Monthly Archives: March 2009

save a life

We’re thinking about donating girlfriend’s cord blood. For personal reasons, we do not plan to have it stored for our own family use, but figure we might as well let it help someone out there. Justin and I are both on the bone marrow donor list, and this latest thought of donating cord blood came from a recent visit to the NMDP website.

** Note … if you aren’t registered as a donor, you should seriously consider it; more information is available on the National Marrow Donor Program website. There are many common misconceptions about bone marrow donation, and it’s not as bad as you’ve probably heard. You could be responsible for saving a life one day! **

So … cord blood donation was recommended on the NMDP website, and to be honest, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of it sooner. Anyway, I’ve printed off the enrollment package and will peruse it tonight so we can make our final decision. It’s free, and there’s little involved on our part. Looks like we’d have to call the collection agency immediately following delivery so they could arrange for a courier to pick everything up. I’d also be required to have 20 ml of blood taken right after delivery, which is fine with me. As long as the midwives are okay with it, I think it’s going to be a go.

I’d love to be able to contribute, knowing that a few simple steps now could help save a life someday!

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no big news …

Yesterday’s 33 week appointment was totally uneventful. I saw one of the midwives I had yet to meet, and I wasn’t so impressed. I didn’t completely dislike her, I just didn’t like her so much. I’m by no means a high maintenance patient; I usually don’t ask questions and am very laid back about this whole pregnancy. I do, however, like to know at least some of what they know – what I’m measuring, the baby’s heart rate, what I’ve gained, how my sugar and protein are for this visit, and simple things like that. She provided absolutely none of that information, and I know it won’t make much sense, but I just didn’t think to ask. (Not to mention that she also didn’t have my information pulled up on the computer at the time, so if I had asked, she would not have been prepared.)

The highlight of the entire visit was when she asked me how many I was having — after she measured me and listened to her heart rate! Seriously!? How many babies? Uh, one! “I glanced at your chart and saw that you are 33 weeks but forgot to look at how many.” Oops, sorry for your bad luck. Even if she had looked at no additional information, I would think the answer to that question would be fairly straightforward. My measurement was about a centimeter ahead at my last appointment, so I can’t imagine that to be too much of a red flag. And did ya hear two in there, honey? If Justin had been with me, he probably would have fallen out of the chair.

I digress; the point is, I have no new and exciting news to report. And when she gave me the window of my next appointment as 2-3 weeks, I went with nearly 3. All’s been well so far, and I’ll start weekly appointments after that, so why rush things.

Crap, I’ll be 35w2d at that point … and 33 days from girlfriend’s expected due date. Oh my.

the name game

Ever tried naming a baby? It seems that unless you’ve got a family name in the bag or something you’ve loved forever, it’s virtually impossible. Seriously, I thought this was supposed to be the easy part? I’m beginning to question whether this beats my sleepless nights!

We’re (Okay, I’m …) looking for something different. Different can mean a something completely new, a unique spelling on a traditional name, or something with a vintage feel that’s not currently over-used. I think unisex names are fun, and am completely open to them, as well.

In this quest, we’ve tried everything. We’ve done thinking on our own, scoured the internet, flipped through countless pages in baby-naming books, and taken suggestions from friends and family. There are plenty of names I like, but many are eliminated because they’re just too long. Enter the rules:

  • Rule #1: her first name must have only one or two syllables. Three syllables in both her first and last name would be a mouthful.
  • Rule #2: nothing trendy. While there are plenty of beautiful names being used by the masses right now, I don’t want a name for her that everyone else has.
  • Rule #3: preferably not beginning with the letter “B.”

I don’t think these rules are too much to ask. The plan is to have a handful of names ready to go for her day of arrival so we can decide from those who she’ll be once we meet her. So far, we have 2 (err, maybe 3), and neither are totally exciting to us. (Don’t ask, because odds are, we won’t tell. He he!) With just over 7 weeks to go, I fear we’re running out of time.

Any suggestions? Where can we find names? How did you decide on the name for your child(ren)?

*sigh*

fun with song titles!

I’ve seen a few people do this and it seemed like fun — so why not!? Using only song titles from one artist, you are to cleverly answer these questions …

Instead of choosing an artist, I went with the artist playing at the moment … John Legend.

  1. Are you a male or female: “Show Me”
  2. Describe yourself: “Alright”
  3. How do you feel about yourself? “I Can Change”
  4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: “Used to Love U”
  5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: “Stay With You”
  6. Describe your current location: “Coming Home”
  7. Describe where you want to be: “Refuge (When It’s Cold Outside)”
  8. Your best friends are: “Ordinary People”
  9. Your favorite color is: “Green Light”
  10. You know: “It’s Over”
  11. What’s the weather like? “Sun Comes Up”
  12. If your life was a television show what would it be called? “Satisfaction”
  13. What is life to you? “Live it Up”
  14. What is the best advice you have to give? “It Don’t Have to Change”
  15. If you could change your name what would it be? “Maxine”

And again with the artist on right now … Bob Marley.

  1. Are you a male or female: “Who the Cap Fit”
  2. Describe yourself: “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)”
  3. How do you feel about yourself? “Want More”
  4. Describe your ex boyfriend/girlfriend: “Stop That Train”
  5. Describe your current boy/girl situation: “One Love”
  6. Describe your current location: “Concrete Jungle”
  7. Describe where you want to be: “Pimper’s Paradise”
  8. Your best friends are: “Positive Vibration”
  9. Your favorite color is: “Talkin’ Blues”
  10. You know: “So Much Trouble in the World”
  11. What’s the weather like? “Coming in from the Cold”
  12. If your life was a television show what would it be called? “Stir it Up”
  13. What is life to you? “Wake Up and Live”
  14. What is the best advice you have to give? “Lively Up Yourself”
  15. If you could change your name what would it be? “Duppy Conqueror”

This is so fun!

more than an open mind …

What was I thinking? Up until last night, our “how to hatch” classes were fun, in an open-minded, lighthearted kind of way. We’d learned relaxation techniques, discussed support methods, and investigated positions meant to increase comfort both during pregnancy and labor. There was serious material mixed in — the baby’s position, phases of labor, possible procedures and interventions — but nothing that I wasn’t at least 75% prepared to handle.

As a preface to last night’s class, let me fill you in on my plan for labor. I was 95% sure I’d want a natural birth. I’ll spare you the specifics, but for several reasons, I knew I’d prefer to experience labor with as little intervention as possible.

Last night, however, was a whole new ballgame, and may have changed my take on things a bit. For last night’s class, I needed more than an open mind — I needed a serious cocktail, or perhaps a massive glass of wine. The discussion focused mostly on cesarean births, and OH … MY … GOSH. My new strategy? A natural birth is still very much preferred, but if things are slow-moving and pitocin will move things along (and an epidural becomes necessary), by all means, let’s avoid a c-section! I know sometimes they’re just plain necessary, and in that case, it is what it is. But in a situation where I can at all help avoid a procedure considered major surgery, you can count on me to be right there — ready and willing! I guess I just never thought of a cesarean birth as one of my possibilities. As it turns out, an estimated 31.1% of all births in the United States are cesarean (2006 estimate), and that’s a number worth figuring into my birth plan!

At this point, I’ve seen enough external and internal monitors, hooks, and catheters. I’ve heard enough about rupturing membranes, post-partum bleeding and sitz baths. And so much fear has been instilled that I’m convinced it can’t be as bad as I’m imagining it to be. I’d venture to guess that this is the “I can’t do this” stage, to be followed by the “get this baby out of me no matter what because I can’t take another day” stage. It was bound to happen at some point, right? I’ve been so laid back about this entire pregnancy, so it’s only appropriate that my day has come.

For now, I plan to take one day at a time and not think about what’s in store. I can’t change it, so why fear it? I’m not a worrier, and I vow to not start now. Instead, I’ll enjoy the daily acrobatics taking place in this bubble of a belly (She’s been SO active lately!). I’ll do my best to make memories out of these final 7 1/2 weeks. Life will never be the same once she’s here, so I’ll appreciate the peace and serenity while we’ve still got it. I’ll enjoy “dates” with my husband, because we may not have them for a while. I’ll nest and prepare for her arrival, and we’ll wait. However it happens, the outcome will be the most amazing miracle we’ve ever taken part in, and that’s what really matters in the end.

bits ‘n pieces

Well, it’s been a crazy few weeks in the “B” household. We’ve had some huge projects to finish before girlfriend’s arrival, and thanks to some great help from my dad and Justin’s mom, we’re rolling right through things! New windows have been installed, doors are hung, and there’s “Caribbean Sunset” paint on the walls! The floors are even started!

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Our “how to hatch” classes are still happening; one tonight, and our last class next Monday. I think they’ll prove to be useful, but I’m convinced that you’ve got to have an open mind! It’s hysterical to be taking this class next to my “partner,” or husband, as I prefer to call him. Some of the stuff he comes up with is so funny! Plenty of things I didn’t know and hadn’t thought of, and lots of good tips for a gal who’s 95% sure she’ll be having an “accouchement naturel” for this journey.

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My next appointment is this Wednesday – yippee! As far as I’m concerned, all is still well. I’ve really been blessed (Well, after the first 3 to 4 months of 24/7 nausea and vomiting …) — no crazy weight gain, swelling, stretch marks, heartburn, digestive “issues” (Sorry, TMI.) or other curses that plague many women. Let me rephrase and say none of these have happened YET; anything’s possible, and there are still 7 1/2 weeks left! Sleepless nights are all I’ve been dealt thus far, and I’m just treating those as though they’re only the beginning of the next 18 years of my life!

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This past Friday, I got a huge surprise — well, almost. A few things at work seemed “off,” but nothing that really got me thinking until I walked in the kitchen just after lunch. (How they made it until 15 minutes before without me knowing is still amazing to me. I’m never surprised, and they pulled it off!) One of my two cravings during this pregnancy has been oranges, so I went to the kitchen to peel one for an early afternoon snack. As I walked in, three of my co-workers were busy heating huge bowls of chocolate. Upon questioning, they swore the chocolate was for strawberries at their desk. Uh huh, yeah right. After a series of other suspicious acts, I was certain — it was the afternoon of my baby shower. It turned out to be an amazing afternoon; I can’t thank those that planned it enough — I had a great time! I am also so grateful for the gifts we received; people are so sweet! Girlfriend got lots of amazing gifts and plenty of necessities. Now we’re just waiting on her to get this party started! Many thanks to my co-workers; I’m still in awe, and everything is GREATLY appreciated!

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I’m a music addict, and can’t help but give an extra listen to the following two songs lately. The first had me in tears every time I heard it; thankfully, I’ve gotten over it and can now listen to the song in its entirety without shedding a tear. The second just makes me reflect on just how amazing this miracle really is.

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Darius Rucker – It Won’t Be Like This For Long

He didn’t have to wake up
He’d been up all night
Lying there in bed and listening
To his newborn baby cry
He makes a pot of coffee
He splashes water on his face
His wife gives him a kiss and says,
“It’s gonna be okay”

“It won’t be like this for long
One day we’ll look back laughing
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby, just hold on
It won’t be like this for long”

Four years later, ’bout 4:30
She’s crawling in their bed
And when he drops her off at pre-school
She’s clinging to his leg
The teacher peels her off of him
He says, “What can I do?”
She says, “Now, don’t you worry
This’ll only last a week or two”

“It won’t be like this for long
One day soon you’ll drop her off
And she won’t even know you’re gone
This phase is gonna fly by
If you can just hold on
It won’t be like this for long”

Someday soon she’ll be a teenager
And at times, he’ll think she hates him
And he’ll walk her down the aisle
And raise her veil,
But right now she’s up and cryin’
And the truth is that he don’t mind
As he kisses her goodnight
And she says her prayers

He lays down there beside her
‘Till her eyes are finally closed
And just watching her it breaks his heart
‘Cause he already knows

It won’t be like this for long
One day soon that little girl is gonna be
All grown up and gone
And this phase is gonna fly by
So he’s trying to hold on
It won’t be like this for long
It won’t be like this for long

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George Strait – I Saw God Today

I just walked down the street to the coffee shop
had to take a break
I’d been by her side for eighteen hours straight
I saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk
pushing up through the concrete
like it was planted right there for me to see
the flashin’ lights, the honkin’ horns
all seemed to fade away
in the shadow of that hospital at 5:08
I saw God today

Chorus:
I’ve been to church
I’ve read the book
I know He’s here, but I don’t look
near as often as I should
Yeah, I know I should
His fingerprints are everywhere
I’d just slow down to stop and stare
opened my eyes and man I swear
I saw God today

I saw a couple walking by they were holding hands
Man, she had that glow
yeah I couldn’t help but notice she was starting to show
I stood there for a minute takin’ in the sky
lost in that sunset
a splash of amber melted in the shades of red

Chorus

I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She’s sleeping like a rock
My name on her wrist wearing tiny pink socks
She’s got my nose, she’s got her mama’s eyes
My brand new baby girl
She’s a miracle
I saw God today

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This is a forward I received last week — SO funny!

The “Middle Wife” by an anonymous 2nd grade teacher

I’ve been teaching now for about fifteen years. I have two kids myself, but the best birth story I know is the one I saw in my own second grade classroom a few years back.

When I was a kid, I loved show-and-tell. So I always have a few sessions with my students. It helps them get over shyness and usually, show-and-tell is pretty tame. Kids bring in pet turtles, model airplanes, pictures of fish they catch, stuff like that. And I never, ever place any boundaries or limitations on them. If they want to lug it in to school and talk about it, they’re welcome.

Well, one day this little girl, Erica, a very bright, very outgoing kid, takes her turn and waddles up to the front of the class with a pillow stuffed under her sweater.

She holds up a snapshot of an infant. “This is Luke, my baby brother, and I’m going to tell you about his birthday.”

“First, Mom and Dad made him as a symbol of their love, and then Dad put a seed in my Mom’s stomach, and Luke grew in there. He ate for nine months through an umbrella cord.”

She’s standing there with her hands on the pillow, and I’m trying not to laugh and wishing I had my camcorder with me. The kids are watching her in amazement.

“Then, about two Saturdays ago, my Mom starts saying and going, ‘Oh, Oh, Oh, Oh!’ Erica puts a hand behind her back and groans. “She walked around the house for, like an hour, ‘Oh, oh, oh!’ (Now this kid is doing a hysterical duck walk and groaning.)

“My Dad called the middle wife. She delivers babies, but she doesn’t have a sign on the car like the Domino’s man. They got my Mom to lie down in bed like this.” (Then Erica lies down with her back against the wall.)

“And then, pop! My Mom had this bag of water she kept in there in case he got thirsty, and it just blew up and spilled all over the bed, like psshhheew!” (This kid has her legs spread with her little hands miming water flowing away. It was too much!)

“Then the middle wife starts saying ‘push, push,’ and ‘breathe, breathe.’ They started counting, but never even got past ten. Then, all of a sudden, out comes my brother. He was covered in yucky stuff that they all said it was from Mom’s play-center, (placenta) so there must be a lot of toys inside there.”

Then Erica stood up, took a big theatrical bow and returned to her seat. I’m sure I applauded the loudest. Ever since then, when it’s show-and-tell day, I bring my camcorder, just in case another “Middle Wife” comes along.

30 weeks …

Well, it was 29w6d at yesterday’s appointment, to be exact. I think I say this after every visit, but I love hearing her heartbeat. Not only is it a huge relief, but it represents a life that’s existing in my belly right now, and that’s simply amazing!

All’s well. She measured 31 cm, which is slightly more than she should be, but it’s okay at this point. Her head is down, and according to my midwife, she should stay that way. Yeah, she better stay that way!

I passed my glucose test (Yay!), so no worries about gestational diabetes. That rocks! I also got the list of “reasons you should call” at this appointment – including contractions. I thankfully haven’t had any yet, but if I do, and have 4 to 6 in an hour, I have 3 steps to follow, the third being to call the office. Nice.

Out of curiosity, I looked to see just how much baby I’m carrying at this point – an estimated 15.71 inches!

All’s been well – seriously! I have days where I’ve got a ton of energy and some when I’m exhausted. Some days getting my shoes on is easy, and on days like today, I recruited Justin because it just wasn’t worth the stretch! I sleep fairly well probably 3 nights a week, and the other 4 are torture. Really, none of these things are anything to complain about. It’s been smooth sailing, and I’m hoping the next 10 weeks are just as easy! (Yeah, right! If I could be so lucky!)

The weather this weekend is supposed to be in the 60s and 70s, so I plan on walking at least once each day – yay! I’ve been itching to get outside, and am so looking forward to getting lots of fresh air! This rear’s been in hibernation all winter; it’s time to bring it out!

That’s all I can think of at the moment. We start our birthing classes this Monday … as long as there’s no snow like there was last week! I prefer to call them “how to hatch” classes; should be interesting! Since my mind is telling me I’ll go “au naturalle” on the big day (I’m open to other options based on how it goes, however.), I want us to be armed with as much information as possible. We’ll see how these classes go and hope they’re worthwhile.

Hopefully the weather is gorgeous where you are and you can enjoy at least a bit of sunshine! Have a great weekend!