Monthly Archives: February 2012

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.

Day trip to Albany Bulb

Kevin, Lola and I took advantage of a clear, warm, sunny day to make a day trip to the Albany Bulb (just northwest of Berkeley, right on the bay).  It’s a former landfill (go figure) which is now home to an awesome dog beach, some nice walking trails, and lots of awesome graffiti art to look at.

Kevin and Lola’s favorite past time: playing fetch in the open water

Lola swimming in the bay (see the kayaker and the city skyline in the background?)

Soaking wet dog

This was a memorial of Miss Daisy painted on a rock overlooking the dog beach.  So sweet!

After Lola’s dip in the bay, we took a 30 minute walk to check out the graffiti art and the views of the city skyline.

Me, Lola and the baby bump

Kevin always likes climbing down on unstable rocks/ledges…

…and Lola always follows after him!

Follow the leader

See the giant deli sandwich to the right?  And notice all of the random shoes hanging from the branches?

Lola’s new apartment

Kevin wondering if this note “Not a white man’s b****” was meant for him.

The trails went on and on but with my pregnant self I could only go so far before we had to turn back.  There is so much to explore here!