Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shower the People You Love With Love

With roughly three weeks to go, the house is basically ready to accommodate a baby. Are we ready though? NOPE! This week we discovered Jeff's paternity leave benefits will not kick in until the week after my due date. This news caused us a lot of anxiety, so I am hoping to hold this guy in for as long as possible. Of course, now that I've said this he'll probably come a week early. That's what they refer to as the Luck of the Irish, and I definitely have it (for those who don't know, Irish people are notoriously NOT lucky). 

My sister-in-law, sisters, and mom hosted a pretty rockin' shower for me. My most regrettable pregnancy brain moment so far was leaving my camera at home during this event. Luckily my mother-in-law was able to capture a few shots from the big event. It was so much fun to see all my friends and family together, and we received some very special gifts.

Look at all those presents!!! It took me an hour and a half to open everything. I think everyone was a little stir crazy by the end.

Caught in the act! Pigging out on pumpkin muffins.

Amazing cupcakes made by my sister-in-law. Brown butter pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel frosting. I'm still thinking about them.
Look at the amazing quilt my friend Stacey made for us! She crafted this gem without even knowing our nursery is whale themed.

Look at all the fun toys he acquired!

More exciting news in the Wirth world: last week I bought and installed our infant car seat all by my lonesome. I kept hearing people refer to this activity with dread, and they would say things like:

"My husband is at home trying to figure out how to install the car seat. I should bring him home a bottle of wine."
"Putting the car seat in wasn't that bad. It only took me 2 hours."

Jeff has been working 2 jobs since September, so I knew I would most likely end up completing this fun-filled activity myself. And guess what...it took me a total of 5 minutes. As my talents do not include brute strength, the only shaky part was tightening the strap to pull down the base. But being the clever girl I am, I just sat my pregnant behind on the base, pulled the strap, and VOILA! Obviously thinking I did something wrong - because this activity was way easier than others made it out to be - I checked a YouTube video and discovered that it really isn't that complicated (the video is 30 seconds long).

My advice to people: read your car manual first, then read the instructions to the car seat. It's not rocket science, it's just basic literacy.

The hardest part about installing the car seat was picking out the car seat at the store. My mom patiently watched me deliberate over 3 different seats. Then when I narrowed it down to 2 seats I couldn't decide on a color. Sorry Mom. Unfortunately, I can't give you those 45 minutes of your life back.

The nursery is done-ish! Pictures coming soon. I packed our bag for the hospital and made a list of last minute items to throw in. Now I just need to figure out what to do with the dog when I go into labor. Notice how I'm not concerned about the cat...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Falling for Fall - 36 Weeks

One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain about the weather. I admit I'm guilty of this a couple times during the year. For example, when the winter months never seem to end as I watch the snow gently fall on a cozy day in June, or when the days of torrential downpours bring nutrients to the crops and flooding to my basement. With that as my disclaimer, there are certain types of people who ONLY complain about the weather. If it rains for a day in July they'll exclaim in an exasperated voice, "Will summer ever come?" The next day when it is 95 degrees, this same person will complain about how hot it is. Then, when there is a slight chill in the air he/she will cry out in angst, "I don't feel like we ever got a fall! We just went straight from summer to winter!"

Please, please, please do not say these words to me. I will only respond back, "Ummmmmm...do you know what winter is? Because you're in for a big surprise if you think this is it."

Look around you folks! It's FALL!

At Greenbluff with a 35 week bump.
Mowing down on my third pumpkin doughnut. No excuses!
Our annual tradition of watching a pumpkin get shot from a cannon.
47 pounds of pumpkins...Did we go overboard?
One's pumpkin has the power to speak a thousand words.

How do I feel?
Ouch. Let me just say I've taken exactly 3 Tylenol during my pregnancy: one when I had excruciating implantation cramping, one six hours ago, and one 2 hours ago. My head feels like it's going to explode and my feet are swollen to the max, but my round ligaments haven't felt better in...well, months. Thanks Tylenol!

Weight gain?

Food cravings?
Mostly things that involve any form of chocolate or pumpkin (pumpkin chocolate chip bread from Great Harvest was an excellent find the other day). Hot chocolate and chocolate Muscle Milk (duh) have been necessities in my diet for the last 2 weeks.

Food aversions?
I am not anti as far as any foods go, but recent adventures have taught me that adding pepper to any dish is a terrible idea: heartburn - gonna be pissed if this kid comes out bald.  

I'm still waking up at 3:00 every morning. And when I actually can sleep, my dreams have been so vivid it is sometimes hard to discern them from reality (I'm still not convinced my friend Ruth isn't my midwife). During my 3am wakefests, the goal is to roll from my right side to my left. Oftentimes, this venture takes up to 10 minutes, with a slight pause when I get stuck on my back. My most unsuccessful attempt was the other night when I rolled halfway over, only to have the cat climb on my stomach and start purring while I was stuck on my back. It was a cute gesture, but I wanted to throw her across the room. However, there was no way I could possibly reach over to grab her, so I just stayed there and twisted my upper torso as far to the side as possible. My leg was numb when I woke up.

Is it possible for him to be scratching me with his fingernails? Sometimes I have an intense, sharp pain when he moves, and it feels exactly like someone is scratching my insides. I'm thinking he is so crammed in there the movement is starting to get painful.

Stretch marks?
People, I thought I found a stretch mark on my stomach yesterday. It was right next to my bellybutton and about 2 inches long. However, it turned out to be an indentation from my shirt. Phew! I hope my luck continues.


Boy. And I even had the doctor confirm in an impromptu ultrasound! He owed me one...see below.

What have I learned?
Sorry for the TMI on this one, but I really did learn something this week --

So I had my first internal exam yesterday.

WHY DIDN'T ANYONE WARN ME?! Ohmygawd I never knew something considered so "routine" could cause so much pain. Pregos and future pregos beware. Prepare yourselves for this because I'm thinking it will be good practice for pain management when delivery comes.

While I was being inspected, we discovered I'm 50% effaced (I have no idea what that means) and slightly dilated. It was this slight dilation that caused Doc to GO BACK IN FOR SECONDS. Not only did I get a thorough examination, but he wanted to DOUBLE CHECK his work by cramming his arm inside me a second time. "Don't be surprised if you have a little bit of spotting after this." No medical procedure can be pleasant when the doctor follows up your appointment with this statement.

With wounded pride and the feeling of being mutilated, I went home and ate a lot of pancakes (sans chocolate chips). Jeff was so sweet. He witnessed the whole affair and made sure I was comfortable for the rest of the evening. He even agreed to watching two episodes of The Vampire Diaries with me (I know he secretly liked it), and let me cuddle with him the whole time. Maybe I should get violated more often.

Whelp, ever since then I've been having more regular and painful contractions. This prompted me to download a contraction timer app on my iPhone to help keep track of how frequently they are occurring. In conclusion, I don't want to go back to the doctor.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Remembering - The Land of Fire and Ice

Exactly one year ago, Jeff and I were on our last travel extravaganza as a childless couple. The two of us are really into adventure, and had been wanting to visit Iceland for a long time. Before we planned our big trip, I was looking at our Iceland travel guides purchased months prior, then at our budget, and had intense feelings of loss. "I will never go to Iceland." 

Providence is a funny thing, because my sister-in-law emailed me just hours later with a Travelzoo deal that caught my attention. Icelandair was offering an Iceland tour package at a price that could not be beat. The trip would be during one of Jeff's breaks from school, it would cost us less than $2,000.00 for airfare and 5 star accommodations, and included a fantastic tour of the island. Thinking it was too good to be true, I went through the purchasing process to see if it was a scam. It wasn't, and during this examination, I discovered that Bjork (one of our favorite singer/songwriters) would be putting on a concert in Reykjavik, and we could purchase tickets to see her in advance while booking our vacation. She would be debuting her new album, Biophilia, and we would get to see it live.

I immediately called Jeff to tell him about the offer, and he was incredibly interested. Then I told him about the Bjork concert. His response was, "Buy those tickets now!" With shaking fingers and a pounding heart, I put in our credit card information and hit the "Purchase" button. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life, and turned out to be one of the best decisions we ever made. 

The Land of Fire and Ice

I apologize for the image quality. The air was so humid and chilly that my camera was having a hard time. After all, we were in Iceland.  

Galloping Icelandic horses through the countryside. They really did let you gallop!



Island Tour

Gullfoss Waterfall

Gullfoss Waterfall

You can see the two tectonic plates. Science!


The spa of our hotel. You would find us here at least once a day.


Although our time in Iceland was brief, we enjoyed every moment to the fullest.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's Go Time!

It's go time! Or at least close to it. At my doctor's appointment this week, I was informed that if by chance I went into labor in a few days, our baby would not be considered premature, and the hospital would not do anything to stop the delivery. Baby's head is down and ready to go! As you can imagine, I wanted to smack the doctor after he told me all this. I'm not ready, and I at least need 1 more month!

Let's take a moment to talk about my doctor, because I need to get this off my chest. He is so kind, so knowledgeable, so open to answering my annoying questions and making sure my labor as close to what I want as possible. He is an incredible professional, and I have nothing but complete respect for him. However, some people are too handsome for their own good. My appointments with him can be a little...distracting. I hate to admit it, but sometimes when I'm talking to him, I can't seem to concentrate because I'm too busy staring into his cool blue eyes. The other day my coworker came into my office and said, "Wow you look cute today! Wait a second...you have a doctor's appointment today don't you?" Guilty! I hope he never reads this blog!

Other than me having the worst heartburn episode of my life (48 hours of me not eating because it was so bad), there is not too much more to report from the last week. My sisters and mom are throwing me a baby shower this weekend. After that it's laundry, cleaning, and organizing.

It's the final countdown!

How do I feel?
All the discomfort and awkwardness you would expect in late pregnancy is present. The other day a friend asked if I was more clumsy now that I'm bigger.
Me: "No, I don't think so. Jeff do you think I'm more clumsy?"
Jeff: "Absolutely! And ridiculously forgetful!" 
Apparently my pregnancy brain is obvious to everyone but me. So I started monitoring my actions:
  • I run into things (usually with my stomach), and continue to run into the same objects even if I've done it 3-4 times in the last hour.
  • Every time I close the refrigerator, I close it on my belly.
  • Earlier today I almost hit a pedestrian with my car. I literally didn't process the fact that a man was walking directly in front of my car until he started running away from the lunatic driver who was about to kill him.
  • My attention span is like that of a 14-year-old lovesick teenager. This causes me to run red lights and walk into rooms with no idea why I'm there. 
  • I forget at least one item every time I walk out the door.
  • I've resorted to writing everything down and triple checking my calendar to make sure I'm not forgetting anything important. 
  • I say the words, "What was I doing?" at least 5 times a day.
  • And naturally, I'm waddling all the time.

Weight gain?
I've been eating way healthier than I was in the second trimester, yet I've gained 10 pounds in the last month. My total weight gain is up to 30lbs.

Food cravings?
The other day I needed chips like it was nobody's business. And I wanted/needed plain Ruffles covered in Louisiana Hot Sauce. I walked around the office like a scavenger, looking for anything salty to curb this craving, and begging my coworkers to share their treats. How pathetic am I? Whilst on the prowl, I happened to glance down. To my utter horror and disgust, I discovered that my lovely ankles had turned into horrendous cankles! Salt suddenly wasn't sounding like the best option for me, and I opted for a glass of water instead. Then I went home and ate Oreos.

Food aversions?
Not really, but I have been much more picky about produce. If a fruit or vegetable sitting in front of me is not perfectly ripe, I refuse to eat it.  

I have no idea how I'm able to get out of bed every morning. The other night I was rolling from one side to the other (groaning of course), and got stuck on my back. Pregnant women are like beetles in this respect. You wouldn't think an action like this would be so hard, but it IS my friends. In addition, I wake up at 4:35 on the dot every morning, which is getting a little old.

Yup! And I think he's doing a better job of sleeping through the night because nighttime kicks are almost nonexistent. He currently has the hiccups.

Stretch marks?
Probably. I can't see any, but I'll have to get a mirror to confirm.

Innie. However, the hole is getting super small from all the stretching. It looks pretty comical...I have nothing appropriate to compare it to. I'm not sure how much further this thing can stretch! Also, the other day I was putting cocoa butter on my stomach when Jeff walked into the room and exclaimed, "Woah! Your stomach is getting huge!" Nice tact.

Boy. I should probably have the doctor check again just in case.

What have I learned?
Am I really at full term? I've had 8 months to process this fact, but it's so weird to think there is a BABY in my stomach. And by now he looks like a normal human baby (aka not like Lord Voldemort...hopefully). When I'm repeatedly getting kicked in the ribs, I can no longer be mad because I can only picture a cute, cooing creature rather than a little alien being. Instead of groaning in pain, I can sing to soothe him, and he can even hear me and recognize the song if he's heard it before. This little guy is definitely our son because he responds to classical music (he still hasn't warmed up to Radiohead or Com Truise). He especially likes hearing the piano at church, which can be quite distracting when I'm trying to sing. The bottom line, even though he is still in the womb, I can already pick up on some little personality quirks. Each day his presence is becoming more of a reality, and I can't wait to meet him face to face!

Random thought: most babies spend a large portion of the last few weeks of pregnancy with their heads down. Isn't this uncomfortable with all the blood rushing to their heads?

34 weeks

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Highlights from 33 Weeks

Nursery Progress
I am happy to announce that after 7 months of searching high and low, we found the perfect piece of furniture (at Shopko of all places) for Bebe's dresser/changing table. Well, technically my friend found it for her bedroom and I copied her...but that's besides the point. Anyway, it was a 3 hour ordeal putting it together (think Ikea furniture assembly), and a backache and Braxton Hicks contractions definitely resulted. However, the end result is worth the pain. This dresser is perfect. Also, I'm seeing into the future and definitely not looking forward to the day when our crazy little boy runs his head into the corner...he is related to me after all...ever wonder where that scar on my forehead came from?

The desire to live green + extensive research = our first cloth diaper purchase! I'm officially hooked. I check all the websites daily to see what's on sale. We plan to use disposables for the first few weeks, then transition into cloth when his stomach is more developed. Who has time to do laundry in the first 2 weeks of a baby's life?

So far so good!
Jeff and I made Bangers and Mash for some dear friends of ours using this bomb recipe - use Trader Joe's Italian sausage and less broth than the recipe calls for...you won't regret it. With the philosophy of "When in Rome," I decided to put a sausage on my plate with the intention of giving it a try, which in my book means a tiny bite. I ate half the link. I would have eaten the whole thing, but didn't want to destroy my stomach too much, so gave the rest to a willing consumer. Another event worth note was my nephew's 2nd birthday party. At said gathering, I couldn't stop looking at the bratwursts sitting next to the potato salad. I was literally salivating. So I had a bite. With ketchup. It was worth it. Finally, since we still had sausage left over, Jeff decided to cook some to add to his dinner. Whilst he was cooking vegetarian pasta with sausage on the side, I was at Joann's getting supplies for Jeff's office makeover. When I walked in the door, all I could focus on was the overwhelming smell of sausage taking over my house. So spicy, so meaty, so juicy. He graciously put some on my plate "just in case," and all the little morsels were consumed. Quickly. Does this mean I'm no longer a vegetarian??? Maybe I'm a sausagetarian. In Britain they'd call me a bangertarian.

Office Progress
Speaking of Jeff's office makeover, it's slowly coming along. Our loot from Joann.com came in the mail this week, and I was able to get started. My first goal was to reupholster the chairs. The end result: awesomeness. In no way is it perfect, but it is a huge improvement. The only hiccup(s) resulted from the 20-year-old staple gun I borrowed from my mom. She may be borrowing mine from now on because I definitely had to buy a new one during my third-trip-in-an-hour to the hardware store.

Before and After. Note: this picture was taken before I stitched the fabric tight on the back rest; I promise the end result is much cleaner than what is pictured. Last night I finished up by doing a whip stitch to hold the fabric tightly in place.

I set many intentions for my week, one of which was to "exercise" for 20 minutes a day. "Exercise" means reupholstering a chair, walking, cleaning, swimming, or yoga. Basically anything that requires me to exert myself...which is most forms of movement. However, I am proud to announce that I can still swim a half mile. It takes me about 5 minutes longer, but it still feels like an accomplishment. It truly amazes me how easily I am able to move through the water, especially when you consider my waddle immediately after I exit the pool. I even did some water jogging, and jogging on pavement is 100% impossible. Go me!

Nesting Progress
As you can tell, this week was filled with lots of activity and nesting. I even went so far as to clean the filters in the vacuum, which by the way smelled like smoke thanks to the central Washington forest fires.

How do I feel?
Revenge of the round ligaments! I was under the impression these were done. Apparently my body wants to remind me just how terrible it feels, so they're BAAAaaack. This time they are much...lower. Like, down there. The other day I attempted to lift my leg up to put on leggings. My foot got about 3 inches off the ground before it could not be lifted any further, then I peed my pants a little. Luckily my woman's intuition told me to put on a panty liner just minutes before. 

Weight gain?
25 lbs! Hello Baby! According to science, I should be gaining weight at about 1 pound/week until delivery.

Food cravings?
Obviously meat. And last night my healthy, nutritious snack was Oreo cookies dipped in hot chocolate. It was great.

Food aversions?
Not exactly, but the mere thought of sushi is pretty terrible.  

And now for a pregnancy symptom no one ever talks about. The other night I had a dream my high school music teacher and I decided to take our show on the road. It was a pretty good show, but I can't tell you what it was because I don't remember. However, we were going to take this country by storm! Before we left Spokane, I naturally had to brush my teeth. When I spit out my toothpaste in the dream, I felt a slimy sensation on my face in the waking world. "Oh crap, I just spit on myself AGAIN?!" It was the fifth time this happened. I keep having dreams that I'm spitting something out, then wake up with saliva all over me. What's the deal? And I didn't even get to see how well our show did because I had to clean myself off.

Now that he's crammed in my belly, the movement is more focused on particular areas. I feel pressure in my ribcage when he wiggles his legs, and there's usually a corresponding punch in the nether regions. Also, this kiddo is a wild one sometimes. I'm pretty much Bella in Breaking Dawn when the baby is taking over her body and crushing her insides. Actually, let's ignore the fact that I just made a Twilight reference. Just know that when I look down, I can see my belly moving back and forth like crazy. It's creepy, and I can't stop watching. (In case you were wondering, the name we have picked out is E.J., short for Edward Jacob. I also hope you realize that's a joke.)

Stretch marks?
Not that I can see, but I can really only see a small portion of my belly anymore.

Innie. I have a really deep bellybutton, so I'm thinking this probably will not change. However, I am also told that is might pop like a turkey timer when [E.J.] is fully cooked.

Assuming all these blue things I'm acquiring will be appropriate in a few weeks.

What have I learned?
This whole pregnancy thing is exhausting - the other day I started panting after eating a carrot. But it's so weird to think that in 2 months I'll be wearing normal(ish) clothes, sleeping on my back and stomach, and drinking alcohol and coffee. A friend told me I would miss the bump after Little Wirth comes. I think I am starting to realize this might be true. Perhaps I'll have nostalgia for the era in my life when I was uncomfortable all the time, and constantly foraging for food. And though I've missed my wardrobe, this growing belly has been good for our pocketbook. Before, when I saw something cute I thought, "Can't wear that anymore." But now I am thinking, "That is so cute and might fit me soon!" Maybe I should start a savings account for when I go on my first post-pregnancy shopping spree. At any rate, he'll be here soon! So soon! But don't worry, I think I am done with the panic attacks...for now.

33 weeks

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