Sunday, October 02, 2005

My identity

I realize now that I am no longer me. I am Caroline's mom. John and I left Caroline with my sister and brother-in-law last Sunday to go out for sushi. Mary and Tony had evacuated their home in Clear Lake due to Hurricane Rita, so they offered to watch Caroline while John and I had a night out. It was really nice, and I made a point to have conversation with my husband beyond discussing the baby. I was surprised, though, by how much I wanted people to know that I had a new baby, and that she was at home, and that she is precious, and...I'm so used to the attention we garner when we're out in public together. I really missed it!

This past weekend, we left Caroline at our house with my dad and Karen so that we could attend John's cousin's wedding. We took Caroline to the rehearsal dinner, so most of the wedding guests had seen her. The highlight of my night at the wedding was when people would ask me about her or comment on how cute she was or how good she was the night before. She did great with the "sitters," and was sleeping soundly when we called to check on her, but I was so tired at 10 p.m. that we left the wedding anyway...and I needed to get back home and be Caroline's mommy again.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Divining Women -- SPOILER ALERT

Eerily, Divining Women hit closer to home than I expected. Since the setting is during the 1918 flu epidemic, I expected the baby to die from influenza. She did die -- but due to her cord being around her neck! That was one of Caroline's problems (the lesser problem actually since the cord being in a knot was much more of a problem.) I am so thankful that I live in a time when c-sections are possible, and I'm so thankful that my nurses were on the ball, and I'm so thankful my water broke early...God is good.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Motherhood has invaded my reading sanctuary

As an intellectual (in my opinion) expectant mother, I looked forward to continuing my voracious reading habits after the baby was born. Books, at least, would be my world to which to escape that didn't involve being a mother. Somehow pregnancy, childbirth, and nursing have invaded my reading world -- and I'm not even considering the expected Dr. Sears, What to Expect, Dr. Weisenbluth, or So That's What They're For -- books that I consult at least monthly. I'm talking about my reading-love -- fiction.

Caroline and I venture to the public library every other week for a new treasure. I have a list of books I want to read (mostly bestsellers and new releases), but those are often checked out. In those cases, I just wander the shelves looking for inspiration. I've just so happened lately, unintentionally (or perhaps subconsciously) to choose novels that significantly relate to motherhood.

First there was the book I chose because it's bookjacket description reminded me of one of my all-time favorite novels, Thorton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey, because this novel (whose title I cannot remember) examined the ways various seemingly unrelated individuals' lives intersected. Upon reading, I discovered that the common thread was parenthood and parental adventures! Then, when looking for a Susan Vreeland book that the Milwood Book Club would be discussing and finding it checked out, I chose Vreeland's newest book, Life Studies, which tells the stories behind some of Europe's masterpieces -- including "The Wetnurse Angele feeding Julie Manet" painted by new mother Berthe Morisot of her baby with the nursemaid. At this point in my own motherhood, I felt much like a nursemaid. Since I enjoyed delving into the artworld presented in Vreeland's book, I choose The Girl with a Pearl Earring next. Though it isn't the central story, the mistress of the home in the novel is persistently pregnant, birthing about ten children over the course of the novel. I'm now reading Kaye Gibbons's new novel, Divining Women, about the 1918 flu epidemic. One of the main characters is an expecting mom.

Perhaps the books I've read and enjoyed throughout my life have had mother's as central characters and now I'm reading with my maternal literary critic hat on and noticing these women in a deeper way. Likely so.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Caroline's Birth Story

Caroline Joyce Bindel made her dramatic premiere Tuesday, May 31. Before going to bed Monday night, I gently reminded Caroline that the May birthstone is emerald, and emeralds are mighty pretty. I told her if she'd prefer that birthstone over pearl, she had to make her move right away. Well, she listened!

At 1:30 a.m. I felt some pressure, heard a pop, and realized my water broke. I got up and called the hospital to tell them my water had broken but I hadn't been timing contractions. I decided to time contractions for an hour and call them back. I put in a load of laundry, finished packing my bag, and woke John up. He had to pack himself and put the car seat in the car. I showered, and by the time we were ready to go, my contractions were painful and about four to five minutes apart. I'd say we got to the hospital just as they were becoming unbearable. Since first-time moms often mistake when they are in labor or when their water has broken (?!) the nurses told us that they would be doing a "rule out" exam, to rule out that I was in labor or my water had broken. They put us in a labor and delivery room and told us someone would be with us in fifteen minutes. Nobody came for a long time, so John went and told them that I was really in pain and someone needed to check on me. When they tried to hook up the fetal monitor and contraction monitor, though, they discovered the computer in the room we were in was broken, so they moved me to another room. At this point, I was in a hospital gown. Since my water had broken, I had to ask for a towel to wear like a diaper so I could walk down the hall. How dignified! I'm not sure if the "rule out" exam ever happened or not. I remember running to the bathroom gagging but not throwing anything up. The nurse comforted me and told me it was normal. I was halfway crying, I think. I asked for some pain meds, so they hooked up the IV and gave me Stadol until the anesthesiologist could get there. When they told me later that he'd be another fifteen minutes or so, I asked for more Stadol. It didn't take away the pain, which was still quite awful, but it helped. I didn't see any way I could have been still for the epidural without it.

The epidural was amazing. I had planned all along to get one, but I didn't really know how well it would work. My sister doesn't think hers worked because she was still in a lot of pain. Mine worked wonderfully. John and I dozed for a while, waking up to talk occasionally. At one point, he got up to look at the information on the monitors and noticed the baby's heartrate was lower than earlier. He told me, and I told him not to worry because the nurses were watching from the nurses' station and if something were wrong, they'd let us know. I finished my sentence as the nurses came storming in and put oxygen on me and attached an internal fetal monitor to the baby's head. (They told me then my baby had a headful of hair!) They explained that we didn't need to worry because the baby's heartbeat was variable, meaning that it dipped when I had a contraction but it came back up after the contraction. They just wanted me to keep the oxygen on. They came in a few minutes later, told me to lie on my left side and stay there, as they called my doctor. I heard the phrase "decel" and realized they were talking about me. They said Dr. McNelis would be down in a few minutes to check on me, but we needed to be prepared for a C-section. The baby wasn't handling my contractions very well, and my contractions were becoming irregular and the baby wasn't dropping. They gave John some scrubs, just in case. Dr. McNelis told me they'd try everything they could with me to avoid a c-section, so they started pitocin hoping it would intensify the contractions and bring the baby down. It didn't work -- the baby was still struggling. The transition from L&D to the OR was fast and furious. They gave me more medication in my epidural and wheeled me in. John changed into scrubs and was sent to wait. He said that was hard because he didn't really know what was going on. Once they had me sufficiently numbed and were ready to cut, they brought John in. He had to stay out of the sterile area, so he stood by my head. The anesthesiologist chatted with John and me to keep us occupied during the cutting phase. He mentioned that very often in these cases, where the baby’s heartrate drops, the cord is wrapped around the neck. Sure enough, when they pulled her out, the cord was around her neck. Before she started the surgery, I reminded Dr. McNelis to be loud when she announced "It’s a Boy" or "It’s a Girl" since we didn’t know the baby’s sex. She said that would be John’s job. He did say "It’s a girl," but he can’t remember doing it at all. He keeps asking me if I’m sure he said it. John went with Caroline and the nurses to get Caroline cleaned up while the doctor finished with me. It was then that she found the reason for the distress during labor and Caroline’s not descending – her cord was tied in a knot! Recovery is going well.

We’re home and doing pretty well at figuring out sleeping and nursing and such. She’s a true joy!

Monday, May 30, 2005

Pregnancy Journal

My Pregnancy Journal

Sunday, September 26, 2004

We're joining the club! John and I had fun visiting with Erica and Randy at dinner and playing with Ellisan and Kyla last night -- and I enjoyed a mighty tasty glass of wine (my last for awhile, so I'm glad it was memorable.) After almost two months of trying, I had started believing that we wouldn't be able to conceive...but something was still gnawing at my brain. Erica turned me on to babyzone.com and told me you could enter preconception information to build a fertility calendar. Turns out I didn't need it! Today John was scheduled for sound board at church, and I had to prepare the main dish for Xplorers, so we decided to drive separately. I took advantage of the alone time at the house to take a home pregnancy test. I saw a second pink line. And I got scared. I jumped in the shower, wondering what we had gotten ourselves in to. I took another test when I got out, and by then I was excited. After church and Xplorers, I told John I had to stop off at Walmart. Even though we despise Walmart, I knew I could buy bottled water and juice, get a pregnancy test, and pick up some paint samples. I bought an expensive test -- one with a PREGNANT or NOT PREGNANT readout. When I got home, I took the test and then carried it into the futon room that will become our nursery. I asked John to help me move a box. When he came in, I showed him the paint samples and asked what he liked. He asked, "What?" And I pointed to the test that said PREGNANT on it. I told him he could freak out for a few minutes because I did, too. I'll make a doctor's appointment tomorrow to confirm everything. The online calculators predict my due date will be June 4.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

We're still keeping our secret! I've been feeling constantly hungry and often nauseaus, so it's hard not telling anyone. I've had two doctor's appointments so far. The first was mostly paperwork and a quick exam. I went back two weeks later for my first ultrasound. We saw the heartbeat, and the doctor said that once you see the heartbeat, the risk of miscarriage decreases to about three percent. I'll have another appointment in a month. The "morning" sickness hasn't been awful. I'm always feeling yucky, but the three times I've thrown up have been later in the day.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The morning sickness has hit. Hard! I was throwing up all day yesterday, and did again this morning at church. Last night we had our Connexions dinner and, as always, I was nervous about keeping our secret. When I was standing in the line to fix my plate, our hostess, Christine, asked if I'd like some wine now. I replied that I'd stick with water. She got a big smile on her face, and said, "Ah! Wink, wink!" I just said, "No comment" and giggled. Amy Pendell suspects, too. She saw me frantically buying candy from the vending machine while covering my nose with my sleeve to avoid smelling the food in the teacher's lounge. We're holding out at least until after we've told my sister and dad next weekend. I'd like to wait until after my Nov. 17 ultrasound or until we reach week 12.

Monday, November 15, 2004

We shared our news this weekend at Megan's third birthday party. My immediate family was there plus both of my grandparents and one aunt and one uncle (big extended family). I carried the ultrasound pictures with me in my back pocket and toward the end of the party, after all but family had left, John and I were playing in the rented moonwalk with my niece. Everyone else was inside, so the time was perfect! I asked Megan if she could say "cousin." She said it perfectly. I then pulled the ultrasound pictures out of my pocket, handed them to her, and told her to take this to poppy and tell him that it's your cousin. She said, "No! This is Megan!" I laughed and said, "It's not Megan. It's your cousin." She insisted, "It's Megan when I was a little bitty baby." Obvioulsy she's seen her own ultrasound pictures and is deep into the egocentric phase of development. I explained that it was a picture of the baby in my belly, and I needed her to go show the picture to poppy and tell him it is her cousin.

We walked into the house, and Megan walked right by my sister towards my dad (her Poppy.) Mary, instantly knowing what was up, shouted, "What is that in your hand!" Megan ignored her and took the picture to my dad and delivered her line perfectly. "This is my cousin." The room was filled with shouts and hugs at that point. It was wonderful!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

There's a feisty baby in there! I had an ultrasound today and saw a tiny arm moving up and down as in a march. I told my doctor about the nausea and she put me on Zofran, which is a chemotherapy anti-nausea drug with no negative side effects (besides being outrageously expensive.) I like having a doctor who has "been there, done that" herself. Dr. McNelis had her second baby in April, and knowing that she took Zofran reassures me. She said she would sit in her office and cry until she started taking it. Maybe tomorrow I can get through a class without gagging!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

On this Thanksgiving eve, I am thankful for Zofran. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to cook Thanksgiving dinner for John, Mary, Tony, and Megan. I’m thankful for such a great family to spend the holiday with and for Tony Bindel, who sent us a smoked turkey to enjoy. I am also thankful for such cool friends and family. As we’ve shared our exciting news, I’ve become even more excited myself by people’s reactions. Everyone is genuinely happy for us. People LOVE BABIES!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

As I enter the promised "honeymoon" phase of pregnancy, the second trimester, I want to confess my schedule during the first. From what I hear, I won’t need the naps, but I don’t think all this eating will cease.

6:30 – get up; shower and dress for school; gather lunch and snacks for day

7:10 – drive to school, eating breakfast (varies – cereal, toast, or a wicked pastry) and enjoying my small can of diet coke, my limit most days.

7:45 – arrive at school; check email; begin day (classes start at 8:15)

9:05 – first period ends. I’m off second period, so I have a snack now – usually fruit. Then back to teaching classes.

10:50 – LUNCH! I usually eat with my fellow teachers in the lounge and greatly enjoy the adult conversation. For about a month during the intense nausea (pre-Zofran) I feigned a yearbook deadline and ate in my room to avoid the smells. My lunch is usually leftovers, canned soup, or salad. I used to bring a sandwich, but eating deli meats while pregnant is discouraged.

11:20 – back to class! This is my yearbook class, so it’s pretty informal and I have a student aid. I’ve sent her more than once back to the cafeteria to buy me grape juice or a yummy home-baked wheat roll!

12:30 or 1:00 – I’m still in the midst of teaching classes, but I usually have an apple during advisory or fifth period. Of course, I’ve been sipping water throughout the day.

2:00 – During my last class of the day, I’ll often have a box of orange juice or sometimes another piece of fruit.

3:00 – I’m off again the last period of the day, and unless I have meetings or students staying with me after school, I finish up my business and head home.

4:00 – Snack / Early Dinner. I’ll check my email and read the pregnancy message boards while I have a bowl of cereal when I get home. Occasionally, I’ll have my dinner at this time if I’m really hungry.

4:30 or so – NAP TIME! I usually just sleep an hour or two, but one day I slept until 8 p.m.! After I get up, I do whatever needs doing.

8:00 – John has karate most evenings, so he gets home after 8. If I cooked dinner (pre-pregnancy usual routine; now not so often) I’ll eat with him. Usually I don’t wait for him and just finish eating as he walks in. If I ate my real dinner upon getting home from school, I’ll have cereal now. Some nights, John has had to just eat cereal, too. After eating, I clean up, get ready for bed and prepare for the next day, and take a warm bath and read.

9:00 – Hit the sack and watch CSI or Law and Order (a variation of one or the other is on pretty much every night) until I fall asleep. Sometimes, I even get to see the ending. Most nights, I just ask John how it ended when I get up to go to the bathroom the first time.

Monday, December 27, 2004

We had a great Christmas with a full house. John and I practiced parenting a toddler when we babysat Megan all night for Mary and Tony's anniversary. They dropped her off and went to San Antonio. She was great, and we had fun, but it also gave me a taste for all of the worrying and checking-in on sleeping kids that parents do every night. My dad and Karen, her daughter, Felicia, and Felicia's roommate arrived on Christmas Eve. We had nine people total here. Great fun!

The Bindels sent me a giftcard to Motherhood Maternity for Christmas, so I hit the mall today. My regular clothes aren't working so well right now, but the maternity clothes I tried on didn't look just right either. I did get two skirts and a top because I'm sure I'm going to wake up one morning and not be able to fit in anything in my closet. My sister also brought me all of her maternity clothes.

I'm feeling much better. I haven't taken the Zofran in a week or so. I still get tired easily, but I don't need long naps. I just lie down and rest when I start feeling pooped.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I wore maternity pants for the first time today! Monday, our school receptionist (who is a great friend and mother-figure to all of us young(ish) teachers) came to me. "Now, I know you're putting off wearing maternity clothes," she said, "but I just have to tell you that you are really stretching out all of your clothes." I told her I got the hint! I'd been hoping to hold out until the halfway mark -- 20 weeks next Wednesday. I must admit, the pants were pretty comfy. I didn't realize they were adjustable, and I discovered halfway through the day that I had a long cord hanging out the side. I guess you use that to loosen up the belly panel as you grow.

I had a doctor's appointment today, too. The heartbeat sounded good, the doctor said. I have my "big" ultrasound in two more weeks and then I'll see the doctor again in four weeks, two weeks after the ultrasound. She told me not to be surprised if there's a big weight gain at my next appointment. She said some people see it by this point, for others it comes around 20 weeks or so. I've gained six pounds so far. She didn't do an ultrasound today, I suppose because we listened to the heartbeat. We did BOTH last month.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

I definitely look pregnant now. Today was our big ultrasound (when some people choose to find out gender.) We've chosen to wait until delivery to find that out, so our ultrasound was to determine that anatomical development is going well. It is! We saw the baby's head, tummy, heart, legs, and arms. All parts seem to be working well. On our first peek, the baby gave us a great big YAWN! -- just opened that mouth wide. The heartrate was 146, and it weighs 15 ounces right now -- almost a pound!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I had another appointment today, and the doctor's predictions that the weight gain would come this month held true. I'm up fifteen pounds! She said not to worry -- the baby had a big growth spurt and my blood volume and fluid volumes had to increase to accommodate. Everything’s looks good, she said.

John and I are thinking of painting the room this weekend. That will be fun. Friends and family are offering use of lots of great stuff, so we'll start filling the room as soon as it's painted. Mary has cleared her stuff out of the attic, and Megan likes telling me about the stuff for "Lougar." That's her name for the baby. Lougar. We don't know where it came from. She referred to the baby that way one day, and Tony thought it was so funny, he kept her repeating it. Now it's common. Some people have said it sounds like she's saying "little girl." She speaks pretty clearly, though, so I don't know about that. And if you ask her if what the baby will be, sometimes she says a girl; sometimes she says a boy. It's always Lougar, though.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I can move back into our bedroom tonight! :-) Sunday morning, John woke up feeling lousy. By Monday, his chest was hurting so badly, he went to the doctor to find out he had the flu WITH PNEUMONIA! I haven't had a flu shot, so the doctor said we should keep our distance. He had already contaminated our bedroom with his germs, so I slept on the couch. The guest room bed just seemed too big and lonely to me. He's feeling better today and thinks he'll go back to work tomorrow.

Sunday, when John mentioned he felt sick, I went to get the thermometer. Well, I dropped it on the bathroom tile and broke it. John told me to get out of the room because the thermometer has mercury in it. I did, and he told me to bring the vacuum cleaner. As he was vacuuming up the mess, I searched the internet about mercury clean-up to learn that you should NOT clean it up with a vacuum. It spreads the vapors. I called poison control to see what we should do, and the guy on the phone calmly informed me that the vacuum cleaner is the worst possible way to clean up mercury, but that it is such a small amount that we should be fine. I just won't eat any fish this week to make sure I don't increase my mercury exposure. :-)

My next doctor's appointment is next Wednesday. I'll be taking the GTT for gestational diabetes. That should be fun.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I'm officially in my third trimester now, and last night I was initiated into the misery of heartburn. John and I cooked steaks on the grill, and I guess I ate too much. As we were getting ready for bed, I told John I didn't feel well, my stomach hurt, could it be heartburn? He said probably not. I fell asleep for a few minutes and woke up feeling awful. It had to be heartburn. I sat up, but that was uncomfortable, too, and I was so tired. I just wanted to sleep. I walked around; that was uncomfortable. We got out the book from the doctor's office that lists the medications I can take, and it listed Tums, Mylanta, or Maalox. We didn't have any of those. John gets heartburn regularly and is on a prescription now, and he keeps Alka Seltzer and Pepcid on hand but none of the approved drugs. He left for the store, and I threw up the entire time he was gone. That made me feel even worse. My throat burned and my stomach still hurt. I took Mylanta when John got home and sat up in bed for a bit. When I felt better, I laid down and slept for about four hours. I started feeling yucky again, so I got up and took another dose. I do feel fine this morning, but I dread experiencing that again. No more big steaks for me!

On the bright side, today begins my spring break week! We're working diligently on the nursery. I'm bidding on a few items on ebay, and I've ordered an alphabet poster and curtains for the room. We stained the bookshelf / changing table this weekend, and hung the red wall shelves and nursery rhyme pictures.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Strange things happen during pregnancy. My sister told me that I had to include this in the baby's book somehow.

STRANGEST THING I ATE DURING PREGNANCY: my tooth!

Here's the story.

John and I were having dinner last Wednesday night -- baked chicken, wild rice, asparagus -- nothing hard or crunchy. I noticed, all of a sudden, that there was a hole in my back tooth. I thought I had lost a filling. It didn't hurt at all; it just felt strange. I called my dentist's office the next morning and explained that I thought I had lost a filling because I had a big hole in my tooth. They asked which tooth and checked my chart -- sure enough, I did have a filling in that tooth. I reminded them that I'm pregnant. They booked me in for an emergency appointment that morning and called my doctor to make sure they could get me anesthesia. I rushed to find someone to cover one of my classes since I'd be gone about an hour. The dentist and I chit chatted a bit, and she commented that the filling in that tooth is really small, so it was strange that I said it felt like a big hole. Then she looked in my mouth. "Oh!" she said, then took the mirror out of my mouth. "This isn't what you think. You've lost part of your tooth." For no obvious reason, one quarter of a molar fell out. She showed me with the mirror, and showed me the tiny filling that was still in place. Instead of four parts to the tooth, I just had three.

I went back Monday and had a temporary crown put on, and I'll go back in a few weeks to have the permanent crown placed. I've never had any dental work more serious than a filling before, so this is strange. I don't think it's pregnancy related nor does my dentist. Many people have told me, though, that they had problems with their teeth during pregnancy.

Besides that, I still feel well. The heartburn (if that's what it really was) hasn't returned. All is well!

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I had my 31 week appointment yesterday. I'll start going to the doctor every two weeks now, and then every week for the last three or four weeks. These appointments are really quite boring, which is a good thing. Boring means healthy, I suppose. My blood pressure was 112 / 70, weight is up 22 pounds, and my uterus is measuring at 33 cm. Doctor says all that is right where it should be. I've read that your uterus should measure the same as your week of pregnancy, meaning I should have measured at 31. I asked the doctor, and she said give or take two cm, so I'm within the normal range. :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Last Saturday, I had the most fabulous baby shower! We had about 25 friends and family members here to celebrate our impending arrival. Mary and Megan came on Thursday night. Nanny, Aunt Becky, and Aunt Dixie drove up on Friday afternoon, and Tony, Mary, and Adam Bindel arrived shortly after. We had barbeque from Rudy's that night, and Aunt Patty and Uncle Tom joined us. Saturday more family arrived (Marc and Carlye, Stephanie and Liz) and we prepared for the shower. This baby has so much great stuff! More than I can imagine him or her every needing...but we'll see. I got my thank you cards in the mail today, and John and I are finishing some final details on the nursery (hanging the quilt, staining the end table). With six weeks to go, I have the necessities covered. Over these next weeks I am going to work on the baby book, wash the clothes and linens, and freeze a few dinners. Will the next six weeks fly by or take forever?

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

One month to go! I'll have weekly doctor appointments from this point on -- how exciting! Today was the normal routine -- weight, blood pressure, heartbeat check. All is well. I'm up 25 pounds, blood pressure was 114 / 72. I mentioned that I feel the baby move a lot on the upper right side -- like it's trying to come out my side. Dr. McNelis said that babies like the liver. Odd, huh? Well, I asked if she could tell if it was a butt or a head that I felt there, so she hooked me up to the ultrasound. The baby is heads down, so it must be a bottom I'm getting "butted" with. I also mentioned that a friend just had an eleven pound baby, and I don't want that to happen. She said not to worry, the baby is not that big. She did comment that I won't be having a "nice little six pounder" though.

I'm taking a few days off this week and next before I leave my classes to a sub the last full week and half week of school. I've arranged it so that I have the same sub every time I'm out. I stayed home yesterday and today, and will be home Monday and Wednesday of next week -- just taking it easy and preparing whatever I can.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

I saw my doctor today, and she said I'll be back again next week. I guess that means it doesn't look like I'm delivering anytime soon. The numbers look good (except weight in my opinion.) Blood pressure was 114/70, tummy measured at 37 centimeters. Weight was up 30 pounds, though! I had hoped to stay around 25. I guess I should not have had those two Krispy Kreme donuts this morning.

At lunch today one of the teachers told me that she overheard some students discussing my pregnancy. These little girls seem to know more about birthing babies than I do! They were saying that I've still got a few weeks to go because I haven't dropped yet. I don't even know what that means! These eighth graders (even the boys) are like old grandmothers with their observations -- "Oh, you're having a girl because you're carrying high" and such. Too funny!

Monday, May 23, 2005

I had today what might be my last "me" day for a while. I ate lunch alone at Bennigan's (club sandwich) while I read a book. Then I walked the mall for a bit looking for home decor. I ended up buying a nightgown on sale at Mervyn's. Next -- the best part -- I got a pedicure and manicure! I went for the deluxe pedicure, which came with a leg mask and paraffin dip in addition to all the other massaging and pampering. I sat in the big massage chair while one lady massaged and worked on my feet and another on my hands -- dreamy! All of the Vietnamese ladies working in the salon say it's a boy because I'm carrying all out front. They also laughed over my one bloated, swollen leg. They found it funny that my right leg and foot are about 50 percent bigger than my left. :-( I wrapped up my outing at Target, picking up a few groceries and getting a painting for the living room and some bright candles. I had a gift card from a student for the picture.

I've been feeling lots of painless tightening in my stomach -- Braxton Hicks, I believe -- but there's no rhythm to them. I have another doctor's appointment on Wednesday.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I really have had a nice, healthy, normal pregnancy, so I don't want to seem like I'm complaining, but I have a new discomfort -- PUPPPs, pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. It's a horribly itchy rash that starts on your belly (on the stretch marks) and spreads to your thighs and arms. It causes no harm to baby or mom (besides discomfort!) and disappears after delivery. I'm taking Aveeno oatmeal baths and alternating putting on hydrocortisone cream, Gold Bond powder, and cocoa butter to ease the itch. I've read online that 70 percent of PUPPP cases deliver boys -- something to do with the Y chromosome hormones. We'll see!