Friday, October 25, 2013

Seven Busy Takes

I have been out of the house every day this week. In fact, I think I have been out of the house every day since about last Tuesday. 0.0 I dislike this. It makes me tired and crabby.

(Mostly errands, but a couple of doctor's appointments and one visit to family which I will mention right in the next take.)

Last week I made what I intend to be my last "long-distance" trip until next spring sometime, driving the 80 miles to my parents' house for Teresa's 7th birthday. (Yes, I did just drive up there the week before for my baby shower. The gas budget is going to be shot this month.) Anyway, here's a picture of the birthday girl:

Isn't she getting SO BIG? Woe. 

And here she is with the present Scott and I got her--we stopped by Wal-Mart on the way into town, because I plan ahead like that. She liked it anyway.

(She is wearing all black because she was dressed as a black cat earlier in the day. I think she pulls it off nicely.)

When we first arrived at my parents', Matthew pointed to my belly and asked, "What's that?" Mom told him it was a baby. He thought for a moment and then pointed again and said emphatically: "Ball."


That night, he woke up crying at 3 a.m. I woke about halfway up and thought in a panic, "The baby is crying! Where is the baby?" Then I woke up all the way and realized that it was Matthew and that he was sleeping in my parents' room, so surely they would take care of him. And I went back to sleep.


I think this is supposed to be a lamb outfit, but Matthew said he was a bear, rawr.


On Sunday morning, Mom and Dad went out on a date while Scott and I babysat the littles. (We had all gone to the vigil Mass.) Matthew was up with the sun, so he was wreaking havoc in the family room when Teresa finally woke up and came downstairs.

As soon as he saw her, Matthew yelled "SISSIE!" in the happiest little voice, as if he hadn't seen her in days. It was pretty adorable.


On Monday night, Dad was giving Matthew a bath and as they were drying off Matthew was babbling something about "Mommy, sissie, baby."

"What baby?" Dad asked.

"Mennin, Dott," Matthew replied.

I think he figured out it's not a ball.


Playing with the trains I got him for his birthday and Christmas last year.
He recently hit the phase of being OBSESSED with "choo-choos."

I don't think I ever mentioned that my grocery spending for September turned out to be $199.61. Hooray for being underbudget!

So far in October I've spent $198.15. Other than being out of mayonnaise, we're pretty set as far as food goes, too. (I could probably get mayonnaise with that $1.85 remaining, but I am lazy so it probably won't happen.)

I am super proud of myself, by the way, because I have been diligently tracking our spending this month--putting things into the budget spreadsheet once or twice a week, instead of once every month or two. It makes for a lot more accurate accounting, I'm sure.

Not that it really matters; it just lets me know exactly how much of our savings account we're bleeding this month.

(The Medical > Other category is $999.23 so far for October. That is...not exactly a number compatible with our income.)

My little luxury grocery purchase this week was pre-cooked chicken nuggets. I have a major aversion to processed foods, but at this point in pregnancy (I'm TIIIIIIRED and everything HURTS), it isn't really a choice between chicken nuggets and nice balanced home-cooked meals. It's a choice between chicken nuggets and candy or ice cream. (Which are also processed AND which mess with my delicate, insulin-resistant metabolism.)

I ate those for lunch on Thursday after I came back exhausted from grocery shopping, and they were seriously delicious, maybe because they only took 2 minutes of microwaving and I didn't have to touch any slimy raw meat.

On Wednesday my mother called and woke me up in the middle of my nap to ask about a no-bake cookie recipe. I sent it to her, at which point she realized she was out of oatmeal. So I was awoken for no reason.

Except then on the way home from the bus stop later that day I was telling Scott about the dream I had been having when the phone rang. It involved playing a video game, the details of which I will not bother giving. Scott thought my dream game sounded so cool that he spent the entire evening pacing around writing game design notes on index cards.

We are weird but awesome.

I don't have any particular plans for the next several days except going out with my husband (We haven't had our monthly ice cream date yet, and when you're dealing with a thousand dollars in medical bills you might as well throw in four dollars of ice cream...) and making cupcakes. From scratch. To eat with my chicken nuggets. :)

It's kind of the deep breath before the plunge, though, because our calendar for November is already packed with getting-ready-for-baby type events. And I still have half a thought of doing NaNoWriMo, because that isn't so much another obligation as it is forced time to sit down and breathe and do "me things." I might need that in a few weeks so I don't completely freak out about how we're poor and/or how I'll be full-term the Saturday after Thanksgiving and the carseat is in our dining room and the crib is in pieces.

Yeah, not thinking about that.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! Clan Donaldson!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Seven Quick Baby Takes: 32 weeks

I had my 32-week appointment on Tuesday. I am up to every-two-week appointments now, so you all will get subjected to my navel-gazing twice as often! Aren't you happy?

(One of my least favorite things about pregnancy is that I have to pay so much attention to things going on in my body. Really, it's tough for us brain-in-a-jar types. So I force you all to suffer through it as well to make myself feel better.)

Anyway, not actually much to report. I weighed 206 pounds--5 pounds in 4 weeks/23 pounds overall. Which means that I'm totally going to overshoot the 15-25 pounds that fat ladies are "allowed" to gain, but nobody at my doctor's office cares so I don't either. I'd like to stay under 222 just because that's what I weighed back when I got my PCOS diagnosis and started on this crazy taking-care-of-my-body train, and I'd rather not start over totally from scratch after the baby is born, but whatever. Breastfeeding burns calories, right? (Of course, I bet that only works if you don't eat everything that doesn't bite back...)

Also, Dr. B thinks that my anemia is borderline enough that I don't need to bother with iron supplements, so YAY. I am still going to put spinach in weird things, though.

Also also, Tad seems about the same as usual. It's getting easier to find his heartbeat, I think because he's too big to run away and hide now. It was in the 160's this time--got almost up to 170 when Dr. B was rubbing his head. Dr. B claimed that the increased heart rate means he liked it, but I kind of wonder if he wasn't just annoyed. I'd be annoyed if random strangers were rubbing me on the head.

Also, Tad is head-down again/still. (Dr. B was rubbing his head to determine position, not just for funsies.) I wonder if that actually means something at this point. There was something else about how far he was into the pelvis, but I didn't quite catch that. I think it was something about how he's still all floaty but should get more engaged in the next few weeks. I find this all interesting in an academic sense but am having a hard time feeling as if it's significant to my life. I am pretty sure this baby will be in whatever position he wants to be in at any given moment, regardless of what's the norm.

And then we talked some about how hospital birth works. Dr. B explained that basically my nurse is going to do everything while I'm in labor at the hospital. (I should start doing a novena for a good nurse. Maybe to Tad's patron saint; that might be a good pick for the situation.*) I think I might have hurt his feelings a little bit because after he was done explaining I said, "So, you just show up and catch the baby, or what?" Him: "... You could think of it that way." Apparently he also fulfills a very important role of watching the monitor readout from the computer in his office.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate having an OB around (hence my lack of homebirth plans...) but every now and then I think about how I'm paying him $3000+ to be present for only a tiny portion of the labor process. (Well, my insurance company is paying him.)

(*No, we're not naming him Gerard. Trust me that it's even better, though. Incidentally, Scott referred to Tad by his real name last night, which is something we do far less often than you might imagine, and it gave me a funny little thrill, like when you're first married and have to say "my husband.")

Fun fact: My OB's office writes you a prescription for a free breast pump even if you don't ask. Note: They don't offer to write one. They just do it and the secretary hands it to you on your way out.

(I don't plan on filling it, since I'm not going to be working. I imagine I'd find the whole situation even more presumptuous if I wasn't planning on breastfeeding at all for whatever reason.)

We actually managed to make some progress this week in potentially getting health insurance for the baby. I'd rather not talk about it because boring and frustrating and private information, but prayers for things to work out would be appreciated.

I had my baby shower on Sunday (I might write a recap later) and got a LOT of clothes. Mostly blue clothes, too. I'm not sure if that's because people like buying gendered clothes for babies or because everybody who knows me knows I really like light blue things. (Side note: I went to an actual Carter's store today and was suddenly glad to be having a boy. The girl side of the store was way too overstimulating with all the bright colors. I liked being able to stick to the soothing light blue side.)

Anyway, earlier this week I was cutting tags off of things and throwing them in the hamper, and suddenly the whole baby thing seemed much more real. I was telling a friend the other day that Tad has such a personality that I just think of him as being himself; I almost never generalize and think of him as being a baby. Plus, the whole pregnancy thing is so surreal and outside the realm of my previous experience that it doesn't really connect to "There's going to be an actual baby, who will be somewhat like every other baby ever, in this apartment."

Doing his laundry, though, made me realize that pretty soon this whole baby thing isn't going to be a surreal tangent from my normal life. It's just going to be normal life, with laundry and all the other things I totally already know how to do.

Speaking of my baby shower, this is Wiggles:

He was a random off-registry gift from one of my mother's friends and I think he needs to feature largely in Tad's baby pictures. Like those monthly pictures people sometimes do with their baby gradually dwarfing a stuffed animal? 

I named him myself, by the way, in honor of marsh-wiggles from Narnia. I was going to name him Puddleglum, but he's far too cheerful looking. 

And here I am at 32 weeks, after getting home from my baby shower. Everybody tells me I'm getting SO BIG, and I think they mean it to be a compliment. I'll pretend, anyway. Less than 10 weeks to go!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Seven Quick Baby Takes: 30 weeks


Over the course of the past several weeks, I've definitely started to feel bonded to the baby. I was worried for a while there. I loved him from the second I knew he existed, but then everything got too crazy too fast and I found myself in the awkward position of being in the middle of a very much wanted pregnancy and not being able to stop crying.

Anyway, between therapy and a super-active little guy who kicks me all the time, the warm fuzzies are starting to overwhelm the paralyzing fear. Except now I'm worried that I won't feel the same way about Tad after he's born. I mean, I feel like I know him now; I don't just love him as an abstract baby but as his own hyperactive, stubborn little self. What if all that changes after he's born? What if he feels like a stranger again? It would be weird to have a newborn and be sad over the absence of the baby I got to know for all these weeks.

Yes, my brain is a strange place.

Scott and I went to a breastfeeding class on Tuesday night. I didn't learn much, but I still found it more engaging than I was expecting it to be. Scott says he learned a lot. I will have to ask him to find out what he learned, because I'm curious.

Also, on the way home:
"I refrained from asking which one makes chocolate milk."
"In my case, probably both."

I'm on antibiotics again. Same reason as last time. At least this time I got diagnosed via a nice sedate little office visit instead of a middle-of-the-night hospital run. (Well, technically I self-diagnosed, but I wasn't going to take an antibiotic prescription without seeing somebody first. So they got me in the next day.) Still: Blargh.

(I weighed 203, had blood pressure of 130/72--prompting some clucking from the MA--and Tad's heart rate was high 150's as usual.)

Oh, I passed my glucose screen. That seems like forever ago already so I almost forgot that the blog didn't know. Not by much, though--my blood sugar was 130 and my doctor sets the cutoff at 135. I know a lot of places these days do 130. Anyway, I'm still dutifully taking my Metformin and trying not to hit the carbs too hard, but at least I don't have to get labeled high risk and deal with stupid diet advice, right?

Also, my hemoglobin was 10.6, which is apparently a little lower than they'd like it to be. I reeeeeally don't want to take iron pills again, so I am planning terrible food experiments involving spinach. We'll see how it goes.

We got our first baby present this week, from Youngest Elder Brother and Mrs. YEB. Unless you count the many hand-me-downs. Anyway. Look!

They're off my registry, so I was not surprised (especially since Amazon tells you everything), but it gave me warm fuzzies anyway.

And here I am earlier this week, at 30+1. I wore the same shirt this time, just for you all. Compare away:

(Scott took two pictures; this one shows the belly better but is a worse picture of me in general. So please ignore the fuzzy hair and optical illusion giant elbow.)

Scott and I are going to a Schola picnic tomorrow and I bought a bag of chips and a thing of dip as my potluck contribution. This has nothing to do with pregnancy/the baby except for the part where it took third trimester exhaustion to get me to the level of not caring that that requires. Baking is one of the few things I'm excellent at. I mean, I'm competent at a lot of things, but I will never get effusive praise on the cleanliness of my kitchen floor. So I take affirmation from random strangers where I can get it. Except this week I just don't care. Not being stressed out all day because I overscheduled myself is way higher a priority than making fancy cupcakes that everyone will admire.

And on that note, I'm going to hit "publish" and go do the dishes or something.

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