Friday, May 30, 2008

One month!!

Our due date is one month from today!

Just thought I'd share.
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Springtime changes

I gave up on my wedding ring last week. My finger had been especially itchy and when I took of my ring, I noticed that it was rubbing all of the skin away from the top of my ring finger, leaving a thumb-sized spot that was swollen and red. I thought at first that a little bit extra lotion would do the trick, but I think my ring was just getting a bit too tight. So it has been retired for the time being.

Ray was kind of funny about it, though. He pointed to my ever-growing belly and said that he's pretty sure people will get the message that I'm taken.

Well, we now have less than five weeks left. In fact, our due date is exactly one month from Friday. We'll see what happens. This coming weekend's big projects will include one final scrub-down of the car and getting the car seat installed. (Seriously, the book on how to install that thing is thicker than most of the novels on my shelf in the bedroom.) Other than that, we just need to start washing all of her clothes and give the poor rocking horse some hair.

The baby is still as active as ever. She has stopped kicking so much but has been more squirmy (is that a word?) and restless. I think she's picking up on her mother's sleeping habits. This is my nightly sleep routine: I roll over, straighten my legs out, curl back up into a ball, put one leg over a pillow, somehow kick said pillow onto the floor, curse silently, stand up and use the restroom, come back to bedroom, pick up the pillow off of the floor, get comfortable and fall asleep for all of 7 minutes, and then start the whole process over again. Lola must think this is normal.

While the end is in sight, we're certainly not there yet -- we have two more weeks before I hit 37 weeks and am then considered "term" and eligible to actually give birth to the little one. Until you are exactly 37 weeks, our hospital will actively try to stop any labor symptoms -- and if they can't, you get a free ride to Fargo, which is where the NICU is. And, well, I'm trying to delay a visit to Fargo for as long as possible.

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Random thoughts

There is a sign outside a business in Bemidji that every morning makes me smile: "Want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans."

It always makes me think of our pregnancy experience. When Ray and I decided last year that we were in an OK place to begin expanding our family, we did so thinking that it would take us, at least, three months to actually conceive a child, but really we thought it would take us the better part of a year or more. Boy, were we surprised three weeks later...

On another note, I think I have mentioned before that Ray's favorite nickname for me is Chicken Little because I worry about everything all of the time. Pregnancy has only exacerbated this. First it was, "I'll feel better once I hit 13 weeks." Then, "Things will be easier once I see the baby on the ultrasound." Followed by, "Once I can actually feel her moving, I won't worry so much." Now it's, "OK, once she's out and crying and I can see that she's healthy, everything will be good." But I'm starting to realize that that is, really, only going to be the beginning. I'm sure then I'll worry about SIDS and illnesses. About whether she is eating or sleeping enough. Whether I'm a bad mom for taking her to the park too soon or for going back to work. So, it seems like I'm in for a lifetime of worries.

A quick funny, kind of: About a month or so ago, Ray and I were eating lunch at McDonald's and saw a couple getting their small kids into the play area, you know, where they have all those climbing tubes, slides, etc. And I said, "Just think. That will be us in a few years." Ray got all ruffled and said, "Our child is not ever going to step place in here." Ray, obviously, plans to do a LOT of cooking in the next 18-plus years.

It was actually kind of cute, though, during a childbirth class. We were divided into groups and had to list the pros and cons of pregnancy. Ray came back and whispered to me, "Guess which ones were mine?" Oh, goodie. So then I was worried that he made some inappropriate comments. But, no, the list comes out and for pros the guys had included "more homemade food" and "cleaner house" and Ray is sitting next to me just beaming. He's so cute. But, it is true. We do cook so much more often at home now. And our house is pretty clean, which is really nice. We'll see if this lasts after the baby is born.

Anyhow, for not really having any news or a particular subject in mind, this got rather long. So, quickly, these were the results from this morning appointment: Baby is measuring "perfectly" (whatever that means) and her heartbeat is strong and good. Things are progressing very well and everything seems to be on track.

I fell (again) last night while trying to walk to the kitchen. I tripped on my pants leg and hit the floor on all fours, skinning my knees up pretty good. But I didn't land on my stomach! And Lola was kicking and rolling around all last night afterward, so I wasn't too worried. Reminded me of a tennis coach who once told me, "You're the least coordinated tennis player I've ever seen." Yup, I'm a klutz.

Have a happy week,
Bethany :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Bemidji blues...

OK, so I do love this town -- but there are times that I miss the convenience of big city life. Like now. Baskin-Robbins is hosting a "Bump Day" and is giving away free ice cream tomorrow (Wednesday) for pregnant women. I'm all for ice cream. Especially free ice cream. But I don't think the four-hour drive back to the Cities would be worth it for a 3-ounce cone.

Oh well.

For those of you who might be able to partake in the fun, however, you can read more at http://www.baskinrobbins.com/Spotlight/bumpday.aspx

Happy "Bump Day" in advance,
- Bethany :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

This is us...



OK, this is us for those of you who have asked why I haven't posted m(any) pictures of Ray and myself. This is me at 34 weeks, if you are wondering, so I am about halfway through month eight (I think, but to be honest, this counting stuff gets rather complicated and I never was all that great at math).

The picture also gives you an idea as to why we moved to the Northwoods. This depicts the view from the front of our home, including the little lake that Ray likes to go canoeing in. We said good-bye to the weekend last night as we spent the evening outside. Ray grilled and we had dinner on our patio, just enjoying the fresh air and all of our "neighbors" (read: woodpeckers, deer, porcupines, etc.). It is so nice to have spring here!

We had a productive and relaxing weekend as we went shopping and finally bought a rocker/recliner for the living room. We then rearranged the living room, which is one of my favorite things to do (it's even more fun when you get to just point and tell someone else where to move things too -- I just relaxed and put my feet up!). We also took part in a walk to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research, but we called it an afternoon after about four miles or so. On Sunday, we just watched a lot of HGTV and spent the evening outside. It was nice.

We're winding down here on the baby front. There isn't a lot more to buy or get set up -- although we do still have a few small projects to complete. We plan on enjoying the upcoming Memorial Day weekend and then just finishing everything up and waiting.

She continues to kick a lot and keep me up at night, but as wonderful as all of her little kicks are, I think we're both getting more and more excited to actually meet her soon. Six more weeks or so. At Target yesterday there was the cutest little Fourth of July outfit for a little baby girl and it got us both thinking about whether she'll be here by then...or not.

I have another doctor's appointment on Wednesday, so maybe I will get another estimate on her size, etc. Not that I have a lot of faith in these measurements, but it at least gives me a guess.

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Springtime in Bemidji

Ray and I had a fairly funny conversation last night in regards to the probable pain and stress of delivery. He said he was amazed that I wasn't more concerned about tearing or the actual delivery. My response was this: "There's nothing I can really do about it now. I mean, you can panic and hum and haw about going on a roller-coaster, but once you're actually on the roller-coaster and it's click-clicking up the steep incline, it's not as if you can change your mind and get off." He laughed, thinking it was rather strange I was comparing delivery and an amusement park ride. (He was also nice enough not to point out that the roller-coaster ride lasts, at most, three minutes and not 30 hours.)

I'm still feeling pretty well and while my back is aching a bit more, but I can still sleep through the night. Although it is a bit disconcerting that my rolling over in bed now creates an earthquake-like rumble and wakes Ray up every time. But, I'm sure he'll survive. And if not, there's a couch in the living room with his name on it.

Lola has seemed to either have doubled in size within the last week or gotten a hold of some steroids or something. What used to be endearing little kicks and punches now hurt like heck. And, while all those baby books and doctors say that movement decreases in the final stretch here, my daughter didn't get that message. She doesn't stop moving. Ever. I get a 30-minute break once an hour maybe and after that she just does acrobatics in there. The good news is I think my work puts her to sleep so at least I can get some stuff done here at the office. But as soon as I get in the car, it's play time.

She also loves her daddy. I mean, I can rest my hand on my stomach and I will, occasionally, get a little response. But as soon as she just hears Ray's voice, she goes nuts. She kicks and punches and plays instantly. It's pretty funny - and, at times, pretty annoying too.

She also drives me crazy at bedtime. All the books, doctors, etc., say that you are supposed to sleep on your left side - or on your right side if needed, but never on your back. Well, Lola does not like to share her space at all. Each night, I walk into the bedroom, lie on the bed and turn onto my left side and she immediately goes nuts. Pushing and kicking at anything that is touching my stomach. So I flip onto my right side and she freaks out there too. The only way I can ever get some rest is to sleep on my back. This lasts until I get about as close to sleep as possible and then I quickly roll onto my left side and fall asleep before she can start in on me. And, since I can sleep through a hurricane, her constant activity goes mostly unnoticed.

So these are our days. We are really loving them, if you can't tell. Sure, I complain and whine about aches and pains and stretch marks, but it's all very lovely, really. Sometimes I wonder how it's going to be once she is out. I mean, seeing and holding her, I'm sure, will bring its own joys, but I think I'm going to miss the kicks.

Thanks for reading!
- Bethany :)

P.S. On a weather-related note, it snowed here Saturday. That would be May 10. It, of course, didn't stick or anything, but we had a couple of hours' worth of snowflakes. On May 10, the 52nd official day of spring. I already told Ray that if it snows on Lola's birth date, we're moving.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I've been a bit MIA

Sorry for the lack of an update lately. I've been feeling a bit sluggish and lazy lately, so forgive me. It's hard work carrying this belly around everywhere!

So what's new? Well, we had another doctor's appointment on Wednesday during which I learned that little Lola is now measuring about one week behind schedule. OK, so we went first from measuring large, then to measuring on time, and now she is measuring small or a bit late (by one week). Basically, it reinforces my belief that if she's measuring approximately where she should be and she has a strong heartbeat, then I'll be just fine with that. This whole measuring thing is a bit strange, if you ask me. But that's just a personal opinion. I'm just not going to sit and wonder or speculate about whether she might be late now. We'll find out in about two months.

We also had our final birthing class on Wednesday during which we learned quite a bit about c-sections. Most interesting was that our hospital in town does more than the average of c-sections (most are roughly around 22-25 percent and ours can be anywhere from 35 to 50 percent). While trying to be sensitive to those who live in this area, this can be attributed to many factors, including diabetes or a lack of prenatal care or precautions. Read into that what you will.

During class we also got a huge book about what to do with the baby once s/he is born and how to care for him/her. This includes everything from breastfeeding to changing a diaper (i.e. don't use baby powder and if you have a cold sore, don't touch the baby if at all possible). We also discussed how to take the baby's temperature if needed -- let's just say Ray and I agreed that the under-the-armpit method was much preferable to the other suggested possibility.

The worst part of class was when we lied down on the mats to do our breathing exercises. Something happened to my back once I laid down. I had this pain in my lower back and I couldn't really get up and I could barely walk the rest of the night or yesterday. Today (Friday) I'm doing a bit better, but whatever it was it was really, really painful. I'm guessing that it probably wasn't contraction-like painful, but when the nurse had us practicing how to breath through the pain, I at least had real-life pain to play with (and I learned that the breathing exercises do NOT take the pain away, so I have little faith in their abilities come D-Day).

We also had our first true sign of summer this week when I found my first wood tick crawling on my leg Wednesday night. I hate looking for ticks under normal circumstances, but they're a lot harder to find when you can't even see the lower half of your body to do a complete inspection. Oh well, I guess it beats snowflakes.

Anyhow, thanks for checking on us! Enjoy the weekend -- happy fishing to those hitting the lakes!
- Bethany :)