Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adventures in traveling

Friday morning, DH & I woke up to the contractors showing up 1 hour early. That NEVER happens! We were then trying to finish getting ready to leave with the contractors doing work. I told DH he should put his sandwich together, but, of course, he was too busy being lazy. We then were surprised by our insurance agent - we forgot we made an appointment with her. In the midst of all this chaos, we were trying to finish decorating a cake for my niece since we were planning to head out of town to attend her bat mitzvah! We decided to keep it simple - a basic 9x13 inch cake with an edible image of her facebook page on top. DH wanted to help, so he started icing the cake - mistake #1. He had the cake upside down on the tray, and he got crumbs all over the icing :(. I was so frustrated - and didn't have enough icing to fix the problem. We tried flipping the cake back, but it broke in half because of the weight of the icing. So, I was then sitting there trying to repair the cake. Then, I went downstairs to print out the image . . . and, naturally, the printer was out of ink! DH offered to help refill the cartridges - let's just say, that was a disaster, too. DH took FOREVER - he spent most of the time looking for gloves. Something about DH when we are on a very short time frame makes him slow down . . . he moves like molasses when I need him to hurry! After all of that, DH didn't fill all the cartridges that needed to be refilled, so the printout looked terrible - the colors were all off. Even worse, it took him so long that the icing crusted, so I couldn't get the icing sheet to attach. I was SOOOO frustrated!

We then had to take the dog (I couldn't leave her here with the contractors) up to my friend's house so she could watch her for 1 hour while we had our ultrasound. The plan was to grab the dog then go straight to my brother's house to drop her there overnight. As we were driving to the ultrasound, DH realized he forgot his phone. We were so late, we didn't have a choice but to keep going. This little factoid becomes important later on . . . .

We arrived for our ultrasound about 10 minutes late - only to find that the doctor we were supposed to see had left a few minutes before - sick! The office was all backed up - we waited over 1 hour to get our ultrasound. We had a different tech again - and we have learned that some under-measure, and some over-measure. We had one with a generous hand - who informed me my cervix had grown larger than it had been even at 28 weeks (3.5 cm). That didn't seem right to me, but it gave us our "green" light to go on our trip. We then met with the doctor, she re-measured some of the images, and said she thought the cervix was closer to 2.4 (which made more sense). This tech estimated the baby's weight around 5 lbs 10 ozs, but again, we're guessing that was an over-estimate (the doctor thought she was probably about 1/2 lb over, too). Regardless, there were no signs of imminent labor, so we decided to head out for the weekend.

We stopped and picked up dog food, dropped my dog off with my brother and SIL, then went on our way. We arrived in decent time, and had dinner with the family. There was a bit of family drama (as usual) and then we had cake with everyone back at the hotel. My stomach was bothering me, and I was up pretty early not feeling well. When I finally got DH awake, he complained he wasn't feeling well, either. I assumed he was playing the "me, too" card, and I was totally unsympathetic. We went to breakfast, and I could barely eat anything. I had 2 bites of oatmeal, 1 piece of scrambled egg, 3 frosted mini wheats, and a bite of the home fries.

We got back to the room, and I called my mom, who informed me she had been up all night puking. I no sooner hung up from my mother when I began puking. I spent the next 6 hours throwing up, with bouts of diarrhea thrown in the mix. It was NOT a fun day. The whole time, DH complained he wasn't feeling well, and mostly slept. I realized I was having a lot of cramps and contractions, so we called the midwife. She suggested I drink more fluids and increase my meds, so I did. At 3:00, I decided to join my SIL for a manicure/pedicure. I was really feeling horrible - my stomach was out of control, and I realized I was having contractions every 4 minutes (and they were pretty intense).

Now, here is where things get interesting. Since DH forgot his phone at home, I gave him my cell phone. I had my niece send DH a text to tell him to get back to the hotel asap. We returned to the hotel, and I went to our room. I was waiting over 1 hour, and the contractions were getting worse, and DH still wasn't back. I started to panic about having the baby there. I had no cell phone, and couldn't call anyone, and he had the car with all of my hypnobirthing stuff in it, so I couldn't even listen to my recordings and relax. I decided to call my SIL in the hotel, and ask her to hunt down her husband and DH and get them back ASAP. When I called their room, my niece was FREAKING out. I couldn't get her to talk to me, and she threw the phone on the ground. I started getting mildly hysterical while trying (unsuccessfully) to calm her down. I finally spoke to my SIL (I had to insist) and she managed to get in touch with DH who was on his way back.

When he walked through the door, I LOST it. I told him what was going on with me, and at that point, he went to the bathroom and started throwing up. So, he wasn't in any position to help me for a bit. I called the midwife, who told us I should go to the hospital to get IV fluids. She really felt that my contractions were induced by dehydration, not actual labor, but said that if we couldn't get them to stop, it could cause my water to break. I knew I'd never leave the hospital if I went, so DH & I decided not to do that. When I was in the hospital at 28 weeks, I was able to avoid the IV by drinking 40 ozs of water in 30 minutes, so we decided to give that a try. I was taking my terbutaline every 3 hours, and I GUZZLED the water down. We got the contractions to slow a bit and lessen in intensity. We made the decision to get dressed, go to the bat mitzvah, and if everything held steady, we decided to head home right after the service and skip the party. We didn't tell everyone exactly what was going on, but at 8:20, we were on the road back home.

Well, by this point, DH's stomach issues were as bad as mine. AND, I was pumped full of water. Let's just say we hit EVERY rest stop and hotel at every exit the entire way home - it made for a long trip. DH puked a few more times, we were both dealing with diarrhea, and neither one of us had really eaten a meal since Friday night.

When we got home, we called the midwife, and she said I should keep taking the meds, see what happens, and call her in the morning. The contractions are still 4 minutes apart, but much less intense. I have not been able to get a hold of her today, so I'm not sure what is next. I don't
know that it is worth it to keep taking the terbutaline for 24 hours - I feel at this point it is more of a hindrance than a help since we can't make the contractions stop. Regardless, I only have a few more doses left, then I stop and we have another appointment tomorrow morning. We'll see if this baby decides to make an appearance this week!

So, after all of that, we did make it to the service, we dealt with a horrible stomach flu, and we didn't get to stay and enjoy the food or the party. But, we did make it home safely, with only 2 of us in the car!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Heading South for the Winter. . . Snowbird on the Way?

Well, we just got back from our 35 week appointment with the midwife we've only seen one other time during this pregnancy - and she was really nice! The last time I met with her, she yelled at me about my weight, so I've been avoiding her. Anyway, we talked about my situation and my labor, and she was really helpful and great about everything, so I'm feeling good about her if she is the one who ends up on call when I go into labor.

In other news . . . I had my first internal exam. I'm apparently 50% effaced and 1 cm dilated! The baby is between -1 and 0 station (meaning he has started his descent already). We asked about going out of town this weekend, and she wants me to base my decision on my cervical length at the ultrasound on Friday. She said if it hasn't changed drastically, I have a yellow light to go . . . she doesn't think I will go into labor, but she recommends taking my pills closer to every 4 hrs, bringing my hospital bag, a copy of my medical records, drinking lots of water, and doing my best to take it easy.

Bottom line is she thinks this baby will most likely come next week - she'd guess I will go into labor when I stop the medicine (especially since I'm already experiencing cervical changes, the baby is dropping, and I'm dilating while ON the medication). I'm so excited . . . I might actually be a mommy next week!

On the puppy/home front, the stupid contractors were here all day yesterday and took everything off our bathroom shelves and left it on the floor. Being 35 weeks pregnant, it never occurred to me to go upstairs and check the bathroom before I ran out last night because I was too tired to climb the stairs. Long story short, we returned home to find that the dog had gotten into DH's travel kit and had managed to consume a bunch of vitamins and some metamucil. She was spitting out big gelatinous chunks of the stuff! That poor dog has the WORST gas today - my whole house stinks from it!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mommy Preparedness Party

Well, today was our "Mommy Preparedness Party"! For those of you currently wearing a puzzled expression and trying to figure out what the hell a "Mommy Preparedness Party" is, it was our attempt to do something baby-shower like without calling it a baby shower. In the Jewish tradition, there are many superstitions around babies (and celebrating babies and birth prior to the actual event), so most people do not have baby showers. They wait for the bris or the baby naming after the baby is born. However, in recent years, baby showers are growing more common among Jewish circles. We debated for a long time about whether we should do anything. DH was very disinclined to have a shower, and I was on the fence. After I ended up in the hospital at 28 weeks, I panicked about not having anything for the baby. So, we decided that if we didn't call it a shower, and if we didn't bring any of the gifts into our home until after the baby was born, we thought we were okay with the whole idea.

DH, however, strongly objected to calling it a shower. So, my mom and my best friend put on the "not-a-shower" today and it was wonderful! We only invited a small group of our closest friends/family because we did not want to make anyone uncomfortable. It was great to see everyone, and I had a lot of fun. It was so exciting to actually be looking at and touching baby stuff, and we got a lot of wonderful gifts to start us out. I'm so excited to actually have things for the baby now! My mom made a gorgeous afghan and a sweater and 2 hats for him. We won't bring anything in the house yet, but it is nice to know that we have access to the things we might need at my parents' house.

In other news, we also got a call yesterday that our baby furniture is in! I'm shocked - I really didn't think we'd be getting it before the baby arrived (since we ordered it so late), so it is a relief that we can have it at any time. The only thing that isn't in yet is our glider, and the store will give us a loaner until it comes in, if we want it. DH isn't sure if he wants to get any of the furniture delivered before the baby arrives, so we'll see what we decide to do.

Friday, November 21, 2008

34 week ultrasound

Today's appointment was fairly uneventful . . . except for the fact that the doctors and ultrasound technicians have been confused about my presence at the last two visits. Today's tech actually came in and asked why I was there and what she was supposed to do! Somehow, the doctor's notes got lost in translation, and they were acting like I just kept showing up for the fun of it.

After going through the saga a few times, they checked my cervix (which shrunk some, but is holding steady around 2.4/2.5) measured Frank (who seems to have shrunk almost another centimeter) and did a biophysical profile of the baby. Baby is doing great! He was moving and breathing and is still head down.

So, with all that good news, it might actually be safe for me to travel to New Jersey right after Thanksgiving for my niece's bat mitzvah! We just have to make sure nothing significant happens in the next week.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Aww Moment

So DH is leaving town tonight to go on a business trip, and I asked him to clean up his stuff in the bedroom before he left since the cleaning people are coming tomorrow. For the first time (perhaps EVER) he isn't just hiding the mess and shoving everything into his drawers - he actually is sorting/organizing/putting things away! In doing all this, he stumbled across some notes I hid in his suitcases when he went down to Mississippi for a month to help post-Katrina. When I was little and went away to camp, my mom used to hide little notes in my suitcase/dresser drawers so that all summer long I'd find cute little notes that made me smile and remember someone cared about me. DH & I hadn't been together all that long when he left, but I decided to do the same for him. Before I could second guess my decision or whether he would think it was stupid, I dashed off some notes (just little things like "hello" and "kisses from me & the puppy" and "we miss you" or "thinking of you") and stuffed them in his folded suitcase. Anyway, he saved a bunch of them, and he brought them down to show me today when he found them. I think it is so sweet that he saved all those notes.

On Monday night, we had our final birth class! Now we just have to keep practicing what we've learned and hope it helps on baby's birth day. Yesterday was our midwife appointment - everything is progressing well (I measured 33 cms, so right on target) and the baby's heartbeat was perfect. We asked a bunch of questions about labor and delivery stuff, and we are feeling good about everything. On Friday we go in for our ultrasound to see how things are looking. From this point on, we will be doing weekly appointments and ultrasounds.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I had an amazing weekend . . . I had an old friend from college (whom I haven't seen since graduation) come down and visit! She was my first guest in our new home, and I was so excited to see her after so much time. She was quite a trooper - she had to endure the mess of newly sanded/refinished floors (so new, they were still in process on Friday and Saturday!), and all my furniture strewn all over the house and draped plastic walls (that looked like a scene from Dexter). I am glad to say we still get along and had plenty to talk about. We had an amazing time touring around town, and we went for brunch and we just spent time talking and catching up. Even better, Frank decided to be cooperative and let me do all the walking I needed to do without acting up too badly. I actually had a really pleasant few days, contractions and all!

As of today, I've officially made it to my first end-of-pregnancy goal - 34 weeks! I could safely have this baby at any time now, so it is quite a relief. I have another midwife appointment and an ultrasound appointment this week, and from here on out, they will be doing weekly scans of the baby (a biophysical profile) to make sure he is still doing well. Regardless, I have only 2 weeks left until I stop the medication. While I realize that there is a good possibility I could stop the medication and the contractions could stop, I am already feeling some changes, so I have a feeling this baby will come fairly quickly after I stop taking the Terbutaline. Even if he doesn't, the fact that Frank is no longer causing me much pain is a huge relief, so I am certain I can stick it out until the baby decides to arrive.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Home Renovations

Many of you have been asking to see pictures of our home renovations . . . so here goes! These pictures were taken the day before we moved - there are a few personal items we began bringing over strewn around in the photos, and there are definitely still unfinished parts of the house, but this gives you a good idea of what we've done! Hope you enjoy:

Living room


View of dining room & living room from kitchen

View of dining room and kitchen from living room

First Floor Powder Room

Stairs to upper floor

Baby's bathroom

View of upper hallway into baby's bathroom
View into baby's bedroom

Baby's bedroom
Upstairs Hallway View towards Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom Closet

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom

Stairs to Basement

Laundry Room

Door to utility room

Rec Room

View to Office


Office Closet

Office Bathroom

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Things are slowly shaping up!

Well, we now have furniture and a tv in the living room! We still have to mount the tv on the wall, and we have to dump some of the boxes. On Tuesday, the final piece of furniture will arrive. I'm ready to clear out the boxes and start putting up artwork. It is really starting to feel like a house! The blinds come on Thursday, and hopefully the dining room table and couch for downstairs will arrive sometime next week. DH needs to get his bedroom clothing in order, and we have more things to buy to finish putting everything away, but I'm finally feeling like we've made significant progress.

Monday, November 10, 2008

We moved.

It's official . . . we actually moved. There are a ton of issues with the house, the move was a mess, and I'm so completely exhausted I can barely see straight, and I can't get DH to stop bringing crap in and mucking around with stuff. We have SOOO much unpacking to do, not to mention all the stuff we left behind at my place - I have no idea where all this stuff is going to fit! I can't even think about all the crap still at my house . . . and in the storage unit. I wish we could just throw it all away and not miss any of it.

I'm exhausted and going to go to sleep.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Moving Hell

It's official - we are in the midst of moving hell. I'm so tired I can't see straight, my feet hurt, I'm contracting like crazy, and I swear it feels like the baby is shoving a sharp pointy object into my cervix just for fun. I've spent most of the week trying to pack up - I took care of the linen closets, kitchen, pantry and vanities (thanks to help from my organizer and good old Mom & Dad)! We moved all that stuff over to the house today and unpacked it. DH moved the new rugs in, and we had a cleaning service come through today. There are still issues with the floors, and a missing vanity, and a hole in the shower wall, and a bunch of other things that are still unfinished, but for now, it is livable. We still have SOOOO much left to do before tomorrow morning - we are just trying to shovel out from so much crap it is unbelievable! We have to clear out all the garbage before we can even pack up, and I have no idea how the mover is even going to get to all of our stuff. Tomorrow is going to be a LONG day. After a long week of running around hunting for rugs and all kinds of other odds and ends that we needed. I'm so far behind on my work right now. Ugh! What a week!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

32 week ultrasound!

Today was our 32 week ultrasound, and so far, everything is looking great! The baby is about 4 lbs right now (3 lbs 15 ozs) and he was measuring in the 34th percentile (which is a little smaller than he was measuring last month). We got an adorable 3D shot of him, too - I think he might look like DH! He is still head down, we were able to see him breathing and we got a great view of his heart. My cervix is holding steady, although it has started to shrink some - it was down to about 2.7 cm today, but it is still in the "safe" zone for now. The best news, however, is that Frank shrunk! At my 28 and 30 week ultrasounds, he was about 5.4 cm x 4.9 cm x 3.5 cm . . . almost the size of a fist! As of today, he was only 4 cm x 4 cm x 2 cm, so he shrunk about 1 cm all around. I had thought that I was feeling much better (and experiencing much less pain), so I was relieved to hear it isn't just a cruel trick of the medicines, but that I should be feeling better! Hopefully, that will make the next 4 weeks much easier for me. We go back again in 2 more weeks, and then we start weekly appointments to measure the baby.

So, here are the pictures:

Well, off to continue packing! We spent the past 2 days trying to acquire rugs for the house and get all the little details done. We are hoping that things are still on track for moving on Sunday!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We have officially started packing. We are starting with a huge mess, so trying to pack up a disaster zone is . . . complicated. We have been working with an organizer over the past 2 years, first to help empty out DH's house and combine our houses into my place, and now to pull all of our stuff together here and get it to the new house and put away. The biggest bone of contention in our marriage is cleanliness. DH is a collector of junk, and tends not to put things away. I, on the other hand, believe everything should have a place, and most things should be either completely put away every day or two, or never exceed a small neatly stacked pile in 1 location of the house. The problem is, since DH emptied his house and moved all his stuff into my place, things don't have a place anymore. We never did manage to put everything away. So, it makes it difficult to ask him to clean up when there is nowhere for it to go. Back in May, I sort of gave up the fight - I figured we were moving in a month, so why bother any more? Well, 1 month has turned into 6+ months, and let's just say that my house looks like a tornado swept through here.

Since I am really supposed to be taking it easy (and packing and heavy lifting are things I'm supposed to be avoiding), we enlisted the help of our organizer to help me get things packed and sorted. Last week, we packed up the linen closets, my knitting/crocheting, my baking stuff, and the bathroom vanities, and we moved all the boxes over to the house and stored them there. Today, we tackled the kitchen and now she is upstairs trying to pack up DH's office.

So, assuming the contractor completes the work he is supposed to complete by Friday, we are all set to move in on Sunday. We have too much stuff (and I'm too afraid of creating another messy situation like we did when DH moved his stuff here) to move everything at once. Instead, we decided to move in shifts. We are only moving what is necessary for us to start living in the house. We are going to move our kitchen stuff, clothing, linen closets, and vanities. We will be taking the bedroom set and any other big furniture that we are certain will fit in the house. For now, we are leaving behind a few decorative tables (we aren't sure where/if they will fit) and some file cabinets, and a tv armoire, and my office stuff. We are leaving all of the artwork/personal items behind for now, too. We will slowly move those over when we know where they are going.

I can't believe it looks like we are finally moving! I'm so ready to be moved into DH's house already! I have an appointment with a place that does blinds tomorrow (hopefully we can have blinds put in soon) and we have a cleaning service coming on Friday. DH is trying to arrange our phone/internet, and I guess we'll figure out the rest as we go. We are definitely going to need to buy more furniture items, but I just am not sure exactly what yet. Our living room couch will arrive on Tuesday, and we are still waiting for the basement couch and the dining room table top, both of which should arrive by mid-November. We still need to buy some area rugs for the living room, dining room and master bedroom, but we think we might have found what we need. That puts us in great shape for the baby's arrival!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I suck at hypnobirthing

We started our first hypnobirthing class on Thursday. I have been quite excited about this, and looking forward to learning these techniques. As I mentioned, we learned 2 breathing techniques (simple enough) and we were given homework: practice each breathing technique for 2 minutes when we wake up and before we go to sleep, and listen to the relaxation CD for 10 minutes a day. Seems easy, right? I've been doing my breathing, and I'm getting more comfortable with it. I have even put on the relaxation CD every day so far (3 days in a row). There enlies my problem. I thought I was great at relaxing . . . I mean, I can be one of the laziest people around! I am quite content to sit and veg out for hours at a time without moving around or doing anything else. I love getting massages and spa treatments and relaxing that way. Self-hypnosis/relaxation CDs should be the same thing, right?

The first night I put it on, I could not seem to sit there and participate. So I listened to it . . . and got up and did some cleaning while it was playing, and ripped the tracks to iTunes so I could transfer it to my ipod. Not the right idea, huh? I told myself I was just feeling the CD out and preparing for better usage. Last night, I thought I would set myself up for success. I brought the ipod upstairs, hooked it up to my stereo, got in bed with DH & the dog around 1:30 or 2:00 am with all the lights off, tv off, and figured deep relaxation just prior to bed was ideal! I put on the CD, and in about 5 minutes . . . DH was out cold, and I think the dog was totally unconscious as well. Me, on the otherhand . . . . I was WOUND. My leg was itching, my heart was racing (perhaps from the Terbutaline), I felt like I was having trouble taking deep breaths, and all I could think about was how thirsty I was. So, I drank some water. Then I needed to go to the bathroom. Then I came back to the CD, and my eye was itching, so I had to get up to put eye drops in. I restarted the CD, and tried again. Still fidgety, and kept changing positions, and was really distracted by my racing heart. I could hear a heart beating in my ear (probably my own, but I decided to think it was the baby) but it was so loud it was hurting my ear drum. I spent all 30 minutes listening to the CD, and thinking about the things it said, and doing my best to relax. I do think I may have finally gotten relaxed the last 5-10 minutes, and when the CD ended I heard it, and I drifted slowly off to sleep shortly thereafter.

Today I made another attempt with the CD. I thought perhaps the problem was that I did the CD before bed, and I get fidgety late at night and at bedtime. So, this afternoon, I was bored. I'm really not supposed to go running all over doing errands, and I don't feel like packing . . . or doing my work . . . or finishing my other projects. I thought maybe it would help me relax and pass the afternoon if I tried the relaxation CD again. I did a few stretches, did the deep breathing to relax, stretched out on the couch, and started to play the CD from my computer (don't you love iTunes?). Immediately, I couldn't sit still. My leg started to itch again, and suddenly I had to sneeze, and once again, I was desperately thirsty. My heart was still racing (I'm going to blame the Terbutaline again for that) and I could hear the heartbeat sound in my ear again. Nevertheless, I persisted. The CD started talking about different colors, and next thing you know, I'm thinking about running to the store to buy yarn. I open my eyes to look around, and I see the dog is curled up by the computer, unconscious and drooling. Apparently, the CD really works great . . . . I've never seen her more relaxed and totally unconscious!! I try to bring my focus back to the CD, and my hip is hurting. Thankfully, the phone rang and I threw in the towel on the CD. The dog is still out cold . . . . I wonder if I need to gently rouse her so she doesn't stay in this state all day.

So . . . now what? Please tell me that each time I practice I will get better at relaxing? I really want to learn how to do this, but apparently, I suck at relaxing. DH and the dog, on the other hand, have already mastered the technique. Clearly, I should have let the dog have puppies - she is quite skilled at this hypnobirthing thing. If only she was a good teacher.