Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cravings anyone?

I really expected to be craving things by now. But tonight is Halloween, and although we have a basketful of Tootsie Rolls (I love the flavored ones!), cookies in the cupboard and ice cream in the fridge, I'm not clamoring for any of them. In fact, I haven't touched the candy basket since I got home. (I took some to work today to give out and I did eat two vanilla tootsie rolls and one of the big ones.)

This is not normal behavior for me. Usually when presented with a plethora of sweets, I will eat them--even if I'm not hungry.

Isn't that weird? I thought I would be hungrier and always wanting sweets during my pregnancy. Or that I'd at least want something strange. I'm not really craving anything in particular.

I just get hungry, and if I don't eat right then, I get REALLY hungry.

Are any of you craving weird foods? Or are you experiencing a total lack of cravings as well?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Little Elvis needs a lot!

We’ve been getting lots of the fun things for Little Elvis – crib, playpen, stroller/carseat combo, bedding, LOTS of clothes and toys.

I thought we were doing well, but I just stumbled upon this list from the government and we need more stuff than I thought.

We need to get special bottle nipples, thermometers, a bulb syringe and an infant manicure set.

The good thing is, these seem like they are fairly small items and my grandmother is throwing a baby shower in Mississippi on Thanksgiving. If we ask for these things, they should all fit easily into our suitcases for the flight back to Virginia.

Are there any other baby necessity items that you can think of?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Wally and Little Elvis -- Purr-fect together

We have two cats, Slappy and Wally, and Wally is what could best be described as a “lap cat.”

He prefers to be sitting on our laps whenever we are sitting, and he loves to lay on my tummy if I’m laying down on the couch or floor.

Obviously, that’s not encouraged right now and I figured he would get mad or jealous. He seems confused when I adjust him on my legs or block him from my stomach, but he doesn’t get fussy. Instead he’s found a way to lay half on – half off of my lap. This isn’t his preferred choice, but he lives with it.

For the past few winters he has slept under the covers with us, and I wasn’t sure if that habit would come back or not. It did last night.

He crawled up between us and pawed until we let him under the covers. Then he curled up right beside my tummy and purred himself to sleep. We think this is the beginning of a great friendship between Wally and Little Elvis. Both of us enjoy the soothing vibration of Wally’s purr and hopefully the baby will be just as enchanted by that sweet sound.

Do you guys have pets? What are your experiences?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Very fun mom blogs

When Bob and I started blogging, I didn’t think anyone would comment or even find us, but several people have and I’ve gotten some great advice on things that were bothering me.

Some of those advice givers have really cool blogs of their own.

Shawna Lee has a cool blog at ShooFlyPieandGrits. She had some good advice for my lips when they were swollen – use acidophilus. Her writing is fun and it seems like we’re in complete opposite situations. I’m a southerner trying to make it through cold Yankee winters and she’s a Yankee with southern kids. We’re both transplants. I hope her issues with the summers down south aren’t as bad as mine are with the winters up north.

Bob is also a fan of this site because of the Penn State reference. (He’s also an alum.)

Bob is also a fan of Caerynn's site, Mom_with_a_Chainsaw. She's a bluegrass and alt-country music fan with 5 children who offered some support during my medical scare.

Shana with Babes in Blogland has a great site. She lists several other pregnant and mommy bloggers and the layout of her site is really easy to navigate. She was kind enough to send us suggestions on how to make pregnantlyplump better and we are hoping to implement them soon.

More cool tools for Moms-to-be

I think we’ve picked a great time to be pregnant.

With the advent of web 2.0 and the new focus on online “communities,” especially those around pregnancy, there are so many great offerings on the web—and that doesn’t even include all the great blogs about pregnancy and motherhood out there.

Yesterday I stumbled upon what I assume is a fairly new pregnancy tool (please correct me if I’m wrong) at iVillage.

It’s called pregnancy & baby plus. It’s got to be rivaling ClubMom, which is another great site for pregnant women and moms.

The iVillage offering lets you set up a profile page, write a journal, share pics, etc. It’s all the usual stuff. But it offers you a weekly calendar function which is similar to La Femme Bonita’s pregnancy tracker that I like so much.

This calendar has seven different little tips, facts or teases for each week. For week 23, I found out that the rhythmic “kicks” I thought I was feeling were actually hiccups! You guys may have known that, but I thought it was pretty interesting. I would include the link, but it’s one of those static links, so you wouldn’t actually go to the page.

There was one disturbing feature though. Maybe not so much disturbing as graphic.

You can watch pregnancy podcasts and I clicked on the podcast called “In the Birthing Room.”

Now I realized that this podcast would be about delivery, but I had no idea how explicit it would get.

The information was interesting and they did explain what would go on once we arrive at the hospital for delivery. I’m cool with that. And since I watched at work, generic shots of a hospital room were not offensive.

Then, a completely naked pregnant woman pops up on the screen and pops the baby out! I saw everything and I didn’t want to see any of it.

I’m sure for this woman, this was a beautiful experience, but it wasn’t to me. I avoid labor and delivery shows on Discovery Health and TLC at all times. I know I will go through that, but I don’t care to watch other women experience it.

This wasn’t my biggest problem though—I don’t want to completely naked in the delivery room. I know I have to be uncovered on the bottom, but on top, I’d like to keep my top on. Is this whole completely nude thing common? I hope not, because as a self-confessed prude, that will not be good. I truly believe it will make me even more nervous and scared.

Have any of you heard of this? Did you experience it?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Am I really that big?

I guess I'm not really used to this whole growing body thing. I look at the cute, fitted clothes in stores and realize they aren't going to fit me.

But when I look at something like an unfitted button-down shirt, I think that will fit me just fine. I found out this weekend that that is not always the case.

My mom bought me a straight cut button shirt months ago to wear during the pregnancy and I kept going past it because it was "too big." Finally, on Saturday I decided that I was big enough for the shirt. The button and hole across my tummy did not meet.

I had no idea I was that big! I don't feel that big, but hard evidence like that is hard to ignore.

One of my hobbies pre-pregnancy was sewing my own clothes. After making a short-sleeved blazer for my 10 year high school reunion, I hung up my scissors. But this weekend I decided to make myself a maternity dress. I'm down to just the hem and I can't believe that I could ever wear a dress that big. It is literally a huge tent. Jabba the Hut could join me in this thing.

Hopefully the dress will end up being something I wear in the last couple of months, because I can't imagine how that large scoop neck will not fall off my shoulders!

Are any of you having a figure identity crisis? I don't mind the getting bigger, at least I tell myself that. Then I look at this dress, and I'm in a different frame of mind.

Spooky for two?

Babies make cute pumpkins for Halloween, but what about pregnant women? I want to dress up for Halloween this year and am really stumped about coming with a cute idea that involves my growing tummy.

My mom, who gave me her overalls, suggests a farmer. I don’t know about that though.

When my lips were swollen, I was thinking of stuffing my bra and doing a pregnant Angelina Jolie in a third world country. My lips are quickly returning to their normal size – which I’m just fine with – so I think that idea is out of the question, unless I bought some of those plastic lips.

Bob wants to go as Earl from My Name is Earl, so maybe I could be Randy. I think a pregnant Joy would be pretty difficult for me. Jayme Pressly still has a rockin’ bod under that belly. I really don’t.

What do you think? Do you guys have any ideas? Or pics? Send ‘em in and we’ll post them.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Little Elvis is going to be a soccer player

My lips have almost recovered, so now I have to find something new to focus on. And Little Elvis' kicks rank pretty high up there in my list of interesting experiences this week.

At first I wasn't sure if it was a kick. But they kept on happening repeatedly at around the same time and I didn't have to go to the bathroom when I felt them. I felt this was a good sign that it wasn't my intestines talking.

He seems to prefer my right side, although occasionally will go to town right around my pubic bone. He also seems to have a preference (or maybe it's a dislike) for hip hop. We were watching a movie that cut between both hip hop and jazz one night and whenever the hip hop song came on, he kicked up a storm!

I told my dad the other night and he thought that it was too early for me to feel kicking. He thinks it's something else, in which case I'm making poor Bob feel my intestines grumbling. This is very similar to the time I had him feel my bladder because I was convinced it was my uterus.

Have your babies started kicking? What do you think it feels like and when did you start feeling them?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A fine line in maternity pants

I’m starting to wear my maternity pants a lot more now. I like them and they are comfortable, but I am having some issues with them. The “maternity line” (the line between the stretchy part and the actual pants) is lower than most of my shirts! It’s even lower than my maternity shirts!

Yesterday I wore my maternity jeans with a maternity shirt, and spent the whole day pulling down the back part of the shirt to make sure it covered the maternity line.

Is this a problem for any of you? Do you even care if the maternity line of your pants shows? Maybe I’m being too picky.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Nips and lips, any tips?

My doctor is now pretty sure that I’m just a variant on normal. It took us until around 3:00 this afternoon to find this out, despite several calls to the office. Still, I’m happy that I’m most likely normal.

When the bleeding first started, I just assumed it was dry skin. Then it seemed to get a little heavier and my mom didn’t think it was normal. We also couldn’t find anything about it on the internet. Then, when the doctor said to come in early and also see a specialist, my worrying superpowers went into overdrive.

Those superpowers cause my lips to swell to obscene proportions, turn a lovely shade of purple (it really is a pretty color) and then start blistering. They will probably be pretty painful for at least a week.

It’s happened before during a stressful time - concerned about having LASIK and having a bad haircut that Bob was not sympathetic to. The LASIK went swimmingly, and my hair finally grew out after about a year. I took prescription Valtrex, because apparently the swelling and blistering are caused by cold sores.

The doctor gave me a prescription for Valtrex on Monday, and said it was fine to take it, but I’m worried. If it’s strong enough to kill a virus, what could it do to Little Elvis? I’m thinking I would rather be in pain for a week than hurt him. So I’m going to try and tough it out.

This means that today, I look like a pouting fish at work. My co-workers keep asking what’s wrong and I just say my lips are infected. They don’t need to know the craziness.

Any good advice on natural ways to handle the burning, stinging sensation around my lips?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Little Elvis is fine, I might not be

I wasn't sure I should write this, but Bob said we agreed to do this warts and all.

I'll give you the more entertaining rundown of my day first. I didn't go to work, instead I got my breasts squeezed by both a Hispanic and British man, and my lips are now rivaling Angelina Jolie's.

Over the weekend, my nipples started leaking bloody discharge. We Googled any combination of this that we could and came up with nothing. So, I called the Ask a Nurse line from our insurance on Saturday night. they were shocked that I didn't call my doctor first. I didn't know the doctor's office had an overnight/weekend line, so we decided to try the doctor's office number after that call.

What luck! A man answered the phone and paged the doctor immediately. The doctor called me back after a few minutes and told me to call and get myself worked in on Monday morning. He also said he wanted me to see a breast specialist. (This is by far the best treatment I've ever received from my doctor's office and I will always try to call them in the evenings and on weekends in the future.)

I spent Sunday worrying and my lips are where my stress usually manifests. Currently they are a nice pinky-purple shade and my top lip is definitely the size of Angelina Jolie's.

On Monday, we spent about 2 -2 1/2 hours in the doctor's waiting room before finally getting to see the doctor.

The good news is I sat out there long enough for my right breast to bleed into my bra and prove that I'm not making things up. The bad news is the doctor had no idea why I was doing this. He did squeeze both breasts until they leaked--which really hurt--and asked me if I was squeezing them to make them bleed. (I was not. I don't really like to fondle my own breasts, especially if this will end in blood dripping down my chest.)

Although the doctor wasn't sure why I was bleeding, he didn't seem to think anything was really wrong. Still, he wanted me to go see the breast specialist just to be sure.

They squeezed us in for the afternoon, but I was in much better spirits. That is until I met the specialist.

Again, while waiting on the doctor, my right breast began leaking bloody discharge. He came in and squeezed my breasts and pressed my armpits. He told me he was stumped and was sorry that that wasn't more encouraging.

He's apparently going to call my obstetrician at some point and they are going to talk about my strangeness. Hopefully I will hear something tomorrow.

This means I'm more worried and my lips will probably start blistering tomorrow. I'm not good company to poor Bob and I've caused my mother to spend most of the day researching bloody breasts from Mississippi.

Little Elvis is fine though. His heartbeat is strong and he's definitely taken a liking to kicking the right side of my stomach.

I'm glad he's not the one that's hurt, but I don't want to risk his health for mine. I truly hope that's not going to happen and that the doctors will realize that I'm not a freak of nature, I just have super sensitive nipples.

Has anyone else experienced this? Please tell me this isn't something to be worried about.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Calf cramps

So far through the pregnancy I’ve experienced some minor stomach cramps (I think from my muscles expanding) and that’s about it.

Well, at 6:30 this morning, my left calf decided to do something about that. I woke up screaming “Bob!”, and I’m sure scaring the poor man half to death. He’s familiar with muscle cramps and immediately started rubbing my poor leg. The rubbing and kneading really hurt, but after a few minutes (possibly a few seconds—I am a drama queen) the extremely tight knot my calf muscles had tied began to unwind.

I managed to get back to sleep, but poor Bob was up at this point. I’m sure his pregnant wife screaming his name in fear is the last thing he wants to wake up to. I’m so glad and thankful that he was there, though, and knew what to do.

It’s also interesting that I didn’t just cry “ow” or yell out an expletive. My first reaction was to scream out for him.

I hope this cramp thing doesn’t pop up too often. I’m wearing sneakers today and stink of IcyHot.

Have any of you experienced these? What are you doing to prevent them? I hope it’s something other than bananas, since I’m allergic to those!

My mom has nothing to wear

I’m sure that this is a time that most pregnant women can truly say, “I have nothing to wear.” The old clothes are too tight and the maternity are too big. I don’t have that problem, but I’ll bet you my mom does.

She has literally shipped up more than half of her closet to outfit me in the in-between phase.

She’s not a big woman at all, but she is much more endowed on top than I am and regularly wears flowy dresses and shirts. In my non-pregnant days, I wore very fitted tops, dresses, skirts, pants, etc.

I know in earlier posts, I’ve mentioned that she is preparing to buy anything tiny and blue from most stores in Tupelo, my home town.

Well, she’s also been regularly going through her closet for me.

At my last count, she has sent me (from her own closet) 3 pairs of shorts, 2 pairs of khakis, 6 or 7 dresses, 2 pairs of black pants, and oodles of shirts. She’s coming for a visit this weekend and bringing me her overalls.

Bob says she’s probably walking around Tupelo in her underwear. I don’t think she’s at that point, but she’s probably left herself with just her business suits and T-shirts and sweats.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Keeping Track of Little Elvis

There are lots of cool things on the Web for pregnant moms. Ovulation trackers, due date trackers, countdown to your baby and after birth trackers, and I’ve used a lot of them.

But there’s one that I check up on once a week – the La Femme Bonita Baby Development Ticker.

It is so cool! You plug in your due date and time zone, even the baby’s name, and then pick a color scheme. Then you get a weekly update on how your baby is developing and get to see a picture of what the average baby looks like at that time. The ticker also lets you know how many weeks and days are left in your pregnancy.

After you plug in your info, you get an HTML code that you can use in message boards, blogs, etc.

Here is Little Elvis’ ticker.

Are there any other cool tools out there for pregnant women that I should know about?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Easily fascinated

I’m a cheap date. I can seriously be entertained by our two cats for hours. I love to watch them play, chase, fetch, stare and twitch in their sleep.

I realize their little quirks aren’t nearly as interesting to anyone else.

But I also can’t imagine how fascinated I will be by Little Elvis. He’ll make a fist and I’ll yell for Bob to come see and bring the camera with him. We will both probably discuss his fist making abilities for days.

Will other people be as intrigued with the intricacies of his yawn like we are? Probably not. Will I tell them about each movement in minute detail? Most likely.

Did you do this with your baby or do you think you will?

Monday, October 09, 2006

I’m ready to LOOK pregnant

At my ultrasound last week, the technician bumped me up to 21 weeks. (I thought I was at 20 weeks.) That means I’m more than 5 months pregnant, but I don’t “look” pregnant.

When we tell people who don’t know us, they seem amazed. People who have known me can see that I have a gut (and enjoy pointing it out), but it looks more like a pooch than a pregnant tummy.

Most of my maternity clothes don’t fit, but then neither do my old clothes. My mom bought me a smaller pair of maternity jeans the other week and sent me some of her khakis, so I do at least have something to wear—even if it’s not pretty.

All that said, I want to be obviously pregnant. That way, the people who know me, but don’t know I’m pregnant will be able to realize that I’m not just gaining weight for the heck of it. Also, people will be nice to me when I’m just out in public. Some woman at Wal-Mart bumped me in the butt this weekend. If I had been obviously pregnant, I’ll bet she would have at least said excuse me.

Bob said I will be fussing about being obviously pregnant as soon as I really start to show. He might be right, but I’m ready for the special treatment from strangers!!

Cyst Worries

Friday was a great day. We found out that the baby is healthy and is a boy! We also got the due date pushed up, which is great for me since I’m not the most patient person in the world.

We also got some possibly not-so-good news: I have a cyst on my right ovary. The technician didn’t say too much about it, so I started researching ovarian cysts over the weekend. I also have a co-worker who is very knowledgeable on medical issues, so I asked her about it as well.

My research kind of scared me, but my co-worker told me this was very common, but to call my doctor to ease my fears.

I’ve been trying not to focus on my doctor situation. Before I became pregnant, I really liked my doctor’s office. Now, I really don’t.

I’m handed off between five doctors – I’ve seen three so far – and they don’t have time to answer my questions. They also don’t explain things to me. I know pregnancy is really common, but this is my first and I get really scared sometimes.

I called the doctor’s office Monday morning and after being on hold for a while I finally got a nurse who told me I hadn’t given them time to look at the ultrasound and the doctor was on vacation. I informed her that I wanted to get this question answered, so I was calling ahead of time to give them time to prepare. She patronized me and told me I should write my questions down. I told her I did, but amazingly the doctors still didn’t have time for me and that this question was more important to me than my constant heartburn. Is it too much to ask to have a little bit of "care" in healthcare?

I’m sure I got a bad mark by my name and will probably have to wait an hour for my 2 minutes with the doctor instead of the usual 30 minutes at my next appointment.

Perhaps you can help me set my mind at ease -- do you have a story about developing ovarian cysts during pregnancy? How did you and your doctor deal with it? Leave a comment by clicking the button below.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Baby Bargains Galore

Last week there was a baby sale at a school right by our house, and Bob and I really cleaned up! We also got some great advice.

We had been planning to buy a separate car seat and stroller instead of the combo. It just sounded like too much work. One of the moms at this sale told us the benefits of a stroller combo - the most important being "when the baby is sleeping, you want the baby to keep on sleeping." That's some really great advice and point of view we'd never have known until after Little Elvis was born.

We also found out about a great site - ourkids.com. This site lists all of the major baby sales around our area. So this week we went to Gaithersburg, Maryland, and again, we really cleaned up. We also took the camera this time and got great info from experienced moms about these sales and motherhood in general.

Next week my mom is coming to town and she' s already picked out the sales she wants to go to. We still have to get a crib, stroller/carseat, and playpen. Clothes I'm steering clear of because my mom has already outfitted the baby for summer and I'm sure every other season for the next two years will be coming soon.

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's a Boy!

After weeks of waiting (impatiently I might add) we finally found out this morning that Little Elvis is a boy. Maybe we were psychic when we picked the nickname for the baby and then bought blue bedding. Who knows?
The whole ultrasound experience was really kind of cool. The technician was nice and it was fun seeing all the different parts of Little Elvis.
We saw the spine first, and also looked at the heart, the brain, the abdomen, head, femur, lower legs, feet, face and everything in between.
The technician had to chase him some and he did not want to show off his lower left leg, but she assured us that everything was fine. I think legally she couldn't tell us he was healthy, but she said that the doctor not coming in meant that the baby was fine.
She also printed us out some cute pictures. We have a picture of Little Elvis' mouth, nose, privates and right foot. It looks like he will have a huge mouth! He also might be tall for his age, or our due date was a little off. She bumped us up a week, and now the due date is February 17. Some friends said that would either be a really happy or a really miserable Valentine's Day.
I got a little emotional after she left us to show the pictures to the doctor. I was talking about naming him Daunte, (lots of pro football players are named Dante and I want Little Elvis to support us) and suddenly got teary.
I feel like I know the baby more now. He's still really active, although I only felt him that one day. The technician said she didn't feel anything until her 22nd week, and I'm somewhere in the 21st.
I'm also poking out a whole lot more today than I was a week and a half ago. I still look more like I've got a beer belly than a pregnant belly, though.
We're pretty excited. We called both sets of parents and told our friends. I showed off my "baby pictures" to anyone that would pay attention to me at work. They were very nice to ooh and ah since the pictures didn't really look like a baby. There's also a huge chance that I was showing off things that weren't Little Elvis. I thought I saw his fingers once and apparently it was just some part of me.
We will hopefully be scanning our pics in and I'll try to find a way to include them in the blog so you can see how handsome and smart our baby is.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Exposing Little Elvis' Secret

Tomorrow morning Bob and I are supposed to find out if our baby will be a boy or a girl. I'm really excited about finally knowing.

I realize lots of couples don't want to find out the sex of their babies beforehand, and that there's a chance they can be wrong, but I definitely want to know as soon as possible.

There are several reasons for this:

1. I'll be one step closer to knowing my baby and can buy those extremely cute gender specific outfits.

2. We can really get down to picking a name other than Little Elvis.

3. My mom will have someone else to buy for. She has practically doubled my closet and has bought all the non-gender-specific outfits she can find, but she needs to be given free rein here. I have no more room in my closet, and Little Elvis has plenty.

Are these selfish reasons? I hope not. I will be thrilled either way and I dream and think of Little Elvis in both ways right now.

There is a small poll going on. My mom and her friends think it's a girl, as do two co-workers. We'll see if they are right tomorrow! I can't wait to share our news, we just have to hope Little Elvis isn't being demure.

Can I get this off my chest?

First let me apologize. I have been remiss this week in posting. Work has been busy and I’ve had to go emergency bra shopping. Still, that’s no excuse.

This has been a week of chesty issues for me. My bras have been getting tighter and tighter of late. On Sunday, I was miserable throughout church. My chest was so constricted by my biggest bra that it physically hurt!

I don’t know why I didn’t go get a bra then, except I just wanted to get home and free myself. Then I just wanted to sit and doze through some football games. By the time I went to Hancock Fabrics that afternoon, I had completely forgotten about the pain.

On Monday I tried a bra that gives me more leeway, but by 1 p.m., I was in real pain. I IM’d my sweet husband and told him we had to go bra shopping at TJ Maxx after work. I bought from the clearance rack, because hopefully (!!!) I might have to go up another size at some point in the future. I’m normally a 34B, so I got three 36C bras. I figured I could grow into them because they did look pretty big.

I’m still small enough that when I’m at home, I’m braless. I know this probably isn’t good, but after the pain of this weekend, I definitely wasn’t going to wear an over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder any longer than I had to.

Monday night I was talking on the phone to my parents and cutting out a dress pattern for a friend when I felt something wet on my stomach. I looked down and there were two wet spots on the front of my shirt!!! How embarrassing.

I’m glad I was on the phone with my mom, because I whispered to her that I was “leaking”. She assured me that this was perfectly normal. I thought you “leaked” after you had your baby, not before.

You would think my chesty issues ended there, but alas, no. I decided to wear a new bra (which is really too big) under a long john type shirt that was not meant to be worn with a lumpy bra. I realized this at about 10 a.m. when I went on my first bathroom run at work. I ended up having to wear my corduroy jacket over my long john top in 80 degree weather all day. I was miserable, yet again.

What craziness! I haven't had a run of days like these in recent mammary--I mean, memory.