Category Archives: showers

August Showers

I just received one of my weekly pregnancy update emails–for week 35. I went into a full blown panic. I am freaking the fuck out. This means I’m two weeks away from full term, five weeks away from our due date. Time can’t possibly have slipped by this quickly. Everyone says that the last month goes by so slowly, but I have yet to experience that slowing. I’m waiting for it, but so far, each day zips by, and before I know it, I’m brushing my teeth, snuggling up to my body pillow, and reading myself to sleep.

We are almost ready physically, but there is one major issue: our car situation. We have a ten-year-old Toyota Corolla with a dead battery, which also is pretty close to needing new brakes and new belts. This is our four-door car. The car we get around in most is a two-door Celica. We have not tried to fit a car seat into the back of it, but we are nearly certain that it would be an impossible feat. So, we have to somehow get this Corolla into working order in the next couple of weeks because, well, a new or even used car is not in our near future. I am more than a little nervous about this, but somehow, we’re going to work it out.

We do, however, finally have a good supply of diapers! This weekend, we attended our family baby shower, which my mom and sister threw for us. It was held at my parents’ house in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and it was lovely. The shower was outdoors, and was attended by my grandmothers, an aunt, and a few cousins (as well as my mom and sister). They planned a sort of garden party theme with huge bunches of lavender as well as lots of pots of bedding flowers for decoration.

At our last shower, we requested no games or goofy shower activities, but my mother and sister insisted that this is how baby showers are thrown, so we gave them free reign. Before the guests arrived, J and I were given “Mommy-to-Be” Miss America sashes in pink, and we sat in our thrones whilst games were played.

huge but happy

huge but happy

My two grandmothers–both in their eighties–teamed up for several games and were the most competitive. It was rather amusing to see my 88-year-old grandma flaunting her 500 points she won in Nursery Rhyme Jeopardy. They were quite cute, and my mom and sister did a good job of limiting the games to just a few fun, interactive things. There was no baby food sampling, no diaper racing–just some trivia, some belly girth guessing, and a couple of others that I can’t recall. The prizes were the bedding plants that had been acting as decor. I loved that, and I especially loved that we got to come home with the leftovers–probably eight different pots of petunias, impatiens, and more. A little container gardening should go a long way toward calming me down.

The gifts were plentiful, and it was great fun to see what people did. We requested at both showers that people wrap their gifts minimally or with used materials, and we urged people to find gently used items when they could instead of buying new. While some went straight to their local C.arter’s outlet and picked up tons of cute clothes, others really took our requests to heart and spent some time finding great baby consignment shops. One aunt who couldn’t attend gave us two bags full of gently used toys, books, and clothes. She embroidered a new onesie with “My mommies love me.” This was, perhaps, one of our favorite gifts. My sister had suggested that people bring books instead of cards, so we got some fantastic books, one batch of which had been my books as a child (things like this are rare in my family because my parents’ home burnt down when I was in my twenties).

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My sister and mom also compiled a gift for J–a labor coach’s bag, complete with ridiculous bullhorn and pompoms (along with many useful things such as snacks, toiletries, etc.).

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Of greatest note, however, was the cloth diaper cake my sister built:

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Not only were there three dozen cloth diapers in this thing, but also lots of toys, washcloths, burp cloths, receiving blankets, and more that I can’t recall. She also made a diaper wreath out of disposables (which will be good to have on hand early on), complete with a dangling pair of baby Con.verse, bath supplies, socks, and more. The girl was super creative!

We were positively overwhelmed with the gifts, and we’ve finally almost gotten them put away. We have been washing clothes and diapers, organizing everything, and finding even more space in this room of our son’s. Today, we even put together his hospital bag, complete with coming home outfit (and a backup). As I said, the physical things really are coming together. I just don’t know if Egghead’s moms are ready.

This afternoon, we have an ultrasound, so we’ll be sure to post photos and updates later today or tomorrow. I’ll also spend some time addressing Cindy’s questions from our last post. If anyone has other questions, feel free to send them along. I rather like the distraction!

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Filed under panic, showers, the P word

34 week update and OB appointment

Amidst all of yesterday’s madness, we had an OB appointment. Originally, we were going to meet the last of the three midwives in the practice, but I had to reschedule, so we decided to see our OB. Honestly, I’m glad we did. We wanted to check in with her at least once before Egghead’s arrival, so it worked out well.

It was one of those days when the entire practice was running late, so we had to wait an eternity in the waiting room and then another eternity in the exam room, and if you’d like to know a little secret about my wife, she’s not so good at waiting. Still, we were able to amuse ourselves with photos of babies on the wall.

When the doc did finally arrive, she asked how I felt about my weight gain (or lack thereof). I told here I felt okay about it, that it seemed the baby was taking it all since everything but my belly appears to be shrinking. She thought that was likely as well. When she checked my fundal height, it was right on track at 34 weeks. This is the first time it has been on track for a couple of months though–he’s been measuring two weeks ahead. In my estimation, there are a couple of things that may have caused this: a slight difference in how the two practitioners measure or a difference in Egghead’s position (last appointment, he was bulging out of my upper abdomen, and this time he was settled in down low). There is, of course, the more obvious possibility that his growth is evening out. Whatever it is, the doc decided it would be a good time to order a new ultrasound–not there in the office, but at the big ultrasound place where they make me drink lots of water.

So, we’ll get to see our Egghead again this next Tuesday. They’ll take measurements and take a look at the fibroids too. The doctor is being very positive about the fibroids at this point, stating that she doesn’t think they’ll be a problem. I told her that’s what I felt too and that it was helpful to me to think positively about it. We’ve come a long way since the big fibroid reveal a few months ago, and I’m glad for that.

So this is where we stand. Both my health and that of Mr. Egghead seem to be great, and we’ll find out a little more on Tuesday. We’re both honestly quite excited to see him again. It’s been fourteen weeks!

This weekend, we’re making our last trek out of town to go to my parents’ house. My sister and mom are throwing us a family shower, and we’ll get to relax and soak in some quiet while we’re there. Once we come back, though, we’re staying. No more trips. It’s time to settle in, get our nest on, and wait for this baby to come.

Today marks 34 weeks. I can’t believe we’re just six weeks away from our due date. Generally, I’m feeling pretty good. I am still getting several swims in each week, and I feel best when I’m in the water. In fact, I feel almost normal–it’s a strange sensation. Normally, though, I feel heavy and big, and every once in awhile, I waddle a little. My hips hurt most of the time, and my pubic bone pain now causes me to have to sit down to put my pants on because otherwise, it hurts too bad. All of this, we’re told, is normal, that my body is just stretching and stretching for the big day. Luckily, I still sleep rather well. The body pillow has returned, and most nights I wrestle with it until it ends up on the floor. For the most part, though, 34 weeks is not so bad. Yes, I’m ready to have the agility, speed, and comfort of my prepregnant body (I realize this is a naive dream), but I’m also trying to soak up every last moment of this pregnancy, making the most of even the less comfortable situations. I can already tell I’m going to miss it.

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Filed under Egghead, OB, showers, the P word

of appointments and showers and joy

I suppose I have let you all enjoy the peak into our bedroom long enough. It’s time I’m a responsible blogger again and start updating on what has happened in the past week–because it’s quite a lot!

Today we had a midwife appointment. It was the first of our every-two-week appointments (although this one was after three weeks in order to get us on even numbers). This week marks thirty weeks for us. Thirty. 30. Holy shit.

The appointment went pretty well. My weight once again was the same as it was when I got pregnant, and my blood pressure was 120/80 where it has been since appointment 2. I’m consistent if nothing else! Egghead is still measuring two weeks ahead at 32 weeks, and his heartbeat was around 140. He’s growing and healthy and everyone was pleased. We did have to discuss the fibroid issue with the midwife. She had spoken with our OB about it, and it seems that they are indeed located at the bottom of my uterus where they could cause problems during birth. That said, they are located toward the back of my uterus, so she and the doctor aren’t overly concerned and they both think it’s a matter of waiting until I’m in labor to see what happens. She doesn’t see a need to worry, so I’m working to tell myself the same. That’s a little easier said than done, but now I’m just trying to prepare myself for whatever sort of birth comes our way. Reading Birthing From Within is making that a little easier.

The bigger excitement happened last weekend, when J and I took a five-hour road trip up the coast to Humboldt where some friends of us threw us our first shower. What a fantastic weekend it was. We stayed with two of our very dearest friends, and we spent the whole first evening sitting around chatting, eating great food, and simply relaxing outside.

The next day was the shower. Since  it was being held at the home where we were staying, we left for a few hours to attend the local farmer’s market that we used to love so much, and we met up with a friend, his eight-month pregnant wife, and their two-year-old son. It was great to see them and especially good to talk with the friend’s wife who had had complications with fibroids during her first pregnancy (but also ended up having a natural birth). It was so nice to discuss this with someone who had been there, but it was especially good to see old friends in this environment.

When we left the market, we returned to our friends’ place where the shower was about to begin. While we were gone, our two hostess friends had prepared a huge brunch and had decorated with tons of flowers and candles.

FoodandFlowers

In just moments, people started to arrive. We haven’t returned to Humboldt since we left in February of 2008, and while a few of these women have come to visit us, most of them we haven’t seen since before we left. What a joy it was to see each one of them as they walked in. They positively doted on us, and my heart was so full, I thought it would surely burst. I have been very happy since I’ve been pregnant, but this made me positively buoyant.

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Brunch was had, and one of the co-hostesses, our friend A, gathered the beads she had asked everyone to bring and announced that I was to make a necklace of sorts to focus on for labor. I admittedly have not yet made it, but it’s going to be this wonderfully eclectic string of beads that should help keep these lovely women with me. She also announced a writing assignment (since 99% of us are writing teachers), asking everyone to write us advice or great things they remember about their own moms. Reading through this box of missives later made me burst into frequent bouts of tears.

Writing

Later I was surprised with belly henna. All of the women there took turns painting a design or embellishment on my belly. This was my favorite part of the day, for I got one-on-one time with each of my friends.

BellyPaints

By the time the belly was complete, it was quite a masterpiece!

FinishedBelly

My wife added the final touch–the only text way at the bottom:

HeadDown

Sadly, the henna didn’t take well because of a mix-up in directions, but it was lovely to have this done and to spend this time with so many lovely people.

The gift-opening time was great as well. People were so very generous, but they also followed our requests to rely a little more on gently used items. This was fabulous because so many of them are moms and were able to pass on things from their kids (one woman gave us some baby clothes from her 20-year-old son!) as well as from their own supplies. One friend who had been gifted a Kate Spade bag when she was pregnant passed it along to us. Honestly, we could care less about labels (and nor could she), so we’re finding it hilarious to have this over-priced simple black diaper bag. We’ll certainly fit in amongst the label-conscious tourists in our current town.

In all, this was the best of days and the best of getaways. Our friends all seem so genuinely happy for us, and we were so excited to have them there to celebrate the coming of Egghead. There is nothing quite like being filled with the love and generosity of friends.

HappyTandJ

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Filed under Egghead, friends, home, midwife, showers