Category Archive: pregnancy

A baby story: Week 29

Week 29: Baby’s the size of a butternut squash!

Lots of baby news this week (seems like it’s been that way for a few weeks now…we’re definitely on the home stretch!)

We had a few special visitors in town–Brianne and Brian drove up on Friday afternoon and spent a couple of nights with us.  The majority of the time was spent getting some good quality time in with each other at our place but we also did a few fun outings including: seeing “The Hunger Games” (so good!), getting Indian pizza for dinner in the city at Zante’s, enjoying some Salvadorean pan dulce (sweet bread) at Rico Pan (a bakery we used to frequent in our old ‘hood in the city), a quick hike in Piedmont Park followed by awesome sandwiches for lunch at Ike’s Lair (the East Bay’s version of Ike’s Place which was featured on that show “Man vs. Food”).  Can you tell we like to eat?  🙂

We didn’t let the rainy weather get in our way of enjoying the weekend!

B & B at Piedmont Park (check out Lola’s photo bomb, haha!)

After B & B went on their merry way back down to Long Beach, Kevin and I trekked across the bridge once more to visit with my dad who was in town.  We were only able to spend a short amount of time with him but it was really good seeing him and I know he was excited to see the belly that is home to his first grandchild!

This week I also had my appointment with the dietitian due to my having developed glucose intolerance.  I’ve know for a couple of weeks now and had already adjusted my diet (no more cookies/cake/ice cream for me, boo!)  One thing I didn’t realize was that my diagnosis has nothing to do with what I’ve been eating this whole pregnancy, it’s just that some women’s bodies don’t process insulin properly once all of the pregnancy hormones are added into the equation.  So it was definitely a minor relief knowing that it wasn’t something I did to cause it.  I also brought a list of some of the common foods I eat for breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks and she was pretty pleased with my diet which made me happy.  I have to actually up the fats (avocado, nuts, olive oil) and just monitor the carbs I eat throughout the day and make sure that I eat every three hours to stabilize my blood sugar.  But overall it was a good appointment and luckily I don’t have to make too many adjustments to what I was already doing these past two weeks.

We also took a huge step and interviewed and hired a doula!  She and I have been speaking over the phone and via email the past few weeks and we finally had a chance to sit down and meet with her at our apartment.  She was very easy to talk to and we both felt very comfortable in her presence.  She has a lot of great experience (having even been present at 6 births at the Kaiser Oakland facility we’re going to have Sirena at which I think is a big plus) and she is going to be a really great addition to our little birth team.  We’ll have three visits with her before the baby arrives, then she’ll stay with us throughout the labor and up to a couple of hours after she’s born, and then she’ll meet with us twice postpartum.  I wrote a little more about the reasons we want to have a doula present at our birth on this post if you’re interested in checking that out.

This week I’ve started keeping track of Sirena’s movements on a kick count chart (kinda like this one).  It’s suggested that moms do this in the third trimester to monitor the baby’s movements and just make sure that they don’t decrease at all.  I have to count to 10 kicks/movements within an hour and so far she always gets to her 10 kicks within 25-30 minutes…this girl likes to move!

And lastly, although zero progress has been made on the nursery (due to the leak that we are continuing to battle with, we’re going on 10 weeks now!!), I am happy to say that one of the crafty projects I’ve had my mind on for a while was finally tackled and accomplished.  I wanted to do some hand-lettering and write out the literal translation of her name (Beautiful mermaid of the Edmonds Sea) and here’s the final product:

Framed art for Sirena along with the newest teddy bear that Brianne got her!

Belly shots!

I noticed I wore this same outfit in my Week 20 belly shots, check out how much the belly’s grown since then (she’s grown from a banana to a butternut squash since then…and it shows)!

My little furry girl wanting to get in on some of the belly shot action again this week!

Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained so far: Back down to 7 pounds…we’ll see what the doc says tomorrow!
  • Fun baby developments this week: She’s around 15 inches long and weighs around 2.5 pounds (and she’s going to triple in weight before birth!)  And she is hopefully beginning to settle into the proper birthing position (head down, facing my back).
  • How I’m feeling this week: The back pain is still going strong and by the end of the night I’m pretty uncomfortable.  I’m hoping to schedule a prenatal massage in the coming weeks which may help ease some of the pain but in the meantime I’m still working on moving around as much as possible (and not being sedentary all day) and doing some easy back exercises.  I also started to feel a bruise-like pain at the top of my rib cage on the left side and after doing a little research I think it’s due to my rib cage expanding!  A lot of pregnant women have written about a similar pain on different online forums and I’m going to talk to my doctor at our appointment tomorrow just to make sure it’s nothing more serious than that.
  • Number of days until our babymoon: One!  Kevin and I are so looking forward to a weekend getaway to a little town in Sonoma County where we’ll be staying in a bed and breakfast and just enjoying each other’s company for three uninterrupted days.  ::sigh:: I can’t wait!

A baby story: Week 28

Week 28: Baby’s the size of a Chinese cabbage!

“The size of a Chinese cabbage”??  So random…but not as random as the rutabaga that another one of those pregnancy sites says she’s as big as.  Here’s a picture of a Chinese cabbage if you’re like me and have no real clue as to how big that is…

The most fun and exciting thing we’ve done this week was the Labor & Delivery Tour at the Kaiser hospital in Oakland where we’re going to meet Sirena in just a little over two month’s time!  The tour was pretty surreal to me until we set foot into an actual delivery room…just imaging myself with Kevin and the doula/nurse/doctor there, going through all the excitement and intensity that I’m sure labor/delivery is going to be made it that much more real to me.  After having our questions answered and speaking with the tour guide (who actually taught our Early Pregnancy Class way back in October and had been a doula for many years), we are that much more confident in our decision to have Sirena in Oakland instead of trying to go to another Kaiser hospital in the Bay Area.

Luckily I was allowed to take some photos during the tour so you can pretend you were right there with us!

The hospital’s main lobby

Labor & Delivery/NICU (all on the same floor so if any serious problems were to come up she wouldn’t have to be taken too far, and of course Kevin would go right along with her).

The secured entrance/exit for the Labor & Delivery ward.  We learned that all babies have bracelets that will sound an alarm if they get too close to the door and it will immediately lock-down the entire floor and the elevators–apparently other hospitals have had issues with missing babies?!  Crazy.  Luckily Kaiser Oakland has zero history of this.

One example of the adorable mural art throughout the L & D ward–all these cute little babies popping out of flowers, so cute!

One L & D room where the magic happens!  This is actually the smallest of all of their L & D rooms.

The newborn tray all set up with an itty bitty diaper and an itty bitty hat…I couldn’t resist taking a picture of this!

We learned that it is standard protocol for the baby to be placed immediately on the mom’s chest for mom/baby bonding and I was so happy to hear that.  We also learned that Kaiser expects parents to submit a birth plan (something we were already planning on doing, we were surprised that all parents were expected to do this) and it was confirmed that the docs at Kaiser Oakland stick to the birth plan as closely as possible (something we had heard and it was great to hear another confirmation of this).  It was also confirmed that, as long as Sirena doesn’t have any major health issues, she will never leave our room.  We’ll stay in the L & D room for a couple of hours after she’s born and then move on to the postpartum room for 24-48 hours for a natural birth and up to 4 days for a c-section.

The postpartum room.  Although all have two beds the tour guide says that it is extremely rare for there to be two patients sharing a room so it will most likely be private for us.  And again, Sirena will not leave our side.

The breezeway outside of the postpartum rooms to enjoy some sunshine during our stay.

The view of the Oakland hills outside of the breezeway window…not a bad view I’d say!

The white board where the nurses will keep track of our progress before sending us on our merry way home with our little bundle of joy.

Going on this tour was very exciting for us and I still can’t believe that in around 2.5 months we’re going to be parents!!

Belly shots!

She’s grown quite a bit this week!

Oh yeah, did you notice my haircut?

Thought I’d give a view of the basketball I’ve been growing these past 7 months…

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 8.5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs about 2.5 pounds and is around 14 inches long, her lungs are mature enough that she’d probably survive outside the womb if she was born now (let’s just hope she sits tight for the next 8-12 weeks though!), and she’s plumping up a bit, getting just a wee bit closer to that chubby little baby we’re so excited to meet.
  • How I’m physically feeling:  The back pain has taken it up a notch this week and I’ve been finding it more and more difficult to stand or sit for long periods of time and even have a hard time getting up and out of chairs.  I’m really trying to focus on my deep-breathing and back exercises to make the pain more manageable.
  • Number of days until Brianne & Brian come up for a visit: Two! Those two knuckleheads will be coming up for a quick weekend trip before the little miss arrives and we can’t wait!

A baby story: Week 27

Week 27: Baby’s the size of a cauliflower!

I still can’t believe it’s possible that there’s something the size of a freakin’ cauliflower in my belly…so crazy.

This week I’ve been working with my new student teaching placement in a 7th grade history class and so far, so good!  I think I’m getting to the point in the pregnancy where I’m getting antsy–I can’t wait to get all of the 100s of things on our to-do list checked off and I can’t wait to meet the little miss that has completely preoccupied my thoughts for the past 7 months–so on my second day in the 7th grade class I found myself counting down to the end (May 10th).  The minute I realized what I was doing I knew that it wasn’t a good sign for the next two months in the classroom!  So I had to change my thinking and I’ve been working on enjoying each and every day I’m in this new placement instead of just counting down to the end.  Today I ran the entire 2.5 hour period and it went pretty well–I made a few kids laugh and no one got hurt so I’d say it was a pretty successful day!

I received some not-so-exciting news from the doctor’s office this week: the results of my 3 hour glucose screening came in and although I do not have gestational diabetes I do have glucose intolerance which is a precursor to gestational diabetes.  As a result I have to set up an appointment with a dietician and monitor my sugar intake and my exercise for the duration of the pregnancy.  At first I was pretty bummed about it–I thought I was eating really healthy and exercising a moderate amount but now that I’ve had a few days to digest this news I’m seeing it in a more positive light.  This is a way for me to be more conscious of the decisions I make that directly impact Sirena and her well-being and for that reason I’m totally on-board!  🙂

Yesterday Kevin and I attended Kaiser’s Late Pregnancy Class in Richmond and we learned a ton!  Being in that class reinforced how much I don’t know about childbirth and I am excited to learn a ton more about the process so that I’m as informed and as prepared as possible when the day comes.

We’ve got the hospital tour scheduled for this Saturday morning and we are really looking forward to that!

Last but not least we made another great purchase from Craigslist this week: an Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper!  I’ve done a lot of research on what the best sleeping arrangement is for newborns and what we feel the most comfortable with is co-sleeping for the first few months or so.  It’s important to not confuse co-sleeping with bed-sharing because they’re completely different: co-sleeping is when baby has her own sleeping area but is next to mom during the night.  Here is a great site that addresses the benefits of co-sleeping and here’s the model that we got (used, so we saved a ton of money!)  The best part about it is that it converts to a playard once we’re past the 5 months that she co-sleeps with us so we can utilize the purchase for a much longer time.

Belly shots!

Lola’s booty made an appearance this week…

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 7 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: She weighs about 2 pounds and is around 14.5 inches long, she’s beginning to show brain activity, she’ll take her first peek around this week while her blinking reflex begins, and she probably recognizes my voice!
  • Pregnancy book I’m reading this week: The Birth Book: Everything You Need to Know to Have a Safe and Satisfying Birth by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears, RN
  • (Dis)comforts of pregnancy: My lower back has been hurting pretty consistently towards the end of each day so I’ve been focusing on taking more breaks from the computer, walking more, and doing some easy back exercises.  And the heartburn has hit me with a vengeance this week and I am afraid I’m becoming addicted to TUMS!  Man, it sure is painful.  But if the old wives are right and it means she’ll have a full head of hair then I’m all for sucking it up and dealing with it.  😉
  • Exciting date night in the near-ish future we’ve got planned: The weekend of Kevin’s birthday (in early September) we’ll be enjoying a night on the town to hear Dave Matthews Band in concert!!  We went to their concert way back in 2004 and we rarely go see live music so we are beyond excited for this.  We’re taking volunteers to watch Sirena that night!  😉
  • Days until we’re in the third trimester: One!  Tomorrow marks the start of Week 28 and we’ll officially be in the third trimester…I still cannot believe it.

A baby story: Week 26

Week 26: Baby’s the size of a head of lettuce!

It seems that time is starting to catch up with us–for the first few months time seemed to drag on with all of the worrying and unknowns about the first trimester especially but time is really starting to pick up the pace around here!  We’re 6.5 months along and the days seem to be going by just a wee bit quicker and our to do list seems to be getting longer by the hour.  Lots left to do and we’re just trying to tackle one thing at a time.

We had our prenatal appointment last Friday and my belly was measuring a bit ahead of schedule 27-28 weeks (we’re not sure how accurate the measurement was, but it was interesting nonetheless!)  I was also told that I’ve developed mild anemia so I need to add an iron supplement to my daily prenatal vitamin.  I also did the one hour glucose screening to see if I have developed gestational diabetes and the results came in slightly elevated so today I had to go in for the three hour glucose screening for a more definitive diagnosis.  This involved my fasting since 11:30pm the night before (I was instructed to eat a half sandwich and a glass of [almond] milk), going into the lab at 8am for a pre-test blood drawing, drinking a super sweet orange soda-type drink, then sitting in the lobby for three hours and getting my blood drawn on alternating arms three more times.  It actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be and I got a lot of reading done, but I was pretty darn hungry by the time 11am rolled around.  I should have results tomorrow and we’re hoping for the best!

This week we made some pretty major progress in terms of planning for the birth itself.  Something I’ve wanted since before we were pregnant was to hire a doula and I’m so happy that it’s looking like this will become a reality for me.  What is a doula, you ask?  (I gotta be honest, before a friend was pregnant a couple of years ago I had never heard of such a thing myself…)  So a doula isn’t a doctor or a midwife but instead you could say she is a birth coach.  She will meet with us three times prior to the birth, she will be on call two weeks prior and two weeks after our due date so that she can be present for our labor and birth along with a couple of hours after Sirena’s born, and then she will meet with us at least once in our first week or so of new parenthood to check in on us and help with breastfeeding as well.  The most important part of this for us is her presence during the labor/birth for a few reasons:

  • Being that we live so close to the hospital (8 minute drive) I’d like to labor at home as long as possible so it’ll be great having someone knowledgeable about the process and being able to advise us when exactly to go to the hospital.
  • The hospital we’re delivering at is a teaching facility so we won’t know who the intern doctor that will deliver our baby is until the day of, so having one person who is a “constant” throughout this process will be really great.
  • She will be a great support for Kevin during this process–she can monitor things and let him know when he can go take a break so that he’s not pressured to be by my side every single moment and will have the opportunity to relax a bit (as much as possible during the birth of his first child, of course).
  • She will use massage techniques to make things as comfortable as possible for me during the labor.
  • She will help us come up with a birth plan prior to our due date and support me to stick with it as much as possible.  My hope is to have a non-medicated, natural birth and having someone who will be our liaison with the doctors (“translating” what they’re telling us, reminding me/us what our birth plan is, being a sort of buffer so that I/we don’t feel pressured to do anything we don’t necessarily want to do at that moment) will be so so important for me.
  • Having someone there to tell me that I can do this will help so much during what I know will be such an intense experience.

The biggest concern for us when it comes to hiring a doula is the cost because our insurance does not cover this service.  Because of this we are looking for doulas that offer their services at a low-cost (meaning they are not as experienced as the more expensive ones).  So far we’ve spoken to three and I’m hoping to have met with a couple in person and have made our decision in the next week or so.  There is a ton of information online about doulas if you are interested in reading up on the topic!  Here’s a great website to start with.

And for your viewing pleasure…

Here’s a 10 second video of some serious jello/bounce house action in my belly (and here’s another quick video of Lola interrupting my videotaping, love that girl).

Belly shots!

Feeling like I’ve got a lot more belly to carry around this week

No Lola photo bombs this week!  Here’s what she was doing instead (sleepy head).

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: Same as last week, 5 pounds
  • Number of stores we visited this weekend to start our registries: Two! Although it was a lot of fun it was super exhausting too but we’re excited to have at least gotten started on this major to-do list item. We’re still working on tweaking the lists by asking the opinions of some of our new mama friends so we’ll be better in the know about what’s really necessary (and what’s just fluff).
  • Classes/appointments coming up this week: We’re going to a Late Pregnancy class offered through our health care provider as well as attending a tour of the hospital we’ll be delivering at. Looking forward to it!

A baby story: Week 25

Week 25: Baby’s the size of an eggplant!

This week has been extremely eventful when it comes to babies…Sirena had two future playmates born this week!

Our close friends Kim and Frank welcomed Amelia Belle into the world on Feb 23.  Kim is my first close friend that has had a baby and the birth of Amelia has really made this whole pregnancy thing so much more real for me.  When Kim announced on Facebook (where else??) that she was checking into the hospital, I was just blown away and was so anxious to know what was going on and how mama/baby were doing.  Then when I saw the first photo of Amelia I just couldn’t stop staring at her itty bitty face.  I cannot wait to meet that little (and when I say little, I mean little…she was 6 pounds!) bundle of joy who I am sure will become one of Sirena’s close friends.  Kim wrote me something really sweet and touching, she said, “I can’t WAIT for you to feel what I’m feeling now…my heart is full.”  Believe me, mama Kimmy, I can’t wait either!  🙂

And Kevin’s family friends, Shani and Loren, welcomed their baby girl Sadie into the world on Feb 28…can’t wait to meet that little cutie as well!

This is my last week student teaching with the 6th graders and although it’s bittersweet, I’m definitely looking forward to getting started on and finishing my second placement!  Luckily I have a few day’s break in between this placement and my second but next Thursday I’ll be joining a 7th grade history class at the same school site (so at least I can go check in on my 6th grade knuckleheads over the course of the rest of the semester!)

Some pretty major news for our household came about this week (and no, I’m not referring to the noisy/inconsiderate upstairs neighbors moving out, although that’s a pretty major event in and of itself)…Kevin was offered a permanent position at his work!  He along with a group of guys that was hired around the same time as him have been temporary status and he is finally getting what he deserves with better pay and benefits.  He was the first of all of the temp workers to be approached to be hired permanently and I could not be more proud of him!

My sister Jessie is also experiencing some pretty major life-changing things right now…she’s starting a month-long yoga teacher training in Colorado and will be there for the entire month of March!  I’m going to miss her a ton but I’m so happy and excited for her.  Plus she’s going to be staying with us in April so I’m sure we will more than make up for lost time!

And last but not least…Kevin and I scheduled a babymoon for the end of March!  Our last trip away (other than to Long Beach) was one year ago when we went to Monterey for a night (and before that it was in 2008 when we went to Australia!) and I am so looking forward to getting out of town and spending some time with my future baby daddy before the baby arrives.  We’re going to a cute bed and breakfast up near the Russian River in Sonoma County and I cannot wait!!

Belly shots!

Take 1 (without Lola)

Take 2 (with Lola, yawning)

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: 5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: All five senses are now fully developed.  She may start sucking her thumb in utero around this time…how cute! And she most likely has a distinct sleeping and waking schedule (she is most definitely up and at ’em between 7-10 pm).
  • (Dis)comforts of pregnancy: The past few weeks I’ve been experiencing some back pain that includes a pinched-nerve-feeling in my upper back (most likely from the hours of sitting at the computer for work and school) and also includes some lower back pain that travels down my rear (cute).  I’m trying to focus on taking more walking breaks during the day and doing some exercises to relieve the pain and to keep it from becoming a major issue.
  • Number of classes/appointments we scheduled this week: Seven! This includes Kaiser’s Childbirth Preparation classes (two class meetings), a hospital tour, a Labor and Delivery Team visit, a Late Pregnancy class, plus a Breastfeeding class and a Newborn Care class…phew!
  • Number of days until our next prenatal appointment: One! We have our next appointment tomorrow afternoon.
  • Number of weeks left in the second trimester: Two!  The third trimester starts at 28 weeks…not too far off!

A baby story: Week 24

Week 24: Baby’s the size of a grapefruit!

We’re at the six month mark!  And me and Sirena have kept ourselves mighty busy this week.  I’m in my second-to-last week of student teaching at my first placement (6th grade Ancient World History) and I’ve been in charge of the class just about every day–it’s been a lot of fun albeit pretty stressful with having to plan instruction for three weeks total (we’re on Ancient India).  Also teaching related: this past weekend I went to an amazing conference on “Critical Thinking for Teachers” hosted by The Foundation for Critical Thinking and I learned so, so much.  I was so appreciative of the opportunity given me by the university I work for to participate in this conference on their dime and not only do I now have a ton of good stuff to use in the classroom, I also have a great starting point to work on my own thinking since I (along with many others) have a ton of work to do!  🙂

At the conference I had another “first” in this pregnancy–I had a random stranger ask me if I was expecting.  This is the first time that someone I didn’t know noticed the bulging belly and thought it was appropriate to ask if I was pregnant (definitely a touchy subject for some because I know that some women have been asked if they’re expecting when they’re not…oy!).  And over the weekend we had another “first”–Sirena got her first piece of mail!  It was a book mailed to her directly and the funny thing is, we’re not really sure who it’s from!  So if it was from you, come out of the dark so we can thank you properly.  🙂

She still kicks me all day long (I don’t think I will ever get tired of feeling her kick me!) and I got a good video of her squirming around in there.  I know some people find pregnant bellies weird (I’m kind of one of those) but now that it’s happening to me I’m so intrigued by it all that I can’t help but share the quirkiness with family/friends here.

Here’s a link to a 20-second YouTube video of our little grapefruit alien making herself comfortable.  There are two good shakes of the belly on this video.

Belly shots!

She seems to have gone through a pretty big growth spurt this week as the belly is making some major progress!  When I’m walking around I definitely feel more weight in the front and sometimes have to walk holding the bottom part of my stomach because it seems so heavy.  I can only imagine what it will feel like at 39 weeks like our good friend Kim (and Frank) are at right now!!

Lola ran up to me as I was taking these shots on a self-timer and dropped her ball at my feet then sat down and looked up at me.  That girl pretends to not be photogenic but, as each week’s post proves, she sure is a ham!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: Not sure! Of course the bathroom scale we’ve had since we got married 5.5 years ago decided to go kaput this week so I’m not sure how much we’re weighing at this week.  Until next week…
  • Updates on the baby’s room: It’s still slowly coming along.  Remember the leak we had in the second bedroom a few weeks ago from the big rains we had?  Yeah, well, it’s still not fixed.  The maintenance guy has returned this week and hopefully (fingers crossed!) it will all be taken care of by this weekend.  We did make a big baby purchase a few weeks ago, though, that I can’t wait to unveil when we can actually put it in the baby room: a beautiful dresser/changing table!  And hopefully we’ll have a crib by the end of the weekend as well (thank goodness for craigslist!)
  • The (dis)comforts of pregnancy: The past few weeks I’ve been woken up every other night with some pretty massive leg cramps–not only the typical charlie horse but simultaneously I get a cramp in my calf, in my shin, and in my toes…!  I also seem to still have an actual belly button but each week it gets more and more shallow.  Me and Kevin still can’t imagine what it’s going to be like without an actual belly button when the belly gets big enough!  Here’s hoping I don’t get an outie.  :-/

A baby story: Week 23

Week 23: Baby’s the size of a large mango!

Lots and lots of baby updates this week!  We had our prenatal appointment on Fri, Feb 3 and we learned that, judging by the photos and measurements of our 20 week ultrasound, our estimated due date (EDD) has been pushed back just slightly to June 8 (up until then our EDD was June 6).  She’s a healthy size and weight and everything looks good so far!

We know and love so many people who have birthdays the first week of June (our good friend Brian: June 1, Kevin’s sister Judith & his late great-great-grandma Gladys: June 7, our good friend Erin: June 9, my late Uncle Bobby: June 10) so she’s got a good chance of sharing a birthday with some awesome people!!

This week I was able to get Sirena to cooperate and allow people other than Kevin to feel her kick!  The second person to feel her was my sister Jessie, then, during my 24 hour visit to Long Beach, my mom felt her and then our friend Brianne…so much fun!  Who’s next??

This past week was pretty rough for me in the sleep department and, surprisingly, it had little to do with my growing belly and the large mango I’m carrying around.  Our neighbors upstairs have consistently been extremely loud throughout the day and night and were finally kicked out by our landlord so they’re on their way out and will be gone at the end of February.  At the beginning of last week, however, I had three days straight of major stress over them–on Monday night they woke me up six times total over the course of the evening.  I called and texted the guy upstairs and did receive an apology the following morning but it didn’t keep them from having an argument at 11pm on Tuesday evening (after I had been asleep for an hour) and not only cursing at each other at the top of their lungs but also slamming doors in their apartment.  I grabbed our broom and banged on the ceiling three times which then resulted in one of them stomping on the floor back at me five times.  This was all happening, of course, while Kevin was still at work.  Added to the fact that my sleep was interrupted abruptly, I’m dealing with some intense pregnancy hormones which did not allow me to calm down easily.  I was not only wide awake for the next hour but I was seething mad, unable to just calm myself down (and Sirena was directly affected by it, she was kicking and punching me for 5 minutes straight so I knew she was also anxious and agitated).  The following afternoon, after a less-than-satisfactory phone conversation with the guy upstairs, I found myself at a major turning point….

I read an inspiring Buddhist quote (y’all know I’m Buddhist, right?) that quickly put things in perspective and helped me make a pretty huge realization.  The quote said, in short, that everything in our environment is a reflection of what is going on within–so my environment (the extremely rude people who were being inconsiderate and causing turmoil in my home) would only change if I made an internal change.

I realized that the only person on this planet right now that can protect Sirena is me.  And by allowing myself to be affected so negatively by the people upstairs, I was not only doing harm to myself but also doing harm to her.  I made the determination to not allow those people to occupy my thoughts anymore and it has done wonders for my ability to just let some of the noise slide.  Fortunately, they have been quiet during the middle of the night and I haven’t had any other issues sleeping through the night because of them!

Belly shot!

Lola did that all on her own! What a freakin’ cutie.

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: 2 pounds
  • Total miles traveled: 400 miles! I flew down to LA for work on Friday and was able to squeeze in a few family/friend visits on Saturday, flying back to Oakland on Saturday night. This is my third flight taken while pregnant (all work-related) and I’m hopeful it will be the last!
  • Feelin’ the burn: I’ve had heartburn the past few weeks on-and-off but just this week it has become pretty intense with it flaring up at least 4-5 times a day.  Let’s just say TUMS are my best friend right now.
  • Fun baby developments this week: Her face is fully formed right now and just needs some fat to fill it out, she weighs just a little over a pound, and she’s actively listening in to what Mama is saying as well as the loud noises out in the world (Lola barking, for one).
  • Number of days until we’re at 6 months: Three!  Friday we’re officially at the 6 month mark…crazy!

A baby story: Week 22

Week 22: Baby’s the length of a spaghetti squash!

This little lady continues to be super active and it always brings a smile to my face when I feel her kicking me!  The kicks have become a whole lot more pronounced and I am enjoying every minute of it.  Kevin’s been able to feel her on a more regular basis and I know it’s made him feel a lot more connected to the baby and the pregnancy.

Last night as I was sitting on the couch reading the final book in “The Hunger Games” series (holy cow, these are such good books!), she seemed to be in the middle of an intense kicking session so I decided to look down and see if I could actually see the kicks…and I did!  I was lucky to catch a good one on camera too to show Kevin when he got home from work since he missed all the action…and I can share it here with you too!

Here’s the link to the video on YouTube, the big moment happens around 8 seconds to the left of my belly button (just promise me you won’t make it full screen, haha).  Notice my sidekick Lola in the background?  Of course you did.

I also had another first this week…someone asked me if they could touch my stomach!  It caught me a little off-guard because I had yet to have any strangers touch my stomach but she is the mom of a 1 year old who misses being pregnant so she was excited to touch my belly.  It’s not super hard yet (which I’m sure you noticed in the video) so I’m not sure how it felt to her.  I can only anticipate more people asking (or not asking) to touch my belly which at this moment isn’t too creepy to me.  Ask me again after 50 people have asked (or not asked) to touch my belly…

Belly shot!

My lil’ buddy decide to rejoin the belly shot photo shoot again this week.  I don’t think she likes the beeping of our camera when it’s on a self-timer, that’s why she always runs behind me.  Such a cutie.

Other pregnancy updates:

  • Total weight gained:  0.5 pounds
  • Self-care update: I noticed this week that I really need to take better care of myself in regards to my hectic schedule and lack of sleep.  I’ve been feeling really exhausted every day (and probably not at all related to the pregnancy) and my back and shoulders have been hurting a lot due to the extremely long hours I sit at a desk for work or sit in my car to/from student teaching and work.  Prior to student teaching I would walk to/from the BART station to work so would get a lot of exercise that way, but now that my work and student teaching days are 12 hours long it’s been hard to tear myself away for some exercise.  So, I’ve determined to go for at least a 30 minute walk each day.  I know it’ll be so good for my body and it’ll help relax me too.
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She’s around 11 inches long, weighs just about a pound and she sleeps for 12-14 hours a day (and when she’s not, she’s trying to kick me out of my chair!)
  • Days until our next prenatal appointment: One!  We’ve got an appointment tomorrow to check in with the doctor and hear the little lady’s heartbeat.

A baby story: Week 21

Week 21: Baby’s the length of a carrot!

There hasn’t been too much going on in the baby department this week.  Still lots and lots of kicks from the little miss which are always fun and exciting and Kevin has been feeling her with a lot more strength lately.  There was one morning that I felt a hard lump again on the right side of my abdomen and I knew some part of her (her butt maybe??) was sticking out with full force.  I turned the light on and looked down and…my stomach was completely lopsided!  So creepy (it reminded me of the alien coming out of the guy’s stomach in “Total Recall”) but so awesome at the same time.  Kevin felt the lump again but he got out of seeing my stomach all funky.

So far he’s the only one to feel her, who will be the next lucky one??  😉

In non-baby news: This week is now week three of my new schedule for the spring semester (my life seems to run on the semester system due to my job at a university) and I am just starting to get the hang of it.  I began student teaching this semester to finally earn my CA teaching credential in history–something I started in Fall 2007 at CSU Long Beach and never completed because, at the time, it was not financially possible for me to quit my job and student teach for four months with no pay.  I have been given the amazing opportunity to complete my studies at the university I work for (free 12 unit class? Yes please!) and, in addition to that, to be able to student teach while continuing to work a full-time job.  It is no easy task in the least and although I knew it was going to be rough, I guess I didn’t think it might be this rough.

Monday through Friday my days look something like this: Wake up at 6, leave at 7:30, student teaching from 8-11:30, working from 12-7, (ideally) asleep by 10, repeat.

Last week I was sick in addition to this crazy schedule which added a whole other dimension to it (I can’t take any medicine while pregnant so it just lingered on).  I’m the kind of person that pushes through being sick, though, so I didn’t let it get me down.  But this week I’m starting to feel the effects of the extremely long days with very little rest and a rough time sleeping each night.

The up-side is that my first student teaching placement is at a middle school in Alameda with an awesome 6th grade history teacher.  I’ve been enjoying getting to the know the students by working with them in small groups the past few weeks and I’m looking forward to my first two lessons in front of the class next week.  Over the course of the next few weeks I’ll end up running the show for the entire 2.5 hour class period a total of 9 times, the final week I’m there I’ll be running the show the entire week!  My second placement I’m hoping will be in Oakland somewhere, we’re still working on securing a school site for me.

More than anything, spending my mornings with a group of goofy 12-year-olds just reinforces my strong desire to become a teacher and work with this age group (6th-8th grade).  I cannot wait until I have my own classroom and am able to build a rapport with my students.  But until then (hopefully Fall 2013!) I’m thoroughly enjoying being a student teacher with a great veteran teacher and learning all I can about the profession.

Belly shot!

No Lola photo bomb this time ’round!  She was busy snoozing away after our visit to the park to play some Frisbee…

She sure was camera shy this week!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: 0 pounds!  But the belly keeps on a-growin’ and the girl keeps on a-kickin’ so I’m not too worried about it.
  • Progress on the baby’s room made this week: None…but not by choice!  We finally had the room just about organized, cleared out with crap we want to donate, and ready for some baby furniture but then the heavy rains happened this past weekend and we had a major leak through the wall which soaked part of the carpet.  So we’re back to having the room look like it’s in shambles and I’m anxiously waiting for the problem to be fixed so we can get to work on some projects.
  • Fun baby developments: She’s about 10.5 inches long (whoa!) and weighs a whopping 3/4 of a pound.  Her taste buds are working (hope she likes falafel and fresh orange juice, two things I’ve been really into lately [thanks mama for the juicer for Christmas!]) and she’s already got around 6 million eggs in her womb (crazy!).
  • Days until our next prenatal appointment: 8!

A baby story: Week 20

Week 20: Baby’s the length of a banana!

It’s official…we’re half way there!  Now that we’ve hit the 20 week milestone I feel like I can breathe a huge sigh of relief since there’s not as much to worry about now that we’re at this point.  And we’ve got so much to look forward to in the coming 4-5 months too which makes it that much better!

We had our big 20 week ultrasound on Tuesday and although it didn’t start off the way I had imagined, it sure ended exactly the way I had hoped…

I was sososo excited in the months and weeks leading up to the ultrasound but then that morning, I started getting nervous.  I was nervous that she was going to turn out to be a he.  I mean, please don’t get me wrong…I would love nothing more than having a son and would have been ecstatic if, at our 13 week ultrasound, we were told we were having a boy…but after 7 weeks of excitement over the news we were having a girl, I knew I’d be at least a little disappointed and I did not want to feel that way.  So that morning I was torn between being overly excited and nervous at the same time.

Kevin’s mom and sister Judith drove up over the weekend to spend a little time with us and to be present at the ultrasound which was a lot of fun.  We entered the room with the ultrasound tech and the first thing she said, without introducing herself or anything, was, “Well, it’s going to be little crowded in here”–I could tell from the tone of her voice that she wasn’t happy we were +2 visitors but I had called the office to confirm they were allowed so figured it was just her own issue.  Then she started asking me all of these basic questions that were already in my medical record and it seemed a little ridiculous and unnecessary to have to recall all of that information.  Then she got started on the ultrasound and we couldn’t believe that she wasn’t narrating anything she was seeing.  She kept looking at things and typing away and although we could figure out what some of her codes meant, it was weird that she wasn’t telling us exactly what it was she was seeing.  At one point Judith asked if what we were looking at was something and the woman just said, “No, it’s such-and-such.”  She seemed cold and uninterested in making it any sort of special experience for us and I was not happy in the least (comparing it with our amazing ultrasound tech at our 13 week appointment).  The one glimmer of humanness we saw from her was when she commented on the baby’s heart and said how “pretty” it was.

I tried to make the best of it, though, and we saw a really cool view of the baby’s legs all stretched out and super long and lean (at least we thought so, not sure if they’re really long compared to other fetuses at this age) and it was so cool feeling the baby move and kick as I saw it happening at the same time on the screen…so amazing!

Towards the end she asked if we wanted to know the gender so she took a look between the legs but told us that she couldn’t confirm 100% if it was a girl or a boy.  She said it looked more like a girl but couldn’t say for sure.

I felt so deflated at that point.  I did not want to leave that appointment feeling less certain about the gender than we did at our 13 week appointment, it just didn’t seem right!  But after getting a couple of photo print-outs and after she told us that was it, I didn’t feel like we could do anything more at that point.

Pretty little profile

Baby got back! See the ear at the top of the head on the right?

She said she had to go talk to the radiologist to show them her findings and would be back shortly.  The four of us were left in the room and we were debriefing a bit…overall it was so great being able to experience the ultrasound with the family but Kevin agreed with me that the tech wasn’t nearly as good as the other one we met with and he was a bit disappointed with the experience as well.

When she came back she said that she forgot to do one thing so needed me to lie down on the table again to complete the ultrasound.  Another brief opportunity to see the baby?  Of course!!  After she finished her task I asked her if we could get a printout of the long legs we saw earlier.  She was trying to see if she could print out a previously saved picture but it ended up being a video she saved so she couldn’t print it out and had to go back in to see if she could get a good shot of the legs for us.  It was at that point that the baby decided to sit at the perfect angle for the tech to see clearly what the gender was and…it’s definitely a girl!!

The only time I will ever post a photo such as this of our child on the internet! Come to think of it, I’ll probably end up taking this photo down in a week or so, haha!

We were sososo excited to hear (and see!) the confirmation..exactly what we were hoping for!

One last piece of fun news this week before I end this ridiculously long post…Sirena’s been kicking me like crazy all week!  I feel her every few hours for about 10 minutes or so at a time.  She just moves around in there so much and it always makes me smile.  And the BEST part of it all…Kevin finally felt her move!!  Tuesday night I woke up when he got into bed after work and I was feeling the baby move so, for the thousandth time, I put his hand on my stomach in hopes that he’d feel her.  I’d ask him, “Did you feel that?” and he’d say “No”, then, “Did you feel that??” and again he’d say “No” but finally he felt a good jab!  Last night he felt her again and it just warms my heart beyond belief knowing that he can finally start feeling his little girl move.  🙂

Belly shot!

Lola was right in the middle of the mix with this shoot! Can’t blame her, she’s so darn cute and I’m sure she knew the blogging world wanted to see her, it’s been too long.

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained: 0 pounds (again)!  I’m back down to my pre-pregnancy weight which is strange.  One of the pregnancy websites I follow said for this week that “you should have gained around 10 pounds by now”…umm, unless your name is Lisa?  I knew I wouldn’t gain too much weight in the beginning since I’m not super skinny or anything, but now it seems a little ridiculous being half way there with little to no weight gain.  Let’s see how we do next week…