Sunday, May 29, 2011

39 Weeks

Hello, friends!

I come to Week 39 as proof to you that running does not bring on labor. Because I've been running 2-3 times a week and I'm telling you: it makes no difference. At least not for me, as it turns out.

If anything, this little girl thinks she's already in the baby swing while we're loping along and literally kicks in protest if I stop.

And swimming sure doesn't seem to faze her; I "go hard" (a relative term) in the pool and the second I stop (not out of breath, by the way--another third trimester phenomenon having to do with blood circulation), she kicks in protest. Hey, I'll take that over any other scenario. But it's still mildly amusing.

Clearly this child is not lacking for oxygen. I'm starting to wonder if the base-building exercise volume of the 1st and 2nd trimesters has created an unrivaled placenta of crazy oxygen-carrying proportions.

Which would provide a perfectly reasonable explanation for why people who exercise regularly for the first several months of pregnancy and then STOP for the last few have been noted to give birth to the largest babies.

Anyway. Week 39 has arrived! Unlike at 32 weeks, I'm no longer fearing I'll have a tiny baby. Because I'm telling you, the growth that occurs between Weeks 32 and about 38 is hard to put into words. Things seem to have leveled off a bit now in the home stretch, but I'm still able to eat more trail mix than I can shake a stick at. And yes, I have eaten three bowls of cereal this morning. (While waiting for a BBQ to start at 1pm.)

Back to baby size. I was 7 lbs. 10 oz. at birth (born about 10 days early). Micah was 8 lbs. 8 oz. (born about 10 days late), and if you know Micah this is hilariously ironic. But so if you think about it, if we were both born on our due dates we probably both would have been about the same weight: in the low 8-lb. range.

Which brings me to Baby Turman. Genetics would then predict that we will have a similarly-sized baby on our hands (or on my front, as it were).

However I have a hard time thinking she'll be that big. But then, I'm getting into very hard-to-predict territory here. About three weeks ago my midwife guessed the baby was  about 6 or 6.5 lbs., but that was based on little more an an educated guess from look/feel.

So we'll see. What I find fascinating is that the amount of weight one gains doesn't directly correlate to certain birth weights. Someone can gain 20 lbs. and have an 8-lb. baby, and another person can gain 40 lbs. and the baby is 5 lbs. One isn't necessarily better than the other; it's just based on too many different things!

Certainly one to file under the huge unknown that will soon to be revealed (currently containing birthdate, time of day labor starts, whether labor lasts one hour or 200, etc.). It's so strange to have so many variables just hanging out there right now.

Yes, I can handle ambiguity. Yes, I know the world isn't black and white. But that doesn't keep me from asking the baby every day: "So when's your birthday?"

But the heck if she knows! Scientists don't even know for sure what triggers labor. I'm pretty sure it isn't going for a walk.

Admission of Week 38: in my "What to do now?"mindset I did test the Baby Bjorn on Gus. And the scary thing is he actually liked it and fell asleep with his head on my shoulder.

Pugs....
Surely the breed of domesticated dog least likely to survive in the wild.


In other news, Micah and I enjoyed a great lunch at Cecil's yesterday. I'm kind of sick of flashy restaurants that try to be cool. Cecil's would not be that place. The food speaks for itself...since 1949.


One Spicy Reuben and Cherry Phosphate later and yep, I'm good. 


And last, to be filed under Totally Not Like Me, I did complete a small pre-baby gardening project. Okay, every spring I do go for it just a little bit in this area. And usually it involves orange marigolds and silver dusty millers in the aqua-colored ceramic planter we got as a housewarming gift from my parents. LOVE THESE COLORS TOGETHER.

And also did a little pot of basil. You know, for the kids. 


Friday, May 27, 2011

Two More Baby Showers

Fun times! Two baby showers at work during Week 38. The boys got to come to the one my department put on. These dates seemed far away for quite some time, and now they've already come and gone. According to the ticker there are only nine days left. We'll see how accurate that is!





Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Baby's Room, Revealed

Here are some design details from our work-in-progress baby room!

It's been a fun project that has come together slowly. As I always say (mainly to myself...and to Micah when he sees me surrounded by piles of what appears to be chaos): "It needs to get messy before it all comes together."

So after many hours of gathering of loved objects, framing pictures, online scavenging, and digging through antique stores, this is what we've come up with! Enjoy!
L to R:
Red frame:, on clearance at Target, $1.99;
B/W zebra print from an old French textbook I got off the free shelf in college;
White frame: Ikea, $20;
Asterix et Obelix print: Amazon.com, $2.99
L to R:
Removed creaky closet door, replaced with white Shabby Chic Swiss dot panel from Target (not pictured), $19.99;
White wicker etagere: The Wicker Shop on Marshall Ave. in St. Paul;
White shelf and black brackets: Ikea;
Vintage aqua wastebasket with roses: The Antique Mall on Selby in St. Paul, $10
L to R:
"Gray Days," one of Muffy's senior MCAD pieces that won a couple awards (sisterly print privileges here);
Guadalajara sand art print from trip to Mexico with Aunt Ann, February 2010;
Black and jade green frame: from house growing up, was all jade green but colored it in with a Sharpie
Photobucket
Clockwise from top L:
Pat the Bunny: a classic. (Shower gift);

Finnish Moomin mobile: Flenstad Mobiles via Amazon.com, $45;

Vintage needlework by Grandma Mary (aka Nana): completed before I was born and was in my baby room;

White picture ledge: Ikea, photo of napping dog I took in Prague in 2003;
Deep blue egg from Mt. Sinai in Egypt: gift from Kathryn;
Silhouette/dragonfly print: another one of Muffy's senior MCAD prints
L to R:
Wood and leather stool handmade by my Grandpa Orlando;
White Jenny Lind crib: Cribs.com
Faded floral Tiddliwinks bedding: Target, gift from Nana
Photobucket
Clockwise from top L:
Vintage toy, plays lullaby when you pull the cord: The Antique Mall on Selby, St. Paul, $8;

White antique dresser: dealer Ron VonSpreecken, St. Paul, $50; Ikea brown plush chair and matching ottoman, $99, antique wooden magazine rack with floral print on the side: Hopkins Antique Mall, $20;

Running Opener 5K race number from April 2011 run with baby at 31 weeks pregnant; Victoria the Bunny, shower gift;
Beatrix Potter print, The Antique Mall on Selby, St. Paul, $2;

Blue floral patchwork quilt made by Grandma Dorothy, finished by Nana, faded floral Tiddliwinks bedding, Boppy with Plaza Tiles cover, Target, $20
Chinese silk rug with birds: from front hall of childhood home; super-soft Dwell Studios brown and white graphic throw (shower gift from Aunt Karen)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

37 Weeks 4 Days


37…and a half weeks. Better update or people will think I went and had the baby!

No, I did not.

So far, this week has progressed uneventfully. On Sunday I felt like I was doing a full-on waddle across the Target parking lot, but since then my symptoms of Impending Baby have decreased. 

While this is probably to be expected at this point, it still is making me realize how close we are to meeting the wee bairn (thank you, Lady and the Tramp), which in turn makes me just a wee bit impatient.
Here I am at DSW buying Micah a year's worth of work shoes. 
Surely this counts as nesting.

The good news is I’ve been sleeping well and my aforementioned Top Three discomforts have hardly been an issue. I’ve had some sciatica—and this time it has truly shot down my leg all the way—but that has passed as well. In short, I only LOOK exceedingly pregnant and am eternally grateful that I haven't had any issues requiring bedrest or limited mobility. 

Okay, I take back "exceedingly pregnant" because apparently it's relative. The other day the guy dishing up the Chinese food in our work cafeteria asked me if I was due in August. 

"Uh...no. First week of June." 

We obviously don't travel in the same circles. 

Regardless, I certainly feel with child, but in a good way. 

So now I’m just trying to fill my time with things that seem worth doing. And truly, fewer things seem to be falling into that category. Of course magnified by the fact that anything that has truly required doing has pretty much been covered: installing car seat bases, attending childbirth classes, buying a few things to wear postpartum...and most importantly, becoming comfortable with the idea that whatever I think will happen in labor and delivery will probably get blown out of the water.

Can you tell I started baby preparation in the second trimester and not…RIGHT NOW? If I hear one more person say “Enjoy this time while you can!”, I’m going to start throwing pies. My bottom line is basically that I don't equate idleness with enjoyable. Yes, I could kick back and watch a bunch of way-too-long black and white movies from the 40s, that but really isn't me. 

It’s not like I constantly have to restrain herself from hoeing the fields. But let's be honest, there is a certain satisfaction in doing things that feel value-added. Or further, true leisure or inactivity in small doses. It’s not like I’ve done EVERYTHING possible at this point—I haven’t written a will, vacuumed up the dust bunnies under the bed, or renewed my driver’s license (which expires in two months). But I think it’s safe to say that these things are not in the NOW NOW NOW category.

And no, I haven’t frozen copious amounts of food. I probably should, but when it comes down to it, anything beyond the occasional frozen muffin kind of turns me off. What do you do with the big chunk of frozen food mass in the Tupperware when you’re not supposed to microwave Tupperware and the seeming alternative is to have the presence of mind to leave it out to thaw way before you actually want to consume it, or wait for it to thaw enough to be able to transfer it to a different container for cooking? And at which point you start to worry about food poisoning.

Obviously I’m not schooled in this area. And am making gross blanket statements. If you can’t tell already, we are not exactly a Side of Venison in the Deep Freezer kind of family. I guess I'm just confident that we're not going to starve if we don't have a year's worth of frozen stew at the ready.

So, it's been a little difficult to keep things in perspective and remind myself that the mere "17 days left," or even the unmentionable possible "31 days left" is really just that and not 17 or 31 years. I'm just so excited!

In other news, I'm still running and keeping up my usual workouts. When it comes to exercise, being this far into the pregnancy actually doesn't feel all that different than 15, 25, or 35 weeks.

Yes, it does feel like I'm running with a large rock in tow, but it's a rock I've been carrying around for a while now and has only gotten bigger gradually so I'm used to it. With running it doesn't feel bouncy like you might guess. The only late third trimester change would be the fact that a baby that has dropped does increase lower abdominal pressure and I stop to walk occasionally.

But overall, Pharmie and I have concluded that an ability to run this late in pregnancy can pretty much be chalked up to luck: either your body structure will support it or it won't. And that's a totally different conversation than one about fitness level.

On that note, I got my first running comment Tuesday night. (Only took 37 weeks to get there!) Pharmie and I were running up West River Road in the early evening when there were lots of cars slowly coasting along the parkway and stopping at a stop sign. One guy saw us jogging along and gave us a "Good job, moms."

Love it.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday

Scenes from the alley, and proof that spring did make an appearance. An all-too-quick hello/goodbye with the tulips.








Saturday, May 14, 2011

Congrats to the Graduate!

Let's just say my ticket to college graduation wasn't depicting migraines, toothaches, and bunions in the human anatomy. I'm sensing niche market: technical drawing with a side of funktitude. Kids these days...too cool for school!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

36 Weeks


We're in the home stretch now! Things are going well. I had a checkup yesterday that indicated that the baby has dropped! Not completely, but more than I had expected! I kind of felt like something seemed different in the last few days, even though I don't think I'm really sporting the "slid downhill" look yet. 

Engagement is measured on a -5 (not dropped) to 0 (at pelvis) to +5 scale (totally dropped). I am currently about a -1. The baby is measuring 35.5cm at 36 weeks, so she's right on track. Still pretty much sunny-side up, but I've been assured most babies turn into a more optimal position in the coming weeks. But if not, it's not the end of the world. For now, I'm still enjoying watching all the outward kicks!

It would be all too easy to think "I'm going early!" because the baby has started to drop, but the reality is that the process could take weeks! Regardless, I've been hit with a newfound sense of urgency to get things done at work, just in case. 

37 weeks is considered full-term, which for me would be 5/15. I have no real reason to think our 6/5 due date (okay, okay, "guess date") won't be reached, but I've just heard so many different stories from people (early/"on-time"/overdue) that my mind is swimming with scenarios, all possible.

So in my current state I'm not waddling yet, but I can see how people get there! It's kind of difficult to lean forward in a chair, but I can deal. I'm not sure if this signals an end to running yet. I ran on Saturday on the Gustavus campus before a triathlon Micah did and was fine--though a bit more awkward. I'm confident I'll know when it's time to stop. 

Today Gus and I went for a walk instead--on the first rather hot day in a long while. Pretty sure it's the first walk I've ever taken where I stopped to rest. Actually, it was a rest stop for Gus (who was panting like cray-zay), but I certainly didn't mind sitting down in the park with him! 

In other news, we attended TotSaver class (infant and child first aid/CPR) last night. 
  • Time allotted: 3 hours
  • Time actually required to cover crucial info? About 15 minutes, tops

I really could have been spared the ten-minute video on how to use an Epi-pen on a preteen, but the CPR info was good. All the dolls were little tots named Jupiter and the instructor was a total character, so at least it was good for a few entertaining moments! 

The instructor kept nodding toward me and "the little baby in that breadbasket," apparently to help distinguish me from the other "mother" in the room with her 5 week-old there. Right. The instructor was also deathly afraid of the technology in our conference room and at one point referred to PowerPoint as something we may not have heard of. 


So yes, I did just put the word mother in quotation marks. I guess technically I would be one now, but it also feels like jumping ahead a bit to say it. Which is why this Mother's Day still felt about everyone else to me, as it seemed like it should be. I'm SUPER excited about being a mom and have really enjoyed being pregnant, even in the third trimester. But of course in my overly cautious way, I don't want to take anything for granted that has yet to "happen," despite the fact that I have indeed been taking care of this baby for about nine months now. For now, "mom to be" sounds good.

And finally, what would an update be without a cute and/or semi-pathetic shot of Gus in rare comedic form? 

"Gus as Limp Puppet: 10pm."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

35 Weeks and The Food Hall of Fame


35 weeks today! Seriously, are there only about 35 days left?

I couldn't believe it, but I had a really great run this morning. At this point I'm convinced the exact position of the baby determines whether a run is possible, and luckily today it was. 

It seems like the key is to start very slowly and stay that way for about 15 minutes so my stomach doesn't tighten up, and then after that I can hold a good pace just slightly above that for a given amount of time. And even then, some days it's just not happening, so it's always a pleasant surprise when it is.

So, it was wonderful to be outside again this morning even if the weather continues to be the stuff of Endless Winter. I feel like my little running partner and I have had some good times out there! It's pretty cool to think she and I have done about 75 runs together. 

I've been appreciating each run so much because I never know when it'll be my last for a while. Today I went 40 minutes. But I imagine that soon the baby will drop somewhat and I might move to more walking/hiking. 

On a change of subject:
So what does a pregnant person eat? I know I've personally wondered this about other people. For what it's worth, here is what we're enjoying in these last few weeks. The Food Hall of Fame if you will.

1. Mango Madness Trail Mix from Lunds
Dried pineapple, mango, craisins, golden raisins, walnuts, and yogurt-covered raisins. Mostly fruit, just enough nut. Especially fortifying when you're not really feeling hungry, but know you need to eat.

2. Plain Greek Yogurt
I've been very into getting enough calcium lately. A lot of people don't like the slightly sour taste of plain yogurt--with or without a some sugar thrown in like a good little French kid would do--but it's the closest thing I can find in the States to the fromage frais I grew to love for dessert when living with my host family in Dijon. Good for dipping cookies in, too.

3. Oranges and Orange Juice
Maybe it's because most of my pregnancy was in the cold months, but a good winter orange is really hard to beat. And yes, I drink orange juice straight from the my carton. I realize I'll have to train myself to stop before Daughter starts noticing and trying to do the same.

4. French Toast Muffins from Caribou
Have you HAD one of these?? They kind of taste like coffee cake, but way better. Since we have a Caribou in my office building, I've been able to maintain particularly close proximity to them on a regular basis and see no reason to go without when the mood strikes.

5. DQ Butterfinger Blizzards
The urge comes and goes, and while I occasionally consider getting a different flavor, it always ends up being Butterfinger. My absolute favorite is when the ice cream is so cold, you can hold the thing upside down without it dripping. That's when it tastes the best.

6. Breakfast Cereal, preferably oat-ey ones
Every morning, if it's not oatmeal. Also THE snack when nothing else sounds good.

7. Mangoes
Yes, a whole mango. Like coconut water, not the world's cheapest foodstuff--and sadly hit or miss, this being Minnesota--but so good and definitely worth $1.99.

8. Peppermint Patties
My candy of choice.

9. Swiss Miss
I go in and out of hot chocolate phases. I was buying the packets, but it was way too sweet so I started buying the big canister so I could mix it exactly how I wanted it. (The Jumbo Family Size canister.) An excellent after-dinner dessert while watching an umpteenth episode of Lost. And another source of calcium!

10. Red Meat
Hamburgers, steak, anything. Every chance I get I've been trying to consume red meat to avoid anemia, since I'm still working out and have the baby's nutritional demands on top of that. So far in the third trimester I really haven't felt anemic (and I do know what that feels like), so I think I'm getting enough.

Best way to get this red meat? Hand down, Craftsman's beef burger with bacon, cheese, harissa, and homemade ketchup.

11. Orange or red bell peppers
I'm not sure why, but every time I'm feeling off but hungry and then eat one of these (yes, one huge whole raw pepper), I end up feeling GREAT soon after. I guess it has a lot of Vitamin C.

Like I've said before, the baby really seems to want a lot of fruit and healthy stuff, but we're still all about balance and fun treats. Frankly I'm surprised I haven't craved more salt, and my taste for fish is one I'm hoping to reclaim soon.

Nutrition has been a hugely moving target, and it's hard to eat healthy but also in such a way that it's truly balanced and not deficient in anything. To round things out I've been taking a great prenatal vitamin and Omega-3s. Not all prenatal vitamins are created equal, and I highly recommend Rainbow Light--very easy on the stomach, unlike the horse pills from GNC that really did a number on me. The beauty of these is that you can get them at co-ops and Target alike.


That's all for now! Time for a nap.