Thursday, September 25, 2008

32 Weeks

Only 55 days to go!  

We had our 3rd and final birthing class on Saturday.  I was very happy to find that the life size illustrations were there and I got to take a picture with one of them.  We also got a pic of us with our "baby doll" and a pic of Tony's first attempt at swaddling.  I thought it was very cute that he first tried to put the blanket down like a square instead of a diamond.  I'm thinking it might be a good idea for us to go to the 'baby basics' class at Babies R Us on Oct 1.  I think I've got a good idea of how to do stuff and I'm sure it's something that comes naturally, but I'd rather be overly prepared in that department.  So, about the birthing class, 
Marjorie (the instructor) said somewhere in there that contractions shouldn't hurt, I was like, umm pretty sure a lot of women would disagree with you on that one!  I asked about being given a hand breast pump at the hospital and she said they definitely do not do that, so I asked Kim about it and she said it was the lactation consultant that gave her one in the hospital.  I'll have to make sure to see her after I give birth.  

This leads me to another interesting/long story about Babies R Us.  So, I was going to BRU last Friday to use a 15% off any one item coupon which I was going to buy the breast pump with.  First of all it's the most expensive item on the registry and I'm thinking people aren't naturally inclined to buy a breast pump for someone else. Well after spending WAY TOO LONG waffling in BRU with Kim and Haley, I decided that if I get a hand one in the hospital then I can try that out and see if I'll need the electric one and just buy it later one with another 15% off coupon. Ok so that was settled, I wasn't buying it.  Then my mom had given me this ticket for when you start your registry at BRU you turn in the ticket and they give you a coupon for $5 off a purchase of $25, so I give it to the lady who works there, she comes back later and says that they don't have that deal anymore but instead she can give me a 20% off any one item coupon (which is a way better deal anyway).  Then I had a huge conundrum.  The other part of the issue was that I found a great glider/recliner and ottoman that I could order in a non-microfiber chocolate brown fabric, but it was $400 for the chair and $180 for the ottoman, and the coupons weren't good on 'special orders' so I asked if that would qualify as a 'special order'.  The lady said yes and that solved that problem, there's no way I'm spending that much money on a chair!  I ended up deciding the use the 20% off coupon on the travel system (which is what we needed most and also really expensive) and getting the play yard (also expensive and item we needed second most) with the 15% off coupon.  Ok, so that's all well and good and I go to check out and the girl says that if she puts the travel system and the play yard on the same receipt then the 20% will come off the most expensive item (travel system, which was the plan) and then the 15% will come off the most expensive item (still the travel system since it costs more, even with 20% off, than the play yard).  So I thought, well yeh, do that cuz then I'm saving more money than I would otherwise, which is what she did, although I'm fairly certain they're not supposed to use 2 coupons on one item. Then when I get home, I told Tony what I got (last he heard I was going to get the breast pump) and he was definitely upset.  I think the main issue was that he wanted me to wait to buy anything until after the baby shower.  Well so since I didn't actually get any money off on the play yard, we ended up returning that the next day and putting it back on the registry and all is well again.  

While at BRU, I also got his wooden pink/sparkly elephant to hang above the closet in the nursery and by some MIRACLE the smallest JoAnn fabric on earth (up on Roger and Oracle) happened to have 2 of the white corner shelves just sitting in some random spot, which I found and bought.  :)  I still have to hang those up, but I plan on doing that tomorrow.  The other thing is that I found out (due to baby sitting Haley) is that my swing needs new batteries.  I accidentally left the old ones in there since I bought it about 2 years ago, ha.  

Ok so I never mentioned this before because I didn't think it was relevant since it's really common among the preggers, but here goes.  So I'm been leaking pee for about 5 months.  It's basically like a dribble throughout each day and doesn't bother me, although, I'm sorry if I smell haha.  Then I read in my pregnancy book that leaking pee (called stress incontinence) is totally normal during pregnancy, but that you should mention it to your OB anyway because it could be a sign of a UTI.  Well it's a little late since it's been going on so long, but I'm going to have the OB run a urine culture when I see her on Tuesday anyway.  

I had a bit of an issue yesterday.  I really didn't want to take any of the percocet that my OB prescribed, but after about 8 months of not getting a migraine, I got one yesterday.  So I took a half of a pill and it definitely helped, didn't make all the pain go away but good enough, and the best part is it didn't make me nauseous!  At MOPS last week a woman was talking about Post Partum Depression and she said something that I found really enlightening.  She said that God created medication for a reason, because sometimes we need a little help and it is ok to use medication for a good purpose and in a good way.  So even though I didn't want to take the meds, I guess that under the right circumstances, it is OK to get a little help.  

Our next ultrasound is on Wed, so next time I'll be posting new U/S pics!  I'm so excited to see my baby again!  :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

31 Weeks

Only 62 days left until 40 weeks!  I'm filled with so much excitement about meeting my little girl, I can barely stand it!  I'm feeling much more confident about my baby care skills and the ability to still be able to get things done with a baby after babysitting Haley (my friend Kim's baby) this week.  Granted, I only watched her from 6:30am - 4:30pm, so I didn't experience the 'overnight' aspect of mothering, but I think I got a pretty good taste for what it will be like with Embry.  On Tuesday I was brave and took Haley with me to MOPS and then straight to my OB appointment and it all went really well.  She was awake for half of MOPS and then slept through the rest of our trip, so it was easy as can be.  I'm still a little overwhelmed by the thought of having more than one young child at once, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.  :) 

We had our 2nd birthing class on Saturday.  The 'lesbian' couple wasn't there, so maybe she had her baby or maybe she just didn't care for the class.  The girl that I found annoying continued to annoy me...just asking a bunch of questions and such.  The life-size laminated illustrations were not there, which was a tad disappointing, and Marjorie (the instructor) didn't make any grunting noises this time, but we did get a tour of the women's center.  I thought it was a lot of fun and rather informative.  The best part was standing outside of the nursery windows for about 5 minutes watching a new baby discover the world.  When we first walked up and saw the baby, I leaned over to Tony and said something I've said a million times before..."I want one!"  Then it hit me that I don't have to pray and wish and hope for that anymore because I will have one.  You can imagine that this sent me to the verge of tears, but it is still awe inspiring to me that I am going to have a baby.  

I had an OB appt on Tuesday which was fairly standard stuff.  I asked the nurse why they never take my temperature and told her that I normally run a slight fever because of lupus and she said that they don't check anyone's temperatures unless they're sick...well umm, isn't that what I just said?  Whatever, I guess if they're not at all concerned then I shouldn't be either right?  Anyhow, when the nurse weighed me I saw that I hadn't gained any weight since the last appt (only 2 weeks ago, but at the rate my belly is growing I figured I would have gained some)  and then when the Dr comes in she asks how I'm doing etc then goes "you haven't gained any weight, are you eating?"  I had to laugh, that's just so hilarious to me because I've never eaten more my entire life than I'm eating right now.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I'm always in the mood to eat.  In fact, whenever someone says 'I'm not hungry'  I say 'being hungry is not a prerequisite for eating!'  Anyhow, I told her that yes I'm eating and eating probably more than I should be.  So she measured my stomach and said I'm measuring right on target still, so the lack of weight gain is nothing to be worried about, not that I was concerned anyway.  :)  She said that my gestation diabetes test result was 95 and it needed to be under 180, so definitely don't have GD.  My bp was still in a good range, like 118/75 or so and the baby's heartbeat was nice and strong.  I was telling her about my back pain, how it's getting worse, mostly on the right side under my shoulder blade and down through my sciatica and I said I was taking quite a bit of tylenol, which she said was fine, but it doesn't really work either.  Then she did something doctors NEVER do and offerred to write me a prescription for percocet for when the pain is really bad.  I was like, um, yes please!  Not because I like pain pills (I actually hate them, most of them make me sick) but because when you're hurting like that, it's nice to have an option of taking something that will actually work.  As a side comment, if you ever ask a dr for pain medication, just wait for 3 seconds and watch them look at you like you're a drug addict/'s great fun.  Sooo, she said if I don't use all of them, then they will be good for after I give birth.  Good point.  I asked her if there was any sort of schedule for when the 5 different doctors are on duty for deliveries and she said that it varies, that they each are on call different days each week.  She wanted me to get another ultrasound around 32 weeks (just to keep checking the baby's growth which is normal thus far) and I got a call today that it is scheduled for Oct 1 at 7:15 am.  Yes that's early, but this way Tony won't have to miss any work to be there and *bonus* McDonalds breakfast.  :)  

I finally got the nursery all cleaned up and everything in order (after a horribly horrible ceiling fan installation, ask if you want details, it's a story in itself)  and I took pictures!  My mom has offered to make a  wall shelf to go above the changing table which will hold all of Embry's stuffed animals, so at the moment that wall looks a little bare.  I'm also wavering on whether or not to get a glider/recliner (it HAS to recline) for the corner that has the corner shelves.  The issue is that they are sooo expensive and I'd get one used, but normally the used ones don't recline (I think it might be a new feature).  Also, most of them come in microfiber, but I hate microfiber and then I'd want it in dark brown, but that's not as easy to find as one would think.  I've heard that it's a very good idea to have a chair/rocker in the nursery, so I feel inclined to get one, but there are a couple of other things that we need that are more important (ie travel system, play yard, bottles, high chair, breast pump, etc).  Anyhow, the pictures are in this facebook album.

In other news, I realized that my boppy is FANTASTIC for lumbar back support, so woohoo! 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

30 Weeks

Only 69 days to go!  

We went to our first birthing class last Saturday at TMC.  I thought we were going to be late, but we were the 2nd couple to arrive out of 9 couples total.  We got to talk to 2 other couples more extensively than the others and one of the women I was talking to has rhuematoid arthritis, so we got to discuss our concerns regarding labor, delivery, and autoimmune disorders.  Also both of these women I spoke with were having their baby showers after the birthing class that day, which made me wonder if either they were having theirs early or I will be having mine a little on the late side.  I'll be 36 weeks at the time of the baby shower, so I'd still have a week until full term, I think we're safe.  The instructor was very nice, a little eccentric, but nice.  She had a bunch of life size illustrations of what's going on from neck to thigh inside of a woman's body while she's pregnant.  Everytime she would pick up a new one she would hold it up to her body so it looked like we were seeing her insides, it was pretty funny.  If we get there early this week I'm going to have Tony take a picture of me holding one up to myself.  :)  Our first activity was introducing ourselves, saying our EDD, and whether we're having a boy or a girl.  Surprisingly there were only 2 couples having boys and almost everyone was due around mid November.  There was one girl who was already 34 weeks (her tummy was a lot bigger than the rest of ours) and she was there with another girl who I assumed was a friend or sister until they introduced themselves and said "Our estimated due date is..."  After that I was pretty sure it was a lesbian couple, but definitely not going to ask about that one!  Then there was this one girl that was annoying me, but I think that was more my issue than hers.  I think it was because she seemed to be purposely letting everyone know through her actions that she needed help, which if you know me, is something I avoid at all costs.  Although this could have just been my interpretion and been completely wrong, so who knows, but it also didn't help that she kept asking a million questions.  Then we broke into groups and one group wrote the joys of pregnancy, one wrote the gripes of pregnancy, and the one I was in wrote the concerns/fears of pregnancy.  My number one concern was PAIN haha and it seemed that all my other concerns kind of revolved around that.  We found out that the early stage of labor (dilating from 0-3 centimeters) generally takes between 12-16 hours and  you can't go to the hospital until your contractions are 5 minutes apart or less for 1 hour or more.  The thing I didn't know before was what each station is (like -5 through +5, I think).  Tony learned how to time contractions and what to do while I'm having contractions (basically massage my back, woohoo!).  Then we watched a graphic video of different women giving birth naturally.  I was a little surprised that some of the couples there were completely grossed out by the video, I wonder how they'll react when it's happening to them or their wives.  All in all it was a good experience, but 9am is darn early for me to be out and about!  I felt really bad because one of the guys there works 3rd shift so he had just gotten off work and gone to the class and he was literally falling asleep and his wife had to keep poking him, hehe.  This Saturday we get to take a tour of the maternity ward and women's center which is exciting.  I've already seen most of it (because I was there for my friend Jessica's delivery) but Tony hasn't seen much of it.  I'm going to have to write a list of things to ask regarding the hospital, such as, is there internet access in the rooms or out in the waiting area?  Are we allowed to take pictures the entire time except for just the part where the baby is coming out?  Are there any outlets that we are allowed to plug into?  Do I need to give them a copy of my living will beforehand?  Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the best part of the class!  The instructor had this visual aid that was funny, yet probably quite informative for the men.  It was a turtleneck sweater with a stuffed baby, placenta, and cloth 'cervix' inside with the neck of the sweater playing the part of the birth canal/vagina.  The funny part was that as she was demonstrating how the baby is born, she would put the sweater right near her pelvis and then start making grunting/pushing noises and she was pushing the baby out with her hands.  I gave 
Tony a few interesting looks as this was going on and it was quite difficult not to laugh out loud!  

In other news, I've been putting stretch mark lotion on my tummy for a while now, but then noticed that on my hips (where I already have stretch marks which are now white cuz they're old) my old stretch marks are expanding upward.  Not a big deal, but I hadn't even thought to put the lotion on my hips too so I've started doing that as well.  I actually think that I'd rather have them on my hips than my tummy, but I'm guessing before this is all said and done, I'll have them in both places.  One piece swimming suits, here I come!  :)  

After discussing with numerous people, I'm fairly certain that I am having braxton hicks contractions.  My stomach is tighter at certain times than it is at other times, which is basically what I've heard BH described as.  I also found out that they might be contributing to my back pain because when the stomach tightens the baby gets pushed into my back (due to her position) which would cause pain...makes sense.  

The nursery is almost complete.  I got 2 of the wall shelves and I think I'm going to get 2 more instead of 1 more (which was the original plan) to make it even on both sides of the window.  I have yet to hang up the 2 that I did get, but I plan to get that done today.  Then my mom finished the curtains for the window which look absolutely amazing!  Everytime I open the door I'm stunned at how beatiful they are and they definitely give the nursery a finished look.  Thanks mom and next time I won't buy silk!  I also rearranged the room and I like how the furniture looks much better now and I framed 2 of Embry's newest ultrasound pics and a pic of me and Tony with my belly showing.  Right now the electrician is here wiring the nursery and office for ceiling fans, so this weekend Tony and I will be assembling the fans and mounting them as well as installing the new fan control switch plates.  Wish us luck! 

So for the pictures I was going to start adding in the straight on front shot every week, but then I took one halfway off to the side last night and could not believe how huge my stomach looks!  So of course I had to add in that one at the end too.  
I'm pregnant!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

29 Week Ultrasound

I was going to wait until my normal posting day of Thursday to post these pictures, but I guess I just couldn't hold back that long! The ultrasound went really well. My parents got to come along and they thought it was rather neat. Embry was opening and closing her mouth a lot, which was particularly cute. The ultrasound tech also showed us how you could see some hair on the back of Embry's head when looking at the top of her head, that was pretty neat, I didn't think you could see that on a 2D ultrasound. We found out that she's definitely a girl, which you can see in one of the photos below and all of her measurements were great! Her estimated weight is currently at 3lbs 1oz, she's head down and facing my left side, and my placenta is still in the same spot...soo all is well!

Embry's profile
(head on right, torso on left)

Embry looking straight at the "camera"
A very clear shot of the girl parts
Bottom of the right foot
Bottom of the left foot
Not exactly sure what this is of,
if anyone might know, please inform me :)
Embry's profile, close up
A good profile pic a little farther away

Thursday, September 4, 2008

29 Weeks

Side note to preface my blog postings:  II'm writing this blog for a couple of reasons, but the main one would be that I want to document my pregnancy.  I want to have a place to look back and reflect on exactly how I ended up conceiving and exactly when and what happened during my pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  I want to remember everything and I know if I don't write it down, then I won't be able to remember all the details or how I felt as it was going on.  Everything doesn't just include the pretty, fun, or exciting things (of which there are so many, I am overwhelmed) but it also includes all the rest of what it is to be pregnant.  It may be what some would consider gross or personal, but to me, it's just what pregnancy entails and I can't feel ashamed of anything that would come along with the miracle that is my little Embry.  As I've said before, I would go through absolutely anything for my daughter and I'm so blessed to even be in the position to carry and nourish her for these short 9 months, therefore, nothing in this blog is meant to be a complaint.  Some of the things that go along with pregnancy are obviously not things that anyone would enjoy, but I wouldn't trade any of it for the world because all this will lead to a beautiful child.   

Another reason for the blog is to give others who may become pregnant a way to see what it is really like being pregnant.  Of course, each pregnancy is different, but before I became pregnant I sought out all the details because I'm a planner.  I'm sure there are many other women like myself who want to know EVERYTHING about being pregnant, especially the things that are not "OK" to talk about in our society.  So, that's what I write about, all the things that happen because if I were on the outside, I'd want to know.  Most importantly, I want there to be a resource for other women who have Lupus to see the ins and outs of a 'lupus pregnancy' because there is literally nothing written about what it is like to be pregnant with lupus.  I'd like to do my part to help out other women in my position and to make sure they know that it is very possible for a woman with lupus to have a normal or even a good pregnancy.  

In closing, (and I'm not sure why I have to say this, because I think it's a given) I, in no way, want you to read my blog if you don't like it.  I mean, I wouldn't want to read something that made me upset or hurt and I wouldn't want anyone else to do that either.  I won't censor myself because it is my blog.  It is my real thoughts and my real feelings and what is really going on concerning this pregnancy, I feel that if I were to censor what I say, then I would no longer be true to myself and therefore lying (which if you know me, is something I despise).  So I will continue to write about anything and everything that I feel is relevant and my hope is that you may find some humor or learn something or just be mildly entertained.  This is me and I'm proud that I can be so honest without feeling shame or guilt because of it.  

Now, for the real blog post:  Looks like I'm now 29 weeks pregnant, each week seems to pass faster than the one before, so I'm sure I'll have a cute little baby girl before I know it!  I'm so excited to see her and hold her in my arms and I can't wait until my ultrasound tomorrow either!  My parents are coming into town too to come along to the appointment since they haven't gotten to see an ultrasound as it's happening (just the print outs afterwards).  So basically, there is a lot to be excited about.  I had my gestational diabetes test on Friday, which went fine.  The orange stuff they have you drink tastes EXACTLY like an orange popsicle after it has melted into liquid.  I'm not sure why some would think that's not tasty, unless of course, you don't like orange popsicles to begin with but I thought it tasted fine.  Luckily, it was cold, cuz if it would have been warm that would have made it a little on the gross side.  When I went to my OB appt on Tues they didn't have the test results back yet, so they said they would call me if it was bad results otherwise I should consider the results "normal" if I don't hear from them.  So far, haven't heard from them, so let's hope this keeps up.  :)

My appt on Tues was rather uneventful.  My bp was around 125/76 which is fine and Embry's heartbeat was really easy to find this time and it was 130 bpm which is also fine.  I like how I can act like myself around my OB and not feel like an idiot.  I find that sometimes when I go to a doctor and I joke around and act like a goof (which is how I normally act) the doc will just look at me with a serious face and I'm like "haha, ok guess that wasn't funny" and then feel like a dork.  My OB is different, I act like normal (normal for me anyhow) and she actually seems to get it.  She gets when I'm joking and she, like me, thinks that blundtness is funny.  Point is, I feel very comfortable around her and I think I might actually feel a tinge of sadness if she's not the one who ends up delivering Embry.  Next OB appt is Sept 16 (since they're every 2 weeks now)...exciting!  Then our birthing class at TMC starts this Saturday which I am soooooo looking forward to!  How can two things that are sooooooo much fun (ultrasound AND birthing class) take place in the same week and I still be expected not to explode with excitement?!

I got the weight stats from the nurse while I was at the appt and here they are...
On 4/9 (6 weeks after conception):  157 lbs 
On 5/7:  151 lbs (according to them, the lowest weight) 
On 9/2:  160 lbs (total weight gain would be 3 lbs by their stats)

Here are my weight tracking stats...
2/28:  160 lbs (date of conception)
Lowest weight:  144 lbs  (-16 lbs)
9/4:  158 lbs (currently -2 lbs total) 

Oh and I read about a girl who was 1 lb under her starting weight when she delivered her baby and her baby was over 7 lbs, so the point is, if you're measuring on target that is what really matters.  I'm measuring right on target thus far, so it's all good!  

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot!  I went to a great place on Tuesday... MOPS.  It stands for Mothers of PreSchoolers and I loved it.  First of all, we did a craft (which is right up my alley), then we played a game (hello, love games), and then we got to meet lots of other women like us who are either pregnant or raising little ones, or both!  Oh and there was food too, which I always enjoy, and they have a place where you can put baby/kid stuff you don't need anymore and others can take what they might need...hi, great idea!  Also, a good friend of mine from Young Marrieds also goes to MOPS and it's always fun to hang out and chat.  We're not in the same discussion group, but we'll definitely make some time to catch up at each meeting.  :)  Oh and we've decided that her 14 month old son (who's cute as a button, I might add) will be the future husband to Embry (who will also be adorable, I mean come on, how could she not be?!)  There are 2 other little boys (also, extremely cute) who are part of the YM group who were in the running until I realized that if Embry chose either of them then my little girl would leave me and move to a different state to be with her man, and well, I just can't allow that to happen!  Sorry, but I'm already too attached to let her go!  :)

I was thinking about my labor and delievery the other day and I came to a conclusion.  The conclusion is this:  at most, it will consist of a couple of days of my life.  Yes, it will no doubt be painful, but it will end eventually and what do a few days matter in the whole scheme of things?  I've been in what I'd call extreme pain many times and it never lasts forever.  Bonus with the pain of L&D is that I get the gift of a baby at the end of it all.  So really, it will be a "better" kind of pain that what I've experienced thus far in life and I don't think I need to feel anxious about that.  There are a million things that could go 'wrong' but I'm assured that God is in control of this situation and whatever is meant to happen is what will happen.  As with everything else in life, it doesn't matter how much I worry about it, the outcome will be the same either way.  It will all be ok...I'm sure of it. 

Update:  I just got in the mail the most AMAZING gift!!!  Tony's aunt Terri made me my very own hospital gown!!!!!  It is the cutest thing I've ever seen, I mean, it's just wonderful!  I keep saying to Tony how great it is and how in awe I am that someone would love me and my little baby enough to go to all that trouble, I really don't think I deserve it, and I am soooo thankful!!!  Not only is it completely adorable, but it fits perfect, and it's got snaps up the back and staps on both sleeves for extra's amazing!  She also made a matching blanket for baby Embry and then 2 hair scrunchies that match as well.  Thank you aunt Terri, it is really greatly appreciated and I will treasure it forever.  :)  

Ok 29 week pics, then pics of my present!