Monday, February 21, 2011

As the French Say, Vingt-Cinq

25 weeks. That sounds really pregnant! More pregnant than it sounds when you say that 40 weeks minus 25 weeks = 15 weeks left.

I'm nowhere near the point of starting a countdown, but I've certainly had a few "Uff da: 2nd going on 3rd trimester" moments that make you realize that 40 weeks really is a long time!

At this point I can say I do really feel pregnant, but don't dare proclaim it too loudly because it will surely soon be followed by "Haha! I thought I was BIG at 25 weeks! That was nothing!" I'll just say it's amazing how much can change in a week and suddenly you hardly recognize yourself. I have most recently noticed that my abdomen now has sides. At least my Lady Gaga concert t-shirt still fits! It'll be a sad day when we have to part.

The baby has been getting more and more active and is measuring right on. Sometimes I find myself getting a little more tired than I want to be--like when I want to go shopping to accomplish 20 things-- and most recently have experienced what can only be described as mood imbalances. I haven't become a raging lunatic, but sometimes get more irritable about things I know the other version of myself wouldn't care about. But what else can you expect when your entire chemical makeup is shifting all over the board?

So here I am, makin' lists, makin' more lists, checking stuff off lists, and to be honest feeling pretty good.

I suppose this would be the perfect moment for BabyCenter (sponsored by Nissan) to interject with this little gem of wisdom:

Mom Tip: "I make lists so I don't wander around trying to remember things. My memory is shot." 

Oh. THANKS for enlightening me, Nissan! I'm pretty sure I've been making lists since I figured out the whole vowel thing! I've made lists about writing lists! Key learning: if this is what is offered as sidebar advice in ads on pregnancy sites, what does that say about the website content??

Sorry for the hormonal interlude. But seriously.

So we've gotten quite a bit done lately, including:
-Switching from an OB to a midwife
-Choosing a name
-Ordering the crib
-Attending baptism class
-Registering for baby stuff
-Signing up for childbirth and baby care classes
-Painting the baby's room and installing a dimmer light
-Putting our piano on consignment sale, aka it's not in the house anymore
-Creating a real living room almost out of thin air
-Relocating our home office
-Confirming that my running days are NOT over yet

Switching from an OB to a midwife
Mainly in order to be able to deliver at St. Joe's. The OB clinic I was going to only delivered at Fairview Southdale and after learning more about the different things each hospital can offer, decided that St. Joe's jazzed me the most. My new midwife, Melissa, in St. Paul, is great! I did have a good experience with OB care, and up until our ultrasound we didn't really know if we were dealing with a low-risk pregnancy or what so it was nice to work with them up to the point we did. But since things so far have been fine it only affirmed my decision to switch and enjoy the niceness of a slightly less "medicalized" approach to pregnancy. 

Of course, anything can happen at any time, of that I am constantly aware. But the nice thing about our new situation is that we'll be working with a well-established group of midwives in a very midwife-friendly hospital, and will have access to as little or as much medicine/support as we need for delivery.

Choosing a name
For some reason, all it took was finding out the gender to seal the deal. I know a lot of people want to wait until the baby arrives to make a final determination, but I swear, the moment I found out that the image on the ultrasound was a girl I heard myself saying "That's _______!" 

Micah and I discussed a bit more in the weeks to follow and both agreed that this is the name we both love the most, AND that we are going to keep it to ourselves until she arrives. Because I don't want anyone criticizing the fact that we chose Ludmilla Eunice. KIDDING. That is not the name. 

I will say that the name we've chosen is unmistakably feminine, not common, has family significance and makes me feel very...happy. But of course you can't please everyone. And I'm okay with that. It'll just be more likely that people will keep any dissent to themselves if the baby is already born. 

Ordering the crib
You wouldn't think this would be hard. (Actually, take this statement and apply it to almost any baby gear-related topic.) But really, crib buying should be simple. In a perfect world, you should be able to go into a baby store, see a crib you actually like, have it be in stock, buy it, take it home, end of story. 

But no. First of all, most cribs now look like mini versions of gigantic adult beds with headboards rivaling anything I've ever personally slept in. And now they all pretty much convert to toddler beds that end up having the most unusual-looking high sides (and these are not the sides to protect against rolling out of bed). Where are the CRIBS? Do I need to go back in time to find one? Oh wait, those probably aren't up to code anymore. 

And of course we go to Babies R Us a month ago and see a very cute, small-scale, and affordable white Jenny Lind crib...but we don't buy it. Rule #1: if you see it now, buy it now. Otherwise, IT WILL DISAPPEAR. I'm getting ahead of my story. So we go back to buy this crib last weekend and not only is it out of stock in stores, but also online. And so I check everywhere else online...also out of stock. What is up with this crib?! 

Only after commiserating with my mother on the phone--and considering buying a non-white crib on Craigslist and spray painting the whole thing white--do I chance upon "4 in stock!" in the exact model on last night. You are kidding. And with FREE shipping? That just doesn't happen with furniture. So finally, a crib on its way. And I totally don't want to hear about my being particular. I can just never believe it when the simplest of one's crib options is the hardest to procure. 

Attending baptism class
We are now ready to sign up for a baptism slot sometime in the summer. The 75-minute class involved watching a video from the 80s about "water in its various forms" and then had some simple discussion about the process, and before I knew it, it was over. 

There were three other couples there and all of them had already had their babies. I thought we were supposed to do it before the baby was born. We are. But it was kind of cool to be around people who had just had babies a month or two prior--and maybe it was just the group, but they were very positive about how much they loved being parents, which was nice to hear instead of the usual ball and chain act everyone gives you. I know I have no idea how much life will change. But it's just always nice to hear people focus on the positive and not try to freak you out. 

Registering for baby stuff
We are now registered at Target and Pacifier is a super cute small store with two locations in Mpls. Home of the black Jon Stewart onesie. 

So far I've been able to procure some items from friends, which is always welcome. But I'll admit I, in my ever-wild imagination--can potentially see the "items from friends" approach turning into a battle of tact when someone offers up their "perfectly good condition" car seat with Cheerios smooshed in every crevice and a lingering smell like a Plymouth Voyager left in the Florida heat with some kind of perishable inside. Okay, I don't actually know who would do this, but you just never know. But I will say we have already been the recipients of ridiculously generous offerings of a few things from my brother- and sister in-law who have a two year-old. In other words, I owned a breast pump...before I was even pregnant. 

Signing up for childbirth and baby care classes
Pretty self-explanatory. We're going for the 9-4 on a Saturday option instead of multiple weeknights. When I volunteered at a hospital in junior high I never really thought the day would come when I'd be the person toting two pillows and a blanket into the hospital for class. I'm really looking forward to it, though. 

Painting the baby's room and installing a dimmer light
Light blue in the front bedroom is now Martha Stewart Buckwheat Flour, a very nice neutral that's not too dark or too yellow. I'm thinking it will be a good backdrop for whatever furniture we find. Plus, I've always liked decorating rooms with other elements besides paint because they're a lot easier to change out. The room won't have a theme, like monkeys or sailboats; I'm just hoping for nice ambiance with interesting elements that don't overwhelm the senses. And if you didn't guess, "Princess" isn't high on our list of Concepts to Perpetuate. Pretty sure every girl reaches this stage on her own by 6 or 7 anyway.  

Putting our piano on consignment sale, aka it's not in the house anymore
Yes, it's true. The Steinway was played for the last time last week and picked up by piano movers to be taken to its temporary home at Schmitt Music. I remember the day it arrived at my family's house in 1985. It's the piano I grew up playing on and have since gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it, even in its most recent days in our current home. 

But the reality is that it wasn't earning its space anymore. (Which I'll admit is is hard to do in a little bungalow.) I played it sometimes, but not nearly like I could have. And on top of this, its presence in the living room was keeping us from having a functional living space where people could actually sit and talk. 

So we put it up for sale through Schmitt. If anyone can move it, Schmitt can. It's in great shape and just needs some touch-ups on the exterior wood. I did have a few sentimental moments over it, but came to realize that it was a positive thing in my life, I enjoyed it, and now we can pass it on to someone else who will enjoy it. Storage was an expensive option that didn't really make sense.  

Creating a real living room almost out of thin air
So can I tell you how exciting I am to have a living room now that the piano is gone? It completely changes the way we live in the house. We pulled existing furniture out of the previous TV room, picked up a TV table at Ikea, bought a few pillows, and the difference is incredible. This is the kind of space we need as we become 4 tenants instead of 3 tenants. Yes, I include Gus. If you see the way he utterly inhabits rooms, you wouldn't disagree. 

But the real piece de resistance is the Oriental rug procured from my parents. I probably learned to crawl on this rug since my parents bought it a few months before I was born and it was always in our den. It's amusing to think how much life has passed over this very fabric: birthday parties, sleepovers, "Quiet Times." And I know for sure it has been graced with some passionate dancing to the Fame soundtrack in my leotard. (I was four, max.) In the past few years it was up at the cabin but Mom & Dad went up to retrieve it for us a few weeks ago. It really makes the living room. 

Relocating our home office
The baby room was previously our office/guest room. Now the TV room becomes the office/guest room. Micah just installed a bunch of shelves on the wall for our books and it's all starting to come together! We still have a ways to go with this room, but it's off to a good start. 

Confirming that my running days are NOT over yet
You heard me correctly, I'm still running. I thought the wicked side aches I was getting in Weeks 21 and 22 while running were here to stay, but when I told a runner friend about it, she said the same thing happened to her at the exact same point in her pregnancy and that it goes away. Who knew? I wonder if a lot of runners reach this point, think it's going to stay that way, and stop running. It would make enough sense. 

But after some follow-up questions with my midwife (also a runner), she said that it's a condition called diastasis recti and most people don't notice it because their cores aren't being engaged through sports during pregnancy. It's when your abdomen, which has been stretching bit by bit all this time finally reaches a point of "we need to take this further" and...well, you get it. It hurts. I was even feeling it when I swam or biked, which was confusing. I thought non weight-bearing exercise wouldn't be affected, but it was. But at least it was still do-able, unlike the running. 

However at this point, after a few very gingerly executed jogs, the pain isn't there anymore. It takes a little longer to get warmed up, but then it's fine. But as an added measure I did purchase a full-on maternity support belt at the advice of my midwife since everything "body" for me is in a state of constant change at the moment and I can't count on anything staying the same for too long. And actually, running in this support getup is great! (As long as no one can see it, that is!) It totally takes your mind off putting strain on your stomach and improves your posture. So we'll see how it all goes. It was just nice to find out I have this option!

Family Brunch
And the last thing--we had a fun girls-only family brunch, or rather, baby shower at W.A Frost a couple weekends ago! Super fun!

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