Hi all. I am part of a mom's group that is currently hosting an auction to benefit one of our members. As you may or may not know, I used a midwife at the birth of my son, Lincoln. We were lucky enough to have our insurance cover most of the fees, but some insurance companies still do not recognize midwives as a viable option for women. My good friend, Kari, is currently expecting twins and is hoping to deliver them at home with a midwife, as she did with 3 of her other children. Unfortunately, the insurance they currently have will not cover the cost of a midwife, and with 4 other kids, money is tight. We are holding this auction to help them have the birth they desire for their children. We believe mothers should have a choice in how they give birth, and we want to help Kari achieve her birth by offering some financial assistance. The items up for bid are either handmade or skills donated by other mothers from the group and/or friends. If you are looking for any items for your own children, or for a gift for a baby shower or birthday, please consider checking out the awesome items on the blog. To leave a bid, just place your amount in the comments on the blog. The auction will close March 19th at 8:00 pm, CST. Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for reading!
Feeling a bit braver today, so below, behold my attempt at making my own AIO cloth diaper. You can't miss it because it is the neon orange thing below that is screaming at you. You may want to avoid staring directly at the diaper if you value your retinas.
This second picture isn't really needed, but his smile prevented me from leaving it out...
The diaper, while sewn by me, was from a kit purchased from Diaperkit.com. The kit arrived with the material already precut, including the elastic, touch tape (velcro), and size tag. In addition, it had already been pre-washed, so it was all ready for me to sew together when it got here! Nice.
I ordered 2 kits for my first attempt. The first was a fitted diaper made from unbleached flannel. You can either serge the seams or turn and topstitch, which was my method because I lack a serger. I feel obligated to point out that I chose these diapers as my first sewing project on my first sewing machine. A bit overly ambitious, which is why I am not sharing the results of the fitted diaper. The elastic leg holes leave something to be desired. Lincoln felt the same way. The second diaper is the AIO pictured above. The inside is a soft, unbleached flannel, and the outside a garishly orange PUL (polyurethane laminate) fabric. It looked much less bright in the pictures on the website when I was choosing a color. This diaper nearly made me lose my mind. My sewing machine is a "beginners model" and protested loudly at sewing through 6 layers of flannel and thick velcro tabs. I also learned that a ball point needle is a plus when sewing with PUL. I did learn my lesson on how to sew in elastic after the 5th go at it. Truthfully, even though it isn't much to look at, I am pretty proud that this diaper actually fits Lincoln, doesn't leak, and stays closed at the tabs. That it does that much goes against all odds, so should it fall apart after a mere 3-4 washings, I won't mind too much.
I would like to attempt more diapers in the future--I think I serger would go a long way in preserving my sanity, or at least a higher end sewing machine, but for now I am happy with what I have. My sewing skills still do not warrant owning a higher end machine, and it does work fine for thin fabrics and basic stitches. I would like to recommend Diaperkits.com if you are attempting your first diaper--the fact that the materials and accessories are precut and ready to go made it a lot easier than attempting to make my own pattern and finding fabric and such on my own. Plus, it is a very economical way to add more diapers to your stash. For an AIO, my kit cost me $6.95. You can get cover kits for $3.95. Sure, there was the time involved to sew them up, but really, after making a few, I think they could go pretty quickly. This coming from the girl who had to re-sew her seams 4 times. There are patterns available online, though, if you are more advanced in your sewing skills and would like to attempt it on your own.
Ok, to continue on about cloth diapers...last time I wrote about the prefolds and fitteds, which are the cheaper way to do cloth diapering. If you are willing to shell out a little more dough up front, pockets and all in one (AIO) diapers offer a bit more connivence and ease of use. Although they function in pretty much the same way, there are some differences in the pocket and AIO.
Below is our (small) stash of pocket and AIO diapers. It should also be pointed out that the red diaper was graciously lent to us by our friend Kari (who also lent us the previously mentioned kissaluvs...thanks, Kari!). Also, not pictured is an AIO diaper I made myself. Sometime I might write about that, but for now, I'll be keeping my shoddy sewing abilities to myself. Although, I will point out the diaper actually fits him and appears to work, so all that needs fixing is the aesthetics!
Ok, pictured above, clockwise from top left: BumGenius 3.0 (pocket), Thirsties (AIO), fuzzi bunz new style (pocket), fuzzi bunz old style (pocket).
I like to think of these as our "special" diapers, and seem to save them for special occasions, such as...the grocery store, when we have visitors, or night time. If we are just lounging around the house, we use the prefolds. Lincoln has outgrown the kissalvus (sad...we liked those!) in the rise. He is a long baby, and even though they still fit him in the waist, they are too short on him!
The BumGenius 3.0 is a one-size diaper; meaning that it can be adjusted to fit a baby up through toddler through the use of snaps. This diaper was HUGE on Lincoln when he was first born, even though he was the recommended 8 lbs. We found it fit him much better when he got to 10 lbs. The diaper uses the snaps to adjust the size lengthwise, and velcro tabs to adjust the waist. The inside of the diaper is a soft fabric called suedecloth. This is the part that is next to the baby's skin. There is a pocket opening where you put your absorbent material--in this case, we use the microterry inserts that came with the diaper. You can also make your own inserts from microfiber towels, flannel, prefold diapers, or hemp and bamboo fabric. I've heard that hemp makes super absorbent inserts, but haven't tried them myself yet. The outside of the diaper is a water proof PUL (the same material as the covers I mentioned in the previous post--difference being this one is attached to the diaper).
Above: insert inside the pocket opening. When changing the diaper, you remove the insert and place both insert and diaper in the diaper pail. The nice thing about removable inserts is that it speeds up drying time. Also, at night or if you know you need some extra absorbency, you can add an extra insert in the pocket.
Above: Suedecloth inside the diaper
The Thirsties AIO is next. An AIO diaper functions like a pocket, except the insert is sewn in, so you don't remove it for washing. The upside on this is your don't have to pull out a dirty insert, but the downside is that it takes much longer to dry. This AIO is nice because it also features an optional pocket. It isn't necessary to use an insert with this diaper, but we do add one at night just for a little added security. This is a sized diaper, so it can't be adjusted. Lincoln is wearing a small now, and seems to still have a lot of growing room.
Above: Thirsties AIO, lined with microfleece.
Finally, we have our fuzzi bunz. These fuzzi bunz are sized (both small), but fuzzi bunz did just release a one size diaper. I haven't seen or tried it, but the way to adjust the size is supposed to be new in that you adjust the length of the elastic on the side, inside of snapping the front down. In theory, that should make them less bulky in the front. I'll be interested to try one out. We have both an old style and a new style fuzzi bunz. The main difference is the shape of the tabs--old style is a bit pointy, new style more square. The sizing is also a little different, but not too noticeable (at least on Lincoln). These are pocket diapers, so you need an insert with them. We really like the fit of these on Lincoln, and I currently am expecting a set of them to arrive from a mama from diaper swappers. Hopefully today!
Above: Looking in at the pocket opening.
Above: fuzzi bunz are lined with a microfleece fabric.
Above: an example of a microterry insert.
These are just a small glimpse of the types of diapers out there. There are so many choices that it can make your head spin trying to figure out what is best. We went with a few of each different types to see what worked best for us, but we have only scratched the surface at the many (many!) brands available, including TONS by work at home moms! This website offers reviews of different brands of diapers. I've found it really helpful.
So, in short, that is our experience thus far with cloth diapers. We wash them about every other day. I am still tweaking our laundry method, so once I figure out what works best for us, I'll post that. If you have any questions, or suggestions, let me know!
Today, Lincoln is 2 months old! We have been super busy this past month. Some of Lincoln's latest milestones:
I have not been very good about getting all the milestones recorded in his baby book...I am glad that I at least have them recorded here, even if the date is not there, we at least have the month! It has been quite an adjustment for me to learn how to manage my time during the days since I am staying home with Lincoln. For awhile, it seemed like all we did was eat, change diapers, sleep, and repeat. We have gotten into much more of a routine (although not a routine by time...more of a routine by order, if that makes sense). For now, our typical day involves the following:
between 5:45-8:00 (varies by day): wake up to eat and change diaper, get dressed, play
for about 2 hours, somewhere between 8 and 11: nap
between 11:00 and 12:00: wake up to eat, change diaper
in the afternoon sometime: go for a walk, run an errand such as grocery shopping or play group (I can manage one errand a day at the moment. Two stresses me and the baby out), play
sometime between 2 and 4:30: nap, somewhere between one and two hours
5:00: wake to eat, change diaper
5:30 or 6:00: Daddy comes home. Go get the mail, play with Daddy.
7:00: mommy and daddy eat dinner, then Lincoln usually eats again
usually during dinner for about an hour: nap
bedtime routine varies wildly by time, but includes the following: sometimes a bath, change into pajamas, listen to lullaby mobile
Asleep somewhere between 10 and midnight. Wakes anywhere between 2 and 3 times a night for feedings.
Also, you should note that on any given day (that meaning most, if not all days), there are many more diaper changes and feedings than listed. This "schedule" is just a rough outline to give you an idea of the days.
I have gotten pretty good about fitting in some house work such as laundry (have to wash those diapers!), cleaning the kitchen, and straightening the family room. I am working on keeping a cleaner house and adding in the task of managing our budget. I also hope to find time to sew more and work on items to sell. Time management is definitely a work in progress!
So, 2 months gone by already. I almost don't believe it has been that long! We are so proud of all the Lincoln has accomplished already. I have no idea how I will handle it when he actually begins to talk and says "mama" for the first time. You'll probably just find me as a puddle on the floor because he will have melted me completely. Happy 2 months, the buddy!
Lucas and I decided that we were going to use cloth diapers with our baby long before we were even pregnant. Back when I was in junior high/high school, I babysat my cousins a lot, and my aunt used cloth diapers with them, so I always figured we would do the same. Then when we were living in Denver, a friend of mine decided to use cloth with her son, so I knew they were still around. It wasn't until we moved to Houston, though, that I realized how many more options there are in cloth diapering compared to the prefolds and plastic pants I used with my cousins. I am lucky enough to be involved in a mom's group that offers lots of support for cloth diapering. Lucas and I learned all about all the different types available through the group and through our own research online.
Reasons we decided cloth diapering was for us:
1. The cost factor: figures vary, but we found that the average cost to use disposables for a minimum of 2 years would be between $1500 and $2000. That is repeated for each child you have. With cloth diapers, there is the initial set up cost, which can run between $300-$1000, depending on the cloth diapering system you use. This is a one time cost, because the diapers can be reused with any future children you have. So far for Lincoln's stash, we have spent just about $150 dollars. He will eventually need to add bigger diapers to the stash, but we have been happy with what we started with. We were also lucky enough to be able to borrow a good numbers of diapers from a friend, so if that is an option for you, you can cut costs even more. There is the consideration of the cost incurred to wash the diapers, but we have found our water bill has only increased by a few dollars per month so far...much less than we would have been spending if we were using disposable diapers.
2. The environmental factor: this article sums up nicely what environmental factors we considered.
3. The health factor: we liked the idea of keeping cloth next to the baby's skin all day instead of the plastic used to make diapers.
4. The cuteness factor: cloth diapers are adorable. They come in fun prints and colors and give baby an irresistibly cute fluffy butt.
5. The convenience: Ok, there is no way I can argue that cloth diapers are more convenient than disposable diapers. Not going to happen. I can, however, point out that cloth diapers are much more convenient than they used to be. We are even able to use them when we go to the store or out to eat, just by carrying a water-proof bag with us in which to carry the diaper.
In order to be completely fair, I will admit that we use disposable diapers at night. We eventually hope to switch to cloth at night, but at the moment, we are still new parents and changing a disposable at 3:00 AM is a bit quicker than a cloth, and we need all the sleep we can get!
So, to start, I am going to share the 2 types of diapers we started with. We have expanded a bit from these 2 types, but that will be another post.
Above, Lincoln is wearing a prefold held together with a Snappi. You can also use pins, but we find the Snappi to be much easier, and we don't risk sticking the baby with a pin. We choose to Snappi the prefold, but many people just fold it in thirds and lay it in the diaper cover. We find that method didn't work too well for us, with the runny newborn poo. Maybe when he is older, we can give it another shot. These diapers also come in handy as burp cloths, now that he has outgrown the newborn size. We ordered these diapers from Green Mountain Diapers.
The diaper above is called a fitted diaper. It has snaps on the sides and is made of an absorbent cotton fabric. It functions the same way as a prefold diaper, with the convenience of going on like a disposable. The brand above is called Kissaluvs, but many different types exist out there.
The prefold and fitted diapers both require a cover to be worn over them to prevent leaking through to the baby's clothes. I think plastic pants still exist, but also available now are covers made from breathable, waterproof fabric. We have a few different brands of these:
The brand Lincoln is wearing above is the Bummis Super Whisper Wrap. It velcros on over the diaper.
This brand is called Thirsties. It also just velcros on, but is a bit softer and more flexible than the Bummis.
So, that is a start to our cloth diaper experience! I have much more to write about, so perhaps I will have to do a cloth diapering blog series. And now, off to put the diapers in the dryer!
Last week, Lincoln received a much anticipated package in the mail from friends Nathan and Morgan. We immediately began making Lincoln wear the enclosed apparel--as you can see below, he loves them! We find them quite awesome, too.
Thanks, Nathan and Morgan!
Today, Lincoln is 7 weeks old! That is just crazy! I haven't posted any pictures of him for awhile, so I have just a few to share today. I was playing around with iPhoto, so you get to see my attempt to be artsy in the first photo...
Check out my awesome outfit. Totally matches:
My first rattle...it's a chicken:
Hmmm. After uploading them, they look really grainy to me. In iPhoto, they are perfectly clear. But when I preview the page, not so much. I am going to leave them for now, because Lincoln is asking me to come feed him, but I will try and fix them later. Sorry for the not-so-good photo editing! I will get better!
*edited to add that I fixed the pictures--exported too low of quality the first time. oops.
My apologies for the lack of baby posting lately--we got a new computer (a Macbook, for those who care about those sorts of things), and the photo editing software had a bit of a learning curve for me. Especially since I watched 30 minutes worth of tutorials for the wrong version. We have iLife 08. I watched the videos for iLife 09. Sigh. At least I'll know how to use it when we get the updated version later this month.
Next up (pause to admire how the computer keyboard just lit up--it seems to do that around 5:20 each night--probably programmed to, but I'm going to pretend it just knew it was getting dim in here...) on the baby good things list: more music! I figured I would keep going with the music theme for a bit...
Because we knew we would most likely be listening to the same songs over and over for a good 3-5 years, we decided to search out some "non-annoying" children's music for Lincoln. Behold our finds:
We'll start the reviews starting at the top left and progress in a clockwise manner:
1. Snacktime by The Barenaked Ladies: At the moment, I am currently only able to review up through song 7 of this CD. I can, however, tell you that we love love love this CD up to that point! We use this CD during each and every diaper change--in particular, we use song #3--Pollywog in a Bog. Lincoln can be crying and upon hearing the beginning "bum bum, bum bum bum...", calms down, and sometimes even smiles. Which is a shame, because that means we have to miss out on song number 2--the Ninja song. This song is hilarious, at least for adults. I suppose some children might find "The ninjas are deadly and silent. They're also unspeakably violent" cause for a night or two of nightmares. But if they get past that line, they'll discover that the ninjas also, "speak Japanese and do whatever they please, and sometimes they vacation in Ireland." See, not so scary! They're hanging out with the leprechauns! Going back to the Pollywog song...this song has been stuck in my head for about a week now--replacing the Lollipop song from last week. When you hear it, oh 10-12 times a day, it is bound to. We especially love the pollywog rap in the middle "Ribbet Ribbet, a tadpole exhibit, it's a transformation no one can inhibit..". Highly highly recommend this CD. This definitely ain't Raffi.
2. & 3. These 2 are part of the Rock-a-Bye baby series that takes popular albums and remakes them as wordless lullabies with soothing instruments like the glockenspiel, xylophone, and mellotron. Aunt Lindsay bought these for Lincoln before he was born and he has become a big fan of them. We have the Beatles and U2 albums. We may look into adding some more of these to our collection--they have quite a variety on the website that look interesting!
4. Here Come the One, Two, Threes--They Might Be Giants. Unfortunately, I can't review this one just yet. I'll have to come back to this if Lincoln ever tires of the Pollywog song. Can't see that happening anytime soon, though, so maybe I'll stick this one in the car...
"Its a pollywog in a bog, swimming on a soggy log, one day he'll be a frog, a pollywog in a bog..."
(Lucas is currently changing the baby, so a brief snippet of pollywog for you. Wouldn't want you to be left out.)
I think we made a good choice going with these CDs versus day after day of Baby Beluga. If you are looking to do the same, you won't be sorry!
I spend a lot of time online reading reviews of baby products/ideas/techniques on blogs, review boards, forums, message boards, etc. I thought since pretty much everything we try with Lincoln is a new experience, I might as well document what we like and don't like--maybe the information could help another new mom or dad, or at the very least, we'll have a record of what worked and what didn't!
First up: MIKA's youtube video for the song Lollipop.
This song has the amazing ability to calm Lincoln down--we just crank up the volume on the computer and dance away! I heard about the magical properties of this song from our photographer who did Lincoln's newborn pictures. I bet we currently put in a good 3-4 listens a day to that song, and have come up with some pretty awesome dance moves as well. Which reminds me that we have an upcoming music video of our own coming out, as soon as we get a computer that will let us edit video...but you all will be the first to see its debut, I can promise you that.
I'm not sure if this will be a daily thing/weekly thing/biweekly thing...probably just a "when I have time and feel like it" thing. But, I hope to post somewhat regularly!
Today is Grandma Beck's birthday, so Lincoln and I spent the morning having a special birthday photo shoot in honor of the big day. We think the results are pretty cute and hope you enjoy them! Happy Birthday, Grandma! (and Mom!)!
And finally....I call this one, "Please, make the flashing light stop!!"
After some thought on whether the one month birthday fell 4 weeks from the actual birth (on a Friday) or the same date as the birth a month later (the 19th), we've decided to do our counting from the date. So, yesterday Lincoln was one month old! It went so fast! Lincoln has changed a lot in just a month: he can now hold his head up for 5-10 seconds and turn it from side to side when laying on his tummy. He has slept up to 5 hours straight (one time only) during the night. More often he sleeps for 2-3 hours at a time. He loves to be in his sling or Beco carrier. He smiles a lot in his sleep and even laughs (silently) sometimes. He is beginning to smile when awake, which is fun! He has made the switch to cloth diapers during the daytime. He has outgrown his first outfit! He loves to go outside. He does not like it when mommy eats citrus fruit or juice. He loves to have visitors. He likes to be in the water up to his shoulders, but does not like a sponge bath. He has awesome dance moves! He likes to swing. He appears to be a fan of U2. He has discovered his hands and we have actually seen him stare at his hand and try and aim it towards his mouth (usually missing and hitting the cheek or nose...quite hilarious). He has, on one occasion, located his thumb and managed to suck on it for about 2 seconds. He will turn towards sounds. He still does not like his bassinet. He tends to be fussy anytime between 10:00 pm and 12:00 am (unless it was last night, and then fussiness lasted from 9:00 pm until 3:00 am. Let's hope that was a one time thing!). He has a receding hairline. He is the cutest baby I have ever seen and I am so amazed that we have him in our lives! And now, some pictures from this month:
Lincoln wearing the baby leg warmers I made him. A bit big now, but he'll grow into them!
Uncle Jeff and Aunt Lindsay came for a visit!
Aunt Breanne also came down for the weekend!
All dressed up:
And one more--tummy time, holding his head up all by himself!
Lincoln will be 3 weeks old tomorrow. He has been keeping busy. Some of his favorite activities:
He also enjoys having his picture taken. We have taken a ton, but since it takes me forever to resize them all (Lucas is much faster, but I always forget how to do the batch function for resizing) I just pick the best to resize and upload those. Lincoln is currently asleep, so I was able to resize a few and put them on Picasa.
So for today, I have this picture to post. It is my new favorite. You can click on the blue link for the whole album.
Lincoln Danger, born December 19, 2008 at 9:20 pm. 8 lbs., 3 oz., 21 inches long. We are pretty fond of him!
Click here for a whole album of Lincoln!
Today is Lucas' birthday! You all probably remember from last year that Lucas only turns 23 each year, refusing to get any older than that. Some quick math can tell you his true age, although in the interest of being fair to Lucas, let's make it a bit harder...don't laugh at what I consider to be "harder" math. Maybe we should just call it "takes longer" math. Lucas is the engineer in this family.
I don't want to admit how long that took me to check.
Happy Birthday Lucas!
love, your mathematically challenged wife.
Kelly said I should write a post. I reluctantly agreed, even though I prefer to take our readers for granted. All three of you. For granted.
Work has been crazy busy. I've got a software bug that I can't get to the bottom of. I know what you're thinking - "Man, that is insanely exciting! I wish Lucas would write more about software." To that I say, be careful what you ask for. Work really has been busy, in all phases.
Today, I was in our lab with some co-workers and heard that the lunar rover was driving around the quad in front of the building. I went out there and snapped some photos with my never-reliable T-Mobile phone. It honestly took over 1 hour for the phone to send the images to my album online. Ugh. So, now I'm going lazy on your behinds and just slapping the photos in here with no effort made toward aesthetics.
Still pregnant. Had a bit of an adventure last week, but did not result in a baby coming home yet. Wednesday morning I was taking Wembley outside and it had rained during the night so the deck was wet. I, being huge and off balance, slipped and fell. It didn't hurt me, but I called the midwife anyway and she wanted me to come in just to be safe. I had a non-stress test and also went for a biophysical ultrasound to make sure everything was ok--it was. Baby passed 8/8 tests on the biophysical (don't ask me what they are, I was just concerned it was ok!). I went back on Thursday for a followup, and everything continued to check out ok, so we are in the clear. Baby has dropped some more since the last appointment, so things are moving in the right direction. I've been doing my part to help move it along with the ball bouncing, tea drinking, and spicy food eating 3 nights in a row. Eh. I think baby will choose to come when it is ready (which is hopefully soon!). Lucas and I did some major cleaning this weekend, so the house feels like it is good to go. I planned to bake some Christmas cookies today, but forgot we were almost out of flour. Don't feel like braving the mobs at the store, so that will have to wait.
Today is my first day of unemployment. I decided last Friday would be my last day of work so that I could spend this week doing last minute things, or having a baby should it choose to come early...It is odd to not have a job. I am both sad and happy about this at the same time. Although, the sad could just be the insane amount of hormones coursing through my veins at the moment...mood swings and I are not strangers these days!
I got a haircut this morning, probably against my better judgment. It was nothing major--just a 1/2 inch trim and some layers in the front. At least, that is what I asked for. I'm not sure the lady I went to had ever cut layers before. She kept asking me if she was doing it right--hmmm, not a good sign when she is asking the person sitting under the scissors for advice. I'm not too worried about it because I'll probably continue just wearing a ponytail everyday anyway...but in the future, I'll save any haircuts for a place I trust, not the one that sent a coupon in the mail for $4 off a $14 haircut...
I don't think I have any new pictures to post so you'll have to make due with the nursery ones from a few days ago. Nevermind, I lied. I have this supercute picture of Wembley, stealing my pregnancy pillow. He loves pillows.
As promised, I have pictures of the nursery. Haven't finished uploading the rest of the shower pics yet, just because there are about a thousand of them and it is taking forever. Once that is done, I will put the link up to those, too. So, here it is! Our finished nursery!!
You can click here to see more...
Nope, no baby yet. Had our most recent midwife appointment last Thursday, where I found out I was 1 centimeter dilated and 75% effaced. Not that you can really tell anything with that information...it could either be hours or weeks at any point. The baby had rotated a bit to the "wrong" side (back should be towards my left, it was towards my right). My midwife gave me a whole series of exercises to do to try and rotate the baby--rocking on my hands and knees (2 sets of 15 minutes), bouncing on the birth ball (2 sets of 30 minutes), laying on my left side (as much as possible), squats, and lunges (anytime I'm not sitting, I suppose). I'm not an expert, but I think I can feel the back on the left now...we'll see on Thursday when I go back. Lucas has been my coach, making sure I do the exercises. I am running out of self motivation, so I suppose that's a good thing.
My friends Zandy, Blair, and Christina threw a baby shower for Lucas and me over the weekend. It was a lot of fun. Below is Zandy, me, and Christina with the amazing cake they made.
Blair and her baby girl.
I plan to upload more shower pictures on our online album today, so when that is done I'll put a link up to them. I also have pictures of the nursery, but I'll save them for tomorrow so that it seems like I am updating more frequently =]
Even though my due date is still 3 weeks off, I am, as of today, officially full term. If I had the baby today, it would not be considered early anymore. Lucas read a statistic yesterday, though, that most first time mothers have their babies between 38-42 weeks. Which is an enormous, month long window. We decided the baby will be here before Christmas, though, and even more ideally before the 20th. My midwife gave me lots of exercises to help move the baby into ideal position, plus suggested a regimen of red raspberry leaf tea and 5W herbs. So, operation have baby before Christmas is officially underway!
My most recent midwife appointment was last Wednesday. We had to go a day earlier than usual because of Thanksgiving this week. I got the results back from my Group B strep test--negative! This makes me happy because I get to avoid the IV during labor. Also, my blood count came back normal, so I don't have to take any extra iron or protein. Baby had moved slightly (instead of back towards my left side, back was facing front), so I have been doing the yoga cat/cow moves and laying on my left side to help it move back into position. We do know it is head down, and because there is hardly any room left in there, it really doesn't have room to turn all the way back around, which means it should still be head down at birth. yay!
Lucas and I have almost finished packing our bag for the birth center. With a birth center birth, you go home anywhere from 4-6 hours after the baby is born, so I am trying to resist over packing...very hard for me, but Lucas is doing his best to keep me in line =]
Pictures of the nursery to come after this weekend. Lucas and his dad built the crib yesterday, and today we are moving in some of the other furniture...
We had another appointment on Thursday. She checked position of the baby and it appeared to be in optimal position =] Let's hope it stays there! We had all the regular checks, plus the Group B Strep screen at this visit. I think we'll find out the results of that on Wednesday when I go for my next visit. If you test positive for Group B Strep, they administer antibiotics during labor to ensure you don't pass it on to your baby. Stats vary, but roughly 25% of women are positive for Group B Strep but do not manifest symptoms, which is why the test is done. If you have it and don't know it, 98-99% of the time it won't be passed on to your baby anyway, but because of the side effects if you were to pass it on, they take the precaution of administering the antibiotics for that 1-2% chance.
I posted last time that I thought my picture made me look even bigger than I was. Well, now I am pretty sure I am huge and the pictures are accurate. I ran into a doorway yesterday because I forgot how big my stomach was. Oops. Lucas and I have fun watching the baby squirm around in there. It has a pretty powerful kick. Lucas is hoping for a soccer player.
We got our car seat over the weekend. We are going to try and get it installed in the car next weekend. The baby's room is also nearly ready. We need to clear out the building/painting supplies and vacuum, then we can put up a picture. We are going to try and get a rug this week, also. Luckily, I don't have to work this week because schools are out for Thanksgiving break, so I can get to work on some of the final projects!
To close, some pictures of my giant belly. I took them myself today, since NASA doesn't get Thanksgiving break and Lucas had to work...
We had another midwife appointment last Thursday. It was pretty uneventful--just a basic checkup (glucose and protein levels, blood pressure, baby's heartrate). Everything looked good. I do have a fun, somewhat pregnancy related, "extra" that I am currently "dealing with" (read: "hiding"). I say somewhat pregnancy related because it isn't something limited to pregnant women...anyone can get it. It just so happens that I happened to get it while pregnant, possibly because of lowered immune system functioning that comes along with being pregnant...or maybe I would have got it anyway. What is it, you ask? It happens to be called pityriasis rosea. I tried to find a picture most similar to what mine looks like, but all the pictures online are much more severe cases than what I have. I do have the "herald patch" on my upper left shoulder, and red patches all down my back, upper arms, and they are beginning to creep onto my abdomen and neck, despite my emphatic begging them not to. It is non-contagious. It seems it is most common in the fall and spring, and you catch it from the air, like an allergen. The good news is that you only get it one time in your life. The bad news is that I have it at all. It has no negative affects, it seems, other than appearance. Doesn't itch, won't affect the baby, doesn't require medicine...but it sure isn't nice to look at. The sites I've seen say it lasts from 6-8 weeks. However, and this is the interesting part, my good friend had a case of this last spring, and her's lasted almost 3 months. When she got it, she was pregnant (about as far along as I am), got her herald patch in the same place as mine, and worked in the same environment as me. We have concluded that work is to blame. There is another pregnant teacher who is about 3 months along. We decided that she should come hang out at the office when she is roughly 7-8 months pregnant, and if she gets it too, we will be sufficiently confidant to blame our office.
So, that's fun. Other than skin conditions, I've been doing just dandy. My back pain has subsided enough that I am sleeping fair-good on most nights. My feet have had some swelling, but I do walk around a lot during the day picking up kids for therapy, so that probably accounts for that. Lucas and I have had 5 child birth classes. For a fun little experiment, you can all try what we did at the last class. It was meant to simulate labor. Hold an ice cube in your hand and try to relax. You have to keep it in your hand for 1 minute straight. Then remove it for 1-2 minutes, and do it again. We did 10 reps. Super fun!! But, I think it was a good way to practice all the relaxation techniques we've been learning.
We've been working on the baby's room little by little. Lucas finished putting up bead board around the bottom half of the room last night. This coming weekend we are going to install the floors. Then I will try and get some pictures up here.
This feels ramble-y. I will end here...
Expect more frequent updates. Starting next week, we are up to weekly midwife visits.
Me at 28 weeks pregnant at Austin City Limits. It was disgustingly hot and dusty, but we had a good time. I think the baby did, too. It seemed to like Beck a lot.
Here is a pictures last week, 33 weeks along. I think the picture makes me look a tad bigger than I am (not that I am not huge...just maybe not that huge. Yet. I'm sure I will be.)
So, it is a little late, but here is my next pregnancy update. My most recent midwife appointment was last Wednesday, so I am just over a week behind, so not bad! We have not hooked up our desktop computer since returning after the hurricane, so I am not able to upload any photos right now. Well, I guess I could upload them, but they'd be huge as this computer has no picture editing software on it (to my knowledge). If that is incorrect, Lucas can help me when he gets home.
(Time out because the dog is crying at the door to go out. We have to physically take him out there on a leash because we are missing 2 sides of the fence in the backyard, thanks to Ike. Wembley would be gone if we just let him out there and expected him to do his business and come back in)
Ok, I just remembered I've had 3 midwife appointments since my last post. Oops. Not as good as originally thought. The first appointment was one of the longer appointments--I had to do the 1 hour glucose screen for gestational diabetes, followed by having blood drawn for the glucose screen and rh-factor. She also checked the fetal heart rate and position of the baby (both great!). 2 days later, I had to go back for a rhogam shot, because my rh-factor is negative. She also had to draw some more blood because the lab didn't run one of the tests she ordered and had already disposed of my blood. This is the second time this has happened to me this pregnancy. Not a big fan of that lab--I don't do well with having blood taken anyway, and to have it done 2 extra times that wouldn't have been necessary if they had just read the order is maddening. The glucose screen required me to drink 12 oz. of a high sugar liquid and then sit around for an hour while my body processed it. While we waited, Lucas and I watched some birthing videos and worked on some paperwork. I passed the screening and am now going in for appointments every 2 weeks (standard after you reach 30 weeks). So, my 30 week appointment was last Wednesday. I actually moved it from later in the week because I caught some awful cold. Last year, I somehow managed to not get sick the entire school year. After 2 years of catching "the death" illness in Colorado, I had come to expect it and was relieved when it never came. This year, the bug was milder, but I am still working on this barking cough that won't go away. It doesn't help that talking makes it worse, and my job pretty much requires me to talk all day (speech therapy). The 30 week appointment went well--everything looked fine.
Lucas and I have finally started work on the baby's room. Lucas has been building a built-in bookcase for our front room of the house, so that we can unpack all the boxes of books that have been stored in the baby's room until now. This week, he also scraped the popcorn-like texture off the wall and spackled the room to smooth it out. Tonight he will sand it down and then we can prime it (I know, I'm not much help...). This weekend, a couple friends are going to help paint it with us. We've been doing lots of research on car seats, strollers, diapers, etc., but haven't purchased much yet. We started child birth classes on Monday and that will run for 8 weeks.
I suppose there is more, but this is long enough for now!
If you know us, you likely know that we live in the Houston area. Actually, we live in League City, which is a Houston suburb around Clear Lake. You may have heard of Clear Lake today, because it seems like every news station has someone there. In fact, the guy I'm watching on television right now is in the parking lot of the Hilton in Clear Lake, right across the street from Johnson Space Center where I work. We live 6 miles from there, on the other side of Clear Lake.
League City began voluntary evacuations on Thursday, Sept. 11. League City never actually announced a mandatory evacuation, which I find strange seeing as how almost every neighboring town (certainly all those nearest us) had mandatory evacuations. Nevertheless, Kelly and I left. Thursday morning I picked up some plywood and boarded up the most exposed and susceptible windows of the house. Soon as I finished, we jumped in the car for the drive to Dallas, where my parents live. The drive is 290 miles, and usually takes about 5 hours (you have to drive through all of Houston AND all of Dallas to get there). Yesterday it took 8 hours. For the first 80 miles we averaged 20 mph. That's an average, because there was an hour or so where it was probably 10 mph or less.
So, we have spent all night glued to the television. The storm surge projections for the area we live are 18-22 ft. The best I can figure from internetting is that our house is probably around 20-25 ft above sea level. This means that there is a fair chance, as of 10:45 pm Friday, Sept. 12, that our house may be under water when we wake up in the morning. Here's hoping it's not.
- Lucas -
I had heard that many people have really strange and vivid dreams when pregnant, so I was prepared for that. In fact, I have found it much easier to remember my dreams because they have been really vivid. Last night was the first really strange one though. I dreamt that we had the baby and we had laid it down for a nap. Then, we left for a wedding--that's right, leaving the baby home alone. So, the baby is home by itself, and we arrive at the wedding, which was for Lucas' former roommate Nathan and his wife Morgan (who actually got married several years ago...but I guess my brain felt like it could do a much cooler version of the wedding). When we arrived, we were handed pilgrim hats and mini footballs. Apparently, Nathan and Morgan had each planned different "themes" for their wedding, but neither had consulted with the other to make sure they didn't conflict. Nathan had chosen "Football and the First Thanksgiving." Everyone in the congregation was wearing pilgrim hats, people were tossing mini footballs across the aisles, and the church was decorated with fall colors, leaves, cornucopias, and turkeys. Morgan's theme was "Cinderella." She was trying to direct a horse drawn carriage down the aisle of the church. There were also glass slippers being passed around full of candy. My dream skipped over the ceremony part, and then we were back at home and discovered that we had left the baby there all day! In doing so, we had not changed the diaper all day, thus giving the baby the world's worst case of diaper rash. Ever. I started to cry and then some lady appeared with this magic cream (looked just like vaseline to me) and said if I had coated the diaper with the magic cream, this never would have happened. (No one mentioned that we should have perhaps taken the baby with us. Then I woke up. Hmmmm.