Saturday, April 30, 2011

James is 1 Week Old! 2011

James's One Week Birthday 2011
Commemorating his one-week birthday with a candle in an eclair

Milestones: First time seeing the baby, holding the baby, first diaper change (we did it together and despite a clean diaper covering him- he peed on us), going home, first sponge-bath, first doctor's appointment

Weekly Wisdom: As I wrote on Facebook, one of the first things that babies teach you is that you don't know anything about anything. This is a good thing to learn.

Best moment/s: It's the first week so there were countless great moments and I'm not going to pick. Seeing the baby for the first time! Seeing Kevin with the baby. Looks like I made him a new best friend. Their mutual adoration society is the best ever. I was also so happy to snuggle with Kevin again. How did I make it all those months without it? Seeing how happy the baby makes the grandmothers. Skin to skin with the baby. Seeing the baby get cuter every day (or the attachment hormones reach a critical level).

Worst moment/s: Waiting 4 hours to see the baby after I had him. The first night at the hospital with the nurse from hell. Having trouble breathing the first night. Thursday when we sent the baby to get his circumcision and the look he gave us when he got back from the procedure. Friday at 5 am, when they brought back the baby from the nursery and told us he had lost a pound. Monday evening when I got a fever and chills from messing up my breastfeeding schedule. It felt really really bad.

Baby-size: 9 pounds 2 oz at his Monday appointment. (9 pounds 12 ounces at birth, 8 pounds 12 ounces at hospital discharge)

Weight: I gained a total of 42 pounds with the pregnancy. When I returned home and got on the scale I was horrified that I had only lost the weight of the baby and nothing else. But I was also as puffy as the Marshmallow Man from water retention so I kept that in mind. [Disclosure: things are already better now that I'm in week 2.] So 32 to go, but I'm not going to try to lose weight until the baby is 6 or 7 weeks.

James's One Week Birthday 2011
I'm glad I married a man I love and respect because I made a mini-him

Friday, April 29, 2011

James's First Doctor's Visit 2011

James's first pediatrician visit on Monday was great. Dr. G saw us right away. His nurse weighed the him 9 pounds 1 ounce, so he gained 5 ounces in two days (but really in about a day and a half). The doctor wasn't too concerned about his original weight loss. He said he had never had a child die of starvation in his practice. Good to know!

First Doctors Visit 2011
Kevin and James in the waiting room

The doctor said I should start over with breastfeeding since it had been unsuccessful so far. He said to breastfeed for 5 minutes only and build up two minutes at a time to 15 minutes, and then give him formula every 1.5-3 hours. James should be drinking 1 ounce to 1.5 ounces of formula. Dr. G said not to wake up James to feed at night and to pray we got on the same schedule. James will make up for any missed feeding in the daytime. I liked hearing that!

James wore the H&M brown striped onesie and matching brown pants my mother gave us when she first learned we were pregnant. I brought a hat that I realized was too big for him once it fell down in the car and I fussed in the car about bringing him in without a hat. Kevin thought it was silly that I thought people in the waiting room would think I was a negligent parent because he didn't have a hat, or think that I was an incompetent one for having him wear a hat that was too big. I told him I was also worried about what the doctors thought. I tried to nonchalantly carry in the hat as though I had made a conscious decision that the baby was warm. He actually was warm enough, and it was a nice Spring day.

First Doctors Visit 2011
James and me in the examination room

He was good the entire time pretty much except that they got him naked to weigh him- no diaper even. We thought that was a dangerous move. He was fine, then the nurse left the room and said to put his diaper back on and that the doctor would be right in. That's when James decided to pee all over the examining table, his own face, and Kevin's work shirt for the day. Kevin and I started to rush around cleaning up the whole mess before the doctor came back in. Later Kevin said he was worried the doctor would come back in and judge us. I said, "Ah see, you're worried about being judged too." He said, "Yes, but I'm talking about urine dripping off the baby's head." Good point.

Diary of an Angry Pink Baby #1: First Doctor's Visit

Mom wanted James to look GOOD for his first pediatrician's appointment, so he wouldn't be discriminated on the basis of his skin color (pink). He was wearing fancy baby clothes, including pants, a fashion infant body suit, and a hat that was half the length of his body. Occasionally, he would place the hat in his mouth, where he would consider throwing up on it.

James was well-behaved, if vaguely surly, until we disrobed him completely, which he despises. (Is James a never nude???) He screamed for a while and shook his head in the manner of those machines that shake paint cans, which is normal for him. Then, as he started to cool down, he began to urinate. Here is a short list of the things my talented son was able to hit:

My work shirt
The (previously) disinfected examination table
His head

What followed was ninety seconds of a bad network sitcom, as one parent wiped pee off a screaming baby's head, while the other parent looked down the hallway to make sure the doctor wasn't coming. My feeling is this: if your baby has a little spit on his shirt, nobody cares. If your baby is crying, people expect as much. But if your baby has urine dripping down his head, you might be those parents.

Fortunately for all, we avoided that status for one week.

Going Home Day 2011
James refusing to take off his diaper?

Tobias is a Nevernude
Compare to Tobias on Arrested Development

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter 2011!

What a great Easter! James was finally out in the world, and my family came over to enjoy his company. My mother was here for the whole weekend which was lovely, and my grandmother Daisy, brother David, and his long-time girlfriend Melanie came to meet the baby.

Easter 2011
Happy Easter!

Easter 2011
James and Nana

Easter 2011
Uncle David, Great-Grandma Daisy, and Melanie

Kevin spent most of the morning running around looking for a store that was open on Easter that would accommodate the few things we had realized we were missing, but he was able to make it back by early afternoon and have lunch with us.

Easter 2011
I'm still looking like I was hit by small truck, but such is baby-making.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Going Home with James 2011

We were not the type of parents that felt shell-shocked to take the baby home. We could not wait to leave the hospital. It took most of Saturday, and many calls to various doctors, nurses, and labs to get them to come discharge us. I was discharged by my doctor, then we had to wait for some of his lab tests to come back before the hospital would discharge James, and I had to fill out a bunch of forms. The hospital basically held us hostage for hours. But at last they let us go!

Going Home Day 2011
James's going home outfit

2011 04 23 First Car ride- Smooshy Faced
First car ride!

2011 04 23 First time Home- VID00008-002
Being carried in by Kevin

Coming home video

My mother was waiting for us at our place on Saturday and she was very eager for us to arrive. And I was more than happy to watch her sponge bathe him that evening. She looked very happy doing it, and James seemed to enjoy it too.

Going Home Day 2011
First sponge bath at home!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Time in the Maternity Ward 2011

James at 2 Days Old 2011
Our family on Friday evening

James was born via c-section at 12:23, and they split us up almost right away. I had to go to the Recovery Room for the c-section, and they took him to the nursery to test his sugars because he was so large. Numerous attempts to get him back from the nursery failed, and I was getting pretty unhappy as the hours ticked by. And unlike, everyone else, I couldn't visit him in nursery because I was connected to so many tubes. We finally got him back when it was almost 4 in the afternoon.


Baby James Born! 2011
Reunited at last.

The first evening in the hospital was very bad, due mostly to the fact that the nurse assigned to us was both inattentive and casually rude. I'm pretty sure at one point she implied that I was a bad mother because I wouldn't let my child have formula because I was trying to breastfeed. Can anyone even be a bad mother before her child reaches the ripe age of 12 hours old? Perhaps. But I don't think I was.

Believe it or not she managed to top this when I realized I was having difficulty breathing and she first acted dubious, then administered more pain medicine (a depressant for someone having difficulty breathing?), and finally at our insistence called a resident. To be fair the residents weren't all that helpful either, but by the next day they had figured out my blood count was low because I had lost a lot of blood. But you know, it wasn't so far-fetched that a woman who had major abdominal surgery might have a complication a few hours later, and if that complication is BREATHING, that seems like something not to dally over, because most people like to do that a couple times a minute.

I was very relieved when the day nurse arrived. She was a take-charge type. She was also super-militant about breastfeeding. She was followed by James's pediatrician who told me to ignore the nurses. He said that all babies lose weight so I shouldn't let the nurses scare me (impossible when you're sleep-deprived, medicated, and a first-time mom). He also said it didn't matter if I used formula or not, or used a pacifier or not, but that life would be easier if I used a pacifier. The lactation consultant came in and told me different things than the nurses or the pediatrician. To say that we were confused would be putting it mildly. And I was angry that the hospital couldn't keep its story straight at an already stressful time.

I'm not even going to elaborate on the horrors of sharing a room with another family whose baby would only cry when ours was quiet and vice versa.

Luckily, we had visitors who relieved a great deal of the stress of being in the hospital. Kevin's mom came back Thursday morning, followed by Jon and Briggs in the afternoon with some Jameson and coffee for Kevin's new daddy life.  On Friday my friends Chrissy and her husband Jason visited with a bag full of bagels for us and baby gifts for James, and finally on Friday my mother returned to help out and let Kevin go back to the house for a little while. We also got flowers and many calls from Ash and Janice.

James at 1 Day Old 2011
Jon and Briggs visit on Thursday afternoon

James at 2 Days Old 2011
Chrissy and Jason visit on Friday morning

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Introducing Baby James 2011!

James Riveron
was born on 
April 20, 2011, at 12:23 p.m.,
weighing 9 pounds and 12 ounces 
and measuring 21 inches long.

Baby James Born! 2011
Our first family photo

Baby James Born! 2011
James's first day

Baby James Born! 2011
With Nana Ana

Baby James Born! 2011
With Grammy Kathy

James was named for my wonderful father.

Baby James Born 2011!

The worst part of my c-section was the epidural. An epidural port is inserted to help with the pain both during the surgery and for two days after.  First they made me sit hunched over and a nurse held my shoulders so I  didn't fall off the table when I arched my back for the shot. But for some reason she applied an inordinate amount of pressure to my shoulders. Then they gave me a numbing injection, or three, which the anesthesiologist said "might burn" and definitely did. For a normal woman, the numbing shot is the worst part. No one has ever accused me of being a normal woman. The anesthesiologist asked that I tell him what I feel when he did the epidural. The needle itself I hardly felt, thanks to the numbing shots, but I felt shooting pain emanating from the site of the needle out to my right side.

"Really? On your right? Hmh. Let's try again."

The anesthesiologist assistant swapped with the nurse at my shoulders, followed by the resident. I begged her to take pressure off my shoulders in between the injections even though she was the lightest one by far.  My shoulders were bruised.

More numbing shots followed, and then more epidural shots. At one point, he took a break to insert the spinal.

"THAT FEELS LIKE ELECTRICITY SHOOTING THROUGH THE ENTIRE RIGHT SIDE OF MY BODY."

"Oh, that's normal." So he did that twice. I grabbed the resident's scrub pants with my thumb and forefinger. I must have thought we were buddies.

Then he resumed poking me with the epidural.  The anesthesiologist mentioned that I might have to do the surgery without an epidural, just the spinal, and that I could take other pain medication after the surgery. Finally he called in another anesthesiologist who put the epidural right in where it was supposed to go.

An hour and fifteen minutes had passed. I wondered whether Kevin was close enough that he could hear me yelp when they shocked me over and over and whether he was scared about what was going on. He told me later that he could hear me but someone from the room would periodically update him.

Right after the doctor made the first incision, they let Kevin into the room. I didn't feel anything so I spent the time thinking about how silly Kevin looked in his scrub hat, and hoping the baby had a big healthy scream when he came out.  I heard him before I saw him.  He gave a medium-loud complaint cry.  When I saw him my first words were "He's awesome!"

Baby James Born! 2011
My first view of James

Baby James Born! 2011
Making footprints

Baby James Born! 2011
Proving he has big healthy lungs

I was amazed by how large his feet were. Those huge feet had been kicking me for weeks! They asked us about his name, and we announced for the first time that his name was James. They wrapped him up in a tight receiving blanket burrito and gave him to Kevin. His mouth was covered by the blanket. I tried to uncover it while they finished my surgery so I could see what he looked like. I couldn't quite figure him out. They asked Kevin to wait with him in the hall while they finished my stitches and staples. Kevin told me that in the hall he had a private talk with James where he promised to always be a good father to him. (How crazy sweet is that?) The doctors finally put him in my arms for the first time when they wheeled me out of the operating room.

Baby James Born! 2011
My first time holding him

They took him after a moment or two to examine him in the nursery for 4 hours! I was going crazy! They sent me to the recovery room for 2 hours, where Kevin and my mother joined me, and eventually Kevin's mother too. We called James's uncles and great-grandparents. Then I encouraged the mothers to go visit James in the nursery, which I knew they were eager to do. They reported back that James was the largest baby in the nursery and that he was complaining about how hungry he was with a light cry and sucking on his fists. We were all smitten.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Off to the Hospital 2011!

So, despite our many predictions, I never went into labor before the scheduled c-section, which was three days after my due date. Given the baby's size, that he never dropped (probably because he's jammed in my hip), and that I never showed any signs of labor happening ever, it wasn't a good idea to wait. It looks like I'd probably have an emergency c-section even if I went into labor, and it's more dangerous to have a c-section while contracting or after pushing. The c-section was coincidentally scheduled during Kevin's Spring Break from teaching so he would be able to go with me and stay at the hospital for the full recovery period without taking any time off (something that's near-impossible for a professor). Wednesday was the big day!

Off to Hospital 2011
40 Weeks + 3 Days

This is us right before we went to the hospital. This is the sort of thing you can do when you're not actually in labor. I also took a shower and applied make-up. This is a definite plus in the c-section column. On the down-side I am hungry and even thirstier in this picture because I couldn't eat or drink after 11 p.m. on Tuesday.

Our c-section appointment was 12:00 p.m. but we had to be at the hospital for prep by 10 a.m. so we left with enough time to drive, possibly get stuck in traffic, and park at the hospital's always very full lot.

The hospital claimed to have free internet (I would have been willing to pay) and I figured that I might be able to post this sometime during the day since it was just one photo, and because I know a family friend Katie C. had blogged a lot from the hospital during labor, I figured I wasn't being crazy.  But the internet promise was a lie, there was no free internet or even expensive internet, there was just a wireless name that would reject me when I clicked on it. As you can guess, I found this very disappointing!

Pre-Birth 2011
Kevin and I in prep

Anyway, this is Kevin and me in the prep room. It turned out I was already having contractions every five minutes. I couldn't feel the contractions so they weren't the right kind, but my body was definitely getting ready to eject the baby anyway. Or rather to fail at ejecting the baby, hence the c-section. (Interesting note: my paternal grandmother who is also 5 feet tall had an emergency c-section for her 10-pound baby in the 1950s.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Baby Clou "On Notice" 2011

I was really hoping we wouldn't have any kind of parenting confrontation until you started crawling around and I had to admonish you not to touch dangerous things, and I hope this isn't a sign of what's to come, but at zero days old you are already undermining my authority.  Although, to be fair, this is probably my fault for not sticking to a consistent deadline.

Here's the deal though. On top of gaining too much weight (I just repacked your hospital bag with a bigger coming home outfit) and giving me all sorts of odd hormonal problems, you have spent the last two days kicking and punching me nonstop. This is both unexpected and unpleasant. It's unexpected because everyone including supposed medical professionals claimed that you would move around less towards the end of the pregnancy because you would run out of room. Looking back, this claim made no logical sense, because if Octomom and Kate Gosselin can stretch to fit small busloads of children in their belly, clearly I could stretch enough to let one determined baby dance the day and night away.

Anyway, this post is not about my parenting and logic failures, it is about the line being drawn. You have less than 48 hours before we evict you via c-section on Wednesday.  You have been put On Notice.
 
Baby Clou on Notice 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Due Date 2011!

I have heard "Happy Due Date!" a few times today. Indeed. Let me explain something, my circumference is 49 inches, and my height is only 60 inches. Weebles wobble and they might fall down.

40 Weeks 2011
40 Weeks, holy cow!

In lieu of a baby, I have received another nefarious pregnancy symptom today, some sort of pregnancy rash. It looks and feels like it I was attacked by a swarm of angry mosquitoes last night. I counted 18 bug-bite-like-bumps. I can't be sure which one of three different pregnancy rashes I have, but I'm fairly sure it's harmless. I called the doctor two weeks ago with a more minor case, and I got one of the doctors I don't regularly see. She was fairly dismissive of the whole thing, which I hope is a good thing. Then I showed my regular doctor at the 38-week appointment, but by that time the "bites" had mainly healed and she wasn't concerned.   I'm going to call again tomorrow, but my educated guess is that she's going to tell me to slap some calamine or Benedryl on it and deal with it until Wednesday. And then of course, I won't use Benedryl because it's a class B drug and I'm the world's most paranoid mother-to-be. I have some calamine in front of me, which I'm using very sparingly.

The baby has been very active today despite how incredibly full-of-baby I am. How does he find any room? I would say that maybe he's getting ready for his debut, but I'm tired of predicting his arrival only to be shot down by the baby. I'm just focused on Wednesday now.  In the meanwhile, I constantly feel little poking hands and feet. It's weird that I can distinctly make out most of the body parts now.

All day long he's been doing this.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

39 Weeks, April 10-16, 2011

Milestones: I've made it through 40 weeks of "official" pregnancy. Unofficially, the way doctors count is fictional so I've probably actually pregnant for 38 weeks, give or take a week. And I've known I was pregnant for 36 weeks. I finally feel like it's REALLY time for the baby to arrive. Besides the nesting I did last week, I've reached a desperate point where I've organized the tupperware drawer, backed up my digital files, dusted the plants, thrown out every expired item in the apartment, washed walls, and categorized our take out menus with colored tabs by ethnicity. Seriously.

39 Weeks + 4 Days 2011
39 Weeks + 4 Days

Weekly Wisdom: No pregnancy pillow will save you. Your best bet is to have an assortment of different size and shape pillows and try a different combination every week or even every day.
What I miss the most: Even though I gave up on sleeping on the couch after about one week, relaxing in bed is an oxymoron.  And because I need pillows all around me, it still feels like Kevin is sleeping in a seperate bed. Even if I can't sleep once the baby comes, at least I'll be able to lie down comfortably.
Craving: WATERMELON, peaches, grapes, juices, wet fruit basically, and water
Anti-craving: Coffee
Symptoms: I am a moody arthritic obese person.
Baby-size: 9 pounds 12 ounces, give or take a pound. He's like a prize-winning pumpkin.
Weight: The good news is 10 pounds of it is just pure baby. Wait, is that the good news?

So we had a sonogram at the hospital on Thursday, followed by our last doctor's appointment. We left the apartment at 1:15, waited almost 2 hours for the sonogram, and were a bit late for our regular doctor.  We didn't make it home until well after 5.  Really frustrating. Especially when you're so freaking pregnant.  The sonogram gave us an estimate of the baby's weight (9 lbs 12 oz) , checked his heartbeat (130), and that he was practicing breathing. He's also long. I was sitting on the table, so the sonogram technician actually asked if we're tall. No one has ever asked me if I'm tall. The doctor who came in after refused to vote on the c-section or no c-section debate. She seemed to be slightly leaning to no-c-section, but then she called my regular doctor while we were on the way there to personally tell her our baby is huge.

When we got to our regular appointment, Dr. C who had told us just. last. week. to cancel our c-section, came in with eyes as big as saucers, and said, "so you have a big baby!" and proceeded to encourage us to get the c-section. So if the baby doesn't come on his own by Wednesday, we're going to have a c-section. If he comes before then, we might still need a c-section because he might not be able to drop on account of his hugeness.

Finally we had a non-stress test which revealed that the baby is pleased as punch in there, and that I'm having a lot of contractions I didn't know about. If you don't know about them, they don't really count though.  I only actually feel like 1 or 2 a day. But Kevin and I went for a walk after the doctor appointments and he generously captured on film one that I did feel.

39 Weeks + 4 Days 2011
Kevin captured my "Braxton Hicks face"

Thanks, honey!

Brady, Briggs, Cory and Robin came by to visit us today which is very brave considering I might pop at any moment. I did have to excuse myself for a 20-minute nap at one point, but I guess that's better than having to excuse myself to go have a baby. Well, better for the guests. Maybe not better for the hosts.

Tomorrow I am 40 weeks which is sort of like 10 months pregnant!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Parents' Wedding Anniversary

Today would have been my parents' 26th wedding anniversary. We miss you so much, Dad. Every day.

Cville Engagement Party 2008
My parents visiting us in Cville, 2008

Monday, April 11, 2011

When Will Baby Arrive? 2011

Dear Baby,

I can understand your reluctance to come out despite an auspicious date today. It seems that 4/11/11 would be an awesome birthday, but I can see how it's a small consolation for the scary news you keep hearing on the television. Most obviously, we're in a three-front war with Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Libya. On the bright side, the draft has pretty much been out of use since 1973, and you won't be 18 until 2029. Then there is the Japanese earthquake, tsunami, radiation leakage, and continuing huge aftershocks. There is no bright side there at all, but we do live far from Japan and major fault lines. Unfortunately, we live fairly close to some of the most dangerous nuclear facilities and potential nuclear targets. Sorry about that, but I assure you that in the event of a nuclear situation you will not fare any better inside my belly than outside. Then there are the tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest and West Virginia. Again, really awful. We also don't live in a tornado or hurricane area, nor do we even own a home, but we do have renters insurance. We promise that if something happens, we will only save you and not any stuff. (All my photos are online anyway.) There's the national government reaching the debt ceiling, and periodically just threatening shutdown for no discernible reason. Locally, you might have heard that there is a serial killer loose on Long Island. Just stay away from prostitution, and you should be okay with that one. And then there's the crazy "wizard" Charlie Sheen (aka Carlos Estevez). He's not a real wizard, and he can't hurt you if you don't watch television or attend his live shows.

2011 04 April babies

But maybe you're not afraid of any of this stuff. Perhaps you don't really grasp the geo-political and social problems of 2011. Maybe you've just heard all the due date suggestions. Your father doesn't want to miss work, so he requested that you come the Friday evening before his Spring Break (or at the absolute earliest, to not start labor until this evening). Grandma Shute would prefer Thursday, April 14th, so that you'll be born on her wedding anniversary. I expressed concern that if you pick the 14th, your birthday might be neglected when you're older by your friends that procrastinate their taxes.

Earlier in the pregnancy, you might have heard me suggest that you should arrive as close to your actual due date of April 17th as possible, or even LATE so I could have more time to prepare and relax. Maybe you heard me say to the sonogram technician that you were welcome to stay in there as long as you like. Let me point out that back then you were about 6 pounds, and now you feel like you might be 10 pounds based on my difficulty standing and balancing. Things have changed, buddy. Let me know what day you plan on making an appearance so that your dad can take his turn carrying you around.

Sincerely,
Your human stroller

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Guestroom 2011

Our guestroom has finally moved upstairs. Those of you who stay with us will appreciate its distance from the future screaming baby. We also took a little more time to decorate it this time, so now it has a Cuba and hallway-library-spillover theme. We finished it yesterday. Enjoy!

Guest Room 2011
Tropical bed

Guest Room 2011
Wall opposite door

Guest Room 2011 
Bookshelves opposite the bed

Saturday, April 9, 2011

38 Weeks and Nesting! April 3-9, 2011

Milestones: Nesting! I think. Maybe it's too premeditated to be nesting, but on the other hand all my premeditation about cleaning and organizing before didn't lead me to actually get off the couch and do it. This week I have completely reorganized and cleaned the bedroom and closet, the living room and closet, the bathroom and closet, put the finishing touches on the nursery with Kevin's help (see below), guestroom and closet, finally shelved all my dad's books, and reorganized the closet we use as a pantry. Yes, we have a lot of closets! Lucky us, but bad for fighting hoarding urges. Kevin also moved my office things into his office, and I set up stuff neatly, but I wouldn't say I've actually organized that stuff or have any interest in doing so. The last frontier is the kitchen. Most of the cabinet space is too high for me, so figuring out a place for the new baby stuff like bottles is challenging. Okay, I know, fascinating stuff.

Weekly Wisdom: I realized I am thoroughly not afraid of change. I might be freaked out by the idea of giving birth (what sane person wouldn't be?) but I am not afraid of actually taking care of the baby, or how my life will change or any of that. I try to imagine being afraid of that, and come up kind of blank. The only thing I can think of that would be worrisome is when the baby gets sick.
What I miss the most: Not feeling like I'm an arthritic 100-year-old fat person.
Craving: Tons of water, yogurt, seafood, Thai curries
Anti-craving: Burgers, no thank you.
Symptoms: Pain everywhere, especially my hands. Difficulty standing. Random Braxton Hicks contractions that bear no relationship to each other. A tightness here, a shooting pain there. The only thing the pains have in common is that I'm sure they're not the real deal.
Baby-size: Small elephant.
Weight: I look like I am carrying imaginary triplets, and weigh the same.

Akua visited me at home on Wednesday, which was lovely since I'm not mobile for very long distances. We got to chat for a long time and binge on organic lollipops together. What could be better?

On Thursday, Kevin's friend Trey came in from out of town, but he didn't have a lot of time so Kevin met him for breakfast in Manhattan. I was sad to miss him, but my aforementioned lack of mobility kept me at home. It was a good opportunity for them to compare expectant-father notes, though.

On Friday, Dr. C told me I hadn't progressed at all and tried to encourage me to have the baby sans c-section. For a person who never had any intention of writing out a birth plan, I officially have birth plan whiplash. In fact, for about five minutes during my appointment, the doctor thought the baby had turned himself breech again because she couldn't find his heartbet where it should be, but high up on my right side. A move to the sonogram room revealed that baby is not breach; he is HUGE and curled all around my belly.

And today, Jon came by to watch some Red Sox with us. That didn't really work out so well for the Red Sox.  Oh well, at least the baby is starting to learn the comforting sounds of the game in the background.

This is what my belly looks like most of the time:

PetitPrince 01
Outside view

PetitPrince 02
Sonogram of inside

Compare to:
38 Weeks + 6 Days 2011
See how oddly shaped my belly is?

Tomorrow I am 39 weeks! The official due date is April 17th. We have a 39-week doctor's appointment on Thursday, April 14th ... will we make it? It's starting to look like we will...

Monday, April 4, 2011

Jeff and Caroline's Wedding 2011

Kevin's very good friend Jeff got married to his beautiful fiancée Caroline in her home country of Guatemala about a week ago. We were sad we weren't able to go because women in their third trimester really should not fly or even venture too far from their hospital. With the babies advanced weight gain, Kevin was also nervous to go because he didn't want to miss the birth if the baby had come early. Luckily, Jeff's sister Amy shared some photos with us. The bride and the wedding looked amazing! Congratulations to both of you! And to me-- because now I have another wife who speaks Spanish!

Paduch Wedding 2011
Caroline walking down the aisle

Paduch Wedding 2011
Vows

Paduch Wedding 2011
Married in Guatemala City!

Antigua, Guatemala 2011
Antigua looks beautiful!

Antigua, Guatemala 2011
Jeff with his twin sisters Amy and Chrissy

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Full Term 2011!

37 Weeks, March 27-April 2, 2011

Milestones: At 37 weeks, the baby is considered full term!  No preemies here. We finished the nursery except for wall art, I put away all the washed baby clothing, and I packed the hospital bags.  Yes, plural, because on our hospital tour they told us to leave the going home clothes in the car until the last day so baby has his own little duffel suitcase for his outfit and blankets. Kevin got the car seat inspected at the maximum security Bronx station. Seriously, it had a locked gate around the facility. And right now I'm cursing the car seat straps and instruction manual as I try to figure out how to adjust it for a small teddy bear or large teddy bear playing the role of the baby.  (Don't listen in the womb, baby!) I feel like we're ready for the baby in the most superficial sense.  I'm hoping that Week 38 is all about getting REALLY ready in terms of full apartment spring cleaning and mental preparation.

37 Weeks + 4 Days 2011
37 weeks+ 4 days

We had a doctor's appointment on Thursday and the doctor seemed like she no longer thought a c-section was the way to go and suggested canceling our appointment. Here's the issue. We go to an ob/gyn practice with four doctors.  Dr. N is off lecturing somewhere and for all I know doesn't actually exist. Dr. K is an equally senior doctor with a wacky sense of humor to say the least.  He was the first doctor we saw but we've only had about three appointments with him.  Then there's Dr. C who we've had most our appointments with, and and Dr. A who we saw only last week.

So back when the baby was breach, Dr. C said to schedule a c-section. We ignored her because I was confident the baby would turn around.  Then the baby stopped being breach and Dr. K said to schedule a c-section anyway because the baby was so big. So we did. Thursday when we saw Dr. C she was wondering why we hadn't canceled the c-section appointment now that the baby was no longer breech.  She seemed enthusiastic about delivering babies as big as 12 pounds, whereas, the older Dr. K seemed decidedly unenthusiastic about delivering babies that reach 10 pounds.

Weekly Wisdom: After the doctor's appointment on Thursday, Kevin took me to get  prenatal massage. (Have I mentioned before that he is the best husband ever?) I have never had a massage before in my life (despite some gift certificates that sadly went to waste) so I don't have a point of comparison, but totally worth it. If you're pregnant, and you can at all swing it, get one.

At this point I am so heavy that I'm not sure the physical benefits lasted for very long, but two things about it were amazing. One, for the hour that I was being massaged I had a break from some of the physical discomfort of pregnancy that's been going on for at least 17 weeks. The whole massage is done on your side (I imagined a big hole for my belly so I could have my back up but it was not so) and they have the most amazing pregnancy pillow set up ever with soft L-shaped pillow on top and a super firm high square pillow for my top leg. If you haven't been pregnant then you probably can't even begin to relate to why this is awesome. Secondly, it was mood-enhancing. Afterward, I felt like I had taken happy drugs to counteract the pregnancy blues and "grumpies." Kevin benefited in intangible ways and tangible ways such as getting the remote for the rest of the evening without comment or complaint.

What I miss the most: My ankles. Some days I have some, some days, I don't.
Craving: Strawberry juice, strawberry sorbet, cherry and strawberry yogurt, burgers, (hotdogs), peanut butter and strawberry jam, tuna fish, cheese, tomatoes, and orange juice, acid-reflux be damned.
Anti-craving: None at all.

Symptoms: I am a water balloon. My little water ballon fingers ache from the swelling. I sometimes sleep on our bedroom couch now because it provides back support while I sleep and it has made my sleep so much better. When I do, Kevin says he feels like we're at camp.

Baby has his own inertia or lack thereof. This means that when I try to roll from one side to another it is a multi-step process. Say I am on my right side, I first roll on to my back and sit up a little, while I try not yell from the pressure on my lower back. My belly slowly follows. Then I roll onto my left. Finally the belly goes left. I don't even want to get into how many steps getting up involves.

Baby-size: Fat baby size.
Weight gain: Dinosaur.

Tomorrow I am 38 weeks! We are down to the final countdown! The official due date is April 17th. We have a 38-week doctor's appointment on Friday, and a 39-week appointment the following Thursday but we don't have confidence that we're going to make it to that last appointment. Kevin and I are guessing April 9th now. Let's see if we're right.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nursery 2011

We finished decorating the nursery yesterday except that there are two pieces of wall art we're awaiting from Etsy.com. One is a huge whale wall decal and the other is a little steamboat painting. I also finished putting away the baby's clothing size newborn through 3 months. I hope he wears the newborn clothing at least once since he's already past 8 pounds. I keep walking in and just soaking it all up. I think I'm going to enjoy this room more than the baby.

Nursery 2011
When you walk in, the first thing you see is the crib.

Nursery 2011
Diaper changing station and chair opposite the crib


Nursery 2011 
Moby and baby Moby

Nursery 2011
Book case and little dresser next to the door and closet

Nursery 2011
Peaking inside the closet

Nursery 2011
Drawer of newborn- 3 month infant bodysuits

P.S. One of the strange benefits of a blog is that I can go back in time and fill things in. This what the book case wall looked like after James came, May 2011-2013:

Nursery 2011
With whale art and the rocking chair from Sarah
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