Sunday, March 16, 2014

"Ah, the Waiting Game sucks! Let's play Hungry Hungry Hippos."

At 37 weeks, I began to feel like a ticking time bomb. "This baby could come any time now!" I would think to myself as I frantically finished sewing baby hats, cleaning, or finishing the nursery.

Now I no longer feel like a ticking time bomb. I feel like a bomb that James Bond was successfully able to snip the correct wire and defeat. A big pile of tickingless garbage. I feel like nothing is every going to happen and I will be pregnant forever.

I know that sounds dramatic (I'm only 4 days overdue), but it's true. I think it would help if I was at least having an occasional contraction, but that's not happening.

Last Wednesday, when my doctor inserted a cervical balloon, he explained that when it comes out, that would mean I was dilated at least 3 cm. I had some cramping Wednesday night for a little while and then it went away. On Thursday, I was delighted to have my balloon come out. It meant I was a 3, riiiiiight? I texted my mom, sister, and Jordan to declare that labor was going to happen soon....but then it didn't. Sigh.

On Friday morning, I called my doctor's office to see if by chance I could come in to have my membranes swept. Luckily, he had a cancellation so I was able to be seen that morning. He checked my dilation and declared that even though the balloon came out, I was only at 2 cm. "You have a strong uterus," he said. Uh, thanks? He said that the baby felt low, but needed to move lower. He also said that I was 50% effaced. That's when I started to cry.

My doctor was sweet and explained that he was fine to wait as long as I wanted for labor to start naturally (which has been my preference all along), as long as the baby looks ok. The problem is Jordan's office (which we love) needed to know exactly what dates Jordan needed off for his paternity leave week. Jordan had picked the week after I was due, thinking that the baby would hopefully be here by now. I hate the idea of Jordan taking a whole week off of work only to have the baby not even come then. Also, as mentioned earlier, our baby's head was measuring sort of big, and I am worried that it will keep getting bigger to the point where I'll have to have a c-section. After talking for a while, we decided that if baby boy didn't make his debut by Tuesday, I would be induced. And then I cried again.

All day Friday, Saturday, and today I've been desperately trying ways to coax my body into labor. No far, no such luck. Not even a pity contraction. Jordan and I have unsuccessfully tried to use bribery, demands, and reverse psychology on our baby, but he's not buying it. Actually, I think the baby would be happy to leave based on how wiggly he has been over the past few days, but my body is being incredibly stubborn. I think I just need to plan on Tuesday being the big day.

Still, we would love for him to come on his own, and he feels so ready. Any prayers or good vibrations that could be sent our way would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

40 Weeks- The Final Countdown

The end of the road!
Crossed the finish line!
The end of the journey!'s the baby?

I am now officially 40 weeks, and still very much pregnant. I know this is totally normal, especially for a first pregnancy, but I have to admit I am getting extremely antsy.

Remember how a few weeks ago, I was complaining about everyone assuming I am miserable, as well as declaring that I am in no hurry to have this baby? Well, let me update that status:

While I am not necessarily miserable, I am certainly LESS comfortable than I was 3 weeks ago. My body feels ok, but the worst symptom I have right now is my skin. Not only are my detested stretchmarks getting darker and multiplying, but they ITCH LIKE CRAZY! They are super inflamed and bumpy. I try so hard to not scratch them and to treat them (Luckily I know a super cool derm PA with the sweet hook ups) but they still drive me nuts. Two nights ago, I made the mistake and succumbing to the itch and went to town on them, scratching away. Big mistake. I spent the next two hours trying to find ways to stop the inflamed burning. I tried creams, aloe, blowing air on them, fanning them, witch hazel, and in an act of desperation...diaper rash cream. It was awful! I finally was able to get past the itch, but every night I wake up to it. It sucks.

While we are still terrified of becoming parents, we are now feeling more ready and excited for our baby to come. I've been trying to will him out for the past three days by taking long walks, bounding on my exercise ball, eating pineapple, doing zumba, and sending mental vibes to the kid to set himself free. I don't think I will ever get to the point of using castor oil, though. That sounds worse than being pregnant.

Despite my complaints, there is still some good stuff about my pregnancy. My body does not ache much and I am still able to get out and do things without feeling too winded. Plus, ever since my stretch marks came in, I have given myself permission to temporarily eat what I want (within reason) until the baby comes. Where you are 40 weeks along, I feel it is your right. Ha.

We are hoping to have this baby by Sunday (March 16) because that would be very convenient for Jordan's schedule. Let's see what happens!

And to end, here are what I hope to be my final chalkboard belly shots:

Weird Week

Is it weird that I picture my baby wearing an all white suit, holding a microphone, and belting out Boyz II Men "End of the Road" inside my uterus? Because that's how I see this kid right now.

"Although we've come to the end of the road, still I can't let go."

And I all want to say is "Let go, kid, let go! It's time to come out!"

It's been a very interesting week. Last Friday, I went in for my 39 week appointment.I wasn't dilated at all. My blood pressure was unusually high (140/100). My doctor explained that pre-eclampsia was a possibility. He instructed me to collect all my urine for 24 hours in a weird jug on Saturday, and to turn it in to the hospital on Sunday to have my protein count analyzed. If my protein was too high and my blood pressure remained high, then I would have to be induced that day.

This all freaked me out. I have been trying to avoid induction and pre-eclampsia was a scary thought. I felt like we were running out of time to get everything ready! It was a pretty stressful Saturday, thinking about everything. Luckily, Jordan was as cool as a cucumber about the whole thing. He even took my blood pressure himself on Saturday and told me that it was totally normal.  On Saturday, we decided to have a nice date since there was a chance we would have a kid soon. Because of all the outstanding reviews we heard about it, we saw the Lego Movie. (I was amazed that Jordan agreed without any hesitation. He normally groans when I make him "watch cartoons" with me.) It was really funny. We both laughed out loud quite a few times and it made me excited to play with legos with our boy someday. Then we got some delicious pizza.

Sunday morning came and we went to the hospital for the blood pressure test and urine analysis. My blood pressure was totally normal, and my protein level was just fine. Phew! Glad I worried about it for two days straight! Sheesh.

On Tuesday, I decided to take a walk to try to jiggle this baby out. On my way home, I lost my footing and fell forward. I landed on my hands first, but my belly did hit the ground, too. I was a little shaken, but otherwise ok. I called my doctor's office to report the fall and asked if I needed to do anything. My doctor's nurse said that the protocol was to go to the hospital (maternity triage) and have fetal monitoring done since I was 39 weeks along. I immediately went to the triage unit and felt like an idiot.

Triage nurse: Can I help you?
Me: Yeah, uh....I fell down on the ground and was told to come here...
Nurse: Oh! Are you OK??? Did you land on your stomach?
Me: Kinda?
Nurse: Any cramping? Contractions? Headaches? Discharge? Bleeding?
Nurse: Did you hurt yourself?
Nurse: OK....anything feel wrong? I was just told to come here.

I was hooked to a fetal monitor for about 40 minutes and everything looked fine. Once I got the go ahead, I was able to leave. The next walk I went on, I was extra careful and aware of my footing.

Yesterday, I went in for my 40 week appointment. Once again, I was not dilated at all. D'oh! My doctor explained what the foley cervical balloon is and I agreed to try it out (we have been discussing this balloon for several visits). Basically, it's a medical balloon that they insert into the cervix and then fill with saline. Then it just sits there and the pressure of the balloon helps "ripen" the cervix (ew) to help make it dilate and prepare for delivery. I started having contractions shortly after I got home, but then they went away. We will see if anything exciting happens. Stay tuned...

So that was my week. We are hoping this kid will come soon!


After Jordan proposed to me, we went straight to his parents' house where we would spend the next few days (I was visiting for 4 days during winter break). Jordan took me up to his old bedroom, opened the closet, and took out his old high school hockey jersey. He handed it to me and said, "I always thought it would be hot for my wife to wear my jersey one day."

Yeah, I'm pretty sure he was thinking something a little more like this:

And a little less like this:

Come to mama!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A nonpregnant post- BOOKS!

I know that all I seem to blog about is either pregnancy or baby related. Admittedly, that is the biggest thing going on in my life right now. I officially resigned from my job a few weeks ago, so all I have been doing over the past 2 months has been baby related- showers, registering, shopping, doctor's appointments, nesting, etc....

Still, one nonbaby thing has been taking place in my life- I have become reintroduced to reading. There was once a time in my life when I enjoyed reading, but high school kind of killed that. My language arts teachers had us constantly reading books (which is a good thing), so I lost all desire to read when I was done with homework. College didn't help, either. Reading text book after research article over and over squashed any desire to read for recreation. Once grad school was over, I read a bit more, but not much. Working full time in Tulsa didn't help me. I know for some, reading is a stress reliever, but to me, it's not.

Since moving to Oklahoma City, I have not been working full time and have had much more free time. This has lead to me reading  more than I have read in years. I always like hearing about books that others like to read, so I thought I would write a list of the books I have read in the past year.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), by Mindy Kaling: I really enjoyed this book, but I am a Mindy Kaling fan (she played Kelly on the Office and was one of the writers of the series). It's a part autobiography, part essay book about her journey to success in show business, but she tells it in a very humble, funny way. I actually listened to this book on audio CDs which was read by her, so at times it felt like a girlfriend was telling me funny stories while we sipped smoothies at a Starbucks together.

Dad is Fat, by Jim Gaffigan: Of COURSE I loved this book. I love all things Gaffigan. I was greedy and checked out the audio book AND paper copy at the same time from library so I could enjoy his poorly drawn illustrations and pictures in the book, but hear him read his own words. This book was so funny and so warm. It's always fun to hear a dad talk about how much he loves his kids.

Belly Laughs, by Jenny McCarthy: Ugh. This book was lame. I know, the whole "Jenny McCarthy" thing should have given it away. I checked it out when I JUST found out I was pregnant, so I was excited to enter the club of all things pregnancy. This book is basically just Jenny complaining about how she had the worst pregnancy ever. Every chapter seemed incredibly over-exaggerated.  Plus, I found it interesting that she was practically bragging about all the unhealthy things she did when she was pregnant, but all blame is put on immunizations for her son's autism. I am certainly not saying that her decisions in pregnancy lead to her son's autistic diagnosis, but I think they hold as much of a possibility (if not more) to contributing to it than her son's postpartum shots. Just saying.

The DaVinci Code, by Dan Brown: I admit- I didn't finish this book. I got about two thirds into it and quit. See, I'm not one of those people who can't NOT finish a book. I have no problem quitting a book. I liked the story enough, but it was just not moving fast enough for me, and at one point it was moving into weird territory for me. Jordan and I ended up just watching the movie, so I know how it ends. Good enough for me.

Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin: Jordan and I listened to this audio book (read by the author) on our way to....somewhere. I can't remember. Maybe St. Louis? Anyway, I was expecting this autobiography to be more, y'know, Steve Martiny. But it was surprising more serious. Still, it kept our interest. It is fun to learn about how hard some celebrities have worked to get where they are today. I often think of actors as just being lucky, but this guy worked hard to be successful. Plus, he talks about his first job as a kid at Disneyland, and anything about Disneyland is worth reading. I honestly can't remember if we finished the book or not.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams:  I really wanted to read a book with Jordan, and I thought this one would be a good one since it is somewhat short and funny. We read it together and there were times when we both laughed out loud. It is well written, but it doesn't really end, which annoyed me a little because I knew I probably wouldn't be able to get Jordan to read the next one with me very easily (Jordan was a great sport in reading the book with me, but reading is not his favorite thing ever).

Bringing Up BeBe, by Pamela Drunkerman: I LOVED this book! It is not a parenting book, but more a parenting observation book. The author is an American woman who is married to a British man, and they are raising their children in Paris. She writes about her observation of French parenting vs American/Canadian/English parenting. She is honest about her own American parenting perspectives and how they often clash with the French style. It was a fun book to read (or listened to, this was another book I got both the paper copy and audio of), and I recommend it to any parent of young kids. Even if you don't take any pointers from the French, it was still just fascinating to read.

The Book of Mormon Girl, by Joanna Brooks: I liked this book ok, though I didn't feel the sisterhood of the book that I was expecting. I like Joanna Brook's blog Ask Mormon Girl, and I have enjoyed some of her podcasts, so I was expecting to enjoy the book more than I did. I think part of it is that she and I grew up in two different generations and geographical areas of Mormon culture, so I felt like I really couldn't relate to a lot of her experiences. Many times I would read something and think, "Uh...I was NEVER taught that in Young Women's" or "That's actually not common culture, lady." But some of the chapters I felt were very moving. I gave it a B, I suppose.

Church of Lies, by Flora Jessop: Yikes. This book was intense at times. It is an autobiography of a woman who grew up in a very strict FLDS community and escaped it. Some of the stuff was pretty hard to read. I had to remind myself that this is ONE person's experience, and while I do not think she is lying, I know that not all who are part the FLDS community live like she had. But still- it was very captivating, sad, and also inspirational.

Lost Boy, by Brent W. Jeffs: This is another autobiography about someone who was once part of the FLDS church. I read this one right after Jessop's book, I guess just to compare their stories. Brent Jeffs lived in a different, slightly more liberal FLDS community than Jessop, but his story still had sad moments in it.

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn: Boooo. This book was super lame. I only got about halfway done and that was all I could take. The characters were so unlikeable and annoying. Plus, I listened to this one as an audio book and the reader was KIRBY HEYBOURNE! So the whole time I was picturing Kirby as the character, which was distracting (plus, that man reads soooo slowly!). I ended up just finishing the plot by reading it on wikipedia and I am SO glad I didn't stick out this book, because the story ended up being super stupid, in my opinion.

The One and Only Ivan, by Kathleen Applegate: This chapter book is more for children, but I still liked it. It was very cute. It is based on the true story of a gorilla who lived his whole life in captivity. It is told from the perspective of the gorilla. I read the whole thing in one evening (it is a children's book, afterall). It was sweet.

By the Time You Read This, I'll be Dead, by Julie Anne Peters: This is a young adult book and is pretty somber. It is about a suicidal teenaged girl who has made a final plan to kill herself, and is told through many flashbacks of sad moments in her life. It also focuses on budding friendships that are taking place in her life during this time. It was a quick read, and I was entertained by it.

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Round Things, by Caroline Mackler: Another young adult novel. This story is pretty much a coming of age book. The main character is a teenaged girl going through the awkward phase of being chubby at high school and adjusting to a weird situation in her family. Admittedly, it was fun to read. Though I couldn't really relate to the character in most ways, it DID take me back to high school for a little while.

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion: Ha! I liked this book. It is set in Austrailia and is about a professor who is on the journey to finding a wife. It is made clear in the very beginning of the book that he is most likely has a diagnosis of either Aspergers or high functioning Autism. The book is narrated in the first person by him, which is entertaining. At one point, two characters use the F word like 40 times which gets a little distracting and annoying, but overall I liked this book and even laughed out loud quite a few times.

Wonder, by R.J. Palacio: This book is a great book for kids, and I really liked it as well. It's about a 10 year old boy with severe physical facial defects, and it is told by many narrators in the story. It's one that I definitely want my kid to read when he is in grade school.

12 Years a Slave, by Solomon Northup: I hate violent movies, and since this movie was rated R I knew the violent scenes were going to be too intense for me (I'm a wuss, I know). I decided to read the book instead. This book was ok. It is an autobiography by Solomon, and I really don't like his writing style. He is very articulate, but he is the KING of run-on sentences. Plus, the way he tells his story includes very very little dialogue. I only got about halfway done with his book because the library needed it back, but I wasn't too sad to give it back unfinished.

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood: I just finished this book. Wow, it was captivating. I read it really quickly. It's about a strict religious cult who take over the country in the not too distant future. It is told in the first person by the main character, and she intentionally is vague in parts of the story which drove me CRAZY! But it was still very interesting.

Anyway, that is my list. Reviewing it has reminded me that I prefer to read nonfiction to fiction books, but a few fictional ones snuck in there. I would love to hear any recommendations of other books I can read during late night feedings, or other's opinions of these books.