Friday, November 27, 2009

Cats and Pregnant Women

There is a lot out there about animals responding to pregnant women differently. Sometimes they become more protective or more affectionate. At first I thought Caligula's new found affection was due to the colder weather, however I am starting to think it really is pregnancy related. Caligula has always enjoyed cuddling with me, but not to the point where he smothers me, and he has never been a big kneeder. For those who don't have cats, sometimes when a cat sits on you they kneed their paws into a blanket or into your lap... its a comfort thing from when they were kittens. Its never been Caligula's thing... however all of a sudden hes all over me at night. He has to cuddle up next to me or on top of me. There are many times when i awake in the middle of the night to roll over and realize I have a cat stuck to me! And he doesn't go away, he just gets comfortable again and goes back to sleep. And hes kneeding the blankets too... another odd thing. I'm putting it down to him responding to the pregnancy hormones. The other cats are acting normally... no changes in them. Sebastian still sits on my head every morning, laia ignores me unless she wants food, and hesiod freaks out the second I try and touch him. But, Caligula has always been my cat... so maybe it makes sense he is more sensitive to things. Hes always been the cuddly cat... even as a kitten he would ball himself up on me. There was many a morning I would roll over to hit the alarm clock and find a kitten underneath me. So, any other pregnant women with cats who are acting differently??

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving!! Since I was lazy last week, here is this weeks belly shot!

25 weeks 11-26-09a

Nothing exciting pregnancy related to report! It seems like time is disappearing quickly and before I know it March will be here! I can hardly believe that it's thanksgiving already... Christmas is now less than a month away! The baby has managed to hit my bladder and cervix on a regular basis, almost always when I am driving in the car and unable to move in an attempt to get him to move! He also likes to be really quiet all day and freak me out. It seems like just when I sit and start going "when was the last time I felt him move?" he decides to start doing gymnastics in my uterus. I know i'm still at that stage where I shouldn't be too concerned about how often I feel movement as long as I am feeling movement... but it still freaks me out sometimes.

Since it is Thanksgiving I am going to spend a moment and be sentimental. Its my blog, so I can do what I like. ;) This year I am thankful for being pregnant. As much as sometimes there are aches, pains, and general uncomfortableness I would not trade this experience for anything in the world. As much as sometimes I want to cry and whine I realize how lucky I am to be pregnant. I know so many amazing women who are still struggling to be here, so many women who are so deserving. Compared to some of them my journey to becoming pregnant was a walk in the park. I didn't have to worry about needles, drugs, collecting sperm donations, rushing to daily ultrasound appointments, and dealing with fertility drugs. I was on that path, but became pregnant just before. I am NOT going to sit here and say "oh, see, it happened to me it will happen to you!" I consider myself lucky and the exception to the rule. Natural pregnancy can happen after long periods of trying... but I am never ever going to tell anyone suffering infertility that whole "it happened to me" speech. That speech hurts because its not true. Some women, no matter how hard they try, will never become pregnant. It breaks my heart because they are so deserving... they try so hard yet a 16 year old who doesn't even want to have a baby will get pregnant by accident.. Sorry, I am getting off on a tangent here... but, I am so lucky to be pregnant right now and I know that. I sit here daily and read blogs and posts from my friends who are still dealing with drugs, needles, timing, and all the other wonderful things that come with infertility. I root them on, even if its only in my head, wishing that I could wave a magic wand and give them what I know they want most of all. There is one thing I will never do, and that is complain about how horrible it is to be pregnant. I'm not saying its fun and feels wonderful, because honestly sometimes i feel like shit, but I will never sit here and say how horrible everything is and how I wish it was over already and complain on a daily basis about how horrible I feel about being pregnant. I don't know if this will ever happen again... who knows what my body will do in 2 years time when we start thinking about trying again. Will I get lucky again? Will my insurance cover fertility treatments? I'm going to savor every moment of this pregnancy, good and bad, and remind myself daily how amazing this journey to motherhood really is.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A non pregnancy related post...

My post today is non pregnancy related... today I am writing about my wonderful car. Please note the sarcasm! So my husband and I were talking the other night about our older car and how it really needs to get a good service done to it. Its getting up their in millage and we need it to last quite a while longer! Its not that old of a car, a 96, and its a Honda so it should last forever. So no sooner do we decide we are going to take it in and get it tuned up and cleaned up the check engine light comes on in my car! I think these cars must talk to each other because every time something goes wrong with one, the other follows quickly behind. Last time as I was driving to get one car from the mechanic the check engine light came on in the one i was driving! And its always at inconvenient times, like the holidays. Last Christmas my car decided to break too! I am now paranoid that tomorrow the other car will start having issues... sometimes I wish i lived somewhere with better public transportation!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cloth Diapering Here I Come!

So this afternoon I spent an hour and a half learning all about cloth diapering and WOW... thats all I can say! I decided I wanted to cloth diaper a while ago not only because of the environmental reasons and the fact you don't have all those chemicals next to your baby's skin (if you read in to some people will say its a double edged swore. More laundry with cloth diapering so more water use, but less in landfills.) but because it saves you SO much money! I know you can do cheaper or more expensive cloth diapers, but you could buy all the cloth diapers you need easily for about 500 dollars... thats total till the child is potty trained. With disposable diapers you're looking at more like 800 dollars a year. Then there is the added fact that you can swap cloth diapers and buy them used! I know that may sound gross to lots of people, but they are washed and cleaned and i'm sure people aren't reselling disgusting diapers. I'm sure a lot are in great condition. Anyway, those are the reasons I was interested.

If you are in the Baltimore area and want to learn more about cloth diapering I highly recommend checking out Soft and Cozy Baby. Its run by a woman named Bayla and she does cloth diapering instructional demos in her home, which is where I went today. Before today I had read online about all the different kinds of diapers and it was completely overwhelming and confusing but after listening to her go over things and explain all the different kinds I feel so much more comfortable! She pulled out all the different kinds she had in stock and let us play with them, feel them, mess with them. She gave us her opinion on different kinds if diapers and why or why not she linked some brands better than others. I think the biggest take away thing was that every baby is different so buy a few different things and try them out and see what you like. Really, there are so many kinds, styles, and brands to choose from. It was so nice to touch and feel and play with them. I took tons of notes so i could remember which ones I liked better than others!

Of course the kinds if diapers range from simple to crazy and the price is variable too. You can get the prefold diapers (which are what everyone thinks of when they think cloth diaper!), fitted diapers, pocket diapers, and all in one diapers. The all in one are pretty much like a normal regular diaper except you wash it instead of toss it! You can even get diapers that are one size fit all so you don't have to buy more diapers as your baby grows! Of course the prefold diapers are the cheapest while the all in one are the most expensive. I'm really excited now to try out all the different kinds of diapers... only a few more months now!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

No wonder they tasted so bad!

My current addiction when it comes to snack food is ranch flavored things. Because cool ranch doritoes are not the best thing to eat (despite what my taste buds tell me) I have been eating the quaker rice crisps instead. So tasty, yet much healthier. I usually go through a bag a week. Monday morning I opened a new bag to take some to work for lunch. I noticed they smelled a little weird, but put it down to packaging. Later that day at work I ate one and almost puked! It was DISGUSTING. I smelled another crisp and it smelled off so I threw the bag away and went to the vending machine instead. The rest of the week I kept meaning to throw the rest of the bag away at home, but I kept forgetting. You know what its like in the morning, brain on autopilot! So today I finally threw the bag away but before I did I decided to check the expiration date, just to see if they were expired or something. They were expired alright.. they expired July 2008!! Yes, July 2008!! Of course i can't find the receipt from the grocery store to return them and I think the customer service rep would laugh at me if I told them my story... so instead they go into the trash and from now on I am making sure to check expiration dates when I buy things! 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Allergic to pregnancy

There are so many things I always used to take for granted before being pregnant, and the fact I had absolutely no seasonal allergies was one of those things. I was one of those lucky people everyone hated because the pollen outside never really bothered me much. Sure, maybe i'd sneeze and extra time or two... but in the scheme of things it was never that bad. Well, ever since getting pregnant i've been sneezing up a storm and its getting worse! I must sneeze at least 10 times a day now and my nose is always tickly. At first I did think I was getting sick, but then I just realized nope... pregnancy symptom! Just another I can add to the list... =)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Baby's Room: Phase 1 Complete!

So long ago I talked about painting... which did indeed take place! I was going to post photos after the painting was done, but my husband hadn't cleaned all the painting supplies out of the room yet so I decided to wait. Then we got a crib at GREAT deal (gotta love 50% off clearance!) so I figured i'd wait until after I got the crib. So here it is... photos of the room painted and with a crib!


As you can see its not really a huge space... by the time we get a changing table in there its gonna be a tight squeeze! However hes a baby and isn't going to care if his room is huge or not. We debated back and forth over turning the upstairs computer room/guest room/my room (i call it my room because its where all my dorky sci fi books live as well as my computer) into the baby's room and then turning the smaller room into a dedicated guest room and moving my computer elsewhere... but as I just said... hes a baby and I don't think hes going to care how tiny his room is! We've opted for having closet organization instead of a dresser to save space. Ikea here i come!

To keep with my fantasy/forest theme i'm going to get some curtains (aka, convince my friend to make me some curtains) that have a woody/forest feel as well as buy darker green crib bedding. I have some nice pictures of little baby dragons I want to hang on the wall as well as a piece of artwork I want to purchase which again, is dragons. Also i'm in the process of hunting for a nice rug... it seems impossible to find a green rug with a forest feel at a reasonable price, so it may just be a darker green rug. And my most exciting purchase today is a Halloween costume! Next Halloween little Eirik will be a dragon. It was on the super reduced clearance rack for $2.50 and was to cute not to buy. And anyway, hes going to have a dragon themed nursery so its only appropriate he is a dragon for Halloween. Even my husband thought it was cute!

On a slightly more sobering note I read online today a message board post by someone who had gotten pregnant the exact same time I did in March... we were due date buddies. She had her baby and was posting a birth story. It hurt a bit to think that I should be holding my baby right now... Its very weird mixed emotions sometimes because I feel guilty thinking that, especially having this little guy kicking me day and night letting me know he's there. But sometimes, like this afternoon, I think "that should have been me". I threw myself into the nursery arrangement today because I needed the distraction and I needed to focus on the baby I have coming... i know thats probably not the best way to deal with my emotions but today its what I needed to do.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Hospital Tour!

So, as promised, an update with the hospital tour! As I said earlier, this is our backup plan in case of emergencies. I went in pretty pesimistic and came out feeling a lot more relaxed.

The tour was about 5 other couples, most looking much more pregnant than I was. We were of course given the usual talks about general hospital policies... how many visitors in a room, how long they can stay, who can visit, etc. It was all pretty dull. We then saw a birth room which was nicer then I imagined. Its pretty spaceous and privet. Of course they go over the protocol for labor and birth. If you aren't having drugs you can labor anywhere you want, but you have to actually physically give birth in the bed... that turned me off right there. However, there are positions you can use in a bed to give birth that are better then the standard one most doctors use, so I am going to have to investigate them just in case. Then they went over the whole what happens after birth deal. Again, I was still pretty turned off at this point as the women talked about how they give you a few moments before taking the baby away to make sure its okay and stabilize it before bringing it back. Then of course my husband had to ask the awkward question of "can they force you to have pitocin". The women actually redeemed herself after this part by saying how  you need to question everything that happens to you in a hospital and make sure you understand what is happening and why and know that you can say no to anything. As we moved on she stated again that the best thing you can do in labor is be your own advocate and know that even though you may get pressure from doctors you need to do whats best for you. I was quite impressed by that speech because usually people don't say things like that.

We then went on to see where the OR was in case of c-sections. They explained you can actually eat some food while in labor (soups, jello, soda, juice). We then saw the post partum room which was much much smaller, but still nice. No nursery so your baby is with you all the time. At this point my husband asked the second awkward question about social security numbers. Of course at this point the room is looking at us like we are crazy people... but thankfully the women didn't see it that way.

So, overall my opinion of the hospital is while I still think that if i do end up giving birth there I am going to have to fight for a natural birth I want, I feel better about the overall vibe in the hospital. The women who gave the tour was very good about stating over and over "make sure the nurses know what you want and that you do what you want". She said that they are willing to accommodate things, such as skin to skin contact right after birth. A big pro was that the woman said they are very focused on breastfeeding... in fact formula was only mentioned once and it was in passing. They encourage mothers to breastfeed within an hour of giving birth and have lactation consultants and nurses on staff to help.

On an amusing side note afterwards my husband was explaining to the tour guide how you don't need a social security number. She found it really fascinating and was asking all sorts of questions.

So, now I just keep everything crossed that I don't need to go back to the hospital.

23 weeks and some random pregnancy thoughts. =)

So here is my nice little bump photo for the week! As you can see, Caligula tried to get into the photo.

23 weeks 11-13-09

I compared it to the photo I took just 3 weeks ago and WOW... talk about a difference! I really do look pregnant compared to how I looked just 3 weeks ago! On the weight gain side i'm probably up about 20lbs at this point. I had hoped to be a little lower, but i'll take it. I did spend a good chunk of the 1T and early 2T eating 24/7 due to an appetite that was out of control!

Today I have my hospital tour. Its a formality because we don't really plan on using this hospital, we plan on using the birthing center 10 minutes away. But, as I told my husband, I want to take the tour and know the hospital policies and layout just in case. You never know what will happen!

And lastly, I have come to the conclusion that I am going to donate my cord blood. When you go to the doctors now days you are given massive amounts of information on privet cord banking. Basically (for those non pregnancy people) the cord blood contains stem cells which could be used later in the child's life if they have the need of a stem cell transplant. My husband and I talked about it and decided that we wanted to save this, but we weren't sure whether or not to publically donate it (like donating blood) or privet donate it and save it just for us. After doing a lot of research into cord blood banking I came to the conclusion that the best thing to do is public donation. Neither of us has a family history of the diseases that are listed as currently being treated with cord stem cells. Upon further research I discovered the chance of a person being able to use their own cord stem cells in treatment is actually pretty small due to many medical factors. However, if we donate publicly we can potentially save someones life who is out there looking for a match. Also, privet cord banking is CRAZY expensive and the more I read into it the more it seems like a really great money making scheme. How many parents are being convinced now to cord bank their blood "just in case". Chances are all this company has to do is preserve the blood and shove it in a freezer and forget about it because it will most likely never get used. I know its a very personal choice to make... but I really do feel that if I can help someone out using blood that would otherwise go in the trash I want to do that.

So, those are my random pregnancy thoughts! I will update with the hospital tour review later!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

But he started it!

Last night my husband and I were in bed and I was commenting to him about how this little guy had decided the day before that my cervix and bladder were playgrounds and was jumping up and down on them. My husband laughed and I then said "so, I poked him". My husband looked at me and said "you poked him?" and i responded "YES! It hurt! I poked him so he would move to another position!" My husband then repeated the phrase "You poked the baby." Well, what was I supposed to do? He wouldn't move and it was really painful so I nudged him in a different direction! I then told my husband "he started it". Very mature of me... ;)

Last night I officially saw my stomach move. It was kind of creepy and surreal. He was kicking the heck out of me and I looked down and then suddenly saw my stomach move in a weird direction. Of course the second I told my husband he stopped doing it, go figure! I also hadn't realized just how far up that little guy could kick! It seems like just a few weeks ago the highest he could reach was my belly button and now hes getting all the way up near my ribcage! As long as he stops kicking my cervix... or else he gets poked again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Somtimes ignorance is bliss...

I am always joking about how sometimes ignorance is bliss... sometimes I wish i didn't know half of what I knew. Of course in all seriousness I am glad I know things, but in the case of pregnancy sometimes I really do wish I could be a little ignorant... 

I wish I could be one of those women who goes "oops, i'm pregnant!" These women go around announcing their positive pregnancy test before the stick even has time to dry. They celebrate their good news and rush out, purchasing baby items left and right. They have no thought for the what ifs and the numerous outcomes. They don't spend every moment analyzing each twinge, pull, or tug coming from your uterus... wondering if that is normal or a sign that something is wrong. They don't examine each piece of toilet paper for signs of bleeding, spotting, or otherwise funny looking discharge. They don't go to each and every doctors appointment with their heart thumping in their chest hoping and praying that everything will look normal. They don't spend those moments when you don't feel as much movement worrying about the worst case scenario and thinking something must be horribly wrong. No, they don't worry about things like that. 

I really thought once I got pregnant I would relax.... okay, I thought maybe once I made it out of the first trimester I would relax. But no, my anxiety seems to be just as great today as it was when I first got that positive pregnancy test on June 30th. Every time I enter the doctors office I am petrified something will be wrong. Silly since I feel this little guy kicking moments before my appointment... yet I still get sick to my stomach. Every time I don't feel him kick for a few hours I swear something must be wrong, and then when he kicks me a lot i swear something must be wrong. Each growing pain, each cramp, each twinge... I sit there going "is this normal? What if something is wrong?" I know the anxiety isn't healthy for the baby, and i'm better then I was... but sometimes I wish I could be one of those people who just went through pregnancy oblivious and relaxed... 

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Standing up for the cat!

So  non cat lovers tend to feel that cats aren't as good as dogs. I know that starts the whole "cats vs dogs" debate, but I can't help it! I love animals. My whole life I have had cats, so thats what I prefer, however I would love to get a dog someday. The place I live right now however just isn't very conducive to a dog. There isn't anywhere nice to walk a dog and I have a very tiny backyard. I don't really want a small dog, I want a larger breed dog which would require more exercise and space. So, before I start this mini rant I want to say that I do like dogs! Cats just always seem to get the short end of the stick.

I'm always hearing "cats aren't as affectionate as dogs". NOT true. My cats are very affectionate to me. They follow me around the house.  No matter what room in the house I am in, there is at least one cat... usually there are 3. At night when I get into bed at least one cat is always on the bed with me, sometimes sleeping physically on me. And its not just my cats, its cats in general. When i was a kid I slept with my bedroom door open specifically so that the cats would sleep on my bed. When I went to a friends house who had cats, I typically woke up with a cat cuddled up next to me or on top of me. So, cats are affectionate. Sure, they may not act exactly like dogs... but they show their affection in different ways. And no, my cats don't act like that just so i'll feed them. They have their "feed me" attitudes and their "I want to cuddle with you" attitudes.

What brings this up? I was reading one of my pregnancy books the other day and it discussed introducing pets to the new baby. There was a statement that said something along the lines of cats adapt better than dogs generally to babies because they are not as attached to humans. WHAT?? I put the book down I was so angry. Cats aren't as attached as dogs? Thats a pretty general blanket statement to make. I know my cats are pretty attached to me. I think cats just tend to show their territorial side differently than dogs. Where a dog will bark or growl a cat will pee on something. Its the same thing, different attitude. I know dogs pee on things too... i'm just using it as an example. I'm just tired of the whole "cats don't love you" thing. Yes, its amusing in jokes, but sometimes enough is enough!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Please do not touch...

So, at 22 weeks I finally look pregnant! Wahoo! 

22 weeks 11-6-09

Sometime over the past week i totally popped out. It seemed to really happen overnight too. And I know I really look pregnant because I had the first person ever touch my stomach! And I was totally unprepared for it so all the snappy comebacks in my head just disappeared.

So I was standing in the lunch room yesterday morning toasting a bagel and another women comes in. I know her, but I can never remember her name. Shes one of those hi in the hallway people, not someone i've ever had a real conversation with. She comes up to me, touches my stomach, and goes "i see something popping out here. Congratulations". I muttered a thank you quickly, totally unprepared and caught off guard. Afterwards I thought of all the things I should have said/done... but alas, too late. Why is it now i'm pregnant strange people feel they have a right to just touch my stomach?? Its still MY body! I mean, this woman and I have never had a conversation yet she feels its okay to come up to me and touch my stomach! I'm sure this will happen again so I must prepare myself with snappy comebacks for next time...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Caligula and the Boppy

A few weeks ago my friend gave me a boppy she had picked up for me via craigslist. Having no where to put the boppy I tossed it onto the loveseat that we really don't use much. For weeks the cats ignored it, but no longer. Caligula has decided it is his new favorite place to sleep. Who needs expensive cat beds??


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The hardest part of being pregnant...

So overall pregnancy isn't exactly fun... but its not horrible and something i'm going to sit and complain about. Sure, my hormones are all over the place and every day a new and weird pregnancy side effect pops up, but in the long run its totally worth it. Did the nausea suck? Sure it did...  but I am so lucky and blessed to be pregnant right now that I really can't complain about that. Every time I feel myself getting that "oh I wish i didn't have to deal with this" feeling i remind myself how many people would trade places with me in a heartbeat and how so lucky I am and it really helps. But there is one thing I can say is hard for me... not being able to do things i used to be able to do.

I'm not talking about drinking alcohol or eating sushi or taking airborne when i'm getting a cold. I'm talking about going to the grocery store and grabbing a basket or rolling over in the middle of the night. I really am a pretty independent person... i like being able to do things myself. I am the person who goes to the grocery store and comes home and slings as many bags as possible over my arms so i can make it in one or two trips. Now every time i left a bag of groceries i go "is it to heavy?" I went to the store the other night and stupidly got a basket instead of a cart and half way round the store realized I wasn't going to make it. its really a gradual progression of things so you don't realize until you can't do things that you haven't been really doing it for a while. Its so hard for me to accept more help with things and to ask people to life things or move things for me.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A family friendly area...

So last night was Halloween. My husband and I had no plans because things kept changing constantly. One second he was playing a music gig, then he wasn't sure, then he wasn't... so we decided we'd just go out for dinner and relax instead of staying home. Why didn't I give out candy you ask? I tried one year, no one came. By the time we got home it was about 8:30 and my street looked desserted. No lights on, no pumpkins, no halloween ANYTHING. In fact if you walked down my street you'd never even know it was a holiday! And thats how most of the houses in my nearby area were too. There were some clumps where people really got into it, but no where really close to my house. It really made me sad, and reaffirmed my stance that by Spring 2011 I want to move.

I live in a city... not in the heart of it by any means, but its in the city limits... and while I don't live in the worst part of the city its not the greatest either. I don't fear for my life on a daily basis, but its not the kind of place I would really want to raise a family. I guess my standards are pretty high because of where I grew up and my childhood. I lived in a nice suburb area with lots of kids. There were playgrounds all over the place, trees, and creeks to play in. I spent most of my youth playing outdoors in the "woods" (to us they were scary woods!), riding my bikes, and climbing trees. The neighborhood was filled with kids of all ages.On my street there were 3 of us the exact same age, and most of my other friends were within a 10 minute walk. On Halloween the streets were filled with kids trick or treating and all the houses had pumpkins. At Christmas the neighbors exchanged Christmas cookies. We had block parties.

While I can't afford to live where I grew up, I would love to find a place with a similar vibe. An area with families with young children, a backyard where my child can play, near a park or two... I don't want to be where we are now... where my child can't go out the front door alone, where the backyard is so small that its hardly worth playing it. I know for the first year or so this little guy isn't going to care if he has a backyard or not, but once he can start running around I want him to have somewhere he can run! I want to take him out trick or treating at Halloween. I want a neighbor who would come help me if I needed it... not one who I never see and when I do mutters "hello" so quickly you'd think I had done something to him!

I've always wanted to move, but i've never felt the pressure I do now. Time to start fixing the house up I guess.