Tuesday, January 26, 2010

37 weeks, 2 days....

I am down under 20 days to go, according to my ticker! I am FULL TERM! yay!!! Happy to say that I am still not nervous about Teagan's exit strategy (nor the necessity for it!) yet...surprisingly!

I had an OB appointment today and nothing too new to report. Teagan was moving like she was doing a cardio workout in there...which made her heart rate really high. When they put the doppler on my belly, she was measuring in the 190s! But the doppler couldn't stay on to get a solid reading b/c she kept kicking/pushing/bumping it out of the way (she hates that thing). The nurse practitioner said that the high HR isn't of any concern because she was so active and strong that they'd expect a fast HR, but to be safe (and to calm me) she pulled out the fetal monitor and I was monitored for about 15 minutes. Her HR was perfect. It stayed around 135-140 and bumped up to the 160's only when she started her little moments of high activity. She said it just shows that she is very healthy and very active and she probably really liked my breakfast. So, that is all good. Oh, and I got a negative on the strep B test (woo hoo!) so I don't need to have an IV of antibiotics for her birth!!! (this was a surprise, I was convinced I'd have it b/c I always get strep throat!!!).

I did not get checked internally. I guess my doctor doesn't do that at this stage unless I report contractions, pain, etc. Since I am mostly just fine, they don't bother checking my cervix. I guess it goes back to the fact that I could be dilated and effaced and still not go into labor for weeks or be totally closed and long and give birth tomorrow. Cervical dilation/effacement doesn't seem to be a good indicator of the time of labor. Which is kind of a bummer b/c I'd like an inkling of when this is gonna get started. My guess is still not for a few weeks but everyone (including the nurse practitioner) says it could happen any minute!...or not. Ugh.

I got my diapers in! They are so cute. They've been washed and stacked...I am trying to get a system together that will make life easier. So, we bought some diaper wetbags from Planet.wise which are like water-proof laundry bags that are used to line my diaper pail and that is all set. I do have one package of disposables for the first few days - meconium stains everything supposedly. I'm not sure yet about how the bum gen.ius 3.0's will accommodate the umbilical cord stump, but I'm working on that.

Besides that, thank you so much for the comments on the pictures. I am so happy we did them. I did return the crappy ones from the expensive place and got my $150 back. They were reasonable about it (not much they could say...they were awful). If anyone wants to do maternity pictures and money is holding them back - seriously - consider JCP Photography (and check online for coupons). It seems silly, but they came out cute and I didn't want to spend a ton of money, but I wanted to document this time.

I am still ticked that I can't comment on a few blogger blogs. I keep trying...and I'm reading...and thinking of you all. Some blogger sites are fine, some aren't. It is so ANNOYING! I recently had a comment from Libby that I wanted to respond to...read your blog, but couldn't comment. I'm trying to work out the kinks. So, I'm sorry you all...you are in my thoughts!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Maternity Photos!

I had to post these ASAP because I think they came out so cute. But, there is a story. Remember back in August I won that Baby Expo grand prize? As part of that, I got a gift certificate to a local photographer (who I will not mention) expressly for maternity photos. Well, last Monday (35 weeks) Brett and I went and used that gift certificate. They didn't like the ideas we had and the changes of clothes we brought with us, so they chose the ones they thought were best and posed us however they wanted. We weren't thrilled but thought we'd wait and see. Yesterday, I went to pick up the proofs, leaving a $150 deposit. Apparently, we'd used up the gift certificate on the sitting fee...but that's okay, I really wanted maternity pics (it took us so damn long!). However, the pics were kind of awful. They were totally bland and it didn't look like us, we didn't look happy, and (get this) for one 5x7 print, they were charging $75. So, ridiculously expensive for something we didn't even like. This prompted me to make an appointment yesterday with a local, inexpensive big store that happens to have a photo studio (you know, the ones where the kids holiday pics are done?). Well, we had an appointment there today at 1:20...and these are the pics we got. I love them. I think they are cute, they let us do what we wanted, they are sweet but still show us being ourselves. What do you guys think? In any event, we spent less than that $150 deposit (that I am getting back on Monday) on a TON of photos that look great. We had a great time and feel good.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No comment. And an update.

I can't comment on a bunch of your blogs! I don't get it! Mrs. LC and Caroline- I've read your recent posts but, for some reason, blogger won't let me comment at all! I'm not sure if both of you have noticed a decline in your commenters indicating it is happening to more than just me or if it is just me but I'm sorry! I have tons to say (as usual) but can't get it down!!!

I just had my 36 week appointment and all is well. So far, measurements are great. I am up 25 lbs....her hb was in the 150's (which seems high but she was seriously dancing away in there the entire appointment and HATES the doppler!). I had my strep B swab done so I'll find out about that soon and he checked my cervix - closed. I don't know if they regularly do cervix checks there at 36 weeks but I asked him about a pain I've been having. It happens a few times a day...sometimes a few times an hour and then not for a day or so. It feels like Teagan's head is slamming forcefully into my cervix and at times, it is so bad it almost makes my knees buckle. He said it is totally normal and is a contraction (that I don't feel) which forces her down and her head knocks my cervix, thus starting to soften it. So, it is a good thing. It is just surprising and not what I expected at all. It means nothing, however, just that she is down and in position and my body seems to be doing the right things. I've read of people being discouraged at a lack of cervical dilation and effacement in the last few weeks but I'm not willing to jump on that bandwagon. Everything I've read indicates that dilation and effacement or not, nothing indicates whether you will go earlier or later. If I was dilated to 2cm, I could stay that way for weeks still...and still not progress when labor starts...or I could go in at 39 weeks with no dilation or effacement and go into labor the next morning giving birth quickly. There is no magic indicator...so I will try to be patient. Its not that I want her out so terribly. I still feel great and I love being pregnant...I just want to meet her! 40 weeks is a long time!

I did make a cloth diapering decision and will be ordering the bum genius 3.0's this week. I got the one I ordered in the mail and think the design is great. I also like that they are dad-friendly and convenient so I don't have to lose other benefits of ease-of-use by going cloth. I will probably (unfortunately) rely on some somewhat eco-friendly disposable diapers for the first few days (as I recover) and then we will start the adventure:-) In the meantime, a couple of comments made good points about electricity usage and water usage. The thing is -you have 4 choices for your baby - disposable, cloth diaper service, cloth diaper at home, or g-diapers. Even factoring out costs - each of these have negatives and positives but the fact is that each of them will use resources one way or the other. Either you use massive production and factory costs in addition to landfill space with disposables, or use water and electricity to clean your own diapers, or cause water and electricity to be used in your absence, adding in transportation pollution costs and unknown possible environmentally damaging soaps from using a service. The gDiaper option I don't discuss much b/c it really is expensive, inconvenient, heard it can cause problems with your plumbing, etc...so I can't fully comment. Some people love them. However, my point is that each system requires some usage of resources...there is no escaping that. So, my discussion really was about my way to reduce the waste based on my own beliefs, etc. I'm sorry if I offended anyone or it was suggested that I didn't research the fact that each choice brings with it its own impact. It does. I was just going through my own mental checklist.

That's it. We are getting close! I am getting so excited...and maybe a little nervous. I think the "when" of it is nerve-wracking when you reach the "any day now..." stage. It is so completely out of my hands! In the meantime, I am cleaning, ordering a few last minute items (diapers), and starting to cook meals that can be kept in the freezer for convenient eating later. This weekend we are going to stock up on necessaries so that we won't be scrambling later. Its all fun. Oh, and I've officially slowed down a little at the pool...was doing 30 laps 3x a week...then last week it went to 28, this week it is 26, lol. Swimming gets harder when you have a huge belly dragging you down and when your lungs hold less oxygen than you are used to!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Diapering Dilemma

I've told some of you that I have been feverishly researching cloth diapers recently and that I was planning a post. Well, this post will probably be rambing, somewhat incoherent, and maybe too-detailed, who knows? There is a lot of information out there and, unfortunately, I have never been a list-maker or a highly organized person - that is what I married Brett for. Seriously, he's got it down. I seem to coast by in a state of barely controlled chaos and it has suited me through college, law school, and into life, so why change? In any event, here goes....

I am going to cloth diaper. It took a while to get Brett on board, but he understands how important this is to me and then I gave him the cost argument, in which cloth diapering wins by a landslide. As many of you who read my blog are aware, I have been known to be called somewhat "crunchy" or "granola". I am mildly so, I have to admit. I gave up law to be a full time yoga teacher, I am a little bit of a health nut on occasion, and I try to be green when it works for me. I always have. Well, in college, I started out as an environmental science major and, though I really suck at science, I stuck it out for a year and half...fighting against my natural instincts to run for the hills everytime we approached a science class or lab. However, after about a year, the fatality of the environmental science classes started depressing me and I vowed to try my best individually but to give up and go for my real love, English Lit. However, some things from those classes stuck with me. One of them was a class that revolved around the scourge that is disposable diapers. For those of you that don't know...they are not biodegradable. Basically, when we are gone from this earth, our diapers will remain. Now, I don't mind that others use them...it is a preference and I am very much not here to preach at all...I am just explaining my preference. I know the hospital will use them and I know they are convenient, but I'm committed to going ahead with cloth diapering.

First of all, the benefits of cloth diapering are: 1. Cost (even if you buy the most expensive cloth diaper "system" out there, it will save you thousands of dollars by the time you are done with diapers for one child). My cost estimate is $20 a week for disposables, $20 a week for the diaper service, which comes to $1040 a year. The most expensive cloth diapering system I am researching costs $309 for 20 pocket diapers, then about $7.95 for extra inserts, and then you have to factor in some laundry costs (obviously). But, this system alone saves me almost $600 a year. 2.Allergies - this one is high on my list. Some children get rashes from disposable diapers. I did as a child so my mom had to go to cloth (much to her annoyance, I am sure). Cloth diapers are gentler because they are more natural and you almost never hear of rashes resulting from their use. 3. Potty training is easier later - Modern day disposable diapers are very much like modern day maxi pads- you know, the ones that wick away any moisture so you can feel "fresh" even when you have a heavy flow? Well, that is great for us...however, for potty training, it makes diapers very comfy for little kids. They pee and don't necessarily feel the wetness. In cloth diapers- they feel it, and when they reach the age when it is time for them to change to going on the potty, they know they are wet and don't like it...so the transition goes smoother (at least this seems logical and is what my research suggests).

The Drawbacks of Cloth Diapers- 1. Daddies don't like them. Yes, they are a little more "hands on" than disposables and that makes daddies, who already try to avoid diaper duty, like them that much less, 2. Convenience - They are more work, create more laundry, and are harder to use than disposables. 3. Initial start-up is more expensive. Instead of buying one bag of diapers and going from there, the initial start up requires testing different ways to go and shelling out money at the start so that you have enough of them at home to start this process.

My research has taken me down several roads:
1. Local diapering service
2. Prefolds with diaper covers that need to be changed based on size (similar to the diaper service model but we wash them at home)
3. One Size Pocket Diapers (which I am leaning towards, particularly the Bum Genius ones that seem to be so highly rated in reviews and easy to use that even daddies don't mind doing it).
4. gDiapers- not exactly cloth - but a very good alternative to disposables since they are biodegradable and flushable in your toilet, so no laundry! We have a bunch of these right now even though they are expensive, to be used in the Diaper bag and when out and about.

1. The local diapering service- I was super gung ho about this one solely b/c I was fascinated that my area actually has a diapering service! I knew big cities had them and I knew more eclectic cities had them...my city is neither, yet we have one! So, I went ahead and filled out some paperwork and we were well on our way to doing the service...and then I hit cost. Okay, the local cost is $20 a week. I get enough prefolds for 2 weeks, 7 diaper covers, 1 large hanging wetbag, and 2 diaper snappis (take the place of pins). The benefit is that I don't have to do laundry. However, the dirty diapers have to sit in that wetbag for a week in my house...and every time I unzip that bag, I will be reminded that it has been 3 days, 4 days, 5 days, etc. The costs is equivalent to disposables, I get the less convenient prefold system, and I have 6 day old dirty diapers in a bag in my house. I'm starting to get over the excitement of the diaper service. Seriously. So, that led me to research other options...

2. Prefolds and covers. Here, I've been lucky. A good friend gave me a huge bag of prefolds and 5 covers in a size M. For now, I'd have to invest in a few more covers in size S or XS to start but at a cost of about $11 a piece, that isn't going to break the bank. Of the diaper covers, I've looked into Bummis ones and Thirsties...and so far, Thirsties are winning by a mile. I'd also have to buy a few of the snappis ($7.95 for 3). Some people swear by these regular cloth diapers. I am not entirely sold. It is, by far, the most economical method. Though, I think Brett will balk a little (as he would with the diaper service). However, I do like that I can wash them as needed so no 7 days of dirty diapers in a stinky bag here...I can do them every day, every other day or every 3 days to keep it down to a minimum. The drawback is that prefolds with covers are bulky, they are definitely more work in that you need to put the fold in, clip it on with the snappi, put a cover on, and hope you did it all perfectly so that nothing comes out the little leg holes...it will be an experiment. These are probably the closest thing to what my mom used on me and she said they were simple once you got used to it...and I had no more diaper rashes/irritation at all, and I was a super fast potty trainer!

3. One- Sized pocket diapers- of which I am leaning towards the Bum Genius 3.0 ones. I actually ordered one of these yesterday to help me get an idea for why they are praised up and down the internet. People LOVE these. First of all, an investment of about $309 gets you 20 of them, including newborn inserts. They are sized to grow with your baby and average 2 years of use...so that is $309 for 2 years! They are already put together so daddies love them - it is almost like a disposable in that you take them off, pull off the insert, if there is poo, scrape it in the toilet, put it in the wetbag, clean your baby's tush, and then simply slap another diaper on...no folding, working with pins, etc. They go in the wash and have been rumored to be very sturdy. I'm really liking the sound of this. Some reviewers actually say that they have used these for kid after kid they have stayed good so long. Imagine the savings? So, this is the front runner. Some of the complaints have to do with a smell from the microfiber cloth used for absorbency but the company has come out with a natural spray that is supposed to help with that (and this was only about 3 reviews out of probably 50 that I've read). They also get the highest rating for no leaks (they say they are better than disposables) and ease of use.

4. gDiapers- This was initially our first choice. I mean, Brett didn't want cloth and I didn't want disposables so a biodegradable, flushable thing sounded perfect. However, they are pretty expensive $52 for 128 of them at target.com, you still need to buy the covers. $17 a piece at target.com, and they are VERY hard to find locally. We bought a bunch when they were carrying them at Babies R Us near here. They have since stopped carrying them and we'd have to order these, inconveniently, through the Internet. The reviews are also mixed. They are convenient but often leak until you really figure out how to use them properly, they often get stuck in the toilet and cause plumbing problems, and of course, expensive. We have a few of them for use in the diaper bag and for convenience when traveling or out of the house, but other than that, we are pretty much putting these out of our consciousness.

So, there you have it. Not the most comprehensive guide to cloth diapering...but you see where my head is. I am kind of excited about this and have been obsessing over it for days. I know some people think I am nuts for not using disposables. I just can't bring myself to do it. I've known since that class back in 1992 (eek), in my freshman year at college, that if I ever had a baby, it would be cloth diapers. Poor Brett is sucked into my craziness again.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Eventually everyone looks really preggo!

Doesn't she look pathetic? I feel like I need to go out and buy her something so she doesn't feel left out!

So this week was my big, "OMG I am huge" week. I went from a woman measuring on the small side to, "wow, that lady is really pregnant!" in a week. Here are some pics from this morning...35 weeks!!!!

(notice the cute little prairie dog pic in the background. I asked Brett for it for a baby's room last Christmas because it is our unofficial mascot from all those trips to Colorado!)
I had a ton more in my head to write about but I'll save it for later in the week. One of the major things is a discussion about diaper services v. home cloth diapering v. gDiapers v. disposable...I am sure it will be riveting.
In the meantime...I can't believe we are this far along! Seriously, I think it is just starting to sink in - it is probably a good thing pregnancy takes so long b/c I may have been in denial.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

34 weeks!

I was hoping to post a picture today to show my gigantic bump but Brett's away so it'll have to wait a few more days. In the meantime, I had a checkup at the OB's yesterday and everything looks great. For the first time, I measured a full 34 weeks!!!! I gained a pound since 2 weeks ago and everything looks great. My baby girl is sitting VERY LOW in my belly, with her little head wedged in just above my pubic bone, which has gotten me nervous about her being born with a cone head or her little head getting stuck down there or even that it means I will give birth early. But, my doctor says I may go early but there are no other real signs of premature birth and if I were to go into labor at this point, they no longer try to stop it...so I'd just have my little baby earlier. She said that babies born after 34 weeks do so well that they don't even risk trying to stop labor....wow. She said that she'll probably have a cone head for the first few days but to bring some cute hats, lol. She also pushed a little on my belly and grabbed Teagan's little nugget and said she is super-low but still moving freely so all looks good. She said that in a way it is great because I am less likely to get kicked in the ribs and get heartburn because she is so low...also that it is very unlikely that Teagan will flip into a breech position b/c it would be very hard for her to get her head out of my pelvis in order to do that - so it looks like all systems are a go!

In the meantime, we've had snow. Not tons and tons of it but constant, accumulating snow. It started on Friday and hasn't stopped yet...and looks to go for another 5 days straight. So, 16 inches over the weekend and then a few inches a day since. Brett had to go on another business trip but my neighbors were wonderful and called yesterday to tell me that if we get enough that they have to snowblow their driveway, they will come over and do mine too! They are great and it is so nice having fun neighbors to share daily life with!!!!

I am starting to get really excited about having our baby. Over the holidays, Brett installed the car seats since he finally had extra time and wanted to make sure he did it right. We also washed some of the baby's clothes so that some things will be ready and I can start to pack my hospital bag. We put together a few more baby items and placed them around the house so that the dogs can start getting used to them...Harley has mostly left the stuff alone but Sherman has to bump everything with his muzzle, especially if it is likely to cause a toy to swing or noise to start. He just bumps it and then looks at me. So far, so good.

As for symptoms, I've been very lucky. I still have pretty bad hip pain, from all that lovely hip spreading, and I get up about 6-10 times a night to pee (a consequence of her being so low, I guess). Besides that, I'm surprised I feel so good. I really thought a pregnant belly would be a serious pain by now but I still barely register it. Seriously, I thought it would be more "foreign" feeling b/c I am used to a somewhat flat belly...but nope. I'm having fun with all the crazy movement. Since she is getting so big, the movements are smaller but are so much more intense. I can watch her tushy move from my left side, through my belly button and over to the other side. Its hysterical. She also gets the hiccups about 2x a day for 20 minutes or so at a time...and with her head so low, it is a very interesting feeling, I must say. Sometimes they are so intense that even her little tushy jumps with them! The books all say that the hiccups are a result of them practicing breathing and that babies just don't mind the hiccups as much as we do...but I still feel bad for her...I hate the hiccups!

So, that is my update. Things are looking good. Part of me is still scared that something could go wrong. Given our history, I almost feel like maybe she'd be safer outside of my uterus by now? But, I do understand that isn't true...its just when you start thinking of our uterus as a black hole of death...well, you get the idea. It is hard to change your thinking.