28 August 2011

Nerd in Utero Project: Weeks 29-31

And now for the tapering of the belly!  At this rate, it's going to look like a mountain peak in a matter of days.

How Far Along: I've missed a couple of weeks…so goes the life of a teacher.  Today, we're covering weeks 29-31.
Size of Baby: A squash.  How very "autumn" of our to-be-born-in-October baby.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Just over 30…and some of it fell off with the virus I've had earlier last week.
Maternity Clothes: I'm pretty much in maternity clothes ALL THE TIME, but I did have to do some extra shopping for work-appropriate clothing.  And Michael's shirts are making the most comfortable PJs.  I have more than outgrown all of my T-shirts.
One favor to ask all the mommies out there: Are there any of you with fall/winter maternity clothes (in my size, of course) that I could possibly borrow for the last few weeks of our pregnancy?  Or know of any places where I can get them SUPER cheap?  Sure, I'll be pregnant in the fall, but only for a handful of weeks.  I hate to spend lots of $$$ on clothing I'm only going to wear (at my largest) for a short time.
Baby-related Purchases: I took advantage of a clothing sale at a Carter's outlet store in Commerce last weekend.  I was a sucker for one of the Halloween onesies they had on a sale rack.

Michael's family hosted a shower down in Dublin yesterday, where we received some useful gifts--diapers and wipes, clothing, a UGA diaper bag (Go DAWGS!), and toiletries.  I stayed up late putting everything in the nursery or in the guest bathroom.  Am I a little nuts thinking I have to put every new baby item away as soon as I get it?

I'm also shopping for a photographer who does maternity/newborn photos (you know--the ones with cute hats or put the babies in the handwoven baskets/UGA football helmets/free-hanging cocoon-like hammocks…yadda yadda cuteness) whose session price includes the digital image disc.  I've been doing my research, but it seems you either sacrifice image quality for the disc or the disc for image quality.  I want both!
Gender: Such a girl.  She's already full of drama.
Movement: We're getting the movements that make you wonder just what it is you have growing in your uterus.  A crocodile?  An alien from Mars?  The eight-armed Indian goddess Durga?  Seriously, folks, some of the pokes from Baby Nerd's arms and legs look other-worldly.  Even when she's not moving, she positions herself in such a way so that my belly looks lumpier than a 20-year-old mattress.  She must be running out of space.
Sleep: Can't sleep in the bed without the Snoogle and two pillows under my head.  This helps with the reflux.  I have had a couple of great nights of slumber, but I think that's just pure dumb luck.  There's no way these last few weeks of pregnancy are going to make sleeping easy.  Baby moves, bladder gets full, heartburn acts up…even a half-hour nap is scared.
Belly Button In or Out: Out when I'm standing, flat when I'm lying down.
What I Miss: Eating without popping Tums.  They taste lovely (especially the Smooth Melts variety), and they do provide you with an extra boost of calcium.  But I have always been fortunate enough to be able to eat without interference.  I'm hoping the carrying of Tums in the purse is merely temporary.
Cravings: Salty stuff (hello, pretzels!) and dairy stuff (tall glasses of milk and lots of cheese).  Dark chocolate with sea salt is a favorite.  I still cannot get enough Caesar salad.
  • So incredibly thirsty.  Water is now more precious than platinum.
  • Oh, the body aches!  I need a prenatal massage…or two or three...
  • Some swelling, especially around my fingers.  I was able to remove my wedding rings only twice last week.  I'm starting to debate whether I should continue to wear them here at the end stages.
  • Reflux.  Total and utter grossness.  This is why Tums and I are boyfriend/girlfriend now, but I plan on breaking up after Mallory Olivia arrives.
Managing the Stress: Sitting on my rear has never been more glorious or appreciated than now.  When I see a chair, I swear I see a holy glow around it.
Worries: When I started having contractions on Monday morning, I just figured I was experiencing the typical Braxton Hicks scenario.  But as the day went on while I was at work, they only got worse and I became very nauseated.  My teammate, Tamela, made me go home (which was smart).  I called the doctor to see what I could do to ease the contractions: drinking lots of water, lying down, taking a warm bath.  I tried them all, and still, the contractions got worse.  So when two of them were only 3 minutes apart and had me dry heaving over our toilet, I called Michael (in a crying hysteria) to come get me and take me to the doctor.  All I could think was how it was several weeks too early to be going into labor.  When we finally were seen by Dr. Goggin, he checked my cervix and reassured us that we weren't having any babies anytime soon.  His diagnosis?  An intestinal virus--most likely colitis--was causing my bowels to contract, and (as a side effect) was also causing my uterus to contract.  He said some women experience this when they take stimulant laxatives to put themselves into labor.  Loosening up your bowels apparently can cause you to labor.  In my case, I was having contractions, but not enough to cause our baby to try to make her way out.  He put me on the virus diet and sent us on our way.  Sure enough, the virus wreaked havoc on my insides, but it has pretty much passed through my system and I'm feeling human again.  Contractions have become mild cramps, and Mallory is kicking like a hellion in her stubborn demands for food more solid than Jell-O and chicken broth.  I'm hesitant to eat the spicy foods I desire…maybe sometime next week?
What I Look Forward To: Breathing like a normal person.  It's becoming so labored now.

  • My mom's birthday was yesterday.  While we do take the time to celebrate every year, birthdays for our small family have been gloriously subdued.  We don't try to bring about all this pomp and circumstance for every year that's added to the anniversaries of our births.  We simply find time to do something together--like dinner, a pedicure, a shopping trip together--and just enjoying each other's company.  This year, we did have to split the celebrating between the family shower and her actual birthday, but it was memorable all the same and Mom even spent the night at our house. Birthday dinner was take-out Chinese on our living room couches while the three of us watched TV and cracked jokes about Mojo and mom being a grandmother soon.  Love birthdays like this!
  • Family shower in Dublin!  It may be a long drive, but it's always fun spending time with family members who truly care about you and the life you are about to bring into the world.
  • I survived virus-induced contractions.  Bring on the "real" labor.
  • We met Mallory's future pediatrician.  He's both an internist and pediatrician, so we can all see him for our ailments.  Hello, family doctor!
  • That 4-D ultrasound of Baby Nerd.  We are so in love with our little girl already, but seeing her face just makes it real.  Only a few weeks before we can hold her!

21 August 2011

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

Both baby and belly are growing at superhuman speed.

We were scheduled for our (almost) 30 week ultrasound this past Monday.  Michael had the day off from work, we decided he would drop me off and pick me up from my job in order to ride to our appointment together.  He pulled up to the front of the school at 2:50pm.  Our excitement couldn't be contained.  In fact, before I could settle in the passenger seat, Michael was already exclaiming how we were less than an hour from seeing our little girl's face.  Holy 4-D technology, Batman!  He's right!

But as we were making our way north toward Athens, my cell phone rings.  The caller ID clearly read: Dr. Goggin, OB/GYN.  The thought coursing through my brain blurted out of my mouth before I ever answered: "They're calling to say he's not there.  Our appointment is being canceled."

Me: Hello?
Patty (the receptionist/RN): Hey, Victoria.  This is Dr. Goggin's office.  He left a couple of hours ago to deliver a baby, and he hasn't called us here to let us know if he's done.  Usually no news is not good news.
Me: Is there any chance he'll be back before 5:00?  We have another commitment in Athens tonight, so we don't mind a last-minute phone call since we'll already be over that way.
Patty: I'll make a note of it, but let's go ahead and reschedule you for tomorrow at 3:30.  I'm sorry for the change.  Have a great afternoon.

It took all that I had not to throw my phone in sheer frustration.  This had happened to us before, even before we got pregnant.  I looked over to my husband, his face already fallen with disappointment.  Even though we would have to wait another day to see our girl, we were reassured by the fact that if she decided to arrive during office hours, Doctor Goggin would cancel all appointments and take care of us as Priority Number 1.

Despite the fact Michael was off work again on Tuesday, he had to meet me at the doctor's office.  There was a staff meeting at the hospital late in the afternoon he was required to attend, so I drove to Athens alone.  The 40-minute drive was saturated with anxiety and anticipation.  Would they call to cancel again?  Naturally, when the VW's bluetooth registered a phone call, my body tensed.  It had to be another cancellation, right?  Much to my relief, it was Michael calling to see how far out I was from the office.  I would arrive in less than 10 minutes.

Since Dr. Goggin always takes time with each of his patients, I lugged my teacher bag into the waiting room to grade papers to help the time pass.  Yet, there weren't any other patients waiting ahead of me, so I grabbed a magazine to read instead.  Maybe I'd get lucky and be seen on time.  And that's precisely what happened.  Michael had not even arrived when they called me back to check my weight and blood pressure.  Even so, I still did not get my hopes up when Michael walked in as I was being escorted to the ultrasound room.  My stats could be read at the exact time of the scheduled appointment, and then we could sit in the room for 40 minutes waiting our turn.

But this didn't happen either.  Dr. Goggin walked in just moments after I cozied myself on the exam table positioned right next to the cool blue glow of the ultrasound machine.  He looked more excited than we had been feeling.

"Today's the big one, guys!" he exclaimed.  "We'll finally get to see your baby and estimate her size."

I could tell this visit was going to make up for having had the rug pulled out from under us the day before.  Dr. Goggin lubed my belly with half a bottle of goop and turned on the magic ultrasound wand. He started at the top of my baby bump and immediately found her head.

"For now, she's breech, which is great for this kind of ultrasound," he began.  "We should be able to see her face quite clearly."

At first, all we saw were arms and hands.  Mallory Olivia was hiding her mug behind them.

Mallory Olivia started out with her hands in front of her face.  It's a very Madonna/Vogue position.

But after some serious poking and prodding (and a some verbalized encouragement from the doc), Mallory's hands moved and we gaped at the clarity of the image before us.  Our baby had a face.  It was the most captivated we had ever been with any image.

My prediction seemed correct--our little girl has her daddy's nose and mouth.  I've always said the Wynne gene is strong!

And in typical Dr. Goggin fashion, he continued his treasure hunt for the best shots of body parts and functioning organs.  He showed us the four chambers beating in her heart.  He showed us her perfect skeletal structure.  He laughingly took a snapshot of her "lady parts" for us to use later as blackmail.  And then when her mouth began to open and close, he started singing his own version of opera along with her lip movements.  A doc with bedside manner like his can be forgiven for any canceled appointment.

She hears her dad and me sing quite often, so she showed us how she warms up her vocal cords.

Then came the moment of truth.  Just how big was she?  Sure, she looked good, but would she be a "deliverable" size?

"Well, heck, look at this," Dr. Goggin started.  "The machine is saying she weighs almost 4 pounds."

"What should she be?" Michael inquired.

"At this stage, babies are roughly 3-pounders.  Let me check again," he replied as he tried his calculations again.  "Yep, she's 3 pounds 13 ounces.  She's significantly larger than most babies at 30 weeks.  Didn't think a girl of your size could grow one this big!"

I laughed uncomfortably.  This meant Baby Nerd would be a large newborn, and I couldn't see my body pushing out a 9-pounder.  "What does this mean about her delivery?"

"If you make it to 39 weeks and you're miserable, we can start talking induction.  The due date is not set in stone," the doc informed us gently.  "Heck, if you are into your 38th week and everything looks fine, we can talk about it that early.  It may make the delivery a little easier if she decides to turn back around with her head down."  When I informed him that my maternity leave was scheduled to start a couple of weeks before her due date, he commended me.  I could leave work on 14 October and have a baby just a couple of days later.  And one that's not the size of a Thanksgiving turkey!

We left the appointment with at least a dozen printed images of Baby Nerd and a crapload of information we would take home to digest.  We may have just lost a couple of weeks on our due date, so we have begun the process of packing a suitcase and making Mojo-care arrangements just in case.  There are still many things we need before we feel "ready" to bring a baby home (diapers, a seat protector for under her baby carrier, an infant stroller, extra crib sheets--egad, it's maddening!), but it should soon come together.  Michael and I are less than 2 months away from finally getting the chance to hold our daughter, and the excitement only builds with each passing day.

07 August 2011

Nerd in Utero Project: Week 27 & 28

At the Jefferson DQ with Baby Nerd's future daytime caretakers, Christina, and her daughter, Mia.  I grew up with Christina's brother, Kenneth, and grew to adore their family.  Christina lives 3 miles from our house, so our daycare situation worked out beautifully!

Just a few hours after having snacks at the DQ, my friend and former GHP co-worker Emily Lemmon stopped by.  She's been in Japan teaching English for 2 years.  This shot was taken to pay homage to Baby Nerd's Uncle Laurel and an inside joke we used to share.
Inside joke seen here with Uncle Laurel and Auntie Emily.  We had a habit of putting our ears to random, inanimate objects.  Stupid?  Maybe to the casual observer.  But we got a laugh out of it every time.

How Far Along: 28 weeks, 5 days (I missed last week's update, so I'm combining 27 & 28 in this entry)
Size of Baby: Somehow, still an eggplant.  She must be a very plump eggplant by now.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: 25 pounds on.  That's slightly less than a quarter of my pre-pregnancy weight.
Maternity Clothes: I can still fit into certain pre-pregnancy shirts if they are long and stretchy enough.  I'm getting to where I hate wearing maternity pants/capris.  They don't come anywhere near to fitting me the way my "normal" jeans or pants once did.  I'm having to wear a lot more dresses and skirts, of which I'm not a huge fan.  I'm a jeans and T-shirt kind of woman!
Baby-related Purchases: We received a lot of great gifts at our first baby shower last weekend: onesies, a stroller, monogrammed clothing and blankets, a Boppy pillow, lanolin cream, etc.  I also got to go shopping for some items for Mallory Olivia with a Babies 'R' Us gift card we received at the shower, which helped me add much-needed pieces to the nursery.  There are still a lot things to check off the registry, though, which makes me way more anxious than the wedding registry we once had.  I can live without candlesticks or a silver slotted spoon.  Wipes, diapers, baby shampoo, bottles, and so on--yeah, these are kind of a big deal. :)
Gender: So very much a girl.
Movement: She's still a wiggle worm.  She has been laying on her left side with her butt near my ribs and her head way down in my abdomen.  But just a couple of nights ago, she decided she wanted a change.  So she turned sideways, making my belly morph from vertical oblong to horizontal oblong.  After 5 minutes, she realized this was much too cramped and went back to her original position.  I also think I might have seen her knee poke my belly.  I'm quite ready to see her hands and feet make contact with my abdominal wall.
Sleep: It's hit or miss.  I can pass out on the couch with almost no problem.  Sleeping in bed REQUIRES the Snoogle.  I'm always waking up to pee/get a drink of water/pray for Baby Nerd to stop sloshing around.
Belly Button In or Out: According to my teammates (now that we're back to work), it's out.
What I Miss: Cooler temperatures…and now more than ever.  We have hit triple digits several times here in the South, and even if they "cool off", it only gets down to 95.  Now I dread doing anything outdoors because it makes me sweat more than a 30-minute cardio workout at the gym.  I really need it to be fall.
Cravings: Still hungry all the time, but sweets have made more of an appearance than before.  Sour candies are great, as is a bowl of Breyer's homestyle vanilla ice cream.
  • Thirstier now more than ever with the heat.  And with as quickly as water moves through my system, I might as well pour every glass directly into the commode.
  • Now that I'm back at work, even more back/hip/ankle pain.
  • And with all that standing and walking around I have to do at work, I have experienced my first bout of SWELLING.  I came home Monday without ankles and my toes looked like Vienna sausages.  There were even a couple of days where I couldn't remove my wedding rings.  By the end of the week, my body seemed to be making attempts to accommodate all the on-my-feet work I was having to do and the swelling wasn't quite as grotesque.
Managing the Stress: Coming home from work and enjoying the air conditioning.
Worries: Passing out in the heat.
What I Look Forward To: Temperatures anywhere below 80 degrees.  And a cool, light breeze.  And lower power bills.
Celebrations:  There are many, so get ready...
  • My co-worker, Lauren, delivered her second daughter, Hannah Claire, a couple of weeks ago!  Mom, baby, husband, and daughter number 1 are happy and healthy.  When trying to find a trustworthy and supportive OB when Michael and I were going through our TTC trials, Lauren was the first of several friends to recommend her OB, Dr. Goggin.  I have her and a handful of other women to thank for such a recommendation.
  • Another one of my co-workers, Jodie (the one who made the poster for Week 24), is newly engaged to her firefighter boyfriend, John, as of last week!  Many blessings to the future couple.
  • Both myself and my pregnant friend, Katy, tested negative for gestational diabetes.  What a relief.
  • We enjoyed a fabulous home-cooked meal with Ben and Krissy out in Arnoldsville.  Their newborn, Sam, has the coolest head of hair ever on a baby (somewhere between Elvis and Zoolander hair, complete with sideburns).  He slept while the adults ate fajitas.
  • While meeting my new students and their families at open house on Thursday, several of my former students came by for a visit.  Now, I realize that pretty much every teacher out there gets a visit from former students each school year, but I was very attached to my class last year and getting a visit from as many as came by (7 or 8?) made my heart happy.  Not only the students come by, but so did their mothers!  They were at my door with their arms just as open as their kids.  Such a good feeling.
  • This will be my first class with "repeat" families since I started teaching.  Moving/transferring/changing grades has kept me from experiencing this in my years as a certified teacher.  And the repeat families are ones that I love and would gladly teach their children until they head off to college.  This should help make the school year a little easier, considering I'm anxious about missing an entire quarter from maternity leave.
  • I had my first baby shower!  Three of my friends--Christy, Jennifer, and April--thew it for me at our house.  Everything turned out beautifully with the food, flowers, and decor.  April (who is a new teacher on our 5th grade team) made the cake to match the shower invitations, and it was better than anything we could have ordered from a bakery.  We had a great turn-out of both family and friends (well, female family and friends--no boys allowed).  The AC in our house had trouble keeping up with the crowd and the oven having been on, which, as it turned out, only caused great suffering for me (hello sweaty maternity dress).  Mojo behaved like a gentleman, having only jumped on the first 3 or 4 guests, and then he quickly became bored because the attention wasn't on him.  Another memory for the baby book!

Fireplace clothesline with Mallory Olivia's monogrammed goodies.

Close-up of the monogrammed items from Jennifer.

Our house with indicator balloons.  Too bad GPS failed many of the guests to even get them to our street!  Many phone calls were made to get better directions that what GPS could offer.

The highly-talked-about cake.  Feel free to contact me if you want April to do one of your cakes!

Me with the Cake Master, April.  And I get to work with her this year!

Another cute monogrammed piece for our little girl.  I love seeing her name in print.

My sister-in-law, Melissa, who will be a first-time aunt when Baby Nerd arrives.

Llewelyn, me, and Kajal after the festivities.  They were two of my bridesmaids and will now be honorary aunties to our daughter.

Jennifer, me, and Christy after everyone went home.  These hostesses worked their fannies off for this shower.  I couldn't ask for better friends.

The invitation and a party favor mint tin.  I'm glad the shower was a modern elephant theme with green, ivory, and brown.  A room drenched in pink with rattles and baby buggies might have caused the start of the Apocalypse.


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