March 31, 2013

Week 28 - Needles, Needles, Needles

Well we have begun the third trimester, which will likely be the hardest and longest. So far both Robert and I feel like the pregnancy has gone by very fast, but we have heard rumors that it is about to slow way down. :) The second trimester was by far better than the first. More energy, better appetite, and actually looking pregnant made a huge difference. We began feeling baby movements, got over the acne, and settled into a state of contentment.

I feel things are about to change but not quite sure what makes me feel that way. I have and still do refer to Baby Gerrans as "him" and "he", but had a weird feeling the other day that I have a girl inside of me. Still feeling more boy than girl, but something is telling me not to count a girl out just yet. Maybe it is the stories of couples who were convinced they were having boys and their little ones came out as little girls! Either way I really have no preference. This baby is our first one and all I want is a healthy one. Dad pretty much feels the same except he has nailed a percentage to his preference 51% boy, 49% girl :) 100% healthy!! He is also having a harder time waiting to find out than I thought he would. I on the other hand have no desire to know, this has surprised me, I thought roles would be reversed.

Since my ultra easy & happy pregnancy seems to annoy a few I thought it would be fun this week to write about all the things I don't enjoy about pregnancy. The things we don't necessarily talk about, there aren't many but you may find them entertaining.

1. Physical Restrictions - I am big, but I am weak. Not being able to pick up the shovel and a dig a hole is uber-frustrating. I can't even carry a laundry basket full of clothes anymore. Having to truck my rolling cart to the farmer's market instead of my cute African basket is a drag too. I have to wait for Robert to roll out our stone-aged dishwasher, get bakeware out of the high cabinets, to move the potted plants around the patio, and, scrub the shower. I am such a busy body and it drives me nuts that I can only go so far on my "projects". I impatiently pushed it when we were installing shelving in our closets, but I ended up hurting myself so that lesson was learned very quickly. Poor Robert his "honey-do" list is longer by the week and I am sure that will only increase as we get deeper into the next 12 weeks.

2. Food Limitations - I want to eat sushi everyday. I would love to have some raw fish, some seared tuna, a deli sandwich, eggs benedict, blue cheese, or some ultra rare beef, but alas these are a no go for pregnant women. Not to mention wine or coffee. This with the fact that I actually have to watch my weight has been really annoying. I like to eat what I want and since I cannot have these things it makes me want them more, so typical.

3. Dehydration - My skin is as dry as an alligators, I have never used so much lotion. I can't wear any synthetic fabrics without wanting to tear them off immediately. Sometimes I feel like a gigantic static ball. To top this off I have discovered that I am a horrible water drinker. I need to get about 72 oz of water a day and I find that I consume about 48 which is no good. In the coming weeks this lack of water could be dangerous so I am measuring out and keeping track of every oz of liquid I consume to insure that I am getting enough. Its water, not cough syrup, you would think this wouldn't be so hard, but for me it is such a challenge. Any tips you may have for getting more water down would be great. I have tried flavoring it which does help and carrying around my mason jar helps me see my progress.

4. The Needles - They have taken enough blood from me to fill another human being - I swear. I go for my first injection tomorrow, but they have had their fill, literally, of my blood. As most of you know I have a major needle phobia, and you would think with all the practice I have been getting that I would be getting better, ha no way. Robert experienced this for the first time and I think he was a little surprised how real it is. I cannot control it, every time I tell myself that I am going to just do it this time and it never works out that way. At least I am not hiding in the bathroom anymore, so maybe I am getting better? In reality it is not the needle going in that bothers me, it is the feeling of something leaving or entering my body through the needle/syringe. It is making me squirm as I write this. Below you will find a humorous story from this week about needles.

5. Sleeping on My Left Side - I am a stomach sleeper and I cannot sleep that way for obvious reasons. I am sleeping fine, actually pretty good, but I catch myself wanting to lay on my tummy all the time. Fighting something that seems perfectly natural is never fun.

6. Getting Dressed - I have not purchased any maternity clothes yet, but getting dressed is so much more of a chore than it used to be. Probably because most of the clothes in my closet cannot accommodate this huge belly. I am limited by what I can wear and dressing for a new figure is difficult. Most days I want to stay in my bathrobe and that is sooo not like me!

7. Bathroom Visits - It is what every pregnant woman complains about, but what she often won't tell you is that this combined with the fact that her sense of smell is heighten makes it even worse when you are on the go. I have gagged my way through many a public bathrooms in the last six months and let me tell you it is no picnic.

8. Burping - If I have broccoli watch out, I turn into a sailor at a pub. So gross. I am the lover of etiquette, yet I am also the one grossing out my poor husband. I cannot wait for this to stop!!

These are not in order (I am sure you can guess what my number one is) but if this is all I have to complain about you can see why I don't. None of these are truly terrible. I feel blessed that these are the only complaints on my list so far.

Now I will leave you with a story that may make you giggle. This week I had to be tested for gestational diabetes and iron levels. Apparently many pregnant women get diabetes, probably due to unhealthy choices in diet, so they test everyone instead of waiting for the symptoms to set in. In order to complete this test you must drink a bottle of sugary water and within an hour get your blood drawn. Well I of course waited until the last moment for this a) because I didn't want to drink the nastiness and b) because of the needle. I waited for a day when I could be escorted by Robert and drank the liquid as I was told. It was disgusting just like everyone said it would be, it tasted like a concentrated, room temperature, flat, lime soda, but I kept it down. We made it to the lab in perfect timing. As I was beginning to sweat knowing that I would be faced with a needle in a matter of moments who do you think was in front of me, an elderly man like usual? No, a five year old girl. She was the bravest thing I have ever seen. She sat up in her chair and watched as they put the needle in her arm and took her blood. She didn't fidget  she didn't squirm, I swear she didn't even blink. Her parents weren't even close by her, why didn't I get that skill??? I told myself I wanted to be like that! What do you think I did? I let out a scream, a few tears, I even bit Robert's arm as I buried my face into it, and moaned through all three vials that they collected. I think in my hysteria I let out a "I wish I was like that little girl". I have 22 years on her and she could definitely teach me a lesson or two about getting blood drawn.

On a happier note, no diabetes here and my iron levels are perfect so no more of these tests yay!! But these weren't my last needle experiences for this pregnancy.

Happy Easter hope you had a nice holiday!!

Here is a pic Robert snapped after one of our evening walks, yes I am wearing a real sweatshirt :)

March 22, 2013

Weeks 26 & 27

I have no excuse for not writing last week, but it seems whenever I had the time to sit down and write I found myself drawn to the garden instead. With all this beautiful spring weather we have been having I have become obsessed with the garden and luckily it is one form of exercise that my body really appreciates. Yes I am leaving the heavy lifting and tough digging to my wonderful husband, for now the weeds are keeping me entertained.

Still no complaints from this pregnant lady. I have had more nice comments on the belly, no weird belly touchers, and no odd cravings (the sweets are at bay for now). Robert and I had our first "class" geared towards newborn care. Usually this class is taken closer to your due date, but because of our schedules, we had to take it early. It was a long class, but interesting none the less. After the break I caught Robert laughing at me as I sat down, but he wouldn't explain the giggles until we were safely out of the building. What was my sweet husband giggling about at our first class? Apparently over the break he overheard two ladies talking about their upcoming due dates which were the following week. He was laughing because while they were both due any day, my belly was bigger than both of their's and I am not due until June! Such a sweet guy. What is ironic is this is the reaction I am getting from a lot of people, they assume that I am due really soon and then when they find out I am not due until June, I get a "whoa" reaction. I have nothing to compare it to  and I feel comfortable so I am not worried about it as I must be growing a very healthy baby if I am so big :)

This week I attended a talk and viewing of a documentary film by Ina May Gaskin. Ina is considered the number one mid-wife in the US, if not the world, and it was so inspiring to hear her stories and absorb her wisdom. Robert and I have chosen to have a hospital birth, but many of you know that I want to have a non-intrusive, natural one. Women have been giving birth for millions of years yet in this day and age I feel like such an outsider for not seeking out an easier pain-free route. It makes me sad that I often have to go to great lengths to defend my point of view to all ages. Our bodies were built to do this, women were designed to give birth. It seems that the trend of navigating our lives with what is more convenient than what is best for us has caused most women to seek out a quick fix for what is potentially the most amazing experience we will ever have. A lot of the time we focus on negative details, horror stories, and the pain that comes with birth, so it was so refreshing to see and hear so many positive experiences. The evening with Ina, and friend Sarah who invited me, solidified my confidence that I am ready for this. This may sound naive but I am not even a little afraid of giving birth, I know this is something that I will totally be able to handle.

Now to get off my soap box I have to tell you about the amazing friends that I have. I was solicited to have dinner with Tarah to celebrate my pregnancy since she cannot make it to my Baby Shower, but when we arrived at the restaurant we were taken into a private room where I was surprised to find my favorite girlies who threw me an amazing and intimate baby shower. We had wonderful food, played fun games, got a little sentimental; they showered me with gifts and love. It was so wonderful and I was so surprised! You can see some pics that they snapped below...I wish I would have put myself together a bit more :) We had such a wonderful evening, followed by a slumber party, an early rise time to partake in a 5k in Santa Cruz, and ended with an gorgeous brunch hosted by Cora's amazing parents. It was such a wonderful weekend. I am so lucky to have such fantastic friends, thank you all for everything!!

Lastly I just have to note that when I came back home after being away from Robert for several days Baby Gerrans went crazy for most of the day. I felt more movement from him in the afternoon Robert and I were together than I did the entire time I was away. I believe Baby Gerrans knows his voice and was excited to be around him again, do we have a daddy's girl in my belly??? 13 weeks more and we'll see :)

Hayley made this adorable collage from the surprise shower.

In addition to the organic onesies that they each gave, they picked out this wonderful chair. This will be so handy  for Baby Gerrans and it is shaped like a leaf, so cute!

Here we are before the 5k, there is a pink theme for this one. The belly is trying to hide under the numbers but you can see it is significantly larger than the 5k we did in February.

March 6, 2013

Week 25 - A Little Bit French

Now we are in week 25 and to the point where new parts are done developing and Baby Gerrans needs to just concentrate on growing. I have had a surge in hunger this week to the point where I am getting up in the middle of the night to eat. For example I woke up this morning at 4 am with a strong grumbling in my tummy. Normally I would drink some water and go back to sleep, which is what I tried, but then again at 5 am I felt it even stronger, there was no going back to bed I had to eat. I am also finding the sweet cravings to be almost unstoppable. I am normally a savory cheese person and can by for weeks without an oz of chocolate or bit of sugar, but that is not the case anymore. He must have inherited that strong Gerrans sweet tooth :) I find that if I do not satisfy this sweet tooth on a daily basis I am digging through every nook and cranny in our kitchen searching for sugar. This is so weird to me, aren't cravings supposed to reflect things that your body needs? Honestly who really NEEDS sugar?? Whatever it may be I can't escape it. Yesterday after standing in line at the Soc. Security office for two hours to officially change my name I could think of nothing but pancakes. Honestly they have been on my mind for a week or so but the woman behind me was wearing a perfume that must have had a maple undertone, because she smelt slightly like syrup which made my body ache for pancakes. All it took was one bite to know that even though the doctor would say this does not fit into my recommended "diet" there was nothing wrong with satisfying a craving. After I was done eating and I took a moment to relax Baby Gerrans gave me 10 kicks in 5 min, yes I timed it :) which I am going to translate into happiness.

 The other food that rocks my world, but never came to me as a craving, is pain au chocolat or chocolate croissant. In my recommended "diet" I am allowed one serving of bread or dessert and typically I eat the bread and have fruit for dessert. The other day I walked into my favorite spot Rustic Bakery for bread which I do every other day (mostly for Robert's lunches, some for me too) and there on the counter was a pain au chocolat and I swear it spoke to me. While standing in line I went back and forth about getting it, knowing that I really shouldn't, and secretly hoping that the people in front of me would order the rest of them so I wouldn't have to make that decision. They didn't of course and Baby Gerrans won out on this one, in more ways than one. There must have been some french dirt that jumped in during his conception because that croissant felt like it belonged in me and Baby Gerrans jumped for joy after I consumed it. The best part is that for the rest of the day I ate exactly how I was supposed to, no searching for sweets, no processed snacks, it truly satisfied all that I wanted (or needed) at that moment. I am salivating as I write about it.

Not only do we get confirmation that Baby Gerrans can hear us from the movement he gives when we talk to him but I got confirmation at the ballet this last weekend too. I attended my first modern ballet with baby's Grandma Carolyn and our friend Katie in SF. Modern ballet is by far not my favorite but it was entertaining none the less. During the first performance in the series of three there was dark music with lots of loud booms. After the first boom Baby Gerrans kicked back with strength and continued to kick after many of the following booms. I have read that fetus' will react to music, but have gotten nothing from our evenings of classical music, so when he reacted at the ballet I was delighted. I'll have to experiment with other types of music during our evenings.

At the ballet while using the restroom a woman at the sink next to me told me that I had the cutest belly bump and that I looked like I was hiding a basketball under my dress. Two days later I was doing some weeding and a neighbor told me I looked like I have a soccer ball in my belly. So if that doesn't nail it down I don't know what does, my belly is round, it sits low, but it is round. What would the old wives tale say, its a boy? Either way he/she will likely be playing with both of those balls in years to come.

Lastly I have to thank Baby Gerrans for being so kind to me. I hear stories upon stories of women who could not sleep through the night as soon as their babies started moving because they would keep them up all night. This is not what I am experiencing. As I lay in bed every night he kicks and I talk to to him, until we both fall asleep, and it is not until I should be getting up that he begins kicking again. With the exception of the occasional restroom break (or snack), we are both sleeping soundly through the night, and that is something I am so thankful for! Last night Robert talked to him about continuing this trend when he comes out, but I think Dad is being a little too optimistic. One can only hope I guess :)

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March 2, 2013

Week 24 - Playing Games

Baby Gerrans moves around like crazy if I can keep still long enough for him to get bored. The first couple days of this week I felt him all the time and then there were a few I didn't feel him at all, worried I asked the Doc about it at my last appointment where she assured me that it is totally normal at this stage. Now I have determined that if I can sit still for longer than 20 min, he comes out to play. We play a game where he kicks and I push back three times while saying "hi baby" and then he kicks back, we repeat this several times as the dogs  look at me like I am crazy :). He likes to kick while I crochet and especially when I read my pregnancy books out loud. One evening Robert got in real close to the belly and started talking to Baby Gerrans and he began kicking like crazy, looks like he recognizes Dad's voice too. Next time you see the belly you should talk to it, as baby can hear you now, though you definitely don't sound the same through all the layers, he'll still get it.

My last appointment went great. I am right on track with weight gain, though it is suggested that I start a diet (yikes!!). I have to limit bread, pasta, and sweets which is so hard because not only does my Husband keep bringing home doughnuts and girl scout cookies for me, but all I want is sweets these days. :( For now I am trying to stick to fruit to satisfy my sweet tooth which seems to work most of the time. In addition to my diet news, I got to hear the heart beat for the first time. I think Mom describes it best as it sounds like it is coming from a submarine. An under water heart beat. It was racing at 160 beats per min which seems so high but is perfectly normal for this little one. Robert missed this appointment but hopefully we can hear it again next time.

One thing that I totally love about being pregnant is how nice everyone is. Seriously strangers are so kind, they tell you how pretty you are, how they wish you well, some even share the most beautiful stories with you. One woman brought me to tears (good tears) at the Farmer's Market this week with the story of the birth of her son; it is so amazing to share this joy with perfect strangers. Everyone tells me I am all belly and I feel it. I can no longer see my feet (see pic below) which is a trip and kind of a good thing since those puppies haven't had a real pedi since September. Luckily I haven't had any strange belly touchers, but from what I have heard I am sure to run into a few :)

Lastly Mom I need to appologize for giving you such a hard time for your frequent bathroom breaks. Now I understand what it is like to have a small bladder :)


Two hats that I have crocheted for baby Gerrans. One just incase we have a "Pringle Pin-head" and the other incase we get the "Anderson Dome". 
If we have a girly girl then I can fasten these cute flowers, that I whipped up from the scraps, to the hats.  Girls are so easy because we really can wear anything.

Here is my view looking down, see no feet!!