Sunday, November 30, 2008

Pregnancy: November 23-30, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008
Lots of baby movement on Friday, and I am so happy about it. :) While driving over for chili fixin's, I noticed the beautiful Gingko trees with their bright yellow leaves just about to fall, and I felt a sense of peace come over me. Our little boy may come early, or he may not, but everything will be fine and will work out the way it's supposed to work out.

We also finished packing our hospital bags today, "just in case" we end up in there sooner than we planned. We'll be putting them in Joel's car along with the baby bag, a pillow, and some blankets. Then we'll be set up in case we have short notice to get to the hospital! :)

Monday I'll be turning 36 years old, and Tuesday I'll be at Week 35. Wednesday is my next prenatal doctor appt., and then Thursday is Thanksgiving. What a week we have ahead of us! Can't wait to use our new fetal heart monitor and maybe make some recordings of it. Whee, baby stuff is fun!

Monday, November 24, 2008
Today is my birthday! As a friend said earlier, she thinks the greatest gift is tumbling in my tummy right now. :) It's so true... sappy, maybe, but true. I think this is the right time for me, even though it's quite a bit later than I anticipated starting a family, because I'm with the man who will be an amazing father to my kid(s) and who is already an awesome husband. This weekend, for instance, he set up a surprise birthday gift for me-- he drove us to San Francisco to see a special movie (Slumdog Millionaire) that was only playing in the City. It was outstanding, by the Director of 28 Days Later & Trainspotting. Great movie, great cinematography, great action & emotion & music and everything else. I loved it. That would have been good enough, but then the day continued. We spent the day in the City (with frequent breaks for my hips, of course), and then ended up at one of our favorite places-- Amante, in North Beach-- for fish tacos and calamari with bloody mary cocktail sauce. Delicious... it was a great day, and made even better by the fact that Joel set it all up himself, on his own, all for me. I felt so cherished!

And then, Sunday night, he showed his true colors again. I had been having a lot of stomach pain/discomfort, and a sort of sour, hot, uncomfortable feeling all day-- I felt kind of nauseated, like I was going to be sick. At around 11 or so, we finally realized it was probably heartburn, caused by (a) baby compressing my stomach and (b) hormones that relax your esophageal muscles and really open the door for acid reflux/heartburn. Woo-hoo! Joel went right out to Walgreens for some medication so that I would be able to get at least a little bit of sleep. It was seriously one of the kindest, sweetest things he's ever done for me; I was deeply impressed and felt very taken care of, which was both refreshing and awesome. I took the Zantac 75, which didn't seem to kick in for awhile, and then tossed & turned all night while propped up on my pillows. I think I slept for about 3 hours total, which should make for an interesting day today, coupled with the fact that I think I'm coming down with a cold (yucky congestion!). /:)

So now I'm going to start monitoring my diet a lot more-- I found a few lists online of what *not* to eat (citrus, spicy foods, acidic foods, tomatoes, etc.) and what is okay to eat (apples, bananas, bread, milk), and that I shouldn't eat lying down or close to bedtime and should avoid drinking a lot while I'm eating small meals. As if small meals is the problem-- I hardly have an appetite any more, probably because Baby is jammed up against my stomach right now and I just can't seem to eat much at all. Which sucks, really, considering that Thanksgiving is this week! I'll have to do taste-tests instead of atually eat. (Is this a new weight-loss regimen, or what??) Well, maybe it won't be that bad... maybe it'll just keep me from pigging out too much!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I took Monday off after having little to no sleep on Sunday night, and lots of discomfort. After lots of rest and taking it easy, I decided I was ready to return to work on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I also slept hardly a wink on Monday night as well, which started me off on the wrong foot Tuesday morning. I went in to work with intentions of doing a lot of wrapping up-- finishing up projects in motion, setting up some planning/prep for upcoming projects, and getting a sort of "How To" procedural guide for my administrator, who will be taking over when I go out on maternity leave. I was having a fairly rough morning, but we finally made it over to the meeting with my admin. to go over the plans, when BOOM! She gets to witness me breathing through a particularly rough contraction. Slightly embarrassing, but oh well. At the meeting, I shared with her that I was only planning on being at work one more week (through Dec.5), primarily due to these latest developments with the pregnancy. She was very understanding, and I felt a lot more supported about it.

We went back to our office, and I made another unpleasant discovery-- more bleeding. It wasn't quite "blood," per say; after reading up about it some, it might actually be the beginnings of the "bloody show" starting up. (Awesome to read about, I know...) I decided to leave, go home and get off my feet, call the Birthing Center for advice, and possibly go in for monitoring. When I got home and rested, though, everything seemed to calm down a bit-- for awhile, anyway. Until evening, there was no more "show"-- but there was a whole lot of discomfort. Basically, I'm feeling what I can only relate to a combination of menstrual cramps and the feeling you get when you think you have food poisoning-- these intermittent waves of pain and cramping in the lower abdomen, stomach, and lower back areas that make you think you really have to go to the bathroom quickly, except that when you do, nothing happens. I'm also feeling a general sort of aching and tenderness in that whole area, from my stomach down to my pelvis; sometimes it almost feels like I might be bruised "down there" or something, which I'm sure is a completely normal part of pregnancy. Uncomfortable, but normal.

Anyways... I have my next Doctor's appt. Wednesday morning, and hope to find out what's going on. I am so very very uncomfortable right now, and it really feels like things are changing rapidly. A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling pretty great, minus the hip pain when I walked. Now, I'm getting hardly any sleep, was in the hospital twice last week after finding blood, have been cramping/contracting very strongly for the past two days, and feel just drained of energy and achy all the time. I really doubt this kid is going to wait until New Year's to make his arrival. Or at least, if this type of pain and discomfort continue, I HOPE it doesn't keep going for another 5 weeks! Sheesh!

Friday, November 28, 2008
12:30 a.m., Black Friday:
I just got back from 6 hours in the Family Birthing Center. Those nurses over there are sure getting to know my face by now! I'd had a pretty bad Wednesday, and Thursday didn't seem to be going much better-- I was having lots of lower back pain, especially around the tailbone area; cramping; nausea; overall achiness and soreness; and (as usual) a complete inability to sleep longer than 2 hours or so at a stretch. I had planned to go over to a friend's house for Thanksgiving, but ended up cancelling because I felt so unwell. At around 1:00, I noticed that the bleeding had re-started, and this time it was bright red, which scared me. I called the FBC and the nurse suggested it was from the pelvic exam on Wednesday, and told me to monitor it and come in if I felt the urge or if it got worse. So, around 6:30, I did!

Apparently, the contractions aren't letting up; I was having them about every 4 minutes. The nurse gave me a shot of Terbutalene again, but it didn't do much to slow them down; they went to about once every 8 minutes, which was still not quite what they wanted. So, my doctor recommended a new medicine (Nifedipine/procardia), which actually started to work; the contractions slowed to every 12 minutes. As long as I don't have more than 1 every 10 minutes, we're good. :)

I will have to keep taking the Nifedipine once daily to keep the contractions slowed down until our prenatal appt. next week, at which point Dr. Altman will check me out. Today, the nurse who did the pelvic exam said I was dilated to 1 cm, which of course doesn't necessarily mean anything-- I could be at that point for weeks. That is actually good! This boy needs to stay inside and incubate a little while longer. :)

More updates later, after some attempts at sleeping.

Saturday, November 29, 2008
Great news! Joel landed a temp job for the next two weeks, working for an IT employment agency that will place him with a winery doing some pre-Christmas projects. Even though this job is only temporary, it is a great way to get started with the employment agency, and the recruiter has already told him she is searching for full-time placements for him. Woo-hoo! The only down-side to this is that he'll be in Sonoma this first week, carpooling up with other temp hires and staying in a hotel through Wednesday (we think). This means that I *definitely* need to hold off on going into labor until at least Thursday, because I need him to be there when the baby is born! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pregnancy: November 15-22, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008
I just got back from a baby shower thrown by several friends from work... and I'm still feeling the glow of their love and support. In the midst of all of this angst and worry about financial issues, I can see that I'm just surrounded by people who care about me-- about us. It's a great feeling. This must be what "community" means, in a very real sense of the word. The people who come together to help you, make you laugh, give you a shoulder to lean on or lend you an ear, share memories with you, act silly and get serious and all of those other things that make life so full and so rewarding. I need to remember this day when I start getting stuck in my cycle of worrying and stressing out about anything and everything.

Someone at the party brought up a great point, too; she gently suggested that I take it a bit easier on Joel. She reminded me that he's probably feeling a lot of pressure about this situation we're in, too, but doesn't bring it up or talk about it much. She pointed out that while both of us are in the same position in terms of feeling the financial crunch, he doesn't get to feel the closeness and the bond that I have with the baby. He doesn't get to experience this pregnancy the way I am lucky enough to experience it... and here I am, complaining that I won't get even *more* time to bond with the baby later! If Joel does get to stay home with the baby for a couple of months, I think that would be wonderful. He will get the chance to really, fully connect with our son in a way that few dads can. Thinking about it that way really puts things in a different light for me... I'm just feeling so much more positive about it. Instead of "losing" time with my new baby, I'm giving that time to Joel, who in any other scenario would never get the chance to bond with his child like that. Besides, I don't work during part of June and all of July, so I'll have plenty of time during summer to spend full-time with the baby. And that'll be the fun time, too-- 6 months old, ready to swim around and party like a rock star! :)

Anyway... just wanted to share how much better I feel after getting together with so many friends today. It was a rejuvenation of the spirit, and I feel so blessed to have these people in my life. Okay, sappy blog now complete.

Thursday, November 20, 2008
Well, yesterday I had a scary interlude... the baby is fine, and I'm fine, but I had some seriously scary moments when I got home on Wednesday 11/19. This week at work, we've been running around like crazy putting the food baskets together-- shopping for turkeys & canned food, organizing all the boxes (for 53 families!), coordinating the food drive, and so on-- and I've definitely been feeling the strain a bit more physically. My hips, oddly enough, have been doing very well this week; my energy level, not so much. Wednesday, we finished up our major shopping for the food baskets, and by lunch-time I knew I was wiped out. My tailbone area started to get painfully uncomfortable, and I decided to take it easy for the remainder of the day/week and get some rest for my body. I drove home with plans to still go out and pick up the rest of the pies for our baskets, but plans have a way of changing.

Before heading out to Raley's for their "2 for $5.00" pie special, I decided to go use the bathroom, and that's when I noticed the blood. It wasn't profuse, or anything, but it was definitely blood. I started to panic and called out to Joel that we had to go to the hospital instead because I was bleeding. He asks me, "From where?" Um... FROM "THERE"!!! He was just in shock, of course, like me, but I have to admit it threw me off a little bit. /:) While we drove over to the Family Birthing Center, I called the doctor. They took all my info and said they'd call back about whether or not I should go in to the hospital. I waited 20 minutes in the parking lot, praying and trying not to burst into tears and gritting my teeth and trying to focus on positive energy instead of the terrible possibilities that were waiting to run through my mind, and then we just went inside anyway. There was no way I was going to wait longer to find out if the baby was okay!

When we got into the Family Birthing Center, they immediately sent us back to a Labor/Delivery Room and hooked me & the baby up to monitors. Finally, I heard & saw his heartbeat, nice and strong... what a moment! I'd been pretty teary-eyed up to that point, but that was where I lost it for a minute. I was so terrified that something horrible had happened, and here was concrete proof that he was still up & at 'em-- it was an almost overwhelming feeling of relief and thankfulness and fear and joy, something that I'm sure many other parents have gone through countless times before.

While monitoring us both, the R.N. noticed that I was having some mild contractions, and that they were happening about once every 5-7 minutes-- way too fast for my stage (34/35 weeks) of pregnancy. After consultation with the doctor, they ended up giving me a shot of terbutaline, which slows down contractions during "pre-term labor" (see for more info). Apparently, it slows everything down by relaxing the uterine muscles, to ease the frequency & intensity of the contractions. Still, it doesn't necessarily work if you're already dilating. "Terbutaline has not been shown to consistently prevent or delay preterm delivery for a significant period of time. Even so, studies have shown that terbutaline can usually delay delivery for at least several days." When the R.N. gave me the shot, I had a great reaction, and it immediately slowed down the contractions. It took me about 20-30 minutes to have another one, which was a huge difference-- before, they were coming in at around 6 every half hour, and they typically tell you to go in to the hospital if you're having contractions at the rate of 6 per HOUR! Yipes! Anyway... the R.N. then came in and did a pelvic exam to make sure I wasn't dilated, and (thankfully) I'm not quite there-- which is good! It means that I'm not actually in full-on pre-term labor, because the cervix hasn't changed yet. I was having contractions, yes, but they're just not sure why. It could have been physical stressors, or emotional stressors, or who knows what else. Sometimes, it just happens like that, same thing with the bleeding.

After checking everything out and finding that both of us were doing fine, they sent us home with a list of things to do/not do and a reminder to take it easy. We also need to keep monitoring the baby's rate of movement and the contractions; if they change (ie, baby stops moving or the contractions kick up again) I need to call and/or come in again. I have a doctor appt. next Wednesday, so he'll also be checking at that point to see how everything's going, and make any recommendations then. I tell ya-- if I could leave work right now, I would. Yesterday's emotional roller-coaster was just way too much for me to go through again! Unfortunately, the whole "leaving-now-would-result-in-half-of-a-paycheck" thing is really keeping me at work, because dropping half of a check would pretty much leave us unable to pay our rent/food bills. Don't get me wrong-- if it comes to it, I will choose the baby first over anything else, and I realize that it's just money, and so on... but it's what we need to survive, too, so I feel like we're stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'd rather just be at home right now, to be absolutely safe (and to be only moments away from our doctor/the Family Birthing Center), but we'll have to wait and see if we can make this work at least a little while longer.

All in all, I know this much is true: As long as the baby is fine, I'll be fine. Keep sending us good thoughts and positive energy and all the prayers you can spare, because we need 'em!

Friday, November 21, 2008
We ended up back in the Family Birthing Center again last night (Thursday). Apparently, this is becoming something of a habit. :)

For the past few days, the baby had been moving more and more sluggishly, especially compared to the previous several weeks when he moved like he was swimming the Channel or doing a leg press or something. Then, all day on Thursday, I could only feel the constant tightening and hardening of my stomach (Braxton-Hicks contractions), but didn't feel the baby kicking, moving, shifting positions, or anything. In the evening, we sat together and tried to get a movement, but all we could feel were these minute "tap-taps"-- the way the baby's movements felt in the beginning, but much milder than they've been for several weeks. I was getting nervous... by the time we were ready for bed, I was sure the baby was finally going to wake up and start his calisthenics, as usual, but nothing changed. Even when we pressed up against my abdomen, there was no response. Joel got up, got dressed, and said "We're going in."

At the FBC, they hooked us up to monitors again, and though it took awhile, they finally found the baby's heartbeat. It was the best sound in the world. I almost immediately felt ready to fall asleep, as if the sound of that "da-dum, da-dum" was a lullaby set up just for me. They gave me OJ to drink, in hopes that the sugar in it would make the baby start moving-- but earlier that evening I'd had tea with sugar, fruit salad, even chocolate milk, and nothing had changed, so... I was a bit skeptical. Meanwhile, they are also monitoring the contractions I'm having, which are coming at about one every three minutes-- much more frequently than yesterday. What the heck is going on with this kid, does he really want to come this early??

The doctor (Altman) recommended another pelvic exam to check for dilation-- and I'm still not there yet, thank goodness. I still have another couple of weeks before they will give the go-ahead for labor; until then, they want everything to sloooow down. Altman doesn't like terbutalene, though, so we got to skip the shot this time. yay!

We eventually left the hospital with their recommendations to take it easy and rest, and then went immediately to Wal-Mart to buy a fetal heart monitor. You know, just to help us feel better in the middle of the night when we're wondering what is happening and need to reassure ourselves that the baby is still doing well. Call me paranoid, but I'll go back in to the FBC daily if I have to for the next 6 weeks to make sure this baby is healthy and that we're on track. So far, so good, but at this rate I'm wondering if we'll make it to December 31st! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008
So, I'm on to the next little "side effect" of pregnancy. Not that I'm complaining-- I just want to document this so that next time, I'm not surprised or confused about what's happening. It really helps to know that these things are normal and that your body isn't actually falling apart. :)

Starting around Thursday night, I started feeling really weird sensations in my hands. Tingling in my fingers and wrists, sharp pains shooting from my fingers down my arm, difficulty and pain when gripping things (which I noticed when I was trying to sign the hospital forms), stiffness and numbness in my fingers and wrists, and so on. After doing some research on the Internet-- which, by the way, has been a godsend for me during this pregnancy-- I found out that this is basically a temporary case of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It's brought on by pregnancy and goes away after delivery, and usually only comes up in the last part of the third trimester. It's caused when my body retains fluids that press on the flexor tendons in the carpal tunnel, compressing the median nerve and causing all of those painful/numb/tingling sensations I described earlier.

The treatment? Reduce repetetive motions, take hand-stretching breaks, shake your hands and wrists out frequently, sleep with arms/wrists propped up on pillows (how the heck are you supposed to do this??), when typing make sure the wrists are elevated, and possibly use a wrist brace if things get really bad.

Wow, am I just reaching for side effects at this point, or what? Maybe these things are happening now because I never got morning sickness or cravings or anything like that... Payback time! ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Pregnancy: November 8-14, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008
We just had the best weekend... our friends Phil & Christine came all the way from San Jose to do our maternity photography. It was awesome! I've seen some of the photos on his camera, and they look great so far. Can't wait to see them larger. It was a really cool experience, even though it is tougher than it looks to be a "model." I think that this is going to be one of the gifts I value most... we love photography, and art, and this session was where the two met to celebrate the pregnancy. :) Christine was there as all-around support, make-up technician, photography assistant, and stand-in. Phil did an amazing job with the pictures and never complained once about having to work with amateurs like me and Joel-- just kept clicking and directing and adjusting lights until we actually looked like pros! What a great experience.

Monday, November 10, 2008
Sometimes I find it difficult not to be overwhelmed with sadness when I think about going back to work so soon after the baby is born. I'll probably have to go back a mere 6 weeks after the birth, and I just don't know how I'm going to do it without falling apart. When I think about how much I'm going to miss by being at work during the first, precious months of his life, I can hardly bear it. Yesterday I was sitting in my chair and felt the baby start his calisthenics, and I did my usual "Hey, baby" to the stomach, and then burst into tears. I feel like these next couple of months are the last ones I will have where no one can tell me I have to leave him. Although I know it sounds weird to say it like this, we will never be this close again. After December, we'll be two bodies instead of one, and that means we can be separated, and that we will be separated-- way too soon for my peace of mind.


It's not that I don't want my son to separate from me or be his own person. It's that I can hardly deal with the fact that within a few weeks of his birth I will have to leave him all day and go back to work. I feel like I'm going to miss everything-- all those important, intense, amazing "firsts" that babies go through. And, yes-- I know that women all over the world are dealing with these same emotions over having to leave their child and get back to making money to support that child. Somehow, though, it doesn't make me feel better at all to know that there are lots of us out there who are going to miss their babies all day long.

And mine isn't even born yet! Sheesh, you'd think I would at least wait until he's here to start missing him. /:)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I saw the doctor today and was able to finally get across the type of pain I'm feeling in my hips, pelvic region, tailbone, etc. I mean, it's to the point where I'm having a hard time standing up, walking, or going up/down stairs without pain-- every day. It can get pretty severe at times, like a sharp knife is cutting into me. I end up walking like a 98-year-old, shuffling my feet to cut down on the pain as much as possible; probably looks ridiculous. Anyway, I told Dr. A., and he said that he would approve disability whenever I felt that it had gone far enough and I couldn't take it any more. Yay! And now for the bad news-- it has gone far enough, and I can't take it any more, but I can't afford to take disability and leave work. If I were to leave, my paycheck would drop to half-pay. Half pay? That is so far from what we need that it is totally impossible to even imagine how we would live, especially considering that my paycheck is our main source of income. Joel is thankfully bringing in freelance income, but it wouldn't be enough to cover the other half of my paycheck. All of which means that no matter how painful it is, I'm just going to have to do deep breathing exercises, walk very slowly, and figure out how to keep going at work until I'm basically ready to collapse. Yay? I'm really not trying to be a martyr here, but I have no idea how this is going to work. Seriously speaking, I don't think I'll make it much longer... but how the heck am I supposed to take the time off to rest/recover/not be in pain, when doing so means we'll lose half of our income???

On that note, looks like it's time for chocolate milk. If chocolate can't cure it, what will? ;)

Friday, November 14, 2008
Well, to be depressing YET AGAIN, I signed up for my health coverage for Jan-Dec '09, and it was pretty ugly. I don't qualify for short-term disability coverage because of my "pre-existing condition" (pregnancy), so if I take off *any time* after the birth, it will be covered only by regular disability-- half of my regular paycheck. In other words, I'm scheduled to come back in the first week of March '09, for a total of 8 weeks out. If I actually did that, I could expect to get half of my paycheck for those two months off. Half. You know, because who really needs the other half?? I usually just toss it in a dumpster or use it for papier mache projects anyway, so what's the diff?


And not only that. Oh yes, there's more! My monthly premiums went up by $100, and that's without adding the baby, let alone Joel, to any sort of health coverage. I don't qualify for Healthy Families or Kaiser Children's Health Plan, which both have income guidelines that are just under what I theoretically make per year. I say theoretically because my take-home pay is approximately half of my gross income. In a way, it would be better if I made less money, because at this point I'm going to be spending another $300/month for baby + Joel (at least), which added to the extra $100/month for my own premiums, makes things pretty dicey around here. And then top that off with the fact that I will be taking home only HALF of a paycheck for 2 months, and you can see where we're screwed.

I don't mean to sound so negative, but man oh man... I'm at a loss here as to how the heck we're going to make it.

Oh yeah-- and yesterday at work, I actually broke into tears while walking down the stairs after a meeting. It was very embarrassing, as my coworkers were there and got to witness the whole debacle. They were all very kind and concerned and supportive, but it almost made it worse, in a way. Yes, I was in pain, and yes, it was a touch embarrassing to cry in front of everyone, but it was also a reminder that there's not a whole lot I can do about it. I just have to keep going as long as possible and then recover as quickly as I can and get back to work as soon as possible next year. Otherwise... well, maybe the landlord will take some of our oranges and grapefruit in lieu of rent? Hmm... I'm going to look into it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Pregnancy: November 1-7, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008
Well, it's taken about 30 weeks, but I'm finally feeling the "bad part" of pregnancy. Never had to deal with morning sickness, not even once-- never had queasiness, illness, sensitivity to smells, nothing. The most I've dealt with so far is the speedy pulse that happens every so often, and in the beginning when I would get dizzy every time I stood up, or when I was so overwhelmingly tired but couldn't get any sleep-- no big deal, really, when you think about it. Now, however, things are beginning to get a bit yucky. I've been having these severe leg cramps in my right calf-- one time, I woke up screaming and crying from the pain; Joel had to massage my leg for 15 minutes until it relaxed. Then, in the past few days, I've been really feeling the effects of the relaxin hormone coursing through my body. Yay?

I believe that I'm experiencing what is called either SPD (Symphysis Pubis Disfunction) or PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain). Basically, the ligaments in my pelvic region (at the coccyx in the back and the pubic symphysis in front) are loosening due to the relaxin-- loosening a bit too much, unfortunately, exactly at the time when they need to be working the hardest to support my belly and the baby. It causes pain when lifting your legs (climbing stairs, going up and down curbs, getting in and out of bed), separating your legs (entering and exiting the car, bathtub, etc.), and even just walking. There isn't a lot in terms of treatment that's available, mainly some basic avoidance of pain-causing situations, plus stretching, relaxation exercises, pelvic floor exercises, rest, etc. In fact, I'm sure my doctor-- like most U.S. doctors, who scoff at PGP/SPD-- will brush it off as just another normal part of pregnancy. Except that I know that I should be able to at least walk without such severe, sharp, mind-blowing pain. I still have 8 weeks to go, people! How am I supposed to do a regular work-week like this? Sometimes, I can hardly walk from the couch to the kitchen, so how am I supposed to do a normal work schedule, which involves standing and sitting and all of that stuff?

Anyway... I'm going to try contacting a few different options nearby, like a massage therapist who specializes in prenatal massage, and a chiropractor who specializes in pregnancy therapy, the Walker Technique, and pelvic pain. Maybe one of htose options will work out. Other than that, I guess it's homeopathic treatments for me, and crossing my fingers that I can make it at least one more month at work!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008
It's pretty amazing... today, I have been pregnant for 32 weeks. I ony have two months to go, or eight weeks-- that's only eight more weekends hanging out with Joel, taking walks or watching "Ghost Hunters" or lazing around on the couch. I only have five more Monday mornings where I have to show up at work, and then it's home to wait out the next three weeks in comfort... And then, finally, we get to meet our new baby boy.

Whenever I think of it, how close we are, how it could really happen at almost any time during the next several weeks (hopefully, after my birthday on the 24th!), it makes me giddy. I am awestruck, just imagining how much my life is about to change, how amazing the birth experience is going to be, how beautiful our family is becoming with the anticipation of this new person joining us...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- it's so hard to be at work right now, trying to concentrate on these things that seem so trivial compared to the huge, overwhelming importance of birth and family and home and love. Maybe it's the hormones or something, but I am continually overcome with these moments of joy and serenity, and I want to bask in them-- especially because I realize that someday soon I may be so tired and frustrated that I need to remember the beauty of parenthood (so that I can survive the not-so-beautiful moments!). Anyway, enough sappiness for the night... I'm going to go rest and revel in each kick, each roll, each movement that the baby is so generously sharing with me. :)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Just a quick note before I pass out--
I've noticed that my belly seems to be losing sensation, as if it's going numb, or something. When I touch my skin across my tummy, it almost feels like touching someone else's skin, or the way your body feels after your arm or leg "falls asleep". Very weird and a bit surreal.

UPDATE: I found out that this is because there are very few nerves along the belly, and when the skin stretches out it pulls the nerves farther from each other, leaving these numb spots in between. There is also more pressure on the nerves themselves from Junior & the ever-expanding womb, which adds to the numbness. All I know is, it is very frustrating to feel the need to scratch an itch on your tummy, and then not be able to feel the relief because you can't even tell you're scratching anything!

Friday, November 07, 2008
So, the baby has been moving a little differently lately. Early on, it was mostly little bumps and thumps, taps and kicks and so on. Sometimes it seemed like he was trying out for some sort of tap-dancing contest, or was practicing his drumming, or maybe even doing some light boxing against the inside of my tummy. Now, however, there is less of that "thump tap bump" type of movement, and more rolling, sliding, and sweeping moves going on. He'll take his "foot" (or whatever) and slide it across my stomach, for instance, or I'll look down and see a huge bump move from just above my right hip all the way up towards my rib cage... it's so weird, and to be honest, kind of feels gross sometimes. Well, maybe not "gross", but definitely weird with a capital "W". Not only does it sometimes seem like an alien is nesting in my belly and starting to remodel or Riverdance or attempt jiujitsu moves, but when those big rolling movements start it also can make me feel kind of queasy (almost "carsick"), if only for a moment. It's like being on a roller-coaster, or driving fast over a small hill-- you get this "whoaaaa" feeling in your tummy as everything moves around internally. Very strange... but somehow, still cool! :)