Wednesday, November 29, 2006

First words

I’m getting ahead of myself again, but someone sent us a poll question idea that we thought was really great--what was your baby's first word?

My mom says she’s pretty sure my first word was “dada.” And I know several people whose babies said “mama” first.

I’m not sure where Bob got the idea to put in the real name for DNA (I’m not even going to attempt to spell that word). But it would be very funny if Little Elvis decided to make that his first word. We will definitely keep you posted on that if it happens.

We also wanted to include the other option, because I’m sure there are lots of other first words for babies. If your baby said something other than mommy, daddy or DNA then please respond to this blog entry so we can know what the “other” suggestion represents. Make sure to vote in the PulsePoll in the right navigation bar.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Flu shot blues

To get a flu shot, or not to get a flu shot—this is my quandary.

My company is offering flu shots this Friday, and I’ve read that pregnant women need to get flu shots. This has been an issue for me since July when I first read that I needed to get one.

I’ve never had the flu. I’ve had sinus infections, but have truly never had the flu. I’ve also never had a flu shot. I had a co-worker get one once and he was sick for a week! Well, I’m a wimp when it comes to being sick, so I’ve always opted against getting the flu shot.

This year, it’s obviously different. If I need to get the flu shot for Little Elvis, then I will definitely get the flu shot.

I called my doctor’s nurse line to ask about the flu shot and figured that while I was on the phone with her, I’d ask for my glucose results as well.

Before I even told her my name, I asked about the flu shot. And I got the definitive answer, “If you want to.”

What type of answer is that? If I want to. Well, I don’t want to, so is it fine if I don’t? Am I endangering Little Elvis if I don’t, even though I’m kind of following the nurse’s advice and doing what I want to do?

Even though she was obviously busy dispensing very valuable advice, I pestered her about my glucose test results as well.

I was told they would have called me if something was wrong, but she went to check on them anyway. (As a side note, I’m pretty positive the doctor never looked at the ovarian cyst on my ultrasound—even though I called—so I’m now seriously doubting that they look at my test results before my appointments.)

She told me my blood sugar was normal, which is great! But I am slightly anemic. This is honestly not much of a surprise, considering my current passion for ice.

I told her that I’d been eating tons of ice and had been told I might be anemic, so that was good to know. I then asked if I should add any foods to my diet before my appointment at the end of next week.

She told me I was “only” borderline and would probably be told to take an iron pill once a day and could go ahead and start taking it “if I wanted.”

Now why would I want to take some OTC medicine that might have many different versions possibly once a day without hearing from my doctor first? She didn’t even give me a name. She just said a low dose of iron. How do I know what that is?

I really wanted to ask her if it was ok if I did a keg stand this weekend while smoking a carton of cigarettes. I’m pretty sure her answer would have been, “If you want.”

After all that, I went to sign up for the flu shot, and found out that since I’m pregnant, I need a doctor’s permission to get it. What?!?

If I can’t get a straight answer from the nurse line, how will I get one of the doctors to write me a permission slip? Grrr.

What should I do? Should I pester them to fax over a note? Should I try to plead my case to the flu shot people on Friday?

Monday, November 27, 2006

Little Elvis’ extracurricular activities

I know that it’s really way too early for us to be thinking about what Little Elvis will do with his spare time when he’s in elementary school and beyond… but we are anyway.

My father, an avid hunter and high school athletic director, has always known that there will be a hunting issue with me. But he wasn’t expecting a football issue with Bob.

I have to admit that my aversions to hunting actually have nothing to do with killing the deer. When I was little I couldn’t believe he would go kill Bambi, but after seeing so many dead deer on the road, I don’t fuss about that anymore. My big problem is the danger. I mean, you’re wearing camouflage and walking around in the woods in the cold with a gun! That doesn’t even include the folks who sit in trees! I mean, with all that gear and the frozen fingers, you could fall out.

My dad made the point that he’s never gotten hurt while hunting, and neither has anyone he knows. And he would obviously be with Little Elvis, but the whole gun thing really does have me worried.

Bob, on the other hand, is worried about Little Elvis playing organized football. He thinks he’ll hurt his knees and would rather the little guy just play sand lot or pick-up football.

Dad said as long as he at least played some team sport, he would be fine with it. But I know he has his heart set on football or soccer (2 of the sports he coached).

I’m trying to compromise with Bob. Since neither of us is very big, I’m willing to bet that a position on the offensive line or as a defensive back is out of the question. But I think a position as punter or kicker would be great and it could combine both soccer and football. Bob seems ok with this solution. Dad liked it, too.

Bob is perfectly fine with Little Elvis in the Little League, and is already eyeing baby violins.

Now, we just have to see how Little Elvis feels about hunting, sports and music.

Are any of you having discussions and debates like this? Are we just wasting our time?

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Belly bumps

It's been a while since the last post, and I'm sorry about that. We went to visit my family in Mississippi for the holidays and although my mom has cable internet in her home office, I just wanted to chill and be with family.

We had a great time and it was really exciting to actually be showing. My dad hadn't seen me since my high school reunion this summer when I was only 11 weeks pregnant. And although my mom came to visit in October, but I still wasn't really showing.

This weekend though, I had a nice round belly protuding.

The belly even got compliments from complete strangers this weekend. We were shopping in one store and the woman who checked us out said it was a "very cute belly."

Most of my family also got to see the belly, which was fun. A few touched it, which is fine with me since they are family. (I've been dreading the time when complete strangers start rubbing my belly.)

Little Elvis also had a great weekend, just like his parents. He was extremely active. I had trouble going to sleep the first night we were there because he was so active. It's not that his movements are painful, but more that they are exciting and I like to stay awake to enjoy them.

Normally I feel him the most at night, but on Saturday, the day of his baby shower, he was active from the moment I got up. I guess he knew it was his special day. He shuffled around during the shower, during the drive to the airport, on the plane and is even getting in some good belly bumps right now as I type this.

I've read that his movements will start to slow down as I get further into the third trimester. Is that true? I'll really miss his activity. What have you guys experienced?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The breast is best… except in some situations?

When Little Elvis is born I plan to breast-feed. My mom breast-fed me and my grandmother always said I was the healthiest grandchild when I was little because of it. Who knows if that’s correct? It sounds good, though. I’ve also heard it helps you lose weight more quickly and can foster a great bond with your baby. These make the practice sound great.

Now, would I whip out my breast on a flight and feed Little Elvis? I’m not so sure.

But according to the USA Today, Emily Gillette is suing Freedom Airlines (operated by Delta Airlines) for discrimination on a flight from Vermont to New York because a flight attendant asked her to cover up while breastfeeding her 22 month old daughter, River.

Gillette says she wasn’t exposed, but the flight attendant handed her a blanket to cover up. When she refused, Gillette says she was booted off the plane.

The flight attendant has since been disciplined.
This isn’t the first story I’ve read like this about women who want to breastfeed their babies being moved or asked to stop. Has this happened to any of you? Do you agree with the lawsuit?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What's behind my crying games?

Sometimes I feel like the pregnancy is stressing me out. Other times I think it may just be that I've added so much to my plate since we found out I was pregnant.
On top of my job, (I leave at 8 in the morning to get to work by 9 and leave work at 6 in the evening to get home by 7 -- 11 hours, right?) I'm also trying to schedule podcasts and get them shot (which is very time consuming and actually hard to do when you don't have a product to show people) and I've written a book which I'm trying to get an agent interested in. Maybe it's not a lot, but sometimes it really feels that way.
Some nights I'm so stressed, I just cry. The first time I did this I think I really freaked Bob out. So now I go to the bathroom or some other room to just cry when the feeling hits me. I don't feel that I'm especially emotional due to the pregnancy and I hate to blame Little Elvis for this. I'm pretty sure it's not his fault. But I do feel like the work/podcast/please-like-me-agents! regime is enough to make anyone stressed, even if she isn't pregnant.
After that, it doesn't take much to make me well up. When the partner we're doing the podcasts with scolds me for not scheduling interviews to his liking and our interviewees just stop returning my calls I get angry and weepy. The occasional rejection letter from agents doesn't bother me too much at that point. I realize that those agents have a 95% rejection rate, so I'm just hoping to find someone interested in my novel (which has nothing to do with pregnancy by the way, I started it before I got pregnant and finished the first draft when I was probably 3 weeks along.)
There are other things that add to the stress as well-- I couldn't get a hold of my mom yesterday for several hours and was pretty worried; Bob has a friend that seems to think it's perfectly acceptable to kiss me on the lips and Bob won't tell him not to (apparently it's too weird to bring that up. I say it's weird to kiss your best friend's wife on the lips, especially when she backs away and squeals as you lean in); I sewed a dress for my best friend but she won't talk about it, which obviously means she hates it; and the Colts lose to the Cowboys (seriously, how did that happen?!) Those things pop up every day and just add to my weepy angst.
I worry that once Little Elvis arrives, I'll find even more to worry about and will cry 5 or 6 times every day.
Are any of you feeling more stressed? Should I blame my crying games on the pregnancy and not the amount of stress I keep heaping on myself?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The nighttime is the right time

Little Elvis is moving more and more. His favorite time appears to be right around when we're going to sleep.

Last night I think he was throwing a party. Bob fell asleep immediately, but I took a while. He was kicking, hitting, flipping, tossing, turning, etc.

I felt him ALL over my tummy. Usually I feel him on the right side and at the bottom of the uterus. But his recent movements will start on the right side and go all the way across to the left.

So far we haven't noticed if music or any certain noises spark his interest. Since he seems to get really cranking at night, I guess silence is golden to him right now.

When do your babies move the most?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Veteran mom shares working war story

I had to work late again this evening. Not super late, but it still frustrated me. We still don't know what we want to do about work after Little Elvis is born.

Luckily, I'm not the only one with worries like these.

Megan from Team Reddick and mother of 10 month old Cade wrote an entry for us in "Mother Knows Best" about one of the biggest perks of working outside of the home with a baby. I found it a very entertaining and optimistic take on the issue.

Please read and send us your comments! And if you would like to write for Mother Knows Best, please email me at meredith721@hotmail.com. We'd love to hear from you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Glucose testing

I had my glucose tested this weekend and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Actually, I had no idea what to expect really.

The doctor didn’t say anything about what the test would entail, just that I needed to have it done before my next appointment.

Since my Quest experiences have always been really awful (wait for hours before getting pricked, having both hands and arms poked before phlebotomist gives up, etc.) I thought I would call ahead and set up an appointment. That didn’t really work out, but all of the phone calls made put the idea into my head that the test would take 3 hours.

We decided to go to a Qwest in Maryland on Saturday morning, since I’ve already had to take off so much from work for doctor’s appointments and scares.

After dinner on Friday night we realized that if I’m having my blood sugar tested, maybe I shouldn’t eat anything before. My doctor didn’t mention this (not really surprised) and the numerous Qwest calls never mentioned this.

Bob called our Aetna Ask-a-nurse line and we were told that I shouldn’t eat or drink 12 hours before the test. That was fine. We had eaten dinner around 7, so I just wouldn’t eat breakfast before we headed to Maryland. (By the way, the Ask-a-nurse told us that the test would take 4 hours.)

So we get to Qwest bright and early Saturday morning and since we’re expecting to wait 4 hours, I have 10 magazines and a book with me. (My mom sends me magazine shipments once a month and this latest one included 5 magazines from the 80s.) Bob had a Physics book. We were prepared for the long haul.

They give me this little bottle of sweet orange liquid to drink. Did you ever get those drink barrels as a child? They mainly came in the flavors orange and red and purple. (They didn’t really taste like any fruit, so I always thought they were flavored by the colors.) That’s what the drink tasted like, a super sugary drink from my childhood that I rarely got and don’t remember enjoying. It’s not something you can chug easily.

Then I waited an hour to have my blood tested. At 8:14 a.m. they withdrew blood and told me I could leave.

“I thought I was supposed to be tested every hour for three hours,” I protest.

“Who told you that?” asked the woman jabbing my arm.

I didn’t really have an answer for her. I just sat there looking confused, so she continued, “You only have to wait for three hours if you have a problem with the first test.”

Ah. So, now I’m hoping that I don’t have problems with the first test (both for Little Elvis’ sake and for the sake of another early Saturday morning.

I felt really sheepish as we left Qwest an hour and a half after arriving with 10 magazines and two books in tow.

Any of you have odd expectations going into your glucose tests?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cold, hard cravings

Well, my cravings have finally begun -- at week 26. My cravings aren't for chocolate or pickles or mayonnaise or anything you typically hear about. I crave ice, lots and lots of ice.

One of my co-workers told me this was a sign of low iron. This could be possible with me, since I've been borderline anemic before. I'm not going to add iron supplements to my prenatal vitamin though until I talk to my doctor. I also don't plan on eating any beef liver. I'll see if I can find it in some veggies.

The ice at work is much better than the ice cubes we make at home. For the past week at work I munched and munched through most of the day. (No one has complained at me yet and my boss thinks it's cute, so we'll hope that mindset will stay.) The ice at work is mostly white and full of air so crunching it is really easy.

The ice at home is harder to crunch and not nearly as porous. That might mean it's better ice in general, but for my current purposes it's not nearly as pleasurable.

I have no idea where the craving is coming from because I'm by nature a very cold-natured person. While munching my cold ice at work, I have a blanket in my lap and sometimes am even wearing my coat. I keep waiting for my body temperature to go up, but that hasn't happened yet.

Have any of you craved ice? Or anything else? Let me know!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Big Belly Girl

My stomach has really started poking out. And just in case I didn't realize it, my co-workers keep telling me how big I've gotten.

There's a hip hop song from somewhere in my teenhood (I think) that had a chorus that went something like, "Big booty girl, get loose." (I'm not the greatest with lyrics, so I could be off here.) Still, I've put belly in for booty and I've been walking around the house singing, "Big belly girl, cut loose." (Bob has no idea which song I'm attempting to rip off, so maybe it's just all in my head.)

Still, the belly is bulging and I'm now spending several minutes each night inspecting it for stretchmarks. I haven't seen one yet and I've been using Palmer's Cocoa Butter lotion for stretch marks. I'm not really sure how it will help, though.

It seems like stretch marks are usually really white, and since I'm paler than a newly whitewashed picket fence, maybe they'll just blend in with my usual ghostly pallor.

What about you? Are you experiencing stretchmarks? What color are they? What are you doing for them?

Monday, November 06, 2006

Patience

One thing we've heard from lots of people is that we will need patience once Little Elvis arrives. But I think he's going to have to be the most patient one of our family.

Bob and I don't have much experience with babies at all. (I'm an only child and he's the baby of his family.) That means we have no idea what we're getting ourselves into.



We've had our cat Slappy for four years and every day she meows at us expectantly and we cannot for the life of us figure out what she wants. There's food in the dish, her litter box is fine, and picking her up is definitely not the answer (although that's typically our solution). She's very patient with us and continues her demands until we mistakenly figure out what she wants, or she gets it herself.

Wally is three and a half. We got him when he was 6 weeks old. He's not nearly as chatty as Slappy, but he still shows lots of patience with us.



I'm a holder and hugger. Neither of the cats is thrilled with their luck, but they just take the hugs and pick ups in stride until I put them down. Wally is sleeping beside me while I type this and I'm reaching over and rubbing his back and touching his feet whenever the mood strikes. He's not thrilled with this activity, but he patiently sits beside me and accepts my craziness.

I hope Little Elvis will be as patient as the cats, or train us better. I'm hoping it won't take us years to figure out what his cries mean. I do hope he'll let me hug and pick him up as often as I will want to.

Are any of you worried about patience? Any great lessons in patience you've learned from your babies?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Set scan gun to stun

Today, we spent the afternoon registering Little Elvis at Wal-Mart, Target and Toys R Us.

We've already gotten most of the essentials, but my friends and relatives keep asking when and where we've registered. So we decided to register for small essentials at those three stores.

I had planned on us registering for bottles, nipples, thermometers, teething rings, etc. But when we finally had our scan gun in hand at Wal-Mart, I got a little sidetracked.

It was easy to avoid the baby clothes since we have so many, but they had shoes, mittens and hats interspersed with the essentials we needed. I think hats and shoes will be a weakness for me. He's now registered for some blue hats, brown bear shoes and shoes with rattles on them. (Those are the only ones that I distinctly remember, I'm sure we clicked on more though.)

He's also registered for three different types of bottles and nipples at Wal-Mart. I have no idea which brand we should opt for, so we decided to cover all of the bases and let my more experienced relatives and friends get the ones that are better. (Luckily, Toys R Us, let us specify that we didn't need a specific brand.)

I really wanted today to be a day dedicated to Bob, and I was worried that he wouldn't have fun. But he had a big time with the scan gun and the baby toys. I would hear bells and whizzes while searching for newborn toys and know it was Bob. I think his favorite toy was a tom-tom drum at Toys R Us. We decided that it wasn't really age appropriate for Little Elvis, and too big for our trip back on the plane. Maybe we should have registered for Bob, though.

We ended up registering for similar (if not the same) items at all three stores. We figured we could always return items if we got multiples. Do you think this was a good idea? Did you guys register? Did you do it at more than one store?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Working late worries

Work has been crazy for me for the past few weeks. I work for an internet company and things are changing there, as I'm sure they are changing at most internet companies.

For the past week, I haven't even been able to leave the building to get a breath of fresh air. But today I did take a 15 minute break away from my computer. To make up for this, I got to work late.

This isn't a problem now, but I think it will be when Little Elvis is born. If I have to work outside the home, which I'm hoping I won't have to, I can't be late to pick him up.

How are you guys reconciling work and family? Do you think I'm just giving myself something to worry about?