Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rare 41 week belly picture

Usually, you won't see one of these. Most women, and their doctors, won't go past 40 weeks. So here's a picture of me at 41 weeks and 1 day. About 3 hours before I go to the hospital to start the induction.

Our last night as a couple

We went out for dinner at our favorite bbq place. Nothing fancy, but it was nice to be alone. We also settled on a name, or at least narrowed it down to 2 choices. Stopped by Walmart to pick up a few last minute things and supplies to get us through the next couple of weeks.

It's been chilly here. We went for a long, long walk, since walking is supposed to bring on labor. I had a few pains, but nothing I could really call contractions. Darn it.

By this time tomorrow night, I'll be in the hospital starting the first course of drugs for induction. On the forums where I hang out, the other women say that induction isn't too bad. I'm putting aside my intentions of a med-free birth, though. I'll still go as long as I can without pain medication, but I understand that pitocin contractions are pretty murderous, so I'm resigned to the fact that I may need an epidural. That doesn't bother me. I've read a lot, and I feel pretty informed. As long as I get to talk it over with the doctors, I think I'll be okay.

It's still hard to believe that it's almost time to have this baby. As I'm sitting here typing this on the laptop, my belly is twitching back and forth as he's moving around inside. I'll miss that, but it's time for him to leave. I can't sleep in bed anymore, and my feet are killing me with the swelling and the weight gain. I'm also jealous of the women on the pregnancy forums who are behind me, but are having their babies already. I feel left behind.

And on the eve of my induction, my innie finally became an outie. Didn't think it would happen.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Origami Butterflies

I have a blank frame over my fireplace. The previous owners put it there, and obviously had something hanging up there. But since we moved in, it's been blank. I'd had some ideas about what I wanted to do, and this week, I finally got around to doing it.

I made a whole bunch of origami butterflies and arranged them over the fireplace. I like it. Originally, I had planned to use a different paper so they all looked alike, but I knew it would take me longer to cut the paper out, so I settled on normal origami paper. Take a look.

Induction Scheduled for Sunday Night

Yesterday I went to the doctor. Again.

And I had zero progress. Again.

I was really disappointed. I was hoping I'd be showing *something*, hopefully even really close to going into labor. My doctor said since I was so unready, I had a higher chance of needing a c-section if I'm induced on this coming Sunday as originally planned. She gave me the option of waiting another complete week until she's on shift at the hospital again on April 4. And of course, there's the chance I'd go into labor on my own sometime next week. So I said I'd wait.

Daniel and I went downtown to go shopping at Central Market and wander around some of the upscale stores there, like Z Gallerie and Crate and Barrel. Well, they're upscale for us. It was rainy and thundery yesterday, so we needed a place to walk indoors. He's so good about humoring me, since he hates to wander through those kind of stores.

While we were there and on the way home, we talked about what I should do. Okay, I talked; he listened. He said he didn't have any idea what I should do, since it's my body. On the way home, I pretty much talked myself into having the induction this Sunday.

When I got home, I called my doctor to talk to her. She said it wasn't any problem to schedule it this week, so now I'm going in on Sunday night at 5:00 pm to start the initial drugs. Then Monday morning, when my doctor comes on shift, they'll start the Pitocin.

One way or another, the kid is getting his eviction notice!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cake Truffles = FAIL!

I saw a recipe that I'd been itching to try out for a few weeks now. Someone had posted about taking the Oreo truffle recipe and making it with a chocolate cake instead. So yesterday, I baked a chocolate cake, let it cool and crumbled it up. Then I made up a vanilla butter cream frosting and mixed the cake into the frosting. Next you roll it into balls, put them in the freezer, then dip them in chocolate.

Well, my frosting to cake ratio was too high, and the balls never really set up. Then for the chocolate coating, I only melted some semisweet chocolate chips and rolled them in it. The coating was too thick at first, so I added a tiny bit of vegetable oil to thin it out, but it was still somewhat thick. Plus the chocolate now had cake bits in it because the cake balls were falling apart.

I only ended up getting about 15 truffles out of the chocolate coating, and I had a lot of cake mix left over. Today I tried forming them into molds, but the cake mix was still too soft. Maybe I should just throw them all out and try again. Or try something different.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Poor Husband

After going to the doctor yesterday, I told her that I wasn't working anymore. (Hurray! I'm officially on leave until June 8!) She told me to be sure and stay active. Guess she doesn't want me sitting on my butt all day; besides, walking and being active are supposed to help get the body ready for labor.

So we went grocery shopping for the next couple days. Then at home, I decided I'd let the bathrooms sit long enough. I was sort of waiting/hoping for that burst of energy you're supposed to get that would encourage me to clean the bathrooms. Daniel usually does it, but it might take him longer to get around to it than I would, but I try not to let it get to me. He's a guy. They don't see dirt. :)

So I start cleaning the sinks and doing some dusting. He finally comes in and says I've guilted him into helping. Or is this nesting? Every time I do anything the last few days - bake cookies, pick up junk, clean anything - he asks if I'm nesting and am I ready to give birth. Nope, the bathroom's just dirty, I tell him.

Oh, and here's the link that inspired me to do a little more cleaning around the house this week: The Hyper Homemaker. Make sure and check out her cooking section, too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Looks like it'll be another week

Just got back from the doctor's office where I had a non-stress test and an ultrasound. They put a fetal monitor on me for 45 minutes to record the baby's heartbeat, and another monitor to measure my contractions. Yes, I'm actually having contractions, but I can't feel them. The heartbeat is fun. It took two nurses to chase him down and get the heart rate monitor in the right place though, because every time they'd place it, he'd move and they'd lose the heartbeat. And midway through, the doctor came in and put an electro-vibratory stimulator against my stomach to wake him up and make him all excited. It worked, because about a minute later, he was kicking all over the place.

After that, she did an ultrasound to measure the amount of amniotic fluid around him. If it's low, it's cause for concern and maybe even induction. But it was fine, between 7 and 11 mm. We saw the heart beating, and coolest of all, we saw him breathing. She showed us his diaphragm moving back and forth and his lungs expanding. That was cool. The doctor was very happy. She said that the first thing a baby in distress does is stop breathing, so he's doing just fine.

She checked me out, and I'm still nowhere near going into labor. I have another appointment on Thursday to see if I've progressed any, but she said she thought it wouldn't happen Friday. I told her my fear was that if we induced on Friday and my body wasn't ready, it would lead to a c-section. She's also on duty next Monday, so she said (depending on what I'm like on Thursday), if I don't go into labor on my own by this weekend, I'd go into the hospital Sunday night to start the induction. That's fine by me. At that point, I'll be well over 41 weeks, and it'll be time to get him out.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My due date was Saturday

And nothing. Still here. Still pregnant.

On Saturday, I think I did almost nothing. I had 2 naps during the day, and we went to Target for a couple of essentials. Otherwise, I worked on a couple of small projects and watched tv.

Sunday was pretty much the same, except I was a lot more impatient and cranky. I'm tired of waiting, tired of not going anywhere, tired of feeling bloated and ungainly and painful.

For a week now, the furthest I've ventured from the house has been to Wal-Mart and back, and my biggest activities are my two 20-minute walks around the block every day. That's about as much walking as I can manage. Every time I get cramps or mild contractions, I keep hoping it's the start, but it always goes away. The couch also makes a great place to sleep now. I can sleep mostly sitting up, without having to put pressure on my hips, so that's much more comfortable. I think I'm just going to give up on the bed for the rest of the week.

At least the weather has been awesome. Sunny and highs in the upper 70s. We could use some rain, but while the sun is shining and it's not too hot, I'll enjoy every day we get.

Wish me luck. I really don't want to have to get induced in a few days.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Hurray for Vacation Fridays

Due to the telecommuting policy at work, I can't spend 5 days telecommuting. You have to come into the office 1 day a week. Rather than come in, I took a day of vacation and it was great. Mainly because I got to go for a prenatal massage with my favorite massage therapist. She was fantastic! I have almost no back and hip pain today. She even massaged the pressure points on my calves that are supposed to help trigger labor, but she said she wouldn't have if I weren't due tomorrow.

Best of all, she offered to come to the hospital with me when I go into labor to act as a doula, if she doesn't have appointments already. So I'm praying for this baby to come this weekend!

Still being crafty. Made an envelope pillowcase that was just about the easiest thing I've ever sewed. Then I made another baby toy. It's a double sided piece of felted wool with tags sticking out. The tags are all different sorts of fabrics: the cuff of a sock, a piece of elastic, a piece of microfiber, a piece of leather. And in the middle are two pieces of plastic bags, so the whole toy rustles when it's crumpled.

I tried to make a cloth teddy bear last night, but it came out so lopsided and misshapen that I just had to laugh and take it apart again. We might stuff it with catnip and give it to the cats.

I finally gave in to the urge to make cookies. I got a bag of peanut butter-chocolate chips and made tollhouse cookies with them. Yummy. Not at all healthy, but yummy.

All in all, quite a satisfying day.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pregnancy Update: 39 weeks and 5 days

So I just got back from the doctor's office. My blood pressure is still really good, but I put on 4 pounds this past week. The doctor said it's all water and it's all in my legs. But she didn't seem too concerned. I guess if she were worried about it, I'd be on a stricter bedrest. I got an internal exam, and she said I'm still closed up high and tight. In other words, no progress, and I'm likely to go past my due date of Saturday.

I was sort of disappointed to hear that. In the last 2 days, I've been having a lot of pressure in my pelvis, and last night I started to have a couple of cramps, so I thought I might be getting close to going into labor. But no. No progress.

I go back in on Tuesday for a non-stress test on the baby and an ultrasound so they can check the fluid levels. My doctor wants to consider doing an induction next Friday, or at the absolute latest, the following Monday. Of course, there's every possibility that I could go into labor on my own anytime before then. Except today. She said it wasn't going to to be today

Here's a picture of me from last Sunday, at 39 weeks.

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Crafty Weekend

I was very busy this weekend. I'd had a bunch of ideas of things I wanted to make, baby-related. So Saturday, I braved the cold and rain and hit the local thrift store for supplies. I ended up finding about 5 woo l sweaters (pretty impressive for Texas), some old tshirts, some jeans (for a non-baby project), and a whole bag of baby toys for $8 (the bag, not the entire bill). I had so much stuff there was no need to go looking at other stores for supplies, besides, it had been an hour and I needed a bathroom break. So I headed home to start washing.

Saturday night, I cut out pieces for baby yoga pants, a denim tote, a bunch of wool supplies, and also printed out and organized the instructions for all the projects I wanted to do. I ended up finishing a pair of black baby yoga pants, and even embellished them, and made a bunch of flannel wipes.

Baby pants:
Flannel wips:

Sunday, I tackled the bigger projects. I decided to make a dust ruffle for the crib. In part because it looked rather bare, and I didn't want to shell out $20-50 for a dust ruffle, and also because it could be used to hide stuff we store under the crib. I went digging through my fabric stash. Suddenly I'm glad I didn't purge my fabric when I was cleaning house last fall. I found some muslin and some pretty cottage print in blue roses.

I sat and contemplated sizes and construction details for a good hour before I was satisfied that I had a good pattern. Yes, I created the entire pattern from scratch. My engineering degree ought to be good for something, right?

Well, it took about twice as long to construct as I thought it would originally. That's usually the case. But I also didn't count washing and drying time in my original estimate. Also, I did a simple hem, and I should have done a finished hem, since it's so ravelly, but no one will notice but me.

Here's the finished dust ruffle in place on the crib:

Finally, I tackled making a couple of toys. I'd gotten the inspiration from some projects I saw on the net and wanted to see if I could make them. I cut up a cashmere sweater that had been slightly felted and made a bunny out of it. Sewing it was a pain, but eventually it went together. Almost screwed up and sewed the ears so they would have been inside the bunny when I flipped it. Happily I caught my mistake BEFORE I started sewing.

When it was sewn together, I figured I'd have to wait until Monday to hit the fabric store and pick up a package of fiberfill to stuff it with. Then Daniel had a brilliant idea. Why not take one of the grab-bag toys that I didn't want to keep and take the stuffing out of that. Fantastic! The toy I grabbed even had a little rattle inside. It had just enough fluff to fill up the bunny. I'm rather proud of my little bunny rattle.

The gray box behind it is a heavily felted wool that I sewed into a cube. It, too, needs fiberfill or stuffing of some sort, and I don't have any more toys I can cannibalize. I'll think of something soon.

Daniel was funny last night. He kept asking me if this was nesting, since I was being "scary productive", in his words. I felt productive, but no baby yet. And I didn't have any urges to do any actual cleaning. So far, I've been resisting those pretty well.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bunny Slippers

Telecommuting does have its advantages. When your feet are too swollen for shoes and it's cold outside, what do you do?

Bunny Slippers!

Preganancy Update: 38 weeks 5 days

Everything is still looking fine for the baby. My blood pressure, weight and everything else is fine. Dr. listened to the heartbeat and it's good. She did a quick ultrasound to check and make sure he was still head down, since she said she couldn't feel his head this week, and last week she could. He's actually moved back up. No, wrong way, baby. Go down.

Daniel went with me this time to insist on telling the doctor how bad my back was hurting. I told her that by mid-way through the day, it hurt all the time. And by the end of the day, I can barely walk anymore. It's really, really hard to walk from the office to the parking lot, and if it's a mission day, then my walk is double or triple because our parking lot is shared by Mission Control. Just going to the copy machine or to the bathroom at work is painful, and walking between buildings is right out, now.

So my doctor wrote me a note excusing me from work until further notice. Um...great? I was not expecting to be put on modified bedrest at all. I had planned to work up until I went into labor so I could save my leave. But she said that I could telecommute. So I went into work for the last time to talk to HR and my management about telecommuting for the next 2 weeks. They don't have any problems with it. Yay! It lets me save my leave -and- keep occupied during the day. If I can't be busy and move around and go places, I think I'd go crazy just sitting on the couch all day.

Baby likes pineapple juice

Just had a glass of pineapple juice and boy, is he moving around like crazy now. He's been really active for the last 3-4 days now.

Stewart -vs- Cramer: Stewart Lands a Knock Out Punch!

Damn! Did you see the Jon Stewart interview of Jim Cramer on The Daily Show tonight? Wow. When Jon gets serious, he packs a mean wallop, and he wasn't pulling any punches tonight. Apparently, that low-res clip he showed of Cramer from 2006 just surfaced yesterday on the internet. I'm not sure Cramer even knew it was out, but on it, he's pretty much admitting to doing all the illegal stuff as a hedge fund manager just because it makes him money and the SEC can't/won't stop him. Once again, wow.

Check out the interview if you haven't seen it.

It honestly sounded like Cramer was off balance and sometimes on the verge of breaking down. Don't know if it's true or not, but Daniel agreed with me when we were watching it.

At first, we thought it would be a LOL type, softball interview, but Jon really was furious about the financial reporting industry's failure, no complicity, in the downfall of the American economy. He voiced what the average person was thinking: why do these guys play games with -our- 401Ks to make short term profit for themselves, screw us over, and come out of this richer than ever. It's not right, it's not fair, someone should have stopped them. Bush should have regulated them, and the financial shows should have exposed them. Cramer doing a mea culpea on The Daily Show was so pathetic. His best defense was that the CEOs came on his show and lied to him. Bull. He knew better. He knew what the game was, and he went right along with it.

I hope this gets a lot of press. I have rarely seen an interview as damning as this one. Maybe never. Go watch it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sick Day

Daniel persuaded me (more like browbeat me) into staying home sick today. It wasn't too hard to convince me. I've had a nasty cough for a few days, and the last thing I want to do is to be sick with a cold when I go into labor. Plus my back finally gave out this weekend. I've had pretty bad sciatica pain down my right leg the last 3 days. It's almost constant, so I can't walk very fast, it hurts all the time, and by the time the day is half over, I really can't walk at all. So my last bit of exercise, walking, is gone now.

I called my massage therapist and I'm waiting for a call back to see if she has an opening today. Otherwise, it's stretching and maybe some light yoga to try and work out whatever is messing up my back. (Besides the baby)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Well, we did. We made a special trip to north Houston to see it in IMAX. It was great. I gather that you either love the film or hated it. Well, I loved it. I liked the fact that the heroes are flawed, that they're people just like you and me (well, some of them), and they do bad things for good reasons. It's strange and sad, but I think my favorite character was Rorschach. Sad because he's definitely psychotic, but he's such an interesting character, and he has such a strong moral code.

Anyway, we stopped off at a specialty children's resale shop before the movie. They are one of the few places in Houston that actually sell cloth diapers. I wanted to stop in there so I could see the various kinds and ask questions. Found some good deals, so I was happy.

After the movie, we went to Ikea, since it was right next door. Meatballs for lunch, of course. :) We ended up buying a changing table, pad and some pictures. Then on Sunday, we put all that together, hung up the pictures, did some laundry and it feels like we have everything ready.

I even managed to pack my hospital bag this morning. Now I have nothing to do but wait. *tap tap tap*

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Back Pains

So for the last 2-3 days, my back has been giving me grief. I had back surgery several years ago, so I've always had to be sensitive/careful about my back. One of the things I worried about before getting pregnant was what it would do to my back. I guess I can count myself lucky that I went the whole 9 months without any problems until now. It seems like no matter what, I have a pinch in my lumbar-sacrum area.

So in addition to walking slow because it seems like baby's head is always hitting my bladder, I have to walk slow because my back hurts. Okay, I think I'm getting to the point where I'm ready for this to be over.

Pregnancy Updated: 37 weeks 5 days

Had my weekly visit to the doctor this morning. It was later than normal, so I got to sleep in and have a leisurely breakfast.

My blood pressure is still fine, and I haven't gained any weight. Amazing, since I came home with a whole lot of baby shower cake last weekend.

When the doctor checked me, she said I was not dilated, but I am starting to get effaced. She could feel the baby's head, so he's in position. She estimated his weight at around 6.5 pounds, which is great. He'll gain a half pound a week right now, so if I go another 2 weeks, he'll be around 7.5-8 pounds. My doctor also said that older women tend to have bigger babies, so I'm relieved he's not any bigger.

I'm also starting to feel some Braxton-Hicks contractions. Had a couple yesterday, and when my doctor was checking the baby's heartbeat, she said I was having a contraction right now. I just didn't realize it, since it wasn't painful and I didn't know what to look for. So I guess my body is getting closer to delivery.

He's still not allowed to come until after this weekend, though!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My Long Distance Baby Shower

I'm a couple of days over due on this, and I don't have any pictures, unfortunately.

My mom threw me a long-distance baby shower from Illinois on Sunday. I'd spent a couple night with my brother working on getting a video chat set up. We tried Gmail/video chat, Stickam, and finally Yahoo Messenger, which is the one that worked the best.

My mom got a shower cake, and they held it up to the camera to show me. I saw the little booties, and she said on the bottom was a place you could write the date, weight and length, once you cleaned the frosting off. I made do with a piece of leftover shower cake from Friday. It was still yummy.

The web camera was adequate, but not the best. You had to move slowly so the picture could focus. It was fun and kind of funny when we did the presents. Since I wasn't actually there, everyone had to hold up the bag, then open it up and show the present, and describe it, since the picture quality wasn't always so good. I could see well enough though. And my two nephews were running around in the background like you see folks doing to news reporters. Garrett kept holding up their cat and putting her in front of the camera. She was remarkably placid about the whole affair.

Mom invited my best friend from high school and her mom, who was my 4th grade teacher. Small town. :) She also invited another really good friend, but unfortunately, Dalanne wasn't feeling well that day and had to cancel. I hope she feels better soon. Also, one of my mom's good friends was in town, so she came along. It was so nice of everyone to come by, even though I could only be there virtually. And Tricia and Pat had long distances to travel. Thanks so much, and I hope I didn't forget anything.

Monday, March 02, 2009

My Horoscope for Mar 2-8

Normally I wouldn't bother reading my horoscope, but I was getting my hair done tonight. So as I was waiting for my hair to process, I read through the current "In Touch" magazine that my stylist had. I'm a Leo, and here's my horoscope:

Get ready to click with a new special someone who enters your life when you least expect it.

Hrm. I suppose he could come this week. I'd laugh if that was the case. Then I'd cry. I'm not ready!