Monday, November 29, 2010

16 Weeks Pregnant

Hello! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving! Ours was great! We went over to Dad and Jen’s house and brought Travis’s parents and brother with us. It was nice to have members of both of our families there!

I have been sick with a cold since last Monday! I’m finally just about over it, but still coughing some. I had a fever that, as far as I know, got as high as 100.2, and I was a little worried because I read that it’s dangerous for a pregnant woman to have a fever over 101, so I took some Tylenol (that’s all I’m allowed to take as far as a fever reducer) to try to bring it down. Anyway, like I said, I’m doing better now, finally!

Speaking of viruses, at my midwife appointment yesterday, I asked Amy (the midwife) if I should get a flu shot. I was assuming she would just confirm that, yes, I should get one, so I was surprised when she said she is wary of them. She said she comes from a “non-vaccinating” family, though. She wants me to do some research and decide whether I feel that it’s riskier to have the shot or not to have it. Everything I’ve read so far is completely pro-flu shot for pregnant women, so I don’t even know what risks she is referring to. I’ll probably end up getting it.

This week, baby is about 4.5 inches from crown to rump, so if it were lying flat it would probably be about the same length as my hand! I just can’t believe how big it’s getting! I keep looking down at my belly and thinking, “Where did this come from?!” The baby’s ears are completely formed now, so it should be able to hear soon. I asked Rachel (Travis’s sister, who is a nurse) about that, and I think she said that even after the ears are physically formed, the brain connections that allow the baby to process the sounds are not yet in place. (Is that right, Rachel?) It’s been a few weeks since she explained it to me, so I’m not completely sure.

Travis’s mom, Faye, came to the appointment with us yesterday. We managed to get the heartbeat on tape this time! We still need to get the right cord to hook up the camera to the computer, though, so we can upload videos. The baby seems to have a favorite spot right underneath my left artery, so it was still really hard for Amy to get the Doppler pointed at an angle that it would pick up the baby’s little heartbeat over the loud swishing in my artery. It took probably 15 minutes and three different Doppler devices.

Other appointment stuff: my hemoglobin is on the low side of normal, and it normally drops by two points during pregnancy, so I have to try to eat a lot of dark leafy greens. If it drops below where it should be, I’ll have to take some type of supplement. The rest of my blood test stuff looked great! J

Amy said I should be feeling the baby move daily within the next couple of weeks! I thought I might have felt it the other night, but I haven’t felt anything since, so I’m not sure if that was the baby or not.

This week I’ve been busy sewing, sewing, sewing! I didn’t get a ton of time to work on the bibs because, well, I was sick, and I decided to make a set of scrubs for Rachel’s birthday! It took me about two and a half days to complete those…it’s ridiculous how long it takes just to cut out all the pieces!!! Travis and I picked out the fabric together, and I think they turned out really cute!

On to the bibs. Here’s the first one I made:

I think I’m going to hold on to this one because it’s not perfect, and I like it, and it was the first one I did… J

And here are some almost finished ones. I still have to cut out and appliqué an animal onto these, and I have a few more ready to sew together.


Folded over so you can see the backs:

To personalize them, I’m just going to cut letters out of the solid colored flannel fabric and iron them on with “Heat ‘n Bond Ultrahold.” They’d be too hard to sew on, and I don’t have a fancy sewing machine that can do monograms. Anyway, I think these turned out really cute, and I’m going to get more fabric soon! I’m hoping to make my Etsy page tonight!

Monday, November 22, 2010

15 Weeks Pregnant

I feel like this week has flown by! And Thanksgiving really snuck up on me this year. We’re spending it at my dad’s house, and Travis’s parents are coming too!

This week the baby is about 4 inches long and over 2 ounces. The legs are now longer than the arms, and the bones are ossifying. Taste buds are forming, and the ears are almost finished, but the baby probably won’t be able to hear until around 20 to 25 weeks gestation. I’m still just waiting to be able to feel it move!

Travis and I are rethinking whether we want to find out the baby’s gender. We mainly wanted to know so that we could have fun decorating the nursery, but since we might not be doing that anyway, is there a point in finding out? Let us consider the following points:

Reasons to find out:

To get to know the baby better while still in utero

To buy gender specific clothing and other items ahead of time

To only have to worry about coming up with one name

Reasons not to find out:

Part of the fun of the birth of the baby is announcing the gender. If everyone knows already, all you get to tell people is the length, weight, etc.

We plan to buy mostly gender neutral stuff anyway, so we can use it with our next child

We already have two names picked out J

Occasionally, ultrasound techs make mistakes. They’re only human. We wouldn’t want to prepare ourselves for a girl and then find out it’s a boy, or vice versa.

I think that’s all I can come up with at the moment. So it looks like the scale is tipping toward not finding out. We might not decide for sure until closer to the ultrasound date (January 19th).

I have started clearing out the closet in the piano room, but I need to put away all the stuff that’s strewn about the room before my students start arriving at 3:30!

I got my blood test results back already. By the way, when I went back on Wednesday after drinking tons of water for 24 hours, I was worried that she still wouldn’t be able to get any blood out of me because my veins still looked tiny, but luckily she had no trouble. She said, “I knew it was going to work today because I prayed for you!” She was sweet, and she must be good at what she does because I had no lingering soreness like I usually do.

Anyway, as far as I am able to interpret the results, everything looks good! I’m immune to Rubella, I have no diseases (big surprise), and my blood type is O+. The “+” is referring to Rh factor, which, if present in the baby but not in the mother, can cause the mother’s blood to make antibodies against the baby’s blood, which can be fatal to the baby. So I’m glad it’s positive so we won’t have to worry about that! It is a fairly easily treatable problem nowadays, but still…

My students played well in last Thursdays’ recital, but after all the practicing I did to accompany for that voice student with two days’ notice, she came down with the flu that day. Oh well.

My church wants me to play for all sorts of things this month and next, which is fine I guess, but they usually don’t pay me anything. I just have to count it as good experience performing.

I have decided to make some things and set up an Etsy store. I have some ideas for personalizable (Is that a word? I can’t get spell check to leave it alone, no matter how I spell it…) bibs and animal shaped pillows, and eventually maybe a few other things. I’m going to start with the easiest things first so I can build up an inventory fast and start selling. I already made a bib pattern and looked through my fabric to decide what I can use. I only have enough fabric for two or three bibs right now, so I’m planning a trip to the fabric store probably tomorrow. I have everything planned out exactly, I just have to do it. I’m going to see how many bibs I can make in a week, and then have Travis help me set up my Etsy page. I want to do it right away because I think people would buy them as Christmas presents. I think they’ll be really cute!

Way back in one of my pre-pregnancy blog posts, I mentioned that I couldn’t wait to make baby things. That week, I made a diaper bag! I found the pattern on a website called I love it. It was fun to make, but sort of difficult, and it took a total of about 15 hours. Here are some pictures:



Inside of back outside pocket, with velcro:

Snap Closure:

Inside of bag, with bottle holders and zippered pocket:

Same zipper, shown zipped:

If I can come up with my own pattern that I can put together faster, I might eventually try to sell those, too. I would have to charge something like $65 for it to be worth my time, though.

Lastly, I have been doing better with exercising! I need to make sure I keep at it. I want to keep you guys updated on my progress so you can keep me accountable. Travis actually ran a 5K on Saturday! It was with a program called Girls On The Run. One of his 4th grade students asked him to be her sponsor and running buddy, and she was a fast runner, so he had to keep up! They did really well and I think were among the first ten to finish, out of too many to count!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

14 Weeks Pregnant

Welcome to week 14! Look at my belly! I can see a difference now, can you? I was excited last Thursday when my sister, Laurie, who hadn’t seen me in a couple of weeks, immediately noticed the change. Yay!

Baby is now about 3.5 inches long from crown to rump, and somewhere between 1 and 1 ½ ounces. That seems huge to me! Again, there isn’t much new going on in there since organ development is just about complete, but I’ll tell you about the midwife appointment I had today!

My weight, according to their scale, was 115 pounds, which I think is a good place to be if you’re looking at my pre-pregnancy weight of 111, but at my 10 week appointment I was at 115.5. My midwife concluded that I probably need to start eating and drinking more, which I’m sure is true. Eating is another thing I’m lazy about. As much as I like food, I often don’t eat because I don’t feel like making anything. She gave me a nutritional guidelines handout, and the sample menu on the back includes three meals and three snacks totaling 2200 calories. (Travis has always said I eat like a Hobbit: first and second breakfast, first and second lunch, afternoon tea, etc. etc…) Anyway, I guess it looks doable. Oh, and I need to start exercising again, too! She gave me a few specific exercises to do in addition to just walking or whatever else I want to do.

We brought the video camera to try to record the heartbeat, and she was happy to let us do that, but she couldn’t get the Doppler to pick it up clearly enough to bother. L The problem was that the baby was right underneath one of my arteries, so it was picking up my heartbeat instead of the baby’s. She said it was great that I have such good blood flow in there, though. The other problem was that when she was able to pick up the baby’s heartbeat more clearly, it would move and she would lose it after a couple seconds. That was actually really funny, though, and we were glad the baby was moving around so much. She said it seems like a very active baby, which is great now, but I hope it isn’t a sign of what’s to come in the toddler years! Anyway, we got to hear tons of little thuds, and she told us the heartbeat was about 156, which is good. I can’t wait til I can feel all of that movement! Should only be another month or so!

Earlier today, I went to a place called Accurate Diagnostics to have my prenatal blood tests done. They test for Rh factor and all kinds of other things that pertain to pregnancy. I guess I’ll finally find out what my blood type is! Anyway, I always have a hard time with blood tests because I have tiny veins and low blood pressure. She poked me once with a regular needle and once with a butterfly needle before we collectively decided that I should come back tomorrow and work on being better hydrated in the meantime. I’ve been drinking water all day since then. I hope it helps!!!

I talked to the people at the doctor’s office about that $500 bill. I asked them to break down the charges for me so I would know exactly what I was paying for. After I insisted that I had specifically asked not to have a full panel of blood work done, which was one of the charges, they discovered that because of a type-o on their part, I was overcharged. However, that only takes about $50 off of the bill. I guess the good thing is that they have to re-process it and send it back to the insurance company and everything, so if nothing else, we get some extra time to come up with the money. She also advised me that if I ever want a check-up again, I should give them a specific reason why. Like, even if I just said I was tired all the time or something, then they would bill the insurance company differently and they would probably pay a lot more of the bill. Good to know.

Since we have no way of knowing whether our house is going to sell before the baby arrives, I’ve been thinking a lot about where we would put the baby if we are still here. We really wanted to set up a nursery, but it would have to be in the room where I teach some of my piano lessons, and I really don’t want to move my piano and all of my books and everything downstairs where there really isn’t any room for it all. I guess my current thought is, if we haven’t sold the house yet, we’ll just put a bassinet and a dresser with a changing pad on top in our room until the baby is big enough to need a crib, at which point we will have hopefully sold the house. We can put a lot of the baby’s stuff in the closet in the piano room, which is filled with a bunch of random junk right now. I’m starting to feel the nesting urge to clean it out before we have a bunch of baby things that we need to find a place for. I might start that project this weekend.

Travis and I have been doing better (but not great) with our commitment to better ourselves. At least we’re heading in the right direction. Travis has been doing a little painting and working on a short children’s book that he hopes to publish. It is the cutest book ever (!!!), about two cats and their humans. The title is Maynard and the Quest for Solitude, and he says he hopes to write more (Maynard and the__________). He is also doing better than I am with the exercising.

I have been working on music here and there, though not for an hour a day as planned, and I have posted my music playing services on Craigslist. I did happen to get a $15 gig accompanying for a voice student at this Thursday’s recital (in which I have seven piano students performing). That was pure luck, though. I’m not even on the accompanist list. I had some traumatic accompanying experiences in college. I could never learn the music as fast as they wanted, so eventually people stopped asking me. I had a lot of traumatic college experiences that I wish I could get over.

Sorry, I’ll try to stop being depressing. You know what? I need to thank you all for taking the time to read about my experiences, thoughts, and concerns. Even though I don’t hear back from most of you, I know you’re there, and it means a lot. I would enjoy getting some feedback from you all, though, if you feel like offering it. Most of you have my email address and/or my facebook…

Lastly, my poor dad had an accident on some crazy contraption at work last Thursday and ended up with a broken arm, a broken heel/ankle, and a sore back that is hopefully just temporarily knocked out of whack. He has to be in a wheelchair/in bed for several weeks (like, 12), and all he seems to be worried about is everyone else! He doesn’t want anyone to worry, and he feels bad that he has to rely on other people (mostly Jen) to do things for him. We saw him on Sunday and he was in surprisingly good spirits and seemed optimistic. Today he had surgery on the broken heel/ankle, which apparently went well, but it was still numb when I talked to him after. I just hope the pain will subside soon and that he’ll heal up fast! Anyway, keep him in your thoughts please.

That’s all! Sorry it was such a long one! J

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

13 Weeks Pregnant

Sorry I’m late with this again! There’s a lot going on, and most of it isn’t fun. I’ll start with the baby, though.

There isn’t a lot new going on in there, but…I’M IN MY SECOND TRIMESTER!! The first one flew by. Baby is apparently the length of a Nutter Butter, or about three inches, crown to rump. Vocal cords are forming, and the head is becoming more proportionate to the body. We get to hear the heartbeat again in a week, and I can’t wait!

I still haven’t told my students yet. I planned to last week, but since I’m really not showing yet I decided to wait longer, at least until after next week’s appointment. I can tell that I’m not as thin as I was, but it isn’t obvious to other people. I did get to try out my belly band last weekend. Most of my pants sit kind of low, so I have no trouble buttoning them, but I have one higher-waisted pair of corduroys that I could BARELY fasten sucking in, so I left them undone and used the belly band, which was surprisingly comfortable and stayed put well. Glad I bought them!

I measured my belly and weighed myself, which I plan to do at the end of each trimester. Pre-pregnancy, I was 112 pounds and my waist was 26 inches, though I can't remember if I was measuring my true waist or not. Now I am 113 pounds and the biggest part of my belly is 31 1/2 inches around. I think the lack of weight gain is due to muscle loss. :-(

Now for the not so fun stuff. Bills. Bills, bills, bills. We keep getting medical bills we weren’t expecting. Remember that appointment I had in mid-August? I wanted to just get a physical and get my thyroid gland checked since it had come up low on a previous blood test, and I knew hypothyroidism wouldn’t be good in pregnancy. Well, it cost us $500, which wouldn’t be quite so annoying if it had been worth it, but there was nothing wrong with me. There never is anything wrong with me when I go to the doctor. I swear I’m never going again. I’m going to call them today to see if they can possibly reduce it. I know they’ll let me pay it in increments, but even so, it’s still $500.

Since this was not the first time we’ve received a bill like this, it was sort of the last straw for me. Very upsetting, but very motivating. We need to make more money if we ever want to dig ourselves out of the financial hole we are in. It would be nice if we could sell our house, too, but we have no control over that, which is also very frustrating. I could go on forever about that, but I won’t, because you know what I mean.

So…how can we make more money? We had a long talk about it and told each other, as we have before, that we both have talents we are not utilizing. Travis could be selling paintings, and I could be getting playing gigs. The problem is motivation. We are both lazy. Travis likes to paint, but he says he would rather write a book, which has the potential for a more lucrative outcome, but one that is much less immediate. He has finished paintings that he could sell right now if he made the effort to advertise somehow. It’s also hard to let go of something that you put so much of yourself into. I get that. I adore some of his paintings, but I know someone else would too, and maybe they would pay a good amount of money for them.

Travis’s laziness is more forgivable than mine, though. He has a full-time teaching job that is exhausting. Who can blame him if he doesn’t feel like doing much when he gets home? I’m lazy for no good reason. I’m sort of an all-or-nothing person. If I get up late, which happens a lot, I feel like I’ve wasted half the day already, so I might as well waste the rest of it. I know that’s faulty logic, but I guess that’s just how my brain works. When I get up at a reasonable time, around when Travis leaves for work, I get a lot done. This morning I got up while Travis was in the shower and actually made him a bacon, egg and cheese English muffin to eat in the car. That never happens. Poor Travis usually doesn’t eat anything all day until he gets home, because lazy me doesn’t pack him a lunch either. Anyway, I’ve gotten a lot done this morning: two loads of laundry, tidying up, figured out dinner… can I do this every day? We’ll see.

Travis set a goal for both of us yesterday: we will each spend at least an hour a day either exercising or practicing/painting/somehow bettering ourselves. (Exercising is another thing we’ve been lazy about.) I think I’ll try to spend a half hour exercising (don’t worry, I won’t go overboard) and an hour practicing and/or reacquainting myself with my music history book. I might give myself Wednesdays off since I teach eight lessons on Wednesdays.

I’m going to make myself available for Christmas gigs on Craigslist. I did that last year and got a few (though unfortunately I had to miss one because our steep driveway was covered with ice). Then by the time Christmas is over, maybe I’ll have some other music ready to perform. I could do weddings, but they make me SO nervous! A wedding is the one day in someone’s life you do not want to mess up, and being nervous makes me mess up…so it’s a vicious cycle.

This isn’t JUST about making money, though. I know that if we both stick with doing what we’re doing and nothing more, we’re going to look back someday and be disappointed. We’re just getting by. We want to do more, and be more, and we need to start on that path before we bring a baby into it. So the clock is ticking. Here we go.

Monday, November 1, 2010

12 Weeks Pregnant

Happy Halloween! Travis and I didn’t dress up this year, but maybe we should have since it’s our last just-the-two-of-us Halloween! Oh well. Travis says that the baby dressed up as me. J

On Thursday night we went up to North Carolina to see a Halloween movie with our friends Eric and Valerie. It’s hard to explain what the movie was…it was the guys who used to do Mystery Science Theater 3000, making fun of a horror film made in 1959. It was called Rifftrax Live: House on Haunted Hill. Anyway, it was pretty amusing. Then on Saturday we went to my Dad’s house for a bonfire with his neighbors and a bunch of their friends. It was fun, and nice to meet the neighbors that we hadn’t met yet. Then last night we passed out candy and watched The Exorcist. Last year it was The Shining, which I thought was much scarier. The Exorcist wasn’t that bad, but I did jump once, and the baby probably did too!

The baby is now over two inches long from crown to rump. Here’s a picture of the 12 week rubber fetus that we got from the fair. Sorry it’s blurry!

The baby is starting to grow lanugo (fine hair) all over its body, which will disappear by the time it is born. The intestines, which were protruding into the umbilical cord, are moving back into the abdomen now. It should be moving a lot more now, and has reflexes that would cause it to move away if poked from the outside. It might even be sucking its thumb now! It also might be making breathing movements and swallowing, already preparing itself for life outside the womb.

I guess this is going to be a short blog, because I don’t have much else to talk about this week! I’m excited to be nearing the end of the first trimester, excited to start showing (can you see a difference yet?), and getting ready to share the news with my students and their parents.

Have a great week!