Monthly Archives: April 2012

A baby story: Week 33

Week 33: Baby’s the size of a honeydew melon!

Things are starting to heat up a little bit around here and I’m not just talking about the weather!  It seems that my body temperature has skyrocketed this week and I find myself getting really hot very quickly…something that is so not typical for me (I’m usually freezing).  We’ve been keeping the window open in our bedroom and I haven’t even been using a blanket at night which, again, is really unheard of.  But I guess having to maintain the temperature of two humans is cause for anyone’s temperature to rise.

This week was a bit of an extension of last week in terms of my mental/emotional/physical limits being tested with my student teaching + work + school schedule.  I also learned an extremely important lesson in an awful way this week–back-up all computer docs in multiple places–I left my flash drive at the school site I’m student teaching at and it’s nowhere to be found.  All of the work I had been preparing for my last two weeks for both student teaching and for school was on there and I was, in a word, devastated.  After a meltdown yesterday I sucked it up and am figuring out how to get these two weeks done and under my belt in the least stressful way possible.  Thank goodness I genuinely enjoy the time I spend in the classroom with those 7th graders, it makes it that much more worthwhile for me!

Today was our 34 week prenatal appointment (if you haven’t noticed, I always post these at the completion of the week I’m talking about, so although this post is for Week 33, I’m 34 weeks now) and things are still looking good!  Her heartbeat is juuuust fine (and cute!), my belly’s measuring 35 weeks (just a wee bit ahead of schedule), my doctor was happy to see some good weight gain since our last appointment, and she thinks Sirena’s in the heads-down position which is fantastic news!  We’ll have more of a confirmation of her positioning in there at our 36 week appointment in two weeks where we’ll get to see the little munchkin one last time via ultrasound…can’t wait!

We’ve made some good progress on the baby’s room this week–namely, we don’t have the crib and the changing table in our living room anymore, hallelujah!  They finally fixed the leak in our second bedroom (yeah, the one that started on Jan 21) and so things are slowly-but-surely coming together…

The dresser/changing table we scored from craigslist with a few items up top

The crib we got from craigslist as well! No mattress to speak of yet and there’s a bunch of junk stored underneath for the next couple of weeks so I only wanted to take a close-up photo of it.  This knitted blanket was given to us by a co-worker, I love the colors!

The crib’s only occupants so far…her stuffed friends collection!  Seahorse from work, 60s-era elephant pillow from antique store, super soft bear on left from Brianne, super cute bear in center from my mom’s boyfriend Steve, and stuffed pup from work…sitting all comfy on the crocheted blanket from Sirena’s late great-grandma Margie.

The baby room’s latest occupant…my sister’s cat Mars!

And last but not least, we have been looking forward to this upcoming weekend for months now…the wonderful ladies in our family are throwing us a baby shower at Kevin’s parent’s house in Long Beach and we are so looking forward to spending time with family and friends and celebrating the bigger-than-life personality that is going to be joining us soon!  In addition to the shower this weekend we are also going to have a maternity photo session with our good friend Beka who went to Redlands with us–I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

Belly shots!

After seeing these photos it became apparent that I am missing out on some serious sleep!  😉

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far:  12 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs around 4.5 pounds and measures approximately 17 inches, she’s keeping her eyes open while awake, and her bones are hardening.
  • Number of days until Long Beach: One!  We’ll be arriving early morning on Friday and staying through Sunday midday…can’t wait!

A baby story: Week 32

Week 32: Baby’s the size of a jicama!

Okay, what the heck does a jicama look like, anyways?  Here’s a photo of one if you’re like me and have no clue.  I swear, some weeks these “How big is your baby?” posts on different pregnancy websites are so random.

We’ve hit a major milestone this week…we’re at the 8 month mark!  Only 1.5-2 more months to go!

This week the belly has been growing quite a bit–each day it seems to get bigger and heavier.  More and more when I walk for long distances I feel I need to put my hand underneath my belly to hold it up a bit.  I also have slowed waaay down with my walking speed.  I’m a pretty fast walker (living in SF and riding the bus and BART will do that to you!) and so I’ve had to remind myself to slow it down because when I don’t, I feel a tightness in my lower abdomen that does the job of reminding me to slow it down.

The wee one has made her presence very well known this week–her kicks and somersaults have turned to full on jabs and I like to think of them as her way of reminding me that she’s in there!  There are times, when I’m sitting down mostly, that her moves are a bit unsettling and I have to adjust myself or stretch out my upper body to give her more room in there.  She’ll also stick out some part of her body (I’m assuming her little behind) and just leave it jutting out and I rub my belly in that spot and she keeps it right there so I like to think that she enjoys her little daily booty massages.  Like mother, like daughter?  Hahah.

Here are a couple of videos of her seriously shaking my belly around–video one (only 3 seconds long–I started taping in the middle of a big one!) and video two (that’s my sis Jessie laughing in the background). She’s most active mid-morning (when I’m student teaching, maybe she likes the presence of crazy, hormonal, pre-teens as much as I do?) and after 8pm.

I kind of hit my mental limit this past week with work and school–I’m feeling more and more exhausted as the days go by and this schedule of mine is hard to keep up this late in the pregnancy.  But I just keep telling myself that I only have three more weeks left of student teaching + working full-time after this week and then it’ll all be downhill from there!  The to-do list we’ve got for baby-related things grows by the day and doesn’t seem to shrink at all but I’m hopeful that once May 10 passes (my last day with the 7th graders) I’ll be able to tackle more of those baby to-do’s.

Lastly, we had our first prenatal meeting with our doula, Lauraina, this week.  She helped us go through our birth plan and we’ve got a pretty good foundation.  And she also did some neat exercises with me to help mentally and emotionally prepare for contractions.  She set a timer for one minute and had us sit there, just to see how long a minute is (which is how long most contractions are).  Then she set the timer again for one minute and told me to focus on and be conscious of my breathing.  The third time she set the timer she had me hold a handful of ice in one hand for the entire minute–afterwards she asked me how the experience was and what I thought about during that time and I told her it was definitely uncomfortable but I decided to start counting down from 30 seconds at some point during the minute and that countdown helped me focus away from the discomfort.  The fourth time she set the timer she had me hold a handful of ice in my other hand and I did the same thing except this time I went a little longer and started my mental countdown at 20 seconds.  She suggests I do this regularly to make it second nature to me to know just how long a minute is and to learn to focus my attention on other things instead of the discomfort/pain.  We’re working on scheduling our second prenatal meeting for May where my sister Jessie will join us–she’s going to be present for the birth as well so it’ll be good for all four of us to meet and talk about the big day!  We’re also working on scheduling my prenatal massage (ahhhhh) which I cannot wait for.

Belly shots!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far:  9.5 pounds (finally seeing some action on the scale!)
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs around 4 pounds and measures around 16 inches long and she’s now got fingernails, toenails and real hair!
  • Number of baby showers we’ve got the next three weekends:  Three!  My boss is throwing me a small one on Saturday, the following weekend we’re going to Long Beach for a shower the wonderful ladies in our family are throwing us, and the following weekend our good friend Carleigh (who is also expecting!) is throwing us a small one with the friends we’ve got up here.  So much love for this baby girl!
  • Number of days until our next prenatal appointment:  Six!  I’ll most likely write the next blog post that night so we’ll hopefully have some fun things to share from that appointment.

A baby story: Week 31

Week 31: Baby’s the size of a pineapple!

This week I’ve been feeling a lot more, well, pregnant.  It’s amazing how it kind of just happened–the belly seems to be a ton heavier and every time I see my reflection in a window or mirror I pass by I am astonished to see how big I’m getting.  But the crazy thing is…I’ve got a ton more growing to do in the next 6-9 weeks!

Not too much has been going on this week other than the first Childbirth Prep class we attended over the weekend at Kaiser.  Four hours of being educated on the birth process didn’t go by fast, to say the least, but it was super informative and it is definitely making us a lot more excited for the big day!  We focused a lot on natural techniques for pain management and the videos we watched were all of natural, unmedicated births which were inspiring to see.  All of the mamas in attendance also got lucky with the hands-on massage techniques practiced by our partners…Kevin was a natural and I know that he will be so great when the time comes for him to put his new skills to use!  🙂

Although Kevin learned a lot from the class, I think the four hour long class took its toll around hour two and he resorted to doodling in the book…see below:

“Don’t look down!”

Okay this is just…freaky.

Belly shots!

Here’s a photo of me at 18 weeks wearing the same shirt but it sure don’t look the same as this week!

Gotta show off my basketball of a daughter…

Lola was anxious to get in on the photo action again this week!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far:  8 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week:  She weighs around 3.5 pounds, measures around 16 inches long, and all five of her senses have fully developed!
  • Number of classes we have this week:  Two!  Tomorrow we’re going to the Breastfeeding class and Saturday is day two of the Childbirth Prep class.

A baby story: Week 30

Week 30: Baby’s the length of a cucumber!

We’ve kept ourselves mighty busy this week, most notably with our babymoon to Sonoma County over the weekend!  But baby’s been making a point of not letting us get too distracted and has made her presence known very well.  In addition to being woken up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and to stretch out my legs due to crazy muscle cramps, I found myself woken up on Monday night by what I believe was my first case of Braxton Hicks contractions!  It felt a lot like menstrual cramps which I’ve been told is common and once I changed positions it stopped so I’m fairly certain that’s what I was experiencing.  It gets me excited thinking about how my body is beginning to prepare for the big day!

She’s also been making her presence known quite well with the frequent case of hiccups she’s been getting!  It’s just a slight movement I feel every few seconds that continues for a couple of minutes so I’m pretty sure that’s what she’s doing in there.  Kevin was actually able to feel the hiccups which was really cool.  And I think she’s gotten herself into the correct position (head down at least) because when she’s got the hiccups I feel the movements in my lower right abdomen.

We had our prenatal appointment last Thursday and things are looking just fine.  We heard her heartbeat again and this time it sounded something like a tiny dog barking!  I guess she’s going to take after her big sister Lola after all, hahah.  I asked our OB/GYN about the rib pain I mentioned in last week’s blog post and she said that it shouldn’t be anything to concern myself about but then over the weekend it started to feel a little worse.  I called the appointment center to make an appointment later this week but the nurse on-call advised that I see a doctor right away and I was seen that afternoon instead (Tuesday).  The doctor is fairly certain it’s not actually my ribs (good news) but he’s not sure what the issue is, although he thinks it might be an inflamed muscle.  He called the perinatologist on duty who advised that I take Motrin (ibuprofen) every 8 hours for two days to see if the pain/inflammation goes away.  And if that doesn’t work then he advised that I go in for x-rays (to rule out a fractured rib which he really doesn’t think it is anyways).  I was in the office when the doctor I was seeing was on the phone with the perinatologist and the doctor had said twice, “Are you sure?  She’s pretty far along and I normally don’t advise ibuprofen/x-rays at this stage,” so when he got off the phone and advised that I do those two things I was hesitant and he definitely noticed that so said that it’s ultimately my decision and to do what I feel most comfortable with.  I talked with Kevin about it that night and after doing some research on the potential harm that can come from a mom taking ibuprofen during the third trimester, I decided to stick it out for a little longer to see if it clears up on its own.  The pain is only bad when I take a deep breath, cough/sneeze, or when I lay on it funny so it doesn’t interfere with the majority of my day, luckily.

In non-baby-related news…we’ve got two new roommates for the month of April!  My sis Jessie is back from her yoga teacher training in Colorado and she and her little boy (Mars, my nephew the kitty!) are staying with us for the month.  Mars and Lola have been doing really well together and we’re pretty confident that they’ll be best of friends by the time they leave.  Also, this week the school I’m student teaching at is on spring break so I’ve gotten a nice little break from my crazy teaching/work schedule.  I’m trying to use this time wisely, though, to plan ahead as much as possible because starting next week and for the next 5 weeks I’ll be taking on a lot more responsibility for the class.  May 10 is my last day with the 7th graders and I’ll be officially done with student teaching at that point…I’m so close!  And lastly, last Friday (March 30) marked my one year anniversary of being pescatarian (think vegetarian that eats seafood)!

Belly shots!

No Lola photo bomb this week!

Other pregnancy updates

  • Total weight gained so far: 7.5 pounds
  • Fun baby developments this week: She’s almost 16.5 inches long and weighs around 3 pounds, her skin is getting smoother and her brain is getting more wrinkly by developing more brain tissue and taking on new functions like temperature regulation, and she’s now strong enough to grasp a finger.
  • Pregnancy books we’re reading this week: I’m reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Kevin’s reading The Birth Partner Handbook
  • Number of days until our first Childbirth Preparation class: One! The next two Saturdays will be spent learning as much as we possibly can about what is going to become the most eventful day of our lives!  🙂

Babymoon in Sonoma

The long-awaited weekend get-away for our babymoon finally arrived!  We left mid-day on Friday and took a nice 1.5 hour drive to Sonoma County for a much needed break and time alone together.  This will most likely be the last time in a long time before we’re able to get away from things for a while so we wanted to take advantage of the alone time as much as possible while we have it!

The weather had been pretty wet the whole week leading up to this weekend and as each day passed the chance of rain in Guerneville (the little town we stayed in) got more and more definite so we prepared ourselves for a rainy weekend.

Heavy clouds on the drive up north

Lots and lots of snoozing cows!

We stayed at a cute little bed and breakfast called Cottages on River Road and had a little studio to spend the weekend in.

The row of cottages surrounded by giant trees

The community fire pit in which they had s’mores every night (except the two nights we were there, of course, due to the weather)

Beautiful gardens

Cute little welcome sign

Adorable resident kitty, Frank

Friday afternoon we relaxed in our studio and then ventured out to the “downtown” area to walk around and get some dinner.

Church & Main Streets just up the block from the Russian River

The river!  Not looking so pretty this time of year but we can imagine how gorgeous it’d be during the summer months.

Obligatory couples shot, proof that we spent the weekend together!

Dinner was pretty damn disappointing, unfortunately.  We found the reviews for Koala’s Fine Food to be intriguing (a burger and sushi joint that had good reviews? We’re all about that!) but the place was, well, just disappointing.  I would definitely not recommend eating there and we were bummed that our first meal was such a disappointment.  I guess after being so spoiled with amazing food in Oakland and San Francisco we were overdue for a sad meal out.  C’est la vie! We then went walking up and down the main drag and ended up at Main Street Station for a beer (for Kevin), a little dessert to share, and some live jazz music to listen to while we digested our funky dinner.

In the middle of the night the rain started pouring pretty hard and all throughout the morning on Saturday it was coming down pretty steadily.  We had breakfast at the River Inn Grill and luckily Guerneville redeemed itself in regards to food.  😉  After a couple of hours back at the hotel we ventured out to Healdsburg for some wine country sight-seeing.  We went to Healdsburg almost exactly two years ago with our friends Mika, Matt, Terri, and Scott for the Wine Road wine barrel tasting weekend and it was nice to be back!

A lone, rundown farmhouse on the way to Healdsburg

Downtown Healdsburg’s Raven Theater…wish we could’ve seen “To Kill a Mockingbird”!

The rain started coming down really hard while we were out and about.  Check out Kevin’s awesome umbrella (not sure if you can tell but there are little cartoon cats all around the edges, haha).

The one store we spent the most time in was an antique shop where we scored a stack of 60s records–both to begin Sirena’s collection (we’ve got a nice set of Disney records such as Mary Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and the Beanstalk) along with a few that I hope to use one day in my 8th grade US History classroom.

Check out this funny horse, you’re supposed to strap it on your leg and allow your kid to ride on your leg, hahah.

A random 1950s City of Long Beach pendant!

We were tempted by the amazing smells coming out of the Bear Republic Brewery so we had a yummy lunch there then decided to ditch Healdsburg and take the long way back to Guerneville–driving down unmarked, winding roads to see where it would lead us!

The sun peaking through the clouds

Beautiful farm land

We visited the Hop Kiln winery (the same one we visited in 2010) but this time it wasn’t for wine tasting…it was to use their facilities (hey, I’m pregnant and I gotta go every 22 minutes 😉 ).

Do you see the mini Hop Kiln on the lake??

My gorgeous baby-daddy-to-be

Beautiful tree + sky

Saturday night was pretty calm, even for me and Kevin’s standards!  I took a nap (third trimester=exhaustion again!) and then we went out for a super late dinner at…I’m kind of embarrassed to say…Safeway!  Hahhaha.  By the time I woke up and we started talking about dinner most of the food joints were already closed in town so our only option was Safeway.  Oh the memories Kevin and I create together! 😉

Sunday morning we ate some continental breakfast at the bed and breakfast and then took our sweet time moseying on home by taking a drive down Highway 1.  We’ve seen a lot of the California coast but never that far north so it was a special treat.

The amazing California coast!

Me and my Kevi

Kevin exploring a cliff looking out onto the mighty Pacific

Belly shot + the ocean!

We had a glorious weekend away together and although it was bittersweet knowing that we wouldn’t have another weekend away just the two of us for a while, we know that as each day passes we’re getting that much closer to meeting our little lady!