with this, simply for the health benefits, but we'll see how it goes - maybe i'll try on ben's tennis shoes, and go from there...)

i didn't get up with ben this morning, although i was awake, but between two in a row of really horrible unable-to-sleep nights, the thought of getting out of bed and climbing up those stairs and sitting in a chair felt comparable to climbing mount kilimanjaro.

but of course, all i did was toss and turn, and i figured i might as well stay awake and start the day (although by this time, ben had already left, and the dog has probably been walked - so here i am, not complaining, mind you, just documenting the pilgrimage of pregnancy), and i'm hoping maybe, just maybe, i'll be so tired tonight that i'll only wake up maybe once to visit my potty-friend for our late-night rendezvous, and other than that, "sleep like a baby?"

Saturday, August 21, 2010

comforts and discomforts...

so as (i think?) i've mentioned before - ben's parents put an offer in on a house in owatonna that we'll be renting from them once it's ready. at first they were told that the closing wouldn't be until september 6th (or possibly sooner, but as they'd requested a sooner closing date with one of their counter-offers, and the bank refused the date but accepted the offer, we figured the bank was going to be obnoxious about it and make us wait till september. oy!)

comfort: well, turns out, they'll close this tuesday - hallelujah! which means barry and the boys (you'd think they're a rock band, but they're not) will be able to get in that much sooner and start doing all that needs to be done. which is SUCH a relief that we'll actually most likely be in by mid-september (and not beginning of october!)

(i was freaking out about that a little bit as evidenced in my last post.)

discomfort: it didn't help that one of the couples in our birthing class just gave birth to their little girl this past week - she was 2 months early. i have less than 2 months to go. i know i'm not a high-risk pregnancy, i don't smoke, i no longer live in high elevation (which i've heard is another factor towards premature delivery), but learning of this other couple's early delivery made me start to feel like a ticking time-bomb, only i have no clock to tell me exactly how much time we have left. sure, i'll probably make it to 40 weeks (give or take about a week), but at 37 weeks, i'm considered full term, and really, this baby could decide to be done baking at any time, and that he/she is ready to pop out of the oven, regardless of our readiness.

that makes me a little nervous still. but now that things are about to start really moving forward on the house, i've decided to focus my attention there by picking out paint colors, imagining furniture arrangements, and dreaming up how wonderful it will be to have color on our walls again.

currently 32 weeks, only 8 weeks to go and 5 weeks until this baby is considered full-term. and again, only more evidence that i'm getting closer and closer to motherhood, and i don't feel nearly as ready as when we first found out we'd be having a baby. funny how that works. (i take solace in the notion that no one is ever fully ready...)

i've started to be able to actually feel baby's various body parts. not that i can distinguish between hand, foot, butt or head, but i'm getting more than just kicks and movements - actual jabbing appendages that linger, which makes it easier to say, "hey ben, put your hand here. i'm not sure what it is exactly, but it's some part of the baby." and then we poke and prod, and the baby must not appreciate it too greatly, because before long, the baby will move. but still, it's easier to picture a real baby in there when i can actually feel with my hand what might be an arm (or leg, or back, or some other various portion of this baby).

Monday, August 16, 2010

"denial ain't just a river in egypt"

today is exactly 2 months away from this baby's due date.

(and we're 2 months out from mine and ben's 3rd wedding anniversary. at one point, i believe i calculated that if this baby is born "on time" ben and i will have been married for exactly 3 years and 3 months. turns out preggo brain has taken a serious toll on my math skills, as it will actually be four months, not three. whoops. also, after finding out that a friend is due mid-december, i exclaimed, "we're only one month apart!" - i guess november is no longer a month in my book... so much for thanksgiving!)

but anyhow, back to this baby... i think i'm in denial. i can feel movement, and sure, that's something. my belly feels more and more ginormous every day, and that's unavoidable. i have to get up several times in the night to use the potty because my bladder must be getting more and more squished, and that's just obnoxious. my feet get swollen to the point where they feel like they're about to pop, but ben was sweet enough to try and rub them last night in efforts to reduce the swelling. i'm not sure that it worked, but my googley eyes certainly enjoyed it.

but suddenly - despite all these constant reminders of our baby's impending arrival - i still can't believe that in 2 months, we'll have a baby in our arms. there'll be feedings and diapers to change and spit-up to clean up and crying to soothe and coos to cherish. really? really?!?!

i mean, i cant wait, and i'm still so super excited, but really? this is really going to happen?

i just can't wrap my head around it...

we're still staying with ben's parents, living in ben's brother's room, while we wait for them to close on the house that they'll be renting out to us, and subsequently fixing up before we're able to move in.

so i'm guessing the fact that we're completely unsettled, the fact that there isn't even a room available for me to start getting ready (again) for this baby, the fact that even after the house is closed on, it still needs several weeks' worth of work (fresh paint, new carpeting, kitchen remodel, and i'm sure there are other issues that need to be addressed which i can't remember at this point) before we can move all our stuff in and start the whole process of unpacking and reorganizing, that all of these factors have played a significant role with this baby-reality suddenly going AWOL on me. it all makes me very anxious...

and there's a zit on my belly, just above my newly acquired, unretractable snooze button (which ben has discovered that if you push it just right, it clicks), and it is very difficult to pop.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

mermaid envy...

yesterday ben and i went swimming at a nearby lake. it was uber funsies; the weather has been humid and muggy, and it was another hot day, but the sky was a little overcast, so it wasn't too sunny, and the water was the perfect temperature - not too cold but still refreshing.

and i remembered how much i love swimming, but i love it even more now that i'm so bulbous and awkward. where i waddle on land, i glide in the water. where my maneuvering is clumsy around solid objects, i can leap, prance and twirl with such grace when surrounded by that all supporting yet ever moving atmosphere. on solid ground, bound by gravity, i am limited, strained and rigid; simple movements require great effort. but elevated and lifted up within that realm of fluidity, i am a ballerina butterfly.

i even told ben this, that i was inventing a new form of dance - aquatic ballet. he in turn partnered me wonderfully with twirls and dips and lifts and such.

i would live in the water for these last two months of pregnancy, if i could. and thus i have mermaid envy. i bet pregnancy is very easy on mermaids. ariel wanted nothing more than to live on land. i would like to be under the sea, at least while i'm with child.

in baby news today, i am exactly 31 weeks along, and baby is still the size of a squash. i have 2 months and 2 days to go, which means that in 3 days, i'll officially be in my 8th month of pregnancy. and only 10 more days until my next appointment with the new doctor.

i'm also learning that what i thought were braxton hicks contractions (ie - fake contractions that are basically practice for the real deal later on) have actually just been the baby jamming his/her head/butt/arm/what-have-you into various different organs of my own. (i would feel pressure in different areas of my torso, and assumed it was the fake-tractions, until i learned that the braxton hicks variety - and its real-deal counterpart - are felt across the entire span of the abdomen, and sometimes even radiating to the back, so not just pressure here and there as i was feeling it.) so that's been pretty fun to realize that i'm feeling this baby move a lot more than i thought i was, and that i can feel the baby when he/she has decided to lodge him/herself into the various corners among my ribs, stomach, bladder, etc...

it's getting more and more real each day, and yet it's still so hard to believe there's a baby in there. all i can imagine is some 3D style cartoon-ish figure, like the ones in all the pictures of "what your baby looks like at x number of weeks."

but the closer we get to the due date, the more anxious i am to get into our own space and have it settled and ready for this little one... only a month to go (hopefully).

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

ode to wyoming! a tale taller than me, but entirely true.

i feel it's important to note that our move to wyoming played a crucial role in this baby's life - or rather, start of life. so in efforts of self-preservation, this is our story as it pertains to wyoming. (i'll try my best to keep this as concise as possible, yet i can pretty much guarantee that it will still be lengthy, as "succinct" is not my strong suit, but rambling is.)

last summer, july 4th, ben applied for the assistant manager position at a new sherwin williams (S.W.) store being opened in cody, wyoming. there were several major reasons for him to apply:
  1. he was getting plenty of hours during the summer at the S.W. in red wing, but come fall, business would slow down, and between my full-time hours and his hours at the store, we wouldn't have been making enough to make the payments on our house. he would either need to find a new job that was full-time, or get another part-time job.
  2. originally, when we bought the house (the summer of 2008), ben was in the process of completing his teaching certification and only had one year to go. had he completed the program, the plan was for him to find a (hopefully nearby) teaching job, and that plus my earnings would certainly have been enough to make our house payments. but in january of 2009, after starting the student-teaching portion of the certification, it became very clear that ben was not meant to be a teacher - he could do it, but it was like watching him wither away before my very eyes. it was a very difficult decision for him, and i know that dropping the program after one and a half years of tuition and classes and hard work felt so counter-productive to him. however, it made less sense to continue and pay for another full semester when he knew he wasn't going to pursue teaching. so he dropped the program and started taking on more hours with S.W.; a lot of the draw to this new job prospect in wyoming was that it was a fresh start in a new place after what i believe he felt was a very disappointing decision - even if it was the right one.
  3. another major reason were the benefits. as an assistant manager for S.W., he'd be getting great benefits: really good health, dental and eye insurance. at the time, it was my current job that would be getting us insurance - although i was still in the "new hire" waiting period, and we had been without insurance for quite some time. if ben's job was the one providing our insurance, it meant we would be one step closer to having kids - something we'd both been wanting for awhile.
with those reasons in mind, and after discussing all the factors and praying over it, he applied. we asked God to close the doors if we weren't meant to be there, and to open them if we were. it was a long shot, but he got it.

so near the end of july, the 23rd or 24th? we drove ben out in his little blue truck so he could start the job and we could both get to see the place we'd be living. i was optimistic and hopeful, but looking back, i realize most of my excitement was simply an echo of ben's excitement for this new adventure.

i went back to red wing a few days after to pack up the house, get it ready to either sell or rent (we ended up renting it out), and tie up loose ends before meeting up with ben in chicago for a U2 concert in september, then heading back to MN to pick up all our stuff in red wing, and making the complete move to wyoming in mid september.

i think my trouble with wyoming started when i got back to red wing. i had an entire month to get everything done, but i struggled. living without ben (sure, we talked every day, but it's just not the same) and then being surrounded by so many things that i really loved and realized i would be leaving behind: my job at the cafe, the people i worked with, the youth group i helped out with, the church we attended, my friends, our house that we fixed up and put so much of ourselves into, the bluffs and parks that surrounded it that i enjoyed frequently, the accessibility to ben's family in MN and my friends and family back in chicago... it wore me down, and by september, i had no desire to move.

but it was too late, ben accepted the job, was already out there, and it was time for me to be supportive and encouraging and to let go of my frustrations. while i was no longer happy or excited to be moving all the way out to this foreign land of mountains and sagebrush, i felt it was selfish to be honest about my change of heart. i tried to keep it to myself, which only made it worse, but i was keeping the pebble in my shoe.

it definitely took me a long time to adjust, and poor cody, wyoming, there was no way it could ever live up to everything i had held so dearly; it was clouded by my veil of bitterness over all that i was missing back in red wing.

with time, we finally found a church that we connected with, and i was able to find a job that i enjoyed. we started making friends, and becoming a part of the community. and because, as reason #3 stated, we now had insurance, i had gone off birth control when my last pill pack ran out in september. it was something new to look forward to, something to be excited and hopeful for.

as for the pebble in my shoe, because i'd struggled so horribly with adjusting to this new move, ben highly encouraged me to pursue counseling so i would have someone to talk out these frustrations with, as i still felt i shouldn't even be feeling so bitter, let alone talking about it. the fact of the matter was that my approach in this manner was not helping, but i refused to let it go, so i agreed and started meeting with a lady once a week to air out all these pent-up aggravations that i had felt so obligated to try and hide.

in meeting with her i was able to realize that it was okay to mourn for what we had left, that it was okay to be upset, and learn how to move out of that mourning. i realized things about myself that had been invisible hinderances to the person that i desire to be but struggled so much to embody, and learned how to remove the hinderances. i was able to remove the pebble from my shoe.

so with all that, and then getting pregnant and knowing that we have this baby developing inside of me to prepare for and be excited about, i finally got to see wyoming for what it was, and not through the resentment that i had for it when we first got there. it is definitely a different culture than what we're used to, and the topographical climate is not my favorite: mostly varied shades of brown and grey, very rocky, not a lot of green or color in the vegetation.

i truly loved (and still do) the friends that we made there. and wyoming is a pretty neat place, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. however, i was able to find contentment - and i know that had a lot to do with how much we enjoyed the friendships we had out there.

had i not gotten pregnant, ben wouldn't have pursued a relocation with S.W., and we would have stayed longer. and had he not gotten that relocation that moved us back to MN, we would have still been content to stay there. but moving out so far away from family, we realized how much we valued having them around. being stripped of our comfort zone and safety net, i, for one, was able to see myself more clearly and adjust the things i wasn't happy with.

and the position ben applied for out here was another long shot. once again, we asked God to bless it if it was within His will for us, and to close the doors if we were supposed to stay in wyoming. but just as before, long shots aren't a problem for God, and here we are.

if i could go back and change things to work out so that we never had to go, so that we could have stayed in our house in red wing and still get our own family going, i admit it would be slightly tempting, but i still wouldn't do it.

looking back on our time there, it was certainly difficult at first, but it was full of growth. i may have hated it in the beginning, but i'm so glad we went. i don't look back on wyoming still feeling like i did in the beginning. i look back with gratitude, with cherished memories of the people whose lives we got to be a part of, and with appreciation for what we were able to learn about ourselves while we were there.

ultimately, i look back on our time there with this fact in mind: i love that it's now a part of our story, that we moved to wyoming to start a family, to have this baby (even if this baby won't be born there), and we got so much more along with it.

this thing called life is such an adventure, and a great one at that.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


i'm 30 weeks today. only 10 weeks to go! (this is nuts! i mean, wasn't it just yesterday that i was staring down that faint second little pink line to make sure it was really there?)

Your Pregnancy: Week 30

Your massive belly and nighttime heartburn might be making sleep difficult to come by. If you are able to drift off, you're probably having some strange and vivid dreams -- your subconscious is no less anxious than your waking mind.

Baby's now the size of a squash! As baby's skin smoothes out, her brain just keeps getting more wrinkled. All those grooves and indentations increase surface area, meaning more room for that oh-so-essential brain tissue. She's also adding some brawn -- her grip is now strong enough to grasp a finger.

and in less than a month (a month from yesterday, really) i'll be turning 27. i still remember being about 4, having just kissed a boy, and freaking out that i'd wake up any day with beachball stomach and have to explain to my parents that, yes, i was k-i-s-s-i-n-g, and now i was p-r-e-g-n-a-n-t. (i doubt i could actually spell pregnant at the time, but i was always so embarrassed by the word. especially since i was convinced that kissing led to babies, and here i'd kissed a boy anyhow.)

on monday i find out whether or not any of the artwork i submitted for my college's triennial alumni art show will be accepted, and in 20-some days i'll be back visiting friends and family in chicago :)

plus our now weekly birthing classes on thursday nights for the next 5 weeks, and a check-up appointment on the 24th.

in about a month and ten days (or so), we'll be able to move into the house we'll be renting from ben's parents in owatonna, and about a month after that, this baby will be making a change of address as well - from helga, my ever-protective viking uterus, to the outside world, cold and bright and loud and confusing, but oh so wonderful, and much more thrilling than a cramped, fluid filled organ.

with all these things to look forward to, mid-october is gonna get here way too fast. (and still not soon enough...)