Category Archives: t-shirt baby

Laughter

Buttercup’s first laugh came during a diaper change. See, she loves diaper changes. Loves the nake-nake, as we call being naked. So I said something like, “I know you love being naked. But please don’t grow up and be a stripper.” And she laughed. Of course! Because that’s the kind of stuff we want to write down in the baby book.

Anyway, below is her first laugh that we actually got on tape.

Hospital visit #4… This baby is just messing with me

Sorry this is very long-winded and overly detailed. I want to be able to recall it all later so I can tell Buttercup how much trouble it was to get her here.

Tuesday night, October 5, I was having big contractions, uncomfortable but nothing different. Several times in the preceding weeks, something had changed about my contractions, but the previous Friday at my doctor appointment, I was still at 80% and 2 cm. I was really uncomfortable Tuesday night and just really ready for Buttercup to arrive. I’d been walking, sitting on the exercise ball, doing squats and lunges, etc. Sex and spicy foods hadn’t worked (though sex had gotten me to about 50% effacement). I hadn’t done castor oil or herbal stuff, but I was going to ask my doctor about those on Thursday. My appointment with him had been moved from Wednesday to Thursday so he could be off for his daughter’s birthday.

That evening, I pressed on the inside of my cankle with a good deal of pressure for 15 seconds or so, working some reflexology or accupressure point related to the uterus. Trying to move things along. When I stopped, I noticed that I still had an indented thumbprint on my leg for a few minutes afterward. So. Pitting edema. Just what I’d always wanted!

I, of course, googled, because I knew pitting edema wasn’t good. And all the googlyspots mentioned preeclampsia, so I took my blood pressure. It was way high for me, 30 points higher on both numbers than usual. I decided not to panic and just sleep on my left side and take my blood pressure again in the morning. So I did, and it was still high. So we called the doc, and he said not to worry about the edema, that it’s not associated with preeclampsia. So that was a load off. He said my blood pressure was high the night before because I was worried, but when I told him it was still high in the morning, he told me to come in to the office.

I went and saw one of the nurses or maybe a NP or a PA–I don’t really know, she just introduced herself by her first name. She saw the pitting without ever touching me (I was wearing socks, which made a dent). She told me I was on bed rest until my appointment the next day, and I could eat nothing processed at all. She also said to go straight to the hospital if the baby wasn’t moving and I couldn’t wake her up with juice and side-lying.

Frank came home from work, fixed me lunch, and catered to my every whim while I lay on my side with my feet propped up on pillows. Not the most comfortable position, by the way. Around 2:30, I noticed baby hadn’t been moving for a while, probably napping, as she did from noon to 3 every day. So Frank poured me a glass of orange juice. I drank the juice and poked at my belly, trying to wake the baby. Normally I would have put the stillness down to napping, but since I was already on bed rest, I didn’t want to take any chances. So we started getting ready to go to the hospital. Threw the last few things in the labor bag (we had it down to a ritual by now), and when Frank went to the bathroom right before we were leaving, my contractions suddenly changed. This was 3:23 p.m., and I knew these were the contractions I’d been waiting for. Instead of just back labor and cramps, I felt like something clamped down on the top of my uterus, and I also had new pains in my sides. I was glad we were already on our way to the hospital for another reason.

Naturally, Buttercup started kicking two blocks away from the hospital. We went in anyway, just to get her checked out. They hooked me up to the monitors, and I was contracting every 2 minutes. Of course! The nurse was quite sure I was going to have a baby that evening when she saw my contractions. I was like, yeah, whatever. Buttercup was doing great, so I was just excited and feeling good. My BP was fine. My cervix was… eh, same. About 2.5 cm and 80%. They monitored the baby for almost 2 hours just to make sure she was doing well. The nurse was so sure that I would be back that night that she asked if I’d like to go walk around for an hour and come back and get checked again. Oh, sure, why not. So they put another gown on me so I was covered all the way around, and Frank and I went for a walk. We went to the floor where the nursery is (there weren’t any babies in the nursery, so that was a bust), went down and walked around outside the hospital, checked out the lobby, got Frank some coffee. We went back up at 6, and she checked me again. I was a little closer to 3 cm but hadn’t made much progress.

The nurse called my doc to fill him in, and she mentioned that I already had an appointment with him for the next afternoon. He told her to tell me to move my appointment to the morning if I didn’t have a baby that night.

So we went home. I had contractions, had a bath, sat on the exercise ball, walked around, ate 2nd Degree Burn Doritos (I’d decided the no processed foods thing was out the window since I was in early labor). Oh, I don’t recommend the Doritos if you’re in labor. Those are NOT fun to projectile vomit. Frank went to bed so he’d be good to go if I decided it was time to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. I dozed on the couch with a ton of pillows, watched some TV, listened to my awesome labor mix on the iPod, and got through the night. I slept as much as I could.

In the morning, I called and moved my appointment to 10:30.

Next up: the labor & delivery story. It might come in pieces.

Diaper change songs

Frank’s goes:

“Gonna change the dipe-dipe,
Give that butt a wipe-wipe,
So you don’t smell so ripe-ripe,
Gonna change the dipe-dipe!”

Mine goes:

“Stink Butt, Stink Butt,
You’re my baby Stink Butt,
Stink Butt, Stink Butt,
You’re my stinky girl.”

We’re hoping to instill the family traits of insanity and self-esteem in our little Stink Butt.

I try these things so you don’t have to

I heard the other day at a breastfeeding support group (yep, we sit around and breastfeed) that if your baby gets pinkeye, you shouldn’t go to the doctor for it, but instead put some breast milk on the eye.

So I was feeding her yesterday, and you know, I stare at her a lot when she’s eating. Not a whole lot else I can do when I’m playing dairy cow. So I noticed that her poor little cheeks are still chapped (they have been for a couple of weeks), and the lotion wasn’t helping. So yep, you know where I’m going with this. I rubbed breast milk on both her cheeks, just to see what would happen.

Today, no chapping, and her face is as smooth as her butt. Which is smooth.

You’re welcome.

3 months old! WHAT?!

I can’t believe it’s been 3 months already! She’s such an amazing little bugger, too. High points:

*She’s almost rolling over, both ways–Frank said she rolled from her tummy to her back, but I didn’t see it so it doesn’t count.
*She talks to me all the time, just jabbers away in her own language, and she’s really started laughing a lot. Sometimes she tries to laugh but can’t figure out how, so she’ll just yell for a while and then get frustrated and start crying.
*She’s really cute when she cries. It’s mean of me to think so, but I do, and I even giggle when she makes her sad face. When the bottom lip goes out, oh man, I just want to eat her up.
*She loves her little play mat and has this week started hitting the little dangly things on it and grabbing hold.
*She loves music. We get the biggest smiles and the most laughs when we play music or sing to her. And she just kicks and waves her arms. Gonna be a little dancer.
*She also loves baths. LOVES baths. She kicks and kicks, and tonight she discovered splashing and did that a LOT.
*Today she started this thing where she tries to turn onto her side while I’m changing her diaper, and she kicks and wiggles and grins hugely. Makes it kind of hard to change the dipe-dipe.
*She’s adorable in her little cloth diapers. I think she may have mastered rolling over by now if they weren’t so big and bulky on her. But we’ve only had 2 blowouts in 6 weeks with those, and we were doing multiple blowouts per day in Pampers and Huggies. So glad for pocket diapers!
*She doesn’t like shots.
*Or staying still.
*We still swaddle her, and I’m convinced that’s why she started sleeping thru the night at 7 weeks old. That and the fact that we were on a long road trip and she got lots of car naps. And she looks so cute all burritoed up. I hope we can swaddle her until she goes to college. Don’t want to give up the total cuteness.

I just realized, I never said who “she” is. I’m talking about my pet cricket, of course.

Nah, just kidding. Here’s the little Cup-Cup:
Read more »

Congratulations!

I’ve decided that you’re more important than Facebook. Instead of writing little tidbits here and there on FB, I’ve had this blog for 7 years next Monday, and I’m not going to let it die–so my updates, however inane, will come back home to mm. Unless it’s something like, “Man, I’d like some warm socks.” Who knows, you may get that, too. (Man, it’s true, I’d like some warm socks.) Anyway, I love y’all and hate to see that you’re coming back less and less–you’re my internet family, yo, and I miss y’all. So my writer’s block can go jump in a lake. I’m back, baby.

Okay, so here’s your first boring update and can officially classify me as a mommy blogger (alas, I give in):

Buttercup is a sleeping champion. She started sleeping through the night (minimum 5 hours) the day after Thanksgiving, at 7 weeks 1 day old. I didn’t realize this was rare for her age, but according to other moms I’ve met and family members, it’s a big deal. The earliest she’s woken up to eat is 3:50 a.m., and that only happened twice. We usually put her down between 10 and midnight, basically whenever we go to bed, and she sleeps until about 6, wakes up to eat, then goes right back down for 3 or 4 more hours. She. Is. Awesome.

Last night, we decided we need to start putting her to bed earlier so that we’re not up till midnight trying to catch up on cleaning, laundry, writing, eating, etc. So we decided on a bedtime of 8 p.m. for her. Last night it ended up being 8:30, since it was bath night. She woke up at 9:30 to eat but then slept from 10 until 6 this morning, then went back down after eating until 8:30 when we woke her up for church. SWEET!

Tonight is our second try. She went down at 8:30 and woke up at 9 and 10 to eat. We’ll see how long she sleeps now. I’m hoping that as we keep doing this, she’ll figure it out and eat for longer right before her bedtime so she doesn’t wake up so often to eat.

Wow, I’m bored, and I wrote this. ‘Sokay. Y’all love me anyway.

Ready

I’ve had a hard time writing since Buttercup was born. Yes, because of the time factor, but also because I know there’s this big, looming thing I have to write, and I haven’t wanted to do it. My birth story. I mean, I’ve wanted to write it, and some of you want to hear it. But I wasn’t happy with how my labor and delivery happened, and it took me a couple of months to really be okay with it and not cry every time I think of it. I know it’s maybe silly, because no matter how it happened, the result was a beautiful, healthy, wonderful gift from God, and I’m so thankful for her. But I had a plan, and it was turned on its head from minute one in the hospital. And considering all the–I don’t want to call them complications, because it makes it sound like one of us almost died or something, and it wasn’t so dramatic as all that–but considering all the complications, it went a lot better than it could have. So it took going to Texas and sitting at Essay’s dining room table, telling her the whole story, and laughing till we both cried about it. Side-splitting laughter about poop and projectile vomit and the glorious revelation of being on oxygen during labor (I recommend that HARD). It took her telling me exactly the words I had been thinking all along but had been doubting as me just trying to make myself feel better, feel like anything but a failure.

I had no idea I would take it so personally, but it’s a very personal thing. I feel very imposed upon when someone asks about it, almost like someone’s asking, “Hey, so how was your orgasm last night?”. I feel like they should wait until I bring it up, maybe hint around and wait for me to take the bait if they really want to know. I think it is sometimes rude to come out and ask, “So, how was childbirth?” I never thought that until I was the one being asked, and before I went through it, I didn’t think it was a question I would mind being asked. I know most people don’t mean to upset me by asking–there’s only one person who asked about it who I know was trying to upset me, and that person is no longer part of my life. [Word of advice: Don't ever tell someone they're being too sensitive about childbirth when they're nine days postpartum.] And some people who asked how it was didn’t upset me at all by asking, because they were people I wanted to share it with. But it went nothing like I wanted, and I was really disappointed in myself after it was over, so just being asked tends to sting a little.

Today I went to a new moms support group kind of thing, and the leader said, “We always let new members share their birth story their first time here!” Like it was an honor to get to tell everyone. I wanted to say, “No, that’s okay, I don’t want to share it with perfect strangers unless they’re on the internets.” But I decided it would be good for me to tell it again, and telling it to people I never have to see again unless I choose to kind of made it okay. So I told it, a very pared down version that took maybe two minutes to tell. I hit the high points and the low points and didn’t give a lot of details. And it went fine. It was the first time I told the story without crying. So I felt good afterward, like I’ve moved on a little.

So I’ll be writing about it soon, before I forget. But first, I have yet another hospital visit that didn’t result in a baby to write about.

Aaaaaand… hospital visit #3

Yeah, sorry. I know if I don’t write about all this stuff in order, I’ll never get around to the earlier stuff.

About this trip to Labor & Delivery, I was not the least bit embarrassed. It was Saturday the 18th of September, and I’d been having contractions for almost a week. Frank and I went to walk the dog, because I didn’t want to stop my pregnancy walking even though I was very uncomfortable most of the time.

It was around 3:30 or 4 in the afternoon and we had gone about three quarters of a mile when I suddenly had a sharp pain in my belly. Off on one side and unlike any other pain I’d had. And the pain stayed. And stayed. And I had to stop walking and breathe through it. But I knew I wasn’t in labor any more than I had been. It didn’t feel like contractions, though I was having a rolling contraction (those ones where one ends and the next one begins right away) the whole time. It felt like I was having a gallbladder attack, only in my uterus. Oh man, it hurt. It hurt more than any part of labor. Hard to say whether it hurt more than having my cervix stretched (oh yeah, I’ll tell you about that later), but it was close. I mean, I’ve had gallbladder attacks. But they last about 30 seconds, and then they’re over for a long time, usually months or a year between attacks. This was that same kind of pain, but in the abdomen, and it lasted at least 10 minutes.

I didn’t know if I’d be able to walk all the way home, so I told Frank to go take Rowdi home and finish packing the hospital bag just in case. He didn’t want to leave me, but I told him to go and come back with the car if I wasn’t home by the time he finished packing. I got home, and we called the doctor’s office. Described the pain, and the on-call doc said to go ahead to the hospital in case I was in labor. I knew I wasn’t, but I was worried that something might be wrong with the placenta. So Frank dropped the dog off at the kennel, which is about 2 minutes from our house, and then came back for me.

We went to labor & delivery. Oh yeah. It was game day.

We weren’t sure where we would watch the game that night anyway, since CBS Sports and Cable One are stupid, and we couldn’t get the game at home or at my in-laws’. We were either going to find a sports bar (as if there would be a spare seat) or listen on the radio.

Anyway, we got to the hospital, and the first thing they told us was that the hospital didn’t get CBS Sports either. Haha. I love that they knew that would be on my mind.

So I got all hooked up, and the baby was fine. I was contracting as usual, and the pain had subsided in the car on the way over, since I wasn’t walking. They ran tests and whatnot and checked my cervix. I was something like 80% effaced but still only 1.5cm dilated. This nurse, too, was very surprised about the contractions. They had no explanation for my pain but went ahead and sent me home. We got home in time for the game and listened for a while on the radio until someone from the Twitters sent a link where we could watch online.

That was our third visit in one week, and we didn’t go back until the week we had her.

I had my weekly appointment with my doctor a few days later and mentioned it to him, and he said it was round ligament pain. I’d had round ligament pain every day during pregnancy, but much lower in my abdomen, and it didn’t feel remotely the same. Anyway, 2 Tylenol before every walk solved that.

Election night

no hands

I’m writing this post with one hand. This is why I haven’t written all the blog posts I want to write (about labor, Buttercup, etc.)–I only ever have the use of one hand (other one is always holding the baby), unless she’s actually sleeping in her bed, during which times I try to sleep too.

Anyway, hopefully she’ll be able to sleep during the day somewhere other than my arms sometime soon (though I’m not too hopeful since I do love holding her while she sleeps). Then I’ll be able to write. I have so much to say.

Warning

Y’all remember when I said I promise not to become a mommy blogger? I fear I’m gonna break that promise. I’ll try to keep it fun, though. Like telling y’all about the time when Frank made Buttercup pee in her own face. See? It can be fun.

Princess Buttercup

Princess Buttercup was born 10/7/10 at 10:38 pm, weighing in at 6 pounds, 10 ounces, measuring 19.5 inches. She’s already grown to 6 pounds, 13 ounces and is 19.75 inches. She’s the most precious thing I’ve ever encountered, but yes, I’m partial. We love her so much and can’t get enough of her, even at 1:30 am when she wants to eat for the 3rd time in 2 hours.

We’re truly blessed.

Random

*Princess Buttercup has still not arrived (that’d be kinda sorry if she had and I didn’t let you know, huh?). Contractions started 22 days ago, and I’ve decided she’s a big ol’ drama queen. I have no idea where she gets it. Occasionally, there will be something different about the contractions or the way I feel, and I’ll think, “Oh! This could be it!” So far, it’s not it. But whatevs, she’ll be here soon soon soon! I’m due Friday, and my doctor said the max he’ll let me go past my due date is a week and a half, so she’ll be here by the 18th or 19th no matter what! He’s also offered to induce me at any time. I don’t want to be induced until it becomes medically necessary. Friday I’m going to ask his thoughts on castor oil. Have I mentioned how much I don’t want Pitocin? Yeah, I don’t.

*I have one more hospital story to write, because we went three times in one week way back when. There’s an actual good chance it’ll be written, since I want it for my pregnancy scrapbook and/or the Drama Queen section of the baby book.

*I’m really enjoying making the baby book. I have 1 finished page and a few other started / mostly done pages. Ok, mostly I’m enjoying collecting scrapbooking supplies with my allowance every month and learning how to use all the stuff I’m collecting.

*There’s a consignment sale for used crafting supplies in Boise Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So I’m torn about whether Buttercup should come before then.

*I don’t get the whole Tim Holtz thing with scrapbooking. I just don’t get it. It’s dark and messy, and while I can see the artsiness of it (some of it incredibly well done), I just don’t think it’s pretty. And everyone seems to be into it except me. I think it’s just the whole messiness of it. Looks like you just dumped out several bins of supplies and then glued them on a page and covered them in dark ink.

*The last month of pregnancy is murder on the pelvis. And the bladder. And the sleep. I now sleep sitting up in the glider.

*I’m up to 14 pounds now. After being at 7 pounds like a month ago. I seem to gain 2 a week now. Come on, Buttercup, get here so I can stay within my goal of 15!

*I’ve had every sign of impending labor except water breakage. You know, the one that counts.

*Rachel Lucas is back!!!! I both heart AND love her.

*Community is still the funniest show on TV. Also, the new Running Wilde (with Keri Russell and Will Arnett) is hilarious and has lots of references to Arrested Development. WATCH IT SO IT DOESN’T GET CANCELLED. Oh, who am I kidding? I love it, so it’s doomed.

*I’ve had this pain above my left ear (just above) for a few months now. Comes and goes. Mainly comes if I blow my nose or sniff or whatever. It started with nose blowing, because I’ve done that excessively since getting pregnant. So I dunno if it’s an ear thing or a jaw thing. I may have to consider seeing my general doc. Maybe I’ll ask her about it when she visits the baby in the hospital.

*My belly itches. No matter what time you’re reading this, my belly itches.

*Frank has become a master of the foot rub and the back rub. It’s my new favorite thing about him, and I’m hoping he’ll keep it up after the baby comes.

Hospital visit #2

Since the big hospital adventure, we’ve been back twice more. Monday night (the 13th) was when I went in to have the tests run. Tuesday I had contractions all day, and that evening they really started to pick up in intensity. They still didn’t hurt (still don’t), but that night they were strong enough that I woke up at 2:49 a.m., unable to sleep through the contractions. I hung out in the livingroom, letting Frank sleep as long as possible, because I want him well rested when I’m in active labor. Which could be sometime next year.

So Wednesday morning, Frank got up, and I told him how intense the contractions were. They were still 2-3 minutes apart, but now stronger. So he called in to work, and we took the dog for a walk. Until the contractions had become too intense to sleep through, I didn’t want to do anything to encourage Buttercup to arrive. I was only 36 weeks 5 days at this point, and I would have preferred she wait at least another week, but she obviously had other plans (or so I thought), and I seriously did not want to have contractions that kept me up all night for another 3 weeks–I’d be too tired to actually push her out! So we walked the dog, and everything got stronger, as expected. Frank took the dog to the kennel while I finished throwing a couple of things in the hospital bag. Then we drove down to the park near the hospital, because I could tell he was starting to stress about being so far away. I assured him we had plenty of time (boy, did we). So we walked around the park for quite a while, until he started stressing about being several blocks from the hospital. Apparently he feels the same way about hospital check-ins that he does about airport check-ins. He wants to be way early, while I prefer to walk on right before the plane takes off.

So we went to the hospital and walked around outside a little, then walked inside to walk around in the air conditioning. It was hotter inside so we went back out. By that point I was almost to the point of not being able to walk through contractions. Though thinking back on it, I had no problem talking through them (other than the intensity being strong enough that I would forget what I was saying mid-word), so it wasn’t even close to time to go. It’s now over a week later, and no baby, so I guess that part is OBVS.

Eventually, I decided I could go inside. Contractions were 3 minutes apart, and I figured by the time we got to L&D, I would be well on my way. Pish.

Waiting for the elevator to go up one floor (we looked everywhere for stairs, found none), I saw another girl from our childbirth class. “You too, huh?” I asked. “Yes. Hopefully this time for real.” I immediately got smug brain (like Jon Stewart levels of smug), thinking to myself, “Oh, poor thing. She’s been here before. How embarrassing that must be. I’m glad *I’m* not going to come in multiple times. I know my body better than most people, so I know they won’t send me home today. *I* am not gonna be the girl who gets sent home from the hospital.”

We got up to L&D, and while I filled out a couple of forms, I noticed that I wasn’t contracting as hard as I had been. I started to get that uh-oh feeling and promptly told Frank that if I got sent home, I would be mad at him, as this was all his fault for making him come in early (he easily accepted that and said he’d rather I be mad at him than come in too late). But in the back of my mind, I was also a little hopeful. Buttercup was still 2 days away from being a full-term baby, and I had all this dread that she’d come out and have to spend time in the NICU. When we’d done the hospital tour, I’d burst into tears merely seeing a picture of a baby with too-small baby hands in the NICU on the outdated PowerPoint presentation that still listed cassette tapes as a good way to bring your relaxing music with you to the hospital. I think it’s because I don’t want her to be whisked away from me with bad lungs and have to spend even her first few hours not hearing my voice and knowing that her mom is here for her. I knew she’d be fine, but I still wanted her to cook at least a few days longer.

They got us into a triage room so they could hook me up to the monitors and check me out. The precious little heartbeat was perfect, and my blood pressure was great. I was contracting every 2.5 minutes for over a minute each time. But by the time the nurse came in (this was maybe 7 or 8 minutes after we’d arrived on the 2nd floor), I knew I was going to be sent home. The contractions just weren’t as intense anymore. The nurse was nice, friendly, professional, for the most part. Before she even checked me, she was already starting to try to educate me on when is the appropriate time to show up at the hospital. That’s when the humiliation started setting in and my face started turning colors. I think that’s the worst part of going in too early. They assume you must not have paid attention in childbirth class (and, indeed, she asked me if we’d taken the class, which made me feel tiny) and feel the need to tell you all these things that you already know. It’s probably hospital policy, but to me it was still so embarrassing. She went through a ton of questions with me, including asking me what kind of pain medication I planned on having. I told her I wanted a natural birth, and she nodded and entered my answer.

She checked me, and I was still sitting at 1 cm, and 50% effaced. Then she started telling me all that stuff I already know. I felt the need to defend myself. Yes, when I came in, I could barely walk through the contractions anymore. In the minutes since then, everything had calmed down, but I wasn’t just whistling a tune and clicking my heels all the way up to Labor & Delivery. I politely nodded and uh-huhed and pretended I didn’t want to crawl under the tiny triage bed and cry. And then she told me something that any L&D nurse should know never to say to a woman approaching her due date, and CERTAINLY not one who’s just told her she’s planning on natural childbirth. “You’ll know it’s time to come in when you feel like you want to die.” After that, I couldn’t even look at her. I wanted to say something along the lines of “I will be requesting any nurse other than you when I actually come in to have my baby, because you’ve obviously never even heard of the Fear-Tension-Pain cycle, or you prefer that women have the fear that causes the tension that increases the pain so they’ll all get drugs and your job will be easier”, and I didn’t want to be nice about it. So I stared at Frank and didn’t look at the nurse anymore, because if I did, I knew I’d cry and also tell her off.

Ugh! Just writing about her comment has me tense and ticked off all over again.

So I got sent home. I waited until we were in the car to cry and thanked God that I didn’t cry in front of the tactless nurse. And Frank understood immediately that she’s not to be my nurse when we go in for the actual big event. We’ll be nice about it, but I just don’t see her as being supportive in the type of birth I want.

Now whenever my contractions get really strong (it happens every few days, is happening now), Frank asks me if I still have the will to live. :) So far, I do.

Hospital adventure

Yesterday afternoon I weighed myself on the Wii Fit. Despite showing a different weight for me than the doctor’s scale shows (partially because the Wii will take off for the weight of your clothes), my weight gain according to the Wii has tracked perfectly with my weight gain according to the doctor’s scale. So when the Wii Fit told me I’d gained 4.9 pounds from the previous week (I weigh once a week on Mondays), I was really surprised. According to the doc’s scale on Friday, I’d lost a pound from my previous appointment (probably because I’d worn jeans at that appointment), which made me think my weight gain had happened over the weekend. And sudden hefty weight gain is bad, can be a sign of preeclampsia. I’d also had shortness of breath on Sunday that was bad enough that I stayed in bed all afternoon. So we went to Walgreens so I could check my blood pressure — um, my Walgreens doesn’t have a blood pressure cuff, what is up with that? So we bought one and came home. I had to check my BP three times just to make sure the numbers I was seeing were right. 130/80 on the left arm, 140/90 on the right. And at the doc’s office on Friday, it had been 105/70. So we called, and the on-call doc told us to go ahead and go to triage at the hospital so they could run tests and make sure everything was ok.

I’ve been having contractions on and off since Saturday evening, and they started up again right before we got to the hospital. They don’t hurt so far. We got in and I got all hooked up to the monitors, and I was having contractions every 2 minutes that lasted for a minute each time. That went on the entire 2 hours we were at the hospital. (The tests all came back good, my BP came down while we were there.) And when we came home. And all night. And all morning. And all afternoon.

But they’re not intense enough, and I’m only dilated 1 cm (or was last night). They’re still regular, and basically, I’m on one minute, off the next. Sometimes I feel them all over my uterus, my low back, pelvis, and down my legs. And sometimes I just feel tightness in the uterus.

So I’m in early labor, and I could be there for days or weeks, I could have Princess Buttercup today or two weeks late.

I just want her to wait until at least Friday so she has a better chance of having mature lungs. Friday will be 37 weeks.

Soon

*I’m now at 36 weeks, 2 days. On Friday, I’ll breathe easier (hopefully figuratively and literally–please drop, Buttercup), because I’ll hit the 37 weeks mark, and Princess Buttercup will be a full-term baby.

*Last night I had my first contractions that I was *sure* were contractions. I’ve had several moments when I thought I could possibly be having one, but when I had them last night, I had no doubt. So they’re either Braxton Hicks or false labor or both, I dunno, I’m not really clear on the distinction between the two. I had 8 or 9 of them last night, and then they started back up during Bible class this morning and have been going off and on all day. Maybe I’m crazy, but I get all excited about them. It means she’s close. Now watch, she’ll come 2 weeks late. Please, no, Buttercup–3 weeks 5 days is long enough, don’t tack on 2 more weeks.

*Meanwhile, she has taken to rolling her knees and feet against my belly really hard. It actually hurts sometimes. But my favorite is definitely when she sticks her foot in my gallbladder. Good times. I do love it when she pushes her back up and snuggles her little bum right up against my ribs. It’s too adorable. And I love to tickle and poke her feet. It’ll be so strange when she’s not inside my body anymore. I will miss most things about pregnancy, but then, I’ve had it easy.

*I got swabbed for Group B Strep Friday. I was a little nervous about it, but it was nothing at all. Seriously less than half a second for the whole test. So hopefully that comes back negative and I don’t have to get antibiotics during labor.

*I’ve gone over my most worrisome questions about the birth plan with my doc, and he agreed to everything and said whatever I want is fine with him. I really like my doctor. Oh, and I’m going with natural childbirth, for many reasons. Don’t try to talk me out of it or wish me “good luck with that” as you snicker and roll your eyes, and for the love of candy canes and puppies, do NOT tell me that I “don’t have to be a martyr”. It’s not about that.

*I spend all my time in the bathroom now. My bladder is officially the size of a toothpick.

*I got asked last week if I’m having twins. That was awesome.

*We’ve finished childbirth classes. We started with 7 couples in our class, and by the end, only 4 were left, the other 3 having had their babies early.

*We also did breastfeeding class. I took a sock monkey with me as my infant standin. Sock monkeys are very good eaters. I was surprised that the men asked more questions than the women. And I was so glad Frank went with me, because there’s actually a lot to remember.

*And then we did CPR class. I was a total wreck, cried through half the class. Pregnancy hormones do not go well with infant CPR class.

*Total weight gain so far: 7.5 pounds. I think I’m going to make my goal of 15 max!

*More later.

Gotta draw the line somewhere, I guess

ME: Oh, they have a breastfeeding class, too.
HE: Well, I don’t need to go to that.
ME: It says to bring your husband or other support person.
HE: Eh.
ME: And an infant-sized doll or stuffed animal.
HE: Okay, I’m out.

I think we may be the class clowns of birthing class

Ah, but what did you expect from us? We never take anything seriously. I mean, I guess we’ll have to once the baby comes, but until then, we are 100% silly.

Side note: There were seven couples in our class, and only two of us (including me) have had no Braxton-Hicks contractions. I wonder if that means Buttercup will be late. (Not necessarily, I know.)

During the “here’s a very disgusting video about labor” video…

ME: They’re showing us porn.
HE: Then it’s negative porn, because I am so not turned on right now.
***

HE: I’m supposed to be supportive and tell you you’re doing a great job. I think I’ll say, “You’re doing an okay job, but would you be open to some constructive criticism?”
***

The video tells us to note the color, odor, amount, and time if the water breaks. Frank says to me very seriously, “So make sure to carry a measuring cup around with you.” I’m a perfect lady, so naturally I mime sticking a cup between my legs and raising it for a toast.

Then there were the relaxation techniques.

ME: Don’t forget to watch my chest and count my breaths.
HE: [Straight-up OGLING of the girls.]

The instructor nurse later had us try to relax by visualizing something super relaxing while breathing deeply. I was doing okay with this, but the ogling already had me giggly. I was visualizing myself finishing hiking the Grand Canyon, getting back to the trailhead, smelling the dirt and grass and seeing the aspen trees… it was lovely. She was trying to make me go to a meadow and walk up a little hill and leave my stress at the top of the hill and look at dandelions, but I was only half-listening and hanging out at the Grand Canyon. And then she said, “The billowy clouds…” and my eyes flew open. I almost said, “Really?” I felt like I was at a hippie poetry reading. Frank, still ogling per the instructions, saw my eyes and leaned over and said, “You be sweet.” At which point I lost it. And I couldn’t even do the quiet laughing fit. I was like the kid who’s trying so hard not to laugh that she laughs almost as loud as if she’d just let it go.

Teacher didn’t like that so much and started telling everyone (2 or 3 couples started laughing when I did) that it may seem silly, but it really helps to visualize. Her face got all stern and stuff.

Then later when Frank was doing all these relaxation techniques on me (raining, hailing, fluffing me like a pillow, smoothing me like bedsheets), he kept whispering to me that I need to think of it like a power-up during a video game. “You know how you have to hold the wand straight up for three seconds to get your spell to charge enough in Harry Potter so it makes your opponent stay down longer? Breathe like that.” “I’m not visualizing video games.” “I’m just saying. Take your power from the earth. Like in a video game.” “No.”

There were many more jokes he made that I can’t remember, and I didn’t write them down. I do remember one thing he said on the way home. “When it’s time for you to push, I’m gonna say, ‘Let’s make this INfant an OUTfant.’”

If he can keep me laughing through labor, I think I can deal.

Progress

So we’re making progress on the nursery. I’m just so proud, because I (knowing myself as I do) was expecting the room wouldn’t even be started by the time Princess Buttercup arrives. But the walls are finished and came out looking rainforesty like I wanted. And the floors and new doors have been installed! Now all I have to do before we can start putting furniture in it is paint the trim around the windows and doors and paint the doors.

Here’s what it looks like so far:

Frank is going to start putting the crib together tonight, so I think I’ll work on the trim painting this afternoon.

Also making progress: Princess Buttercup and the hugeness of my belly. I’m 30.5 weeks pregnant now, and if my belly is this big now, I can’t imagine how ginormous it will be at 9 months.

And I have a very short torso, so there’s really nowhere for her to go but out now. Princess Buttercup weighs over 3 pounds (at least that’s what the average is), and she kicks like some animal that kicks really hard. This morning I was pulling weeds, and some of the kicks took my breath away. She loves to kick during church; yesterday morning, one of her kicks made me jump out of my pew. It’s still adorable and precious, even though it can be jarring.

She gets the hiccups almost every day, sometimes twice a day–it slays me. And she changes position every day now, I guess deciding which is her favorite.

I’ve still been good in the weight department somehow (good genes, I suppose, because I eat a lot of potatoes and cheese). According to the Wii Fit, I’ve still only gained 5.5 pounds since I got pregnant. I’m hoping to keep this pace and keep my weight gain to 15 for the pregnancy. If I can stay under 170, I’ll be ecstatic.

We continue to prepare. I haven’t packed the hospital bag yet, but I’ve made the list and plan to pack it in the next week or two. And we start birthing classes tomorrow night. Yes, it will be comedy gold, and yes, I will be taking pictures and blogging all the smart alecky stuff Frank says during class.

We get company this weekend. Bikermommy and Sizzle are both flying in for the baby shower on Saturday and to help with the baby preparations. I can’t wait to see them! And then next week, Frank’s cousin and her family are coming in, so it will be nice to see them too. The week after that, Frank’s brother and sister-in-law are coming for a visit… Yeah, you could say we have a busy August coming up. At least it means my house stays clean. Which, by the way, it has been since my mom visited at the end of June. The nesting kicked in about 10 days before her visit and hasn’t really let up.

It’s hot AND humid here. Like above 20% humidity!! Once you’ve acclimated to living in 10% humidity and get used to not sweating, it’s a little disconcerting when the air is wet and you pour sweat. I’m ready for September.

Still not trained all that well

Last night, I was finally comfy in bed, and Frank pushed his arm under my giant maternity pillow.

ME: Uhnnnnnn. [my whiny grunt]
HE: What?
ME: You’re lifting me. I don’t know how you’re lifting me, since I’m a cow, but you’re lifting me.
HE: I’m super-strong.
ME: Not the appropriate response.
HE [laughing]: I can lift massive things!

He’s not even trying to pretend I’m not huge right now. Yesterday, I’m walking through the house…

ME: Ugh, I sound like an elephant stomping through the house.
HE: You have a big baby belly.

Uh oh

When my mom came to visit, she took me baby book shopping so she could buy the baby book. But the more we looked, the less we liked. We didn’t like any of the baby book options out there, because they were either solely photo books, bland pre-made scrapbooks that had zero of the traditional baby book elements, or they had traditional baby book elements but were bland and had few places for pictures and no pockets for keepsakes. Or you couldn’t add pages.

So I decided to make the baby book. Oh, SarahK.

We got a lot of papers and accents to get me started, and I’ve worked on it here and there ever since and mostly finished her 2-page name layout a few days ago. But y’all know me and my obsessions–I get obsessed easily and don’t fall out of obsession nearly as easily. So yes. I’m now obsessed with making this baby book and with scrapbooking in general. On the one hand, this is good, because I have bins and bins of mementos and scraps just waiting to be put into books. On the other hand, scrapbooking is expensive. I’ve been pretty good about not spending too much money–only buying embellishments and paper when they’re on sale, using coupons religiously, only buying stickers if I can think of ways to use more than just the one sticker in the package that I really want.

But then when I learned about and became obsessed with the Cricut, I also happened to have a couple months’ worth of allowance saved up. Bad combo.

Yes, my new Cricut arrives today. I got it on eBay and feel like I should be in a Weird Al song. I’m so excited about it that I’m trying to get all my cleaning finished this morning so I can play with it all afternoon. And yesterday I went and bought a bunch of scrap papers on clearance so I can play cheaply.

So I’m not saying that this blog might get a little crowded with boring scrapbooky stuff, but I’m also not saying that it won’t.

Cankles

I have them. And I wish I could blame pregnancy, but I’ve kind of always had them. I have my dad’s legs, see. Maybe even his exact legs. Pop-Eye shins, zero definition in the cankle area. It’s embarrassing, but whatevs. Nothing I can do about them (I’ve tried hard), so I just live knowing that Hillary Clinton and I have a very unappealing trait in common. I could be Secretary of State someday.

Anyway, so my mom came to visit, and we were over at my in-laws’ for dinner one evening. I was sitting on a barstool and had one leg resting up on the next barstool (my feet hurt from carrying the weight of my cankles through the zoo all day). My mom saw my cankle and said, “Sarah. Your ankles are so swollen! You need to make sure to tell your doctor how swollen they are.” And then my mother-in-law checked to make sure I wasn’t pitting, and my mom was put at ease that I wasn’t all full of edema. “Um, mom, that’s how they always look. I have major cankles.”

She looked really surprised. And she wasn’t just doing that passive-aggressive thing that some moms do to point out your faults. I didn’t get them from her, and I hardly ever wear shorts or skirts, so she just didn’t realize about my hideous cankles.

I hope Buttercup doesn’t get them.

One of these days…

…the nursery walls will be done. I thought they were done yesterday, when I finished them. But then the last two walls I did don’t look nearly as good as the first one.

I’m going for a rainforest/jungle-y look on the walls, and I want it to look–well, rainy. The first wall turned out well.

The others look too stripey, so I’m going to redo at least two of them. Hopefully today so we can have the floors installed soon!

Hot date

Frank took me on a hot date Friday night (but first, he wrote this. I’ll pause while you awwwwww). I went dress shopping and came home with three options. This is the one I wore on the hot date:

Oh, and when I got home from dress shopping, Frank was home from work and had lilies waiting for me. Lilies are my favorites.

We had dinner reservations for Cottonwood Grille, a wonderful restaurant downtown next to the Boise River. Frank had specified when making the reservation that we would need to dine gluten-free. So when we got there, they handed us our 2-page gluten-free menu. We asked to sit outside. The patio is next to a big rock waterfall and pond–so pretty. The weather was nice and breezy, with just a little bit of a chill–if I hadn’t been pregnant, I would have been freezing.

We started looking at the menu, and I took forever to decide on what to eat. I’ve gotten used to having a maximum of ten choices at any given restaurant, so a full two-page menu was just options overload for me. Not to mention that they’d also given us a regular menu, and at least half of the items on that menu had gluten-free options available. Too many choices! :)

We shared a crab cocktail for our appetizer (I was starving when we got there), and then we both had the onion soup (without the crouton, of course). And when they brought us our soup, the waiter set down a basket of bread. “And here is some bread for you. It’s gluten-free.” !!! We never get to eat bread at a restaurant! So that was a very welcome surprise. I ate lots. And the onion soup was probably the best I’ve ever had.

It sprinkled on us a little while we finished our soup, and as soon as the family next to us moved inside due to the weather, it stopped sprinkling. There was only one other couple out there, and they were gone before our entrees arrived, so we had the whole patio to ourselves.

Frank had some scrumptious looking venison in a cabernet sauce, and if it had been a little more cooked, I would have tried it, but medium rare is just too raw for me. I had the stuffed prawns florentine with garlic mashed potatoes and some kind of squash. All was very good. The sun started setting while we ate our entrees, and it was gorgeous. We talked about lily pads and whether the ones on the pond were fake. We talked a lot about Buttercup, too, of course.

The waiter came and boxed up our leftovers and took our dessert orders. Frank had ordered a martini to go with his dinner and was only half finished with it when he got up to go to the bathroom. And as soon as he left the table, the wind picked up. I could hear it coming from across the river–the trees were LOUD–so I had a feeling. Sure enough, it was soon no longer breezy. More like mild hurricane-ish. The water started blowing off the waterfall and pond, Frank’s napkin went flying, I waddled over to get it and waited for him to get back so we could go inside.

The waiter brought our desserts before Frank was back, so I made an executive decision and just asked if we could finish up inside. So he took the dessert plates while I grabbed the boxed leftovers and Frank’s martini. I thought we’d just take one of the tables right inside the door, but I got to waddle all the way across the dining room, half-drunk martini in hand, six months pregnant. I avoided all eye contact with the other patrons.

Frank found me, and he wolfed down a yummy looking raspberry creme brulee while I had a yummy chocolate mousse, which he helped me finish off.

Dinner was gooooood. We decided it was too late to go anywhere else, so we went home, did some hot date stuff (IYKWIM), and watched half of the RiffTrax for Return of the King. Yes, we’re old, and our favorite thing to do on a Friday night is watch a movie with RiffTrax.

It was a great date. I wonder what we’ll do for our hot date next July, when we have a nine-month-old in the house. We’ll see!

The monkey belly at 22 weeks UPDATED

There’s definitely something in there!

UPDATE: Rachel Lucas sent me this, and I can’t stop laughing:

For keeping track purposes…

Today (Wednesday 6/2), Princess Buttercup started kicking hard enough that Frank could finally feel her kick. My little Bladder Puncher is growing up so fast.

Dear Princess Buttercup

When you’re not kicking Mommy’s bladder, you’re using it for a pillow. When you’re older, I will hold this over your head to get you to clean your room or do the dishes. “Why do I have to clean my room?” “Because my bladder still hasn’t recovered from you. And because I said so.”

Love, Ma

Must-haves: strollers

So I went to Babies R Us yesterday to beat my head against the wallregister for the t-shirt baby. I walked around w/ my new grinding hips (yeah, it’s hard to walk now, there’s limping involved, and yes, I’ve called the doctor) and scanned a bunch of stuff for the registry. I got through furniture, bedding, and gear in an hour and a half, and then I decided that was enough for one day. Mainly it just hurt to walk and it was getting-home time.

Annnnyway, I filled out the forms and such to make my registry available online. Mainly so I can go back and look and see what the heck I registered for, research it all to make sure it doesn’t have horrible reviews and ratings, etc.

So today I look at the registry, and every single item says it’s available in-store only. LIARS. I went and searched for some of the things I registered, and they’re all available online. So that’s annoying. And they must have entered my password wrong, because I can’t even get in to edit the thing.

So while I’m waiting for my password to reset, I’m looking over the list of “must-haves” that they give you when you register. Let’s go over a few.

Strollers: It says I “must have” a travel system, a full-size stroller, an umbrella stroller, a jogging stroller, a convenience stroller, stroller toys, stroller netting, a weather shield, and a stroller blanket.

First off, five strollers? And just where would I store all of these strollers? I’d have to rent a storage unit just for strollers. I’ve registered the travel system and the jogging stroller, because I think those really are pretty necessary. The jogging stroller was the very first thing I registered, because you know, I have ambitions that I will exercise sometime in the first year after Buttercup comes. Maybe. One of my wonderful readers mentioned the travel system as being super-handy, and yeah, I think I need that. I registered an extra base so we can easily switch the car seat part of the travel system between cars when needed. I’ll register the umbrella stroller, because my SIL recommends it. But after a jogger, a travel system, and an umbrella stroller, I really don’t see how I’m gonna need a full-size stroller. And what’s a convenience stroller? I just assumed the umbrella stroller was the convenience stroller.

Stroller toys. Are they different from regular toys? I don’t know. Stroller netting. If we still lived in Florida, I’d be all over this. But we don’t, so I think we’ll go without. Right? Is this something I need? I don’t know, but it sounds superfluous. Weather shield. I can actually see this as being handy, but since I’ve never actually seen a stroller with a weather shield out in public, as parents tend to use lots of blankets to protect the babies from the elements, I don’t think I need one. Also, I live in the desert. Stroller blanket. Is this different from regular blankets? I don’t know.

Baby stuff is hard.

We’ll do more of this later. Again, Buttercup is not yet here, so I can’t be considered a mommy blogger yet. You can call me a pregnancy blogger if you must. That’s fair.

Uhhhhhhhhh

Yeah, so I’m trying to register for baby things.

Which is impossible. Too many choices! Too many items! I know I don’t need all of it, but I know I need some of it! After hours of research and browsing, I’ve registered cloth diapers and a jogging stroller. So at least she’ll have something to wear on her bum, and I’ll be able to exercise.

All the other decisions are just too hard. Maybe I should just pay someone to do it for me. Or tell Frank, “Here ya go, dude. If you make the wrong decisions, your child’s safety is in jeopardy. Good luck!”

Princess Buttercup says, “No no!”

She starts out sucking her thumb, then stops, then she looks angry. Her little fists clench up, her eyes close (is it too early for eyelids? I dunno)–I think she’s sneezing. Which is probably impossible, so maybe a really violent hiccup? I dunno. Anyway, she shakes her head afterward, and then the whole screen starts shaking, because I am laughing at her head shake. She’s too much, I can’t take how cute she is.

It’s a girl!

Princess Buttercup Fleming. Or at least that’s what Frank is calling her. And for purposes of the blog, she will be Princess Buttercup. At least for now.

Today I’m 18.5 weeks, and we had our 2nd ultrasound this afternoon. She was just precious. She kicked a lot, slept on her left hand like I do (*sob*), shook her head (the overwhelming awesomeness of that almost KILLED me), sucked her thumb, coughed (or maybe hiccuped), gave us a thumbs up, and waved her arms around. Yeah, I cried the whole time.

One day, I’ll upgrade my wordpress so I can have a nice little button for posting videos. I’ll have to edit the pics before I can post them.

Pregnancy update:

Well, it started with me sleeping all the time. Then I finally started getting my energy back, and the migraines started hitting hard. Aspirin-free Excedrin kicks most of them, but then I get massive, 3-day-long migraines that can’t be kicked without real meds. So the doc prescribed Midrin for those cases. I’ve only had to take that once since I got it a week ago. He says the headaches should taper off by about week 20, so if they don’t, I’ve promised to bug him about them. Some of them are as bad as the first ones I had 7 years ago. Killah.

The intestinal misery continues on, though it’s not as bad as it was.

Heartburn. I haz it. Rather, it has me. Thank goodness for Sprouts papaya enzymes.

I don’t remember if I told y’all about the baby moving around. I’ve been feeling her since I was 13 weeks in, which is way early for a first pregnancy, especially in overweight women. At first, I just felt really fast vibrations. Now I feel all kinds of movement, and I started being able to distinguish kicks this week. Right now she’s shifting around a lot–apparently she can’t get comfy.

I have a definite bump. Love it. I’m in maternity clothes now, because, you know, things are really tight around the belly. I’ve only gained 1 pound, which makes me think my goal of 10-15 pounds is actually doable! So that’s been nice. Good baby.

I’m almost ready to start painting the nursery. We’re going with a jungle theme. Realistic-ish, not cartoonish. I’m going to TRY to do misty green walls (as in looks like it’s raining, and I’ll take your suggestions on how to do that), white trim, white furniture, dark wood laminate floors. Yep, we’re doing the whole room, including replacing the doors (over the years we will replace all the doors in the house, because they’re awful). We’ll probably do a pastel yellow rug and bedding. And monkeys, toucans, and macaws. Especially monkeys. I can imagine your surprise.