juthwara: (Default)
Well, later today at this point. But in about 8 hours, we're leaving for the hospital and will hopefully have a spiffy new baby not too long after that. Oh my.

I know that this hospital has wi-fi (unlike the one I was in with Alec, where we were told they didn't, then discovered they did on my second admission when I brought along my laptop so I could watch movies), so hopefully I'll be doing well enough tomorrow evening to update with pictures and vital statistics.
juthwara: (Default)
This week, we took K for an anatomy lesson I don't plan to ever repeat in our homeschooling career - to my 20 week ultrasound.

I can't quite believe it's 20 weeks already (21 actually, by the time this gets published). The morning sickness was pretty much gone by 14 or 15 weeks, and while I've been more tired than normal, I could almost forget that I'm pregnant if not for the regular kicks. My waist is thickening but I can still fit into one pair of normal pants and my uterus isn't far enough up yet to create any difficulties when it comes to bending or twisting.

The ultrasound went just fine. Everything looked good and we were treated to some nice views of tiny feet and hands, a sweet little profile and super-creepy skeletal face shots. And a penis. K was terribly disappointed to hear it, but she's getting another baby brother. [livejournal.com profile] longstrider and I are feeling a bit stymied because now we have to come up with another boy name.

I have another ultrasound scheduled in four weeks because one of the medications I'm on is associated with smaller babies. Since I've managed to gestate two nine-pound babies while taking said medication, I'm feeling like monthly ultrasounds is overkill, but it doesn't hurt and I don't mind more pictures. I'm also supposed to get a fetal echocardiogram and see a cardiologist, neither of which I've managed to schedule because I'm finding it hard to see the necessity (the cardiologist I can kind of see because it's been nearly a decade since I've seen one. But the fetal echocardiogram because a single study on one of medications suggested a slight increase in heart problems? I'm having trouble seeing the need if everything looked fine at the 20 week ultrasound). I have to make the appointments Monday though, because my next ob appointment is Wednesday and I don't want any more nagging.

Anyway, the really important part is that since he was nice and cooperative on the ultrasound, he gets a new, more gender accurate prenatal nickname. So my fetal passenger is now Godric. He's currently kicking his approval.
juthwara: (newborn)
Tomorrow, I'm going to go to the hospital and have an actual tiny baby.

I think we're ready. The grandparents are here on child care duty. The birthday girl has been amply feted, and I even managed to finish all four princess dresses and the cloak in time. I have finally acquired the big sister gift.* There's still plenty more sewing I could do, but it may or may not happen depending on what kind of baby we get. We have a dresser full of teeny weeny washed baby clothes and 3 dozen washed diapers. Our bedroom is set up so all four of us can sleep together if necessary.

[livejournal.com profile] longstrider and I went out to dinner and a movie tonight, sans child. We saw Up, which was just fantastic. I loved it despite the fact that I could see every single emotional plot point a mile off - I mean, how much more literal a representation of a metaphor can you have than a man with a house strapped to his back? But I don't really watch Pixar movies for the convoluted plots. The quality of animation, the fun characters, the wonderful talking dogs, the great touches of humor that had us laughing out loud at times - that's why we go see Pixar movies. I would definitely rank this one up with The Incredibles and Ratatouille.

Off to bed now, since we're going to have to get up way too early in the morning. Hopefully, this time tomorrow I'll have a healthy newborn sleeping next to me.


*I had left it too late to order something online, and when one of her birthday presents from a relative turned out to be a doll, we decided to get her something else. But then I drove out to an incredibly cool toy store (they have, no exaggeration, the ENTIRE line of Playmobil products), and discovered an anatomically correct boy doll, which I was able to purchase for the price of taking 2 minutes to fill out a preferred customer card, and FIVE DOLLARS. Down from $25. Zowee. At that price, I was able to get the doll carriage K had been asking for as well.
juthwara: (newborn)
When I was pregnant with K, starting at about 32 weeks she started amusing herself by alternating between slouching down in my pelvis in transverse position and stretching herself up into breech, jamming her hard little head into my ribs in the process.

At a mere 29 weeks, Wulfrith has discovered the same trick. I guess this is one of the milestones you get to experience when you have babies that don't care to go head down. I suppose I can take comfort in the fact that I may never know what it feels like to get kicked in the ribs.

It's very cute of you to try and imitate your sister, sweetheart, but there's no need to be precocious.
juthwara: (Default)
*I worked all day at the library today, then came home, took a nap and started in on the second job. Only to discover after an hour that the server had been taken down for unplanned maintenance (although I only found out a couple minutes ago that's what it was - thanks for letting us know so expeditiously, guys). This wouldn't bother me so much except that we were told to have our hours into the payroll system by 3 this afternoon, so I had to put my Friday hours in before actually working them. Ack. Well, I'll figure out how to handle this next week, I guess.

*Tonight after dinner, K went into the cabinet, got out several cookies and came to give me one. Then she told me that two of the other cookies were for Daddy. It was very sweet and touching. Of course, it was sweet and touching in a way that meant that she got two cookies as well, but a year ago she would have been trying to hoard all five cookies for herself so I'll count it as significant progress in the "thinking of others" arena.

*In Friday night tv, Dollhouse was a definite step up in quality from previous episodes and Battlestar Galactica had about as good of an ending as I could hope. This week's episode of Dollhouse also had a fairly clear message from Joss Whedon of "In case you thought I was trying to say that human trafficking is in any way acceptable or that I'm trying to glamorize it, no, I'm really really not."

*[livejournal.com profile] longstrider had the day off yesterday, so we were finally able to go see Watchmen. I admit that it's been quite a while since I've read the comic, but from what I remember, the movie was remarkably faithful to the comic. It was definitely incredibly graphic, but it helped create a tone that was very consistent with the story. Since the point of the comic was to provide a non-glamorized view of what real-life superheroes would really be like, the depictions of violence that didn't spare the viewer at all seemed pretty appropriate. Mind you, that meant I watched quite a bit of the movie through my fingers or with my eyes averted since I have very little stomach for graphic violence, but this is one of the very few movies I can think of where it didn't seem gratuitous.

*The same things has happened this week that happened last pregnancy: the day I started my third trimester, my pelvis started aching. It's more in the hips and lower back this time instead of the pubic bone, probably because Wulfrith is lying even farther back in my abdomen than K, which I didn't think was possible. I'm doubly glad now that I got travelling out of the way last week so I didn't have to traipse across the airport with my hips feeling like they're about to fall apart. Ah, the delights of the third trimester - aching joints, reflux, exhaustion, sciatica, ever-decreasing lung and bladder capacity... all sending the message that it's all downhill from here. Of course, at the bottom of the hill you get a baby, so it's worth it.

K informed me tonight that she wants two babies, a baby brother and baby sister. Sorry kid, there's just the one with no options of adding on. But it's good of her to remind me how much worse it could be. Yikes.
juthwara: (Default)
Particularly when it's the flu.

K is mostly better, although I was quite glad that they put a pullup on her at daycare yesterday when I took it off and discovered it was excessively grody. For all my years of cloth diapering, I have to admit that very occasionally you get the sort of diaper where it's very nice to just be able to toss it in the trash, and very very nice not to have to deal with cleaning up dirty underwear and pants instead.

This, of course, was the cue for [livejournal.com profile] longstrider and I to wake up sick yesterday. Thank goodness K was well enough to get shipped of to daycare so we could sleep all day. Today, we're still tired but recovering.

We also seem to be able to eat again, which is a relief. The very few things I ate yesterday came back up, just in time for me to go to a prenatal visit today and get scolded about my weight gain. As in, I should try it sometime.

It's an odd feeling, being told I absolutely have to gain weight, especially since I spent the first nine months of last year fighting a creeping weight gain. But I feel just as powerless to make my weight go where I want it to go as I did then. There was the 16 weeks of morning sickness, extended by one major and two minor bouts of stomach flu (twice, [livejournal.com profile] longstrider came home from work complaining of a "funny tummy," which would then result in another two days of throwing up for me after I had thought the worst was over). At my last appointment, I had finally managed to gain three pounds, bringing my pregnancy weight gain to -12. But this time, I hadn't gained an ounce, and I'm not sure that one day of not eating can account for that. I'm really truly trying to eat as much as I can and I'm certainly not staying away from fattening foods. I guess I need to get back to my nightly large mug of chai or hot chocolate and maybe switch to whole milk instead of 2 percent. And maybe add a bowl of ice cream.

This wasn't remotely a problem last time, when I gained 35 pounds and had my ob vocally worried about gestational diabetes when I gained a shocking 8 pounds in four weeks. *eyeroll*

I would be more worried if four weeks ago Wulfrith hadn't been measuring ahead at the last ultrasound and estimated at weighing 12 ounces at only 19 weeks. He's also increasingly vigorous (with a devilish sort of aim for kicking a tiny foot directly into bladder) and my uterus is growing up in my abdomen appropriately. True, I didn't have to give up my pre-pregnancy pants until last week at the beginning of 22 weeks, but at least I finally did. Chances are good that Wulfrith is feasting happily on my fat stores and I'm taking my vitamins, so I'm not truly worried. But I'd like to meet the woman who can be truly zen in the face of things not going according to textbook during pregnancy. And find out what drugs she's taking.

This all contrasts to several conversations I've had recently, which all center around people being amazed that I'm five months pregnant and don't look pregnant at all. And I'm almost always congratulated for this, as if it were something I had any control over, or more to the point, would want. Part of it is being tall and long-torsoed, part of it just seems to the way I carry babies, and a lot of it has been spending 2/3 of this pregnancy unable to eat. But if I were to go by these conversations, not gaining weight is a good and admirable thing. I know that our culture is so screwed up about weight that people who've lost weight because of serious illnesses often get complimented on their weight. But are we so screwed up that not gaining weight when your pregnant, a time when it's important not only to your health but very much to the health of another person it's still seen as good?

I don't see the charm in being complimented for something that's causing me a fair amount of stress. Maybe the next person who admires how little I'm showing would like to take my place at my next prenatal appointment and let the nursing student worry them over their miniscule fundal height.
juthwara: (Default)
It's very hard to be three years old sometimes, to have the ability to anticipate things but not have a real sense of time yet.

I made two mistakes when putting K to bed the other night. The first was to bring up the trip to visit my mother she and I are taking sometime in the next six weeks (place tickets haven't been bought yet, so the exact timing is still to be determined). The second was when K brought up the princess dress like the one a preschool classmate has that she desperately wants, I didn't put her off with something vague but instead suggested that her grandmother might buy it for her birthday.

The next morning, I went into her room to discover a duffel bag out on the floor with several shirts inside, clearly packed for our imminent trip. And the day was pretty much evenly divided between asking if it was her birthday and asking when we were going to the airport. It's very hard to deal with a preschooler who has no real concept of months yet. The best we can do for the moment is get across "Not now."

For the trip, we'll probably make up a calendar where we can cross off the days, and hopefully that will give her something more concrete to see how the time will pass. Her birthday, over four months from now, seems a bit far away for that tactic. I had actually been planning to start making her some princess dresses in the not too distant future but haven't had the time to sit down and sew, so I bought a cheap dress today and have offered it up as a potty training bribe, in exchange for dry pants for the rest of the week. We shall see how successful that tactic actually is. Bribery has never once been an effective technique for us because, heh, K isn't very good with delayed gratification. She didn't want one sticker on the sticker chart, she wanted to be able to artistically arrange multiple stickers on the page without being constrained by little boxes. It only managed to turn every potty session into a completely different power struggle than the typical one.

I'm rather thankful that the baby is still abstract enough in her mind that having to wait until June isn't too hard on her. Finding out that it's a baby brother and getting to see better pictures definitely caused her to have a big leap forward in interest, but my tactic of buying her a doll to be a practice baby brother managed to head off any disappointed about the baby not appearing right away (I had wanted to get an anatomically correct doll, but she insisted on a pink one. However, according to her it's still a boy doll, it's just a baby brother that wears pink. Way to fight gender roles, my dear). But all of her play lately has shifted from mommies and babies to big sisters and little brothers, and she's suddenly wanted to have our books on where babies come from read to her a lot. It's clearly processing through her busy little brain, but I'm just as glad that it's not real enough for her yet for her to start asking when her little brother is arriving every five minutes too.
juthwara: (newborn)
Part of me feels superstitiously leery of making baby plans a good month before realistic viability (I'm 21 weeks as of yesterday, so the realistic gestation of 25-26 weeks where I would have a reasonable hope of Wulfrith making is in another month. A very few babies have survived at 23 weeks, but I don't think I would attempt to extend the life of any baby born before 24 weeks because the odds would be so low it would be an exercise in cruelty). But I'm a planner by nature, so I can't help myself. And since I'm devoting a great deal of brain space to this, I may as well write it down and be organized about it.

Stuff we need to buy:

We don't have as much as you might expect for people who've already had a baby because we jettisoned an awful lot of stuff when we moved on the theory that it was cheaper to replace them than pay to transport them. So we need:

car seat (given that that carseats expire after five years and ours would have been well over four, I don't feel as bad about this as I might)

bouncy seat (our original one was used to begin with and about to give up the ghost)

diapers - last time we used disposables in the beginning until K was big enough to fit in medium size covers, which only took ten weeks. But I'd just as soon cloth diaper from birth this time, since we know what we're doing this time and know that diaper laundry isn't any more work than the rest of the laundry a new baby produces. So we need covers in small and infant size prefolds, since we started with regular size prefolds that would dwarf a newborn - probably three dozen infant and 8 covers or so. We have a number of bumGenius one-size pocket diapers, but K is currently wearing them to bed and while she very well could be dry at night by June, it would probably be good to get a few more one-size diapers for the baby use at daycare. We'll probably need to get a few new medium covers as well since the old ones were pretty beat up by the time we retired them, but that can wait for a while and we have more than enough larger prefolds.

A new breastfeeding pillow, since our old Boppy is rather flat and buried somewhere in the garage, plus a couple covers

some sort of double stroller, since there are just enough times we'll be walking long enough distances that I won't be able to count on K walking. I would like to do things like walk to pick her up from day camp or preschool this summer and fall, both of which are far enough I can't count on her walking the entire way. Hopefully spending money on a stroller will give me the incentive to actually do this.

dresser for Wulfrith, possibly some more storage for diapers

(maybe)new bed for K - my current plan is have Wulfrith sleep with us, but we often wind up with a three year old in the bed, which I don't think she's going to outgrow in the next four months. Add in three cats, and even though we have a queen size bed, it's going to get pretty crowded. So the cheapest solution I can think of is to get K a new bed (probably one of the adjustable length bed from Ikea), and then find a way to fasten her current toddler bed next to ours as a co-sleeper.

cloth for various things I want to sew

How much of this do we actually need if things go pear-shaped financially? The carseat and the diapers, and I could probably get my mother to buy one of those. But most of these things would be nice if we can afford them.

Stuff I want to make:

a new sling - I'm not sure where our old one is, and I'd like to make some improvements that will hopefully make it more comfortable with a heavier baby, since our last one could really dig into your shoulder once she hit 18 pounds

doll sling for K, possibly some doll diapers

diaper inserts and liners

cover for a new pad for the rocking chair

Stuff we need to do:

figure out how to rearrange house: we need to clear the guest room for Wulfrith, which means finding a new place for the futon. The best place for that is the basement, which is currently where the bulk of K's toys and the computer, good tv and dvr are. At a minimum, we'll need to move a couch upstairs to the living room/dining room area that is currently housing the dining room table and all of our books. The problem with keeping guests in the basement is that we won't have access to all of our normal evening entertainment after guests go to bed, so we need to decide whether we'll just move it upstairs when we have guests or move it upstairs more permanently and move the books downstairs. But the thought of moving all of those books makes me want to sit down and weep a little.

clean out garage to make room for anything that no longer fits in the house

dig out newborn clothes and sort through them (I've bought a few little boy things, but I'm not going to worry too much about buying clothes. Since we didn't know what K would be, we had to buy a decent number of gender neutral 0-3 clothes for her, and based on our previous experience, the generosity of friends and family will fill in the holes. The only problem will come if Wulfrith turns out to be significantly smaller than K, and if that happens, [livejournal.com profile] longstrider can be sent out for some emergency teeny newborn clothes)

reassemble and clean crib, cradle, baby swing

rearrange bedroom to make room for baby stuff

18 weeks

Jan. 23rd, 2009 07:38 pm
juthwara: (newborn)
Five weeks into the second trimester, I'm finally feeling like I've left the first behind. I haven't thrown up in three weeks and I don't need to take a nap to make it through the day. My appetite hasn't really kicked in yet, but at least I'm not losing weight any more.

Last pregnancy, I gave up on normal pants at the beginning of 17 weeks, and had spent the two weeks before that having to unbutton them by the evening. This time, I'm still wearing normal pants without any trouble. Part of me worries about this, but the regular renditions of the Fetal Fandango I'm being treated to are mostly reassuring me. I also had to give up on a pair of jeans today when I was able to get them on and fasten them, but decided it wasn't worth having to make it through the day that uncomfortable (although part of that might have been due to *ahem* pregnancy related intestinal slowness adding bulk to my abdomen). I can feel my uterus right under my belly button which is right where it should be, but it just isn't sticking out at all. It seems like since my stomach wasn't exactly flat before I got pregnant, baby has steadily been replacing fat as I've lost weight, leaving me the same shape. Still, I'm not a remotely pregnant shape, so I still fret a bit.

Speaking of fretting, it's way, way too early to even think about the fact that this fetus seems to heavily favor lying transverse, as evidenced by the amount of time I spend getting simultaneous kicks 8 inches apart on either side of my stomach, right? Even though K also heavily favored lying transverse from about as early I as I could feel her, and stayed that way until birth? And even though the reading I've done on transverse lie is that it's almost always for a reason (uterine abnormalities, fibroids, weird pelvis, etc) and therefore has a high chance of happening again? Although I'm not quite sure why I'm bothering to fret about this, because ultimately if this fetus decides to settle into my pelvis like it's the world's comfiest hammock like its sister did, well, I'll have another c-section, which is a prospect about which I'm pretty much neutral. Recovery from abdominal surgery isn't fun, but it will certainly make other parts surrounding scheduling child care a lot more convenient. And 18 weeks is far far too early to worry about fetal positioning. This is just an excellent example of how my brain likes to not merely borrow trouble but take a mortgage out on it.

We have the big ultrasound next week, which will hopefully allay any concerns I have about growth. And maybe Aethelryth will be more generous than K and let us see its sex. It will be a lot easier to help prepare K if we can start talking specifically about her new brother or her new sister. And frankly, all we got out of being involuntarily surprised last time was a lot of green and yellow baby clothes. I'm not a big fan of surprises, so I'd just as soon get it out of the way next week.

Relief

Jan. 20th, 2009 12:51 pm
juthwara: (Default)
I have been watching the inauguration with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart. K is asleep on the couch beside me, not yet old enough to understand what an important day this is in her life. I remember four years ago when she was still a half-formed fetus of indeterminate gender, how afraid I was for her future. And now I sit with her, with her half-formed brother or sister within me and feel so much relief for both of them.
juthwara: (Default)
Looking back, 2008 was a pretty decent year. Obama won the election, I found a part-time job that's adding decently to our bottom line and K is happy, healthy and thriving in preschool. And we managed to hit the one cycle in three when I actually ovulate and seem to have acquired the sort of pregnancy that sticks around.

If you look back at my journal for the past six months, you would probably mostly get the impression that I was tired a lot. That would be because I spent three months trying to work thirty hours a week while taking care of a young child without benefit of daycare, and then once we got her in preschool, I promptly became pregnant and got knocked flat by the first trimester. It's a case of appearances being deceiving - it may have looked in my writing like I was tired and unhappy, but it's more that my mental energy was being sucked in other directions. And as hard as the first trimester was, I happily (if not always stoically) endured it.

In 2009, I have three goals:

1. A healthy baby in June
2. Implement a housework schedule and do better with meal planning
3. Try a lot harder to improve our social life

Hopefully all three are reasonable and achievable. Here's hoping that 2009 brings much better fortunes for the world in general.

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