How to get the whole bed for yourself

Simple, really.  Get knocked up, start snoring like a lumberjack and before you know it, the poor husband is tenting it on the couch because there is no chance he’ll catch even so much as a single “Z” anywhere near you.

Benefits: bed is mine. Mine. ALLLL mine.   I also score some bonus pillows that can be added to the current pillow-fort I construct on a nightly basis.  Bonus bonus:  if a little fart comes along too, there is nobody there to notice that either. Except the dog, who flashes a concerned facial expression for a moment and then goes right back to his own version of snoring.
But I do end up missing him a little bit, especially on cold nights when I have nowhere to stick my feet. Plus I get ever so slightly guilt-ridden having snored him right out of the room, but at the same I can’t help it. He’s gotten almost 9 snore-free years out of me, and as they say, payback is a bitch. I also have a feeling once the little one is out, it will be my sleep more than his that gets interrupted.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the hell out of both sides of the bed, AND the middle.

Puttering along

So here we are, 29 weeks into the production.
11 weeks to go, give or take a couple, if everything goes according to plan – which I’m assured it almost never does, but it helps to have something to aim for.

Kid is trucking right along and seems to be hitting the major milestones of growing, kicking, punching and causing heartburn right on schedule. I can’t really say that the heartburn has been too bad though, only a couple of nights after eating Mexican food late in the evening. I learned my lesson on that one – Chili Verde is off the menu until April, no matter how tasty the damn thing is.

I’ve also made my way back into yoga with some renewed enthusiasm, after being lucky enough to be invited to take classes with the teachers of my teacher!  My teacher, Emma Tranter studied under Betty Larsen, who has studied directly under BKS Iyengar himself (and a host of others) and has over 30 years experience.  I’m super happy that they welcomed me in all pregnant and waddling, and I’ve really enjoyed getting a ton of tips on how to modify to accommodate the baby.  Prenatal yoga as presented in many online outlets hasn’t resonated with me, so being able to keep up my regular practice to a decent extent with those modification has been awesome. I still include inversions to a degree (with props and a spotter) and I swear the kid loves going upside down.  I had a pretty strong inversion practice before – but if you haven’t been kicking up into a handstand on a regular basis – pregnancy is not the time to start.

Being alignment yoga, there is naturally a lot of focus on the technique of the asanas (poses).  Betty also does an incredible job of getting you to approach your practice with your thought on the breath, and focus on the yamas and niyamas, with an almost meditative quality. Last week we went deeply into the groin area and the focus was on release. Us westerners tend to store a whole lot of tension in the hips and groin and runners/cyclists often add on top of that some imbalances specific to their sport.
Pregnancy comes with its own challenges – tilting of the pelvis, extra weight to carry and then in the later stages – the dance of the hormones to prepare muscles and ligaments for delivery.
For the groin class, Betty spoke about working the muscles of the groin in a manner of softening into release, and then release into opening. I can’t really think of a better mantra for birth than that one  – and if I can tame my breath and muscles to go with it, I hope it will allow me to be as relaxed as I can be.

 

 

 

Drizzly Friday

There are a lot of things to like about Florida in the summer – just about everything except the cursed heat that lasts forever. Since spring and fall are pretty nonexistent, it’s the winters that are my favorite. Especially when it gets cold (by Florida standards) and a little gray and dreary. The past couple of days have been excellent like that.

Today the me and the Bean start into week 28. The iPhone app says she’s now around the size of a “Chinese cabbage“. I have no idea what that is, but it resembles a head of romaine lettuce, just a little thicker. I guess this is this is the official start of the third trimester and that is a pretty exciting milestone.  I feel big and round already and I’m really not sure how mother nature plans on  packing another 3 months of baby-growing into my belly. Next up is a butternut squash, then large cabbage, a bag of oranges, jicama, pineapple and as of week 32 we start going through the melons. If I make it to 40 weeks, the grand price is a small pumpkin. Yikes.

Things are definitely getting a lot more real and I’m coming to terms with the thought that in a few not-so-short weeks, there will be a whole new little person in the world. I swing between excited and terrified. I’ve never been a baby-gaga person and I’ll be the first one to admit that I don’t really have a clue what I’m getting into. On the bright side I have a great support network of friends and family that a) know what they are doing and b) are willing to lend a hand, so this should all work out somehow.

The Bean is coming along nicely I think, and is especially fond of kick sessions right when I’m ready to go to sleep. Watching my belly bop up and down from kicks and punches is getting to be my favorite part of this pregnancy, FAR more entertaining than nausea, insomnia, bloating, farting and all that other stuff.
And on that note, a swift kick to the ribs to remind me to get back to work.

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

Halfway Hoopla!

Big day today – the 20 week mark!
Those 20 weeks have gone by both excruciatingly slowly and stupid fast at the same time.  And now it’s 20 weeks left, give or take a few days.

The changes in my body are becoming much more noticeable. In the past couple of weeks the belly has really taken off.  The “damn, somebody chubbed up” sideways glances have been replaced with the more gleeful “oh, there is a baby in there” looks. From other women that is, guys tend to be looking a little north of the belly where a good bit of expansion has taken place as well.
I have put away a lot of my clothes for the next few months, just crossing fingers that this pregnancy won’t turn me into an eternal hippo. The wardrobe theme is now “stretchy” and I’ve found that stretchy comes primarily in 3 colors: black, gray and hot pink, at least at or around my budget. So gray and black it is!

In the past few days, I’ve also definitely felt some strange sensations, flutters and stuff. I’m pretty sure that it’s the baby moving, but there is an off-chance that it could be some hellish gas fumes working their way around my innards, can’t ever quite rule that out. I’m pretty stoked to finally feel the movements. BabyCenter.com  says that most start feeling the baby between weeks 16 and 22, and notes that thinner women start feeling stuff sooner. I think they just subtly called me fat, but I can’t be sure. I’m going to be offended anyway although I’m sure this mini pumpkin muffin I have here should ease the hurt.

The big reveal!

It’s been almost a week already?!  Time flies, when your head isn’t in the toilet, and I’ve been a bit busy catching up on life.

Anyhow, last week we went and saw the new doctor  and eager beaver husband scheduled an ultrasound to see if it was a boy or a girl. I maintain that I could totally have waited until the “Level 2” ultrasound scheduled for Nov 20th, because I’m such a patient and rational person. Plus, we had a little mini bet going, and truth be told, I was worried that the husband was right, so I was in no hurry to find out.  My bet was on a little girl.

We arrived at the doctor’s office with a full bladder as instructed. I wouldn’t mind meeting the bright mind (no doubt a man, and definitely not a pregnant one) who wrote the instructions calling for drinking 32 oz of water before the appointment. I grew up in Europe so I wasn’t that alarmed until I realized that 32 oz = 1 liter (just shy).  I’m usually pretty well hydrated so adding that on top meant a bladder ready to explode by the time the ultrasound tech squirted the cold gel on my belly. I thank yoga for my highly trained sphincter and am truly glad I didn’t pee myself right there on the table.

But 10 seconds into the deal I forgot all about having to pee, as the ultrasound tech announced “oh look, definitely a girl, there are the parts!”.  My little heart just melted, how awesome!  Then I looked at the husbands face and cracked up laughing at the sheer terror on his face.  He immediately started muttering something about buying guns and ammo, following up with “all men are pigs” and a few choice sentences like that.  He recovered pretty quickly though and we really enjoyed the rest of the ultrasound. It was a bit Halloween themed, with a little skeleton bouncing around on the monitor.
And then, I could finally pee.

I don’t think the smile has left my face yet. I would of course have been just as happy with a boy, but it’s just really cool knowing and somehow makes it even more real for me.
We have started thinking about names but haven’t gotten very far.  Husband suggested “Sister Mary Francis”, indicating that he would be placing her in a nunnery as soon as he could get her in, but I don’t think that one will stick ;)

 

 

 

Blue, pink, purple, yellow, green?

Not a whole lot of news, other than the Bean is cooking along and starting to infringe on pant space in a bad way. More often than not it’s yoga pants and stretchy pants these days, which is the preferred wardrobe anyway so it’s all good.  And speaking of yoga, I finally got my ass back to class last night and it was heavenly!  Hips and back was the theme and that was exactly what I needed.

This am we went and met with our new doctor, and so far it’s a big improvement!  Much smaller practice right up the road from the hospital we plan on delivering at and the staff was lovely. The doctor reminds me of doctors in days gone by – almost like in an old-time movie.  He was thorough in his interview and took time to listen to my answers and answer any questions we had, and left both of us with a great feeling.
And tomorrow is a big day, going in for an ultrasound and we are going to see if we can find out if it’s a boy or a girl. Family members on both sides have made their gender predictions and now we just have to see which of them have the gift of guessing!

And then, after we know what flavor, the real fun begins: pondering names.

 

Stressballin’

Not sure why, but I’ve been a little wiggy lately.  Well actually that is horse shit, I know exactly why. There has been a lot going on, but like a good little westerner, I try to gloss it over, pull up the big-girl pants (getting bigger by the day) and troop on.

A couple of weeks ago I had a little tiff with my doctor, which ended with me firing his ass. Long story short, he casually presented me with results that were not mine and could have had dire consequences if they were. The whole conduct I found quite unprofessional and then in trying to see the actual results and setting shit straight, they were less than cooperative. This caused an incredible amount of stress for both me and presumably baby Bean, that was entirely avoidable. Over a week later and I’m still waiting for a callback from the office, despite following up several times. So, off with their heads – there is no chance that I want that doctor anywhere near me when it comes time for delivery. I’m on the hunt for a new OB now – the best in the world preferably, because I have a bit of a built-in distrust for the medical profession in general.
Husband gets 5 stars for his performance during the whole episode. While I turned into a blubbering sobbing mess that spent half a day crying at the dog park, he shook the network into action, got facts, lined up tests, brought me bubbly water with lemon and put the world right again. He’s going to make a great daddy.

Then a good friend had himself a little heart episode and is currently in the hospital getting that condition under control. He’s one of the lucky ones that actually had warning signals and heeded them, so everything looks like it will have a fabulous ending there. Phew.

So between those two big ones and a few smaller stressors, I must have let my guard down a little, because Nausea showed up again. She’s not as feisty as the first time around so thankfully I’m not feeling as dreadful.  Just shrunken appetite and predictable sink spewing – especially in the kitchen. I don’t know what it is about my kitchen sink, but it’s become my all-time favorite location for puking. Perfect counter height, great access to fresh water to rinse my mouth out after and a pleasant view out the kitchen window as I retch. So much better than using a toilet – I’m really surprised this isn’t covered in the pregnancy books.  And lo and behold, this time it’s true morning sickness, and I feel fine for the rest of the day.

Cruel, cruel move, Starbucks

I like my fancy ass coffee, I’ll admit. I live in a little town that for some absurd reason does not sport a Starbucks outlet, despite having a hoity-toity private university. You’d think the spoiled little brats attending that school would like their latte fix, but for some reason they make do with the mediocre coffee shop downtown, and the “currently under new management” Dunkin Donuts up the street.  There is no Target either, which is another incredibly sore spot.

So, whenever I travel or head to the neighboring towns & cities, I make a point of stopping by Starbucks and treat myself to an overpriced cup of joe, served with a smile. It makes me happy on the inside.

And then struck pregnancy, and with that a fierce coffee debate. Should you, or should you not consume the black gold when knocked up? The answers vary greatly and are often presented with religious fervor. It ranges from “you and everyone you care about will die a horrific death if you drink coffee AT ALL whilst pregnant” to the European “it’s fine in moderation, and by moderation we mean 3 cups”.
Note here, that a European cup is about a half of what Americans consider a cup, but it is also twice as potent. You do the math.

I made the personal decision to give the Keurig a break at least through the first trimester and somewhat into the second. I have had a few cups of tea and those tasted awesome. Black tea yes, and I’m aware of the caffeine content.  For me, decaf isn’t an option after reading up on the decaffeination process. Gnarly shit.
It hasn’t been bad at all, until this morning when I get my daily digest from this online baby info site called babycenter, with a big fat ad for Starbucks down the side bar. Now I want a latte, in a bad way.  That’s just wrong Starbucks…..

Damn you, Factor V Leiden

Were I a superhero, I’d have a really cool  name (still picking), definitely a cape and most likely a tight, slimming outfit that made me look both sexy and dangerous. Because otherwise, really, what is the point? Every superhero worth their super-salt also needs to have a nemesis – and I’m all set in that department. I’m currently, chronically and forevermore engaged in a struggle (at times a vicious battle) with Factor V Leiden.  The V is a roman 5, pronounced Factor FIVE Leiden, adding to the mystique of the villain.

So who is Factor V?  The short answer is that it is a genetic condition that increases the tendency of blood clotting, causing blood clots, more specifically DVT’s (deep vein thrombosis). Blood clots can be pesky little bastards, causing anything from inconvenience to death, depending on the location of the clot.
This gene mutation is more common in northern Europe and was originally discovered in the town Leiden in Holland. I am Icelandic and therefore obviously come from a long line of heroic vikings. I can see the benefits of clotting quickly back in the days when axes and long-swords were used to settle disagreements, but in this day and age, it’s just annoying.

In my case, the diagnose was made after I had a DVT a few years back, and that sucker is now on my permanent record in the health care system. No amount of ‘doing time’ will erase that felony. Pregnancy is considered a risk factor – to both me and the baby – so for the duration and for 6 weeks after delivery, I inject myself daily with blood thinners. That part is not fun, but done for a very good cause so I keep the cussing to a minimum. Except when I manage to jab a vein and end up with a chicken-egg sized bruise – then I swear liberally because that shit hurts.
For the record, I’d like to state that I mostly cuss in Icelandic, to protect my unborn child from foul language (earning me a multitude of good parent points).

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy fatty-pants.

Stock alert: Angel Soft on the rise

Or at least I imagine it should be.  That one, and the Publix Greenwise toilet paper that is my other staple go-to brand.  But I guess that would just raise Publix stock in general….  I’m not exactly a financial wizard when it comes to those pieces of paper.

But moving right along, into the TMI of the day. For my foreign readers, TMI stands for too much information, as in “I’m about to tell you something you’d really rather not know”.  So now that you have been sufficiently warned, you can either close this browser window never to return or read on at your own risk.

In my life, or at least as far back as I remember, I’ve been a neat pee-er. Like most females (there ARE exceptions, but those ladies are highly trained), I sit down to take care of business.  Then I pee in an orderly fashion, steady stream smack down the center of the toilet, wipe, close the lid (male readers: ask a female friend to demonstrate), flush and wash hands. Done.
If I’m in a porta-potty or a gnarly public restroom, years of swimming, biking and yoga have given me strong legs. I am able to hover beautifully over the opening for extended periods of time without ever touching the nasty seat, and STILL maintain an orderly flow without spraying the seat/walls/floors etc. Wrap-up procedure remains the same.

But now. Well, pregnancy has severely disrupted the process. I’ve sort of lost that precision if you know what I mean – the steady stream now more resembles a babbling brook. As a result, toilet paper use has doubled if not tripled and I can’t even imagine what would happen if I attempted the porta-potty squat.  Little by little this process is robbing me of every ounce of dignity I’ve ever had. The crazy part is that I’m loving it.