Saturday, December 25, 2010

Our first family Christmas!

Today was a busy day for Torin! After giving Mommy and Daddy their Christmas gifts at midnight (a book about Metropolis and Martina McBride concert tickets, respectively), he went to bed; slept a sound, solid nine hours; and then woke up happy. He ate, put on his "My First Christmas" outfit, and went to his grandparents' house, where he proceeded to eat and sleep and eat and sleep throughout the day and evening. All that attention wore him out!

My little Pookie made out like a bandit, as they say, when it comes to gifts. He got an ExerSaucer, his "first cell phone," some blocks, and lots of teething toys. Of course, he can't use many of these things yet, but he gets closer and closer each day. He's growing like you wouldn't believe.

But Mommy and Daddy had the best present of all this year: Torin himself. It has been such a joy to finally spend Christmas as our own little family. In the coming years, Christmas will only get more magical, and I can't wait to see it all through the eyes of our precious boy.

The happy family.

The greatest gift anyone could ever receive.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We just had a moment.

Pookie and I. We had what I hope was not a one-sided "bonding" moment. I lay him down in his swing to calm him down. I turned on the swing's music and mobile, and sat nearby, waiting for him to doze off. We listened to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and the mechanics of the swing as it carried him left, then right, then left, then right...

Even with the spinning lights and the mini-menagerie of the mobile over his head, he wanted to stare at me. And so there we were, staring into each other's eyes. Pookie's eyelids would start to fall, and then he would open them again at once so he could keep staring at his mommy.

I got teary-eyed as I shared this moment with my son. I thought about how I went all out on gifts for him on his very first Christmas. And Santa is bringing him his ExerSaucer and a few other goodies. I know he's too young to understand it all now, but I want him to look back and know that his first Christmas was very special. And I hope to be able to go all out for him every Christmas.

But for tonight, just for tonight, I wanted nothing more than to look at my precious baby boy and capture his gaze and send him off to sleep in comfort and security. May the first thing he learns be that his mommy loves him more than anything in the universe.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Reach out and touch someone.

Torin has started reaching toward my face and touching me when he's lying on the changing table. And I have fallen in love with him even more.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Hit me with your best shot.

We had our two-month shots today. I say "we" because it hurt me every bit as much as it hurt Torin. He was very good though--he cried for only a couple of minutes afterward! Here he is on the table in the doctor's office, just after we finished all the vaccinations:

I've been worried that because Torin has been so colicky and fussy all day every day (until the past few days, when we switched formulas again), he has perhaps fallen behind on his developmental milestones. The doctor assured me that this is not the case, and that we have a perfectly normal and healthy Pookie on our hands.

Whew! I'm glad this appointment is behind us now. No more shots for at least a couple more months.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Two Months!

So two months have already passed since Torin's birth.

Two. whole. months.

In that time, we've dealt with jaundice, a cold, lots of colic, a few smiles and laughs, some coos, dozens upon dozens of dirty diapers, and countless kisses.

I love my little Pookie Bear like I could have never imagined.

Seasons Greetings!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving thanks.

For Torin. And for the fact that he finally fell asleep in his swing, after hours of crying.

Grandpa Brian is still here, so Thanksgiving is extra special. Torin really loves him; he often falls asleep on his chest or in his lap.

Joey will be going to the last weekend of the Texas Renaissance Festival, near Houston, this weekend. I was dreading facing these next few days alone with a colicky, inconsolable baby, but Grandpa Brian will be here to help me through it.

Today, Joey is fixing turkey and all the trimmings. Brian is watching the football game, Torin is snoozing away, and I'm taking every moment I can to be grateful for all that we have and all that we've accomplished.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Six weeks down...

I can't believe Torin is already six weeks old. He's no longer a newborn. Although I should be sad about how quickly he's growing, I am actually looking forward to the time when he's three months old. At that age, he should be outgrowing his colic and becoming more interactive.

During the few moments each day in which Torin is happy, he is a heart-melting joy to be around. However, he spends most of his waking hours crying uncontrollably. We just began a course of Zantac treatment, and we've switched his formula. We hope these things will help him feel better and be the happy baby he should be.

Grandpa Brian is visiting us right now. In fact, when he arrived today, he finally got to see Torin for the first time. Torin has already taken to his Grandpa and often stops crying when he's in Grandpa's arms. A combination of Grandpa's love, and antacid, and a gentler formula should calm our colicky Thor. I hope.

Friday, November 12, 2010

How can you not love him?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's a miracle! It's a blanket! It's a miracle blanket!

For the past few nights, Torin has slept for at least four hours in a hour. Last night, he slept for eight hours--and he's still sleeping now! I think that this is not only because he's becoming a big boy but also because of this contraption called the Miracle Blanket. We've been swaddling him tightly in it before bedtime, and it soothes him almost instantly! And mom and dad regain some of their sanity as well! Why didn't we use this thing sooner?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Smile a smile for me.

Torin is smiling real, or "social," smiles. I think. These seemingly real smiles started a little over a week ago, but I don't have an exact date because I'm wasn't sure if they were real when I first saw them. He's using his whole face to smile as opposed to the reflex smile, for which he uses only his mouth. The reflex smile looks like an empty grin, but these more recent smiles portray delight in his eyes. I can't seem to get a picture of this elusive social smile, though, as it lasts for only a second, and I am certainly not an ace photographer.

I'll keep trying to get those smiles permanently documented so that I can look at them whenever I want and whenever I need a good heart-melting.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Happy birthday, Torin!

One month. It has already been one month since Torin entered our lives. Sometimes it seems like it has been only a few days; other times, it feels like it has been several months. It has been a challenging month, indeed, but it has been just as rewarding: Torin is already smiling real smiles!

Unfortunately, Torin isn't really up to celebrating this milestone "birthday"--he has caught his first cold. Poor boy. He must have caught it during one of my many doctor appointments. I feel awful that there's nothing we can do to make him feel better. All we can do is just suction the snot out of his nose and love, love, love him. Luckily, he makes the latter task quite easy to do.

Anyway, one month down and many, many months (and years) to go!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This little piggy.

We ended up having to take Torin to his doctor yesterday because of feeding issues. He eats way more than a baby his age should eat--we're talking four to five ounces every two to three hours. Anything less than that and he's fussy and crying. Add to that a lot of spit-up and you've got one unhappy baby.

Well, the doctor confirmed that we're overfeeding Torin. He has gained almost two pounds in less than two weeks! He should have no more than three or four ounces every two to three hours, or no more than 24 ounces per day. She said we have to "reset" his stomach by cutting him off after three ounces. As for the crying fit that will surely ensue, she said we should comfort him with pacifiers, swaddling, rocking, and whatever else (besides more food) it takes to calm him down.

So far, it's been every bit as tiring and frustrating as I imagined it would be. We're lucky if he sleeps for two solid hours at a time. I feel like I'm starving him now, but I have to have faith in the doctor and understand that this is all for his well being.

And now I have to go--Torin is stirring and likely wanting to be fed, again.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Andrew and Jennifer gave us this outfit when they came to visit us in the hospital just before Torin arrived. Torin hasn't yet warmed up to the camera.

I really wanted this Spider-man costume to work out, but it was way too large for Torin. I think he wore this costume for less than 10 minutes, and he cried for about 7 of those minutes.

Now that he has passed out, it's time for the trick-or-treaters to come by and wake him up.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Working for the weekend.

As we reach the end of the first week of me being by myself with Torin, I have to remind myself to remain positive. These past few days have been...trying. As Joey says, Torin really knows how to teach patience.

The mornings are generally okay, as Torin sleeps during that time. It's the afternoons that stress me out. I spend an average of three hours troubleshooting Torin's crying spells, and I am rarely successful in soothing and calming him. And with no support system in place, I can't take a break or shut my eyes for a few minutes. I can only hope that things will get better as he ages.

There's always next week, and with it, a chance for things to get better.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All by myself.

Today was my first day alone with Torin; Joey went back to work. I was dreading this day. It turned out to be half good and half...not so good.

We made our first outing alone, to my doctor's office, and it was a success. I'm a rookie at using our fancy stroller, but no matter what I rammed into, Torin stayed sound asleep.

It was when we got home that the meltdown commenced. Torin cried; I fed him. He cried; I fed him some more. He cried; I changed his diaper. He cried; I walked him around outside. He cried; I rocked him in the chair in the nursery. It wasn't until Joey got home that Torin finally settled down and fell asleep. I think we'll both be sleeping well tonight.

I suppose this day could have been worse, but I'm hoping for better results tomorrow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Exactly how hormonal am I? I don't even like baseball, but I cried last night when the Texas Rangers won the ALCS.

Friday, October 22, 2010

All in the name of Love.

Tonight, two of my favorite rock bands from the 1990s, Bush and Filter, will be playing a concert not too far from my house. But because of my recent change in priorities, I can't go. Am I sad about this? I'm not going to lie; yes, I am. But I have to remember why I can't go.

This change in priorities is probably the most critical adjustment I've ever had to make in my life. It's more challenging than buying a house, moving, getting married or divorced, going to school, or anything else I can think of. Yes, I am a parent now, and I need to remember to act and think like one.

To make my transition into parenthood even more difficult, Torin seems to have his days and nights reversed. He was awake from midnight till about 7:30 this morning. Joey stayed up with him until 5:00, and I took over from there. I don't know how to rectify this situation, but I need to come up with a remedy--fast. I am having a hard time handling the incessant fussing and crying; my feelings oscillate between intense frustration and crippling insecurity.

Keep your eye on the prize, keep your eye on the prize, keep your eye on the prize...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All aboard S.S. Parenthood!

Torin had his first restaurant experience yesterday: We went to lunch at Chuy's. He did very well--he slept the whole time, even through all of the loud music and hustle and bustle of the crowd. Joey and I are slowly getting our sea legs and gaining the confidence to venture out into the world with our little one.

We seem to have fallen into somewhat of a routine: We both take care of Torin during the day, and when I go to bed around 11 pm, Joey takes over. Since Joey routinely stays up until 3 or 4 am, this doesn't disrupt his schedule to much. From 4 am on, I'm on call and Joey can sleep in until 11 am or noon. True, Joey seems to be getting more sleep than I am, but when he goes back to work, that will change.

A week ago, I didn't know how or if I could ever handle being a mommy. And truth be told, I am still struggling quite a bit. But today I feel worlds better about my abilities and about not losing my entire identity to motherhood. I'm just taking it one day at a time and trying not to let the vast, open sea in front of me intimidate me too much.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Take two.

Okay, let's try this again.

I was released from the hospital yesterday. Now that I am home and have had my first real shower since Torin was born, I feel much better. I have been wondering if I am coming down with postpartum depression, given how overwhelmed and incompetent I've been feeling, but today I feel a bit more empowered and independent. Daddy is getting some much-needed rest while I relearn my diaper-changing and feeding skills.

Oh, and I am already wearing my pre-pregnancy clothing again. Although my abdomen is still flabby, I don't have any stretch marks. I don't know whether to brag about this or be embarrassed about it. I am already back down to 128 pounds, which is a few pounds lighter than I was when I first became pregnant. I don't know whether to chalk it up to genetics or major medical issues. Either way, I certainly wasn't expecting it to happen so soon. Now, if only I could get my belly button to go back in and get the linea nigra to fade away...

I'm rocking my Lady Gaga shirt today, for the first time since I bought it. I'm holding my head up a bit higher today. I'm determined to overcome my anxieties and be the best mommy I can be today.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Coming to you live from the hospital!

So it turns out that the delivery-related blood loss and the subsequent transfusion I received were not the end of my blood woes. Ever since I had been discharged from the hospital last Friday, I had been experiencing bouts of shortness of breath. Over the weekend, I chalked it up to anxiety (Torin was jaundiced and had to sleep under bili lights on his second night at home). But by Monday, I knew something wasn't right. I would find myself doubled over in discomfort.

I visited my OB on Tuesday afternoon, and he ordered a spiral CT scan of my lungs (a very uncomfortable experience in and of itself--I.V. contrast dye burns!). The scan showed pulmonary embolism--blood clots in my lungs. Therefore, my OB admitted me back into the hospital right then and there. And so I've been resting in a telemetry bed since Tuesday evening. They're monitoring my heart activity and giving me blood thinners. I officially feel like a senior citizen. But at least my life is no longer in danger.

The doctors say I might get to go home tomorrow. I certainly hope so. It has broken my heart to be away from Torin, but Joey and I feel it's best not to bring him up here to the pulmonary ward, where lethal germs abound. Joey has been dropping Torin off at my parents' house every evening this week so that he can stop by and deliver me some real food for dinner. The only other thing that is keeping me sane is the fact that Joey has been sending me plenty of pictures and videos of Torin.

I feel bad for Joey having to take care of Torin basically all on his own during these past few days. We hadn't even begun to get the hang of caring for a newborn when this crisis happened. He has been doing a phenomenal job--I don't think I would be able to do as well as he has been doing with Torin. I look forward to getting back home and starting to learn about caring for Torin again and giving Joey a much-deserved break.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Torin's here! The birth story.

Although today was Torin's original due date, it has already been a week since our baby boy got here. But because I've been living in a blur of feedings and diapers and doctor appointments, I am just now able to sit down and document how he arrived.

As arranged by my doctor, I arrived at the labor and delivery department of the hospital at 7:30 pm on Monday, October 5. He administered Cervidil, a drug to ripen my cervix. We waited for 12 hours, and in the morning, the doctor determined that the drug had not worked at all. Then he began the administration of pitocin, a drug that induces labor, via I.V. From that point forward, I was not allowed to drink or eat anything other than ice chips, and I was tethered to the bed while the monitored the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. Bedpans are the worst!

At first, the pitocin wasn't working. My cervix remained sealed shut. They kept increasing the pitocin dose, and by midday, things finally got going. However, the progress was still slower than my doctor preferred, and although he wanted to avoid doing a c-section, he wanted me to get an epidural so that I'd be prepared in the event that surgery was necessary. At 2:30 pm, as the epidural was being applied to my spine, my water broke. Then the REAL contractions began!

That evening was actually enjoyable, as I had plenty of company and plenty of pain-killing medicine in my epidural. My aunt Cherie and her husband Mike came by, as did my sister, my parents, and my good friends Andrew and Jennifer. They all stayed until around 8 or 9 pm. Then only my mother and Joey (of course) stayed on.

My cervix finally began to give way at a quick enough rate that my doctor officially ruled out the c-section. However, he had to leave for the night, and another doctor in his practice, Dr. Jones (whom I also adore), took over. As the night progressed, so did my condition. Around 2:00 am on Wednesday, my contractions were strong enough that I couldn't get enough relief out of my epidural. The doctor checked my cervix at that point and--it was time to push!

After an hour of my pushing, a perfectly healthy Torin Parker came into our world at 3:03 am, weighing 7 pounds and 12 ounces and measuring 20 inches long. I cried--out of relief, out of joy, out of wonder, out of exhaustion.

Then came the more difficult part--the afterbirth. I lost a lot of blood. A lot. Dr. Jones had to manually remove the placenta, which was far more painful than the birth of the baby himself. After what seemed like hours, she finally stitched me up and was finished. However, with my empty stomach and dire thirst, I kept vomiting all of the various pills they were trying to give me. Between bouts of vomiting, I drifted in and out of a deep sleep.

I have to say, I have never been so thirsty in my entire life. I have never known such a thirst. I was allowed a minimal number of ice chips, which did nothing to satisfy this degree of thirst. Finally, around 6 am, the nurse allowed me to have a Sprite, albeit only a couple of sips at a time. That was the best-tasting drink I have ever had.

A few hours later, I was moved to my postpartum recovery room, where Joey and I stayed until I was released, on Friday, October 8. During that time, the doctors were concerned with my low blood count and finally gave me a blood transfusion. After receiving two units of blood, my count was high enough for me to be able to go home.

Being discharged was a bittersweet ordeal for me. As the baby blues set in and my hormones took over, I found myself crying as the nurse wheeled me downstairs to our waiting car. I was so afraid to be on my own, alone with this precious, fragile new life. But there we were, suddenly out in the world as three, rather than two, people. And like so many people do every day all over the world, we set off to begin our new life as a family, with one eye on the rear-view mirror and another eye on the winding road ahead.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear Torin,

I'm about to leave for the hospital, where I will begin the process of inducing labor. You are about to make your entrance into our world. I tried to think of what to say to you here, but words can't really convey how I am feeling and what I am thinking.

I've never been more nervous to meet anyone in my entire life. All I know about you so far is that you hiccup a lot and you have very strong legs. For someone I don't know yet, you sure have taken control over me. You are totally the boss of me, and I'm not normally a person who gives up control easily. Everything I've done for the past nine months has been for you, as will everything else from your birthday forward. You've already changed me forever.

Your dad doesn't seem to be anxious at all. He's excited for you to get here, to be sure, but he's remaining calm during all of the preparation and chaos. And that's good--I need that rock, that stability.

We have daydreamed about you since January. We have discussed our hopes and dreams for you. We have wondered what you will look like and whom you will take after as far as tastes, talents, and overall personality.

Our wondering and waiting is coming to an end. We'll be holding you soon, and our lives will finally be complete. We don't know you, but we already love you more than anything in the world.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

On my last Sunday as a childless woman...

...I was productive! I cleaned a little, did all of our laundry, did some studying on the parenting gadgets we have accumulated (e.g., the "itzbeen" baby care timer and the bottle warmer), read a bit in my breastfeeding book, and put the finishing touches on the nursery. Joey assembled the furniture we bought yesterday, and he helped me clean up.

I had hoped to have a new phone that takes better pictures by now, but alas, I am still on a waiting list. Anyway, here are the low-quality pictures of Torin's room that I took today:

We're ready and waiting for our precious little boy to get here.

I talked with my mom on the phone for a little while today. She might be more nervous than I am! Of course, I am indeed nervous, but I have to keep reminding myself that thousands and thousands of women all over the world go through childbirth every day, and the odds are in my favor that everything will be fine.

This evening, before I watch all of my Sunday night television shows, I plan on making the symbolic switch from my beloved Coach purse to my diaper bag (I refuse to carry more than one bag at a time). The transition shouldn't be painful for me at all. I've had nine whole months to prepare for it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

On my last Saturday as a childless woman...

...I did lots of running around! Joey and I had lots of last-minute shopping to do today. We started out with brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe, then we headed to IKEA for some storage furniture for the nursery. After that, it was the Container Store. We then stopped for a snack at Freddy's Frozen Custard, and then we hit up Buy Buy Baby, Bed Bath & Beyond, Babies R Us, and Target before having dinner at Kostas (their spanakopita is my favorite!).

Now we're at home, where I am doing laundry and getting ready to settle in to watch Saturday Night Live (one of my favorite actors, Bryan Cranston, is the host tonight).

What a refreshingly busy and happy day...Knowing our baby is just about to be here, it definitely puts a spring in my swollen-footed step!

Friday, October 1, 2010

On my last Friday as a childless woman...

...I took it easy, but not as easy as yesterday. I did clean one of our two bathrooms today. This bathroom will be Torin's. I wanted to make sure I get it as clean as I could (achy back and shortness of breath notwithstanding) so that it's ready for him and his very first sponge bath. I guess bathing is really the only thing he'll be doing in there for quite a while, huh?

Other than that, I took a nap, played around on The Bump and other parts of the Internet, and munched on Sonic ice. I'm looking forward to dinner with Joey and probably more television this evening. We know how to play it low key around here, to be sure.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

On my last Thursday as a childless woman...

...I haven't done much, so far. I don't really plan on doing anything later, either. I just haven't felt good today. I don't feel ill; nothing hurts. I just feel...blah. I have a slight case of indigestion. I don't have any energy or motivation at all. That third-trimester nesting instinct they talk about must be a myth--I never experienced it, and I don't expect it to kick in between now and Monday.

I'll just try to kick back and enjoy tonight's television shows (Thursdays are a big TV night around here) and hope that I feel better tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week 38: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weight: 155 pounds
Symptoms: back pain, hip pain, edema (feet, ankles, and calves), frequent urination, heartburn/acid reflux, cravings, extreme fatigue, insomnia, shortness of breath, intense hunger
Contractions: intermittent Braxton Hicks, nothing extremely painful or regular
Mood: hopeful

On my last Wednesday as a childless woman, I went to get my nails done. I also got a flu shot, as my doctor suggested. When I got home, I took a nap. Tonight, Joey and I will probably have take-out for dinner and watch television. Yes, we're boring like that.

I've been trying to find a balance between taking it easy and getting things done. I figure that by the time Monday afternoon gets here, I will have gotten most of the major items crossed off my all-important to-do list. But I don't know that I'll ever be 100% ready. I mean, it's not every day that someone gets ready to meet his or her child for the first time!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

On my last Tuesday as a childless woman...

...I went to my last prenatal doctor's appointment. Joey was with me. It was determined that my cervix is still "unfavorable." In other words, it is not dilated or effaced at all. Therefore, my induction plan is changing a bit. I will now go in to the hospital on Monday, October 4, at 5:00 pm to begin receiving Cervidil, which will hopefully ripen my cervix. Then the actual induction will begin the next morning, October 5, around 7:00.

Otherwise, today and this evening will be low key. I'll take a nap in a few minutes, and then Joey and I will eat dinner and probably watch television.

Torin is in a head-down position, which is good news, but I still fear the need for c-section, because many inductions statistically end this way. I will try not to let this fear overshadow these next few days.

Monday, September 27, 2010

On my last Monday as a childless woman...

...What will I do?

I'll probably wash Torin's Halloween costume (he's going to be Spider-Man), organize the nursery a bit more, and take a nap.

When Joey gets home from work, we'll probably have a quiet dinner at home (take-out) and watch a new episode of House, M.D. Then we might strike up the ole Roku and watch some episodes of Intervention and Hoarders from Netflix.

These are my attempts to remain calm. A week from now, I'll be someone's mommy. There's so much to stress out over, but I must refuse to let it get to me. There's more to be thankful for, to be sure!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's a date!

I had my weekly doctor's visit today, complete with another successful, reactive non-stress test. Also noteworthy is the fact that my induction date has been set...

Monday, October 4!

Unless something happens in the meantime, Joey and I will most likely be parents on 10-4-10. Sounds cool, doesn't it? 10-4-10.

Mom noms: Sonic ice

I can't get enough of it! I thought this craving might be related to pica, but my lab results are normal. So...I don't have pica; I just have an odd craving.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Week 37: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weight: 151 pounds
Symptoms: insomnia, acid reflux/heartburn, frequent urination, back pain, edema (ankles, feet, and calves), extreme fatigue, some food aversions, pica
Mood: nervous, stressed out
Reading: The Nursing Mother's Companion by Kathleen Huggins

I am officially at full term today! Although I technically still have three weeks until my due date, Torin's lungs are likely ready for the outside world at this point. And since we now know I probably won't make it to my due date, all I can do is hope that he is, in fact, ready.

I don't know if it's nerves or my squished stomach or both, but I am not eating a lot these days. I can eat frequent small meals but nothing heavy. And after I eat, my body uses up every last bit of energy it has to process the food for me and Torin, so I am left feeling winded and exhausted, unable to even walk at times.

Monday, September 20, was my last day at work. Since then, I haven't gotten a great deal accomplished at home, mainly because of my extreme exhaustion. There are still so many items left on my to-do list. I am stressing about trying to complete them all. Of course, I've had a couple of offers for help, but I am so stubborn, I can seem to accept these offers. I just knew I should have taken others' advice and tried to do as much preparation as I could while was still in my blissful second trimester!

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. We're supposed to find out at that time what position Torin is in, and hopefully we'll know more about specifically when my labor will be induced. We have so many unanswered questions right now. I hope to resolve most of them tomorrow.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Like a madwoman.

That's how I've been rushing around the past few days. I went to pack my hospital bag and realized my one and only piece of luggage was in horrible shape, so Joey and I had to buy new bags today. Then I had to find some coming-home outfits for Torin, and since we don't know how big or little he will be, I ended up buying one outfit each in sizes preemie, newborn, and 0-3 months. I then began an as-of-yet fruitless search for a diaper bag I can tolerate. We already have one for Joey, but since my diaper bag will essentially replace my purse, I need to be picky about what I buy.

And then there's all of the cleaning I've been doing. I've washed Torin's toys, grooming and medical equipment, bedding, and clothing. I've stocked the diaper caddy and set up the diaper-changing station in my bedroom. I've purchased a couple of nursing bras. And yet I still have so much left to do!

At least tomorrow is (tentatively) my last day at work before I officially go on maternity leave, so hopefully my to-do list will be tended to more thoroughly in the coming days.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Catch of the day.

I got a little teary eyed in the store today when I picked up this little guy, the Fisher-Price Ocean Wonders Soothe & Glow Seahorse. He lights up and plays lullabies. I figure I'll sleep with him in my own bed until Torin gets here--that way, Torin can (hopefully) be soothed by his Mommy's smell when he cuddles with it.

I guess it's my thinking like a mommy that gets me emotional. I didn't really ever think I could be a maternal woman, but now I'm realizing there's a whole new side to me with which I have never been acquainted. And I'm guessing that I truly have no idea how much more I'll be changing over the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week 36: Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weight: 155 pounds

Symptoms: insomnia, acid reflux/heartburn, frequent urination, rib pain, back pain, edema (ankles, feet, and calves), extreme fatigue, some food aversions, pica
Mood: nervous, restless
Watching: Modern Family, season one
Reading: What to Expect and Dr. Seuss

I've pre-ordered a better phone, partly so that I can take better photos. I might not get it in time for Torin's birthday, but I can at least take comfort in knowing that my days of taking bad pictures like this one are coming to an end.

I'm still reeling from yesterday's news. I am trying to convince my boss that my last day at work should be this coming Friday. However, I have a feeling it will be more like Wednesday or Thursday of next week.

Within the past week or so, a new and bizarre pregnancy symptom has appeared: pica. Pica is a condition in which a person craves non-food items such as ice, dirt, chalk, clay, laundry detergent, or various other such substances. For me, the craving is ice and laundry detergent (the powder kind, not the liquid). I've been satiating the ice craving with trips to Sonic (they have the best ice ever), but of course, I am not indulging in laundry detergent. My doctor is having tests run on my blood work to determine whether I an anemic, which can cause pica. It's not a dangerous condition, but I do need to make sure that Torin and I are well nourished.

Now, it's time for me to get back to The To-Do List of All To-Do Lists...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I was feeling rather proud of the progress Joey and I had made as of the end of this past weekend, especially considering how we're both procrastinators extraordinaire. We got the gliding rocker and ottoman set up in the nursery and I plugged away on a bit more organization. We did some research on digital camcorders, and I pre-ordered a fabulous cell phone over which I've been drooling for months (hey, a mom-to-be needs a reliable phone with a great camera on it, right?).

It was at today's regular doctor's appointment that the proverbial bomb was dropped on me: Because of my hypertension, I will most likely be induced at week 38. Yeah, that's two weeks from now.

Not that my health or Torin's health is any clear and present danger at the moment. In fact, I did a non-stress test today that the doctor deemed "reactive," or normal. My blood pressure is fine. My weight gain is well within a healthy range. But because of my history, well, Torin's history on this planet could very well begin this month instead of next.

I rushed home today and made a giant to-do list for Joey and I tackle. There's a little person who's going to be coming out of me soon--there's lots of cleaning and organizing and shopping left to do.

So I'm panicking, right? Well, I'm also sort of saddened by this talk of induction. I think most women picture themselves going through a completely "normal," "natural" labor that begins on its own, probably in the middle of the night. They dream of waking up their significant others, whispering, "Honey, it's time." I have certainly had my share of these fantasies. But if that's not to be with us, then I need to hurry up and accept it. In the end, it's the arrival of a healthy baby that I need to focus on.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Baby kick ribs.

No, not baby back ribs. Some of Torin's appendages (I'm not sure which ones) are all up in my rib cage, causing me excruciating pain. My right front rib area, under my breast, feels bruised, if not fractured. The backside of my rib cage often hurts as well. I'll occasionally get pains in my left ribs, but the right ribs are taking the brunt of his kicks/punches.

I've tried everything I've read about online: taking Tylenol (I might as well be eating candy), raising my arms above my head (they fall asleep after a couple of minutes), sitting and standing with good posture (which always ends in me slouching after 2 minutes), and not laying on the side that hurts (when both sides hurt, I can't win). The pain is sometimes so intense that it nauseates me.

I hope that it's at least his feet that are in my ribs rather than his arms. If he's breech, it's time for him to start thinking about turning his life around, head first.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Photo: 35/35/35

Joey gave this picture some special "treatment" because of the milestone.


Weight: 150 pounds

Symptoms: insomnia, acid reflux/heartburn, frequent urination, back and rib pain, edema (ankles, feet, and calves), extreme fatigue, some food aversions, intermittent nausea
Mood: exhausted, hopeful
Reading: What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, and Arlene Eisenberg

Today I observed a special pregnancy milestone: I've reach exact 35 weeks gestation, I have exactly 35 days left to go, and I am 35 years old. It seems unreal that I've made it this far. Why, wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago that I had food aversions and related nausea?

Well, the food aversions did return a couple of weeks ago, but they're nowhere near as intense as they were in the first trimester. And since I don't have the accompanying sensitivity to smells, they're quite manageable. With this side effect and some intermittent nausea (more so in the morning, causing me to miss a couple of days of work), the third trimester does seem to mirror the first one a little bit, as a friend of mine observed.

It doesn't really seem like my baby bump is getting bigger, but it is. With each passing day, it gets a little more difficult for me to move around. I can tell Torin is getting cramped in there, as he is almost constantly kicking (or punching) me in the ribs. As uncomfortable as I get, I will continue to hope for a healthy full-term baby.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A labor-less Labor Day.

Well, labor as in childbirth, anyway. And thank goodness, right?

Joey and I have both been laboring away this holiday weekend, he cleaning house and I preparing for Torin's arrival. Joey installed the car seat base in our Explorer yesterday, and it was not nearly as big of an ordeal as we had expected. It took him only about five minutes to do it. I practiced putting the seat in the car and removing it. The truth? I'm out of shape, and I can see that it will be quite a challenge for me to lug around that car seat once it has a real live baby in it.

I've done about half of Torin's laundry so far this weekend. Based on an early inventory analysis, it looks like we might need a few more newborn-size outfits; we have plenty in 0-3 months, 3-6 months, and 6-9 months. Also, I need to decide on Torin's coming-home outfit, which is rather difficult when we don't even know how big or small he will be. I suppose I'll choose two, one in newborn size and one in 0-3 months size.

In terms of other preparations, I've got Torin's diaper bag almost fully packed. I'm missing a few essentials, such as hand sanitizer, plastic bags, and some clothes for him. I'm not too thrilled with the diaper bag I chose, as it doesn't have very many storage compartments, and the zippered compartments are rather difficult to get to and use. Rookie parenting mistake: choosing a diaper bag online and not trying out in person before registering for it.

Up next: packing my hospital bag and sterilizing binkies and bottles.

It's all so surreal. We're spending our last official holiday as a childless couple preparing not to be a childless couple. Thinking like parents. Acting like grown-ups. I wouldn't have even guessed it a year ago.

Friday, September 3, 2010

About the third TRY-mester...

I took a sick day today. I woke up feeling nauseated and gagging. I also had a bit of a fever. After a few hours' more sleep, I ended up feeling okay. Joey made banana nut muffins, so I had three of them for lunch--dee-lish.

This third trimester is weird. I can't get a good handle on it. I still enjoy being pregnant at this point, but the aches and pains and sleeplessness are getting me down. I want to relish this time of my life because I'll have a first pregnancy only this once, but these recent symptoms are tough to deal with.

I am still going to try my best not to wish away these final weeks of pregnancy. I want to appreciate every kick I feel, every daydream I have, every glance at my growing belly. Besides, on the organization and preparation front, I still have plenty to do. So here's to hoping for another six weeks of having an "inside" baby!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Week 34: Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Weight: 151 pounds

Symptoms: acid reflux/heartburn, insomnia, very frequent urination, edema (still just the ankles and calves), back and hip pain, extreme exhaustion
Mood: lethargic
Reading: What to Expect the First Year by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel, and Arlene Eisenberg

By now, the Braxton Hicks contractions (fake, practice contractions) have increased a little bit in frequency. However, they don't hurt. They just feel strange. It's like my lower abdomen and groin area tightens up for a few seconds. That's all--for now.

My sleepless nights are definitely getting the best of me. My sleep apnea, which I've had for as long as I can remember, has worsened, which is bad news for eyelids during the day. I'm lucky my boss hasn't caught me dozing off at my desk yet! I get so sleepy when I'm sitting down that I have to occasionally stand up to do my work (try typing on a keyboard while you're standing up--it's not easy!). Another temporary fix is a brief, brisk walk around the perimeter of my office suite. But nothing can adequately keep me awake and alert for long.

My routine doctor's visit went well yesterday. My measurements, urine, and blood work are all just fine. Next time, I have to have a group B strep test and a non-stress test. This means we're getting ever so close to finally meeting our son...Just six short weeks away--or fewer!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


It never occurred to me just how difficult it could be to pack a diaper bag. I've been a bundle of nerves, scouring the Internet and trying to find THE definitive list of diaper bag essentials. Luckily, most lists I've found contain many of the same items, so my tensions have been eased a bit in that regard.

But then there's the hospital bag for Mommy. What goes in it? Everyone has a different opinion: You definitely need your Boppy. No, leave the Boppy at home. I would have died without my night gown. Don't bring a gown--it'll just get ruined. Bring tons of diapers and wipes! No, the hospital will provide you with diapers and wipes.

You see where I'm going?

I bought some new soft and sporty slippers, two nursing camisoles, one pair of comfy yoga-ish pants, a light robe, and some cheap and spacious underwear last night. I know I'll pack those. But will they fit in six weeks? Let's hope so. I also bought some travel toiletries at the store today, as well as some mega-ultra-extreme maxi pads and lanolin.

And then I need to include items for Joey: his toiletries, money for snacks, some clean clothes, a pillow and some sheets for the fold-out sofa bed, the fancy camera...

I guess Mommy will be bringing her rolling carry-on luggage bag to the hospital.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Week 33: Thursday, August 26, 2010

Weight: 150 pounds

Symptoms: insomnia, acid/heartburn, back and hip pain, edema (ankles and calves), extreme exhaustion, frequent urination
Mood: exhausted, motivated
Watching: Breaking Bad, season 3
Listening to: 80s on 8 (channel 8 on XM Radio)

Despite not having had a good night's sleep in weeks, a wave of motivation hit me today. As I was sitting at my desk, trying to concentrate on my work, I felt Torin making some major changes in his position. He was on the go pretty much all afternoon. Now that I feel his hiccups in my upper abdomen rather than in my crotch, I am guessing that he has flipped from a head-down position to a breech position. That's okay, though--we still have several weeks during which he could flip back to the "correct" position. But today, I felt...weird. I began having strange lower-back pains, and I became increasingly irritable. I'm not sure whether it's my body or my imagination trying to tell me something.

Regardless of Torin's current position, I decided that I need to forget the fact that I am so astoundingly tired and forge ahead with preparations for his arrival. So, when I got home from work today, I started my first loads of baby laundry: playard mattress covers, my Boppy cover, changing pad covers, burp cloths, and a couple of swaddling blankets. Next, I'll wash some of his little clothes and socks and begin organizing his dresser. Better late than never, right?

With each passing day, I long a little bit more for my son to finally be in my arms. In a few short weeks, I'll finally get my wish.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Another Sunday Funday--without the alcohol.

So we took the car seat, stroller, and adapter to the store, and yep--we were doing it correctly. It just seems strange that the car seat is secured to the stroller by only a strap. Hmmm. Okay...

I just finished writing my thank-you notes for the gifts we received at the baby shower. I feel sort of bad because general etiquette states that you should sent out the thank-yous no more than two weeks after the event. Well, it will be two weeks and two days before I get the notes in the mail. I hope no one is thinking I'm ungrateful because he or she hasn't received a note from me yet. I am far from ungrateful! In fact, every time I'm in Torin's nursery, I am overcome with gratitude for all that's in there, most of which was given to us by very kind, thoughtful friends and family members.

Joey is grilling hamburgers this evening, and we're going to kick it in front of the television. A new episode of True Blood airs tonight, and we have Breaking Bad episodes to catch up on. This mommy-to-be can't wait to vegetate.

Friday, August 20, 2010

...And the baby contraption confusion begins.

We picked up Torin's stroller the other day, the Baby Jogger City Select:

We also bought his first car seat, the Chicco Keyfit 30, which he'll probably be able to use until he's at least 12 months old:

Now, with the appropriate adapter, the car seat is supposed to attach to the frame of the stroller. We bought the adapter, and Joey has read the (rather vague) instructions dozens of times. He cannot figure out how to secure the car seat into the stroller. He's a smart guy, so I'm blaming this one on the adapter manufacturer.

Looks like we get to take both contraptions and the adapter back to the store this weekend to see if someone can school us or get us the right part(s), if necessary.

(The whole time I was writing this post, Torin had the hiccups. I wish I were able to help him, but at the same time, it's just so darn adorable.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Week 32: Thursday, August 19, 2010

Weight: 147 pounds

Symptoms: extreme fatigue, exhaustion, edema (ankles and calves), acid reflux/heartburn, back and rib pain, insomnia
Mood: nervous, disappointed
Watching: Breaking Bad, season 2
Reading: My World by Margaret Wise Brown

The road trip to South Texas went well--better than I had expected. I managed the long hours in the car just fine. Every now and then I would nod off for a few minutes--which is new for me, considering how I've never been able to sleep in a moving car before--and then I would be refreshed. I got out of the car and stretched periodically, and I kept my right foot elevated on the dashboard to alleviate the swelling (my left foot is still in the "robo-boot").

While we were in the Victoria area, we got to pay long-overdue visits to friends and family members. And, importantly, I finally got to go to T-N-T and eat a real breakfast taco again:

You see, Dallas, this is what a breakfast taco should look like. Suck it.

Trips away from home make me realize how much I dislike Dallas, hence my disappointed mood. Other places have much more to offer, it seems, in terms of scenery, entertainment, dining, hospitality, and overall quality of life. I hope that Torin gets to experience life outside of this miserable sinkhole in North Texas.

I'm also disappointed in myself. Even though we've made progress on Torin's nursery, we still have a long way to go. There are still so many must-have items that I need to buy, such as sheets for the playard bassinet Torin will initially be sleeping in, bottles, diapers, burp cloths, and sundry other items. I am so...unorganized and scattered and unprepared. If Torin were to arrive today, we'd be screwed.

I guess the previous paragraph also explains my nervous mood as well.

For now, I'll continue to choke down water, so as to stay hydrated in the incessant triple-digit heat, and hope that this supposed "nesting instinct" kicks in sometime soon.

Friday, August 13, 2010


This evening, we're about to embark on our last road trip before our life with Torin begins. We're headed down to South Texas, specifically, the Victoria area. We're going to see some friends and Joey's family, and we're going to enjoy being away from the city one last time for a good while. I'm not particularly looking forward to the facing the humidity, but I am eager to see palm trees and eat real breakfast tacos, among other things.

I'm curious to see how I hold up during this road trip. With my aching back and my swollen feet and calves, I hope I am able to withstand being in the car for a few hours.

My doctor advised me that I cannot travel past week 32, so here we are, at the last minute, packing our stuff in the car. I hope Torin doesn't inherit our procrastination!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Week 31: Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Weight: 144 pounds
Symptoms: extreme fatigue, insomnia, frequent urination, acid reflux/heartburn, back and rib pain, edema (face, ankles, and calves)
Mood: exhausted, grateful, shocked
Watching: Breaking Bad, season 1

I'm so shocked because it seem like it was just last week that I had a super-bionic nose, extreme food aversions, and a mostly flat (but bloated) abdomen. Well, here we are seven months later. I've witnessed my body going through so many fascinating changes, and I've felt the first stirrings of a motherly instinct kick in during this time.

I'm exhausted because of that insomnia I was just talking about in my last post. I honestly don't think I've ever been this tired in my entire life. I am having a hard time coping! At work, I have to get up and walk around the entire office about once an hour just to keep myself somewhat alert.

Oddly, one food aversion has come back: chicken. I don't know why, but it's strange. And yucky feeling.

I'm grateful because, first, I've made it this far. If Torin were born today, he would most likely survive. Second, after my amazing baby shower and the well-wishes from friends and family members, I'm on cloud nine. It's like a dream when I walk in to Torin's room and look at the crib, the clothes laid out on the dresser, the swing, and the toys. I truly cannot believe this is happening!

Now, I wonder when the reality will finally set in...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I just woke up from a nap. I've been doing this a lot lately, this taking a nap when I get home from work. Because I get so little quality sleep at night, I end up spending most of my day concentrating on keeping my eyelids open. Even when I take Benadryl at bedtime to help me sleep, its effect lasts only for four hours, and then I am wide awake. I toss and turn because I can't get comfortable, I get up to pee almost every hour, and I cough and choke because of the acid reflux that has been plaguing me for the past couple of weeks.

I was taking Pepcid for my acid problems, and it had been working fine until last night. I was so restless that Joey ended up sleeping on the couch. I guess I'll try Prilosec tonight.

Of course, Torin likes to stay busy. He's definitely a mover and shaker, especially at night. He often kicks so hard that I am jolted from my sleep. That's okay, I still love him anyway.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oh, happy day!

I am extremely exhausted by now, but I just wanted to write a quick post about how awesome my shower was today. Jennifer, Stacy, Sarah H., and Sarah C. did such a fabulous job with this event--so much so that I felt my wine basket thank-you gifts were inadequate. These ladies really went above and beyond to make today special, and they definitely succeeded.

It was great to see family and friends I hadn't seen in a long time. My face hurts from smiling so much. Oh, and of course Torin got loads and loads of goodies--we barely had enough room in our Explorer for all of them! I was (and am) overwhelmed and humbled by everyone's generosity.

Later, Joey and I met up with family again, this time at Dick's Last Resort. My aunt married the guy who owns the place, so we all got hooked up with a free meal and tons of laughs.

I hope to post pictures sometime soon. In the meantime, I think I need to kick up my swollen feet and relax in front of the TV. The perfect ending to the perfect day.

On today's agenda: a baby shower!

I am so excited! I feel like a kid just before Christmas morning. I can't wait to see family and friends whom I haven't seen in a long time; some of them are even traveling to town just for this event.

Not one who likes to be the center of attention, I hope I can handle being in the spotlight today. I'm normally a wallflower, a sit-back-and-observe kind of gal. I will do my best not to say or do anything awkward, as I am the queen of social faux pas, it seems.

I am sure Jennifer, Sarah C., Sarah H., and Stacy did a fabulous job planning this shower. They're all so creative--I envy them! I bought each of them a wine basket to show my appreciation for their generosity and hard work.

The guys will all be there today, including Joey and Andrew. I wanted to make sure that they will be around because I've friends with them all for so long, and I didn't want this event to be exclusively for women. Plus, I'll need Joey's help loading the gifts into the car!

Here's to a joyous day of cake and hugs and smiles and laughs!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Photo: Week 30

The insomnia is talking its toll on me, can't you tell? Really, though, I am happier than expression on my face.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Week 30: Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Weight: 145 pounds

Symptoms: fatigue, insomnia, heartburn/acid reflux, back pain (mostly upper right ribs), edema in the face and ankles, shortness of breath
Mood: excited

I had a routine OB visit yesterday. The baby's heartbeat sounds very good, and my measurements are right on schedule. I got a second Rhogam injection (because of my negative blood type). That was about it. Uneventful, which is a good thing these days.

I've had to start taking Pepcid AC before bedtime for the past few days because of the horrible acid problems that have set in. The acid bubbling in my throat wakes me from my sleep--and grosses me out. Luckily, the medicine has taken care of that issue. What a horrid, uncomfortable feeling that is. I've never had heartburn or acid problems in my entire life, so these sensations are new to me. I hope they're only temporary.

Another new development is my having to get out of bed every 2 hours or so to go pee. Between this and the acid issue, I'm lucky to get any sleep at all lately, which means my days are spent with me concentrating on keeping my eyelids open.

But I'm still loving being a mommy-to-be, every moment of it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A not-so-august August.

We're continuing to make progress in our preparations for Torin's arrival. We finally paid off and picked up his furniture this weekend. Also, we put his stroller on layaway. I hope he loves his Baby Jogger City Select:

We chose this stroller because of its high quality and safety ratings and also because we can add another full seat to it later, should Torin be lucky enough to have a sibling.

Now that it's August, the unforgiving Texas summer heat is at its most powerful. It has drained me of my energy. I have been overtaken by sluggishness and malaise. Not good when I still have so much to do in Torin's nursery!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 29: Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weight: 146 pounds
Symptoms: insomnia, edema (face, feet, and ankles), some back pain, frequent urination, fatigue, shortness of breath, random and fleeting aches and pains all over
Mood: exhausted, stressed out
Reading: What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel (again); The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp
Listening to: The Last Resort by Trentemoller

Today's picture is blurry. A coworker was coming into the bathroom as I was snapping the photo. I had to hurry because I didn't want her to think I'm nuts for taking a picture of myself in the office bathroom!

Well, it appears that I do have at least one stress fracture in my foot. The orthopedic surgeon gave me this haute couture boot at my visit on Monday:

I was advised that it might still be eight weeks before my foot is healed. Eight weeks! I'll be close to delivering my baby by then (assuming there's not a preemie in our future). Anyhow, it already feels a bit better, now that I have proper equipment.

I have a new pregnancy symptom to add to my repertoire, as you might have noticed above: shortness of breath. This symptom just started within the past week or so. It's bothersome and uncomfortable, to say the least. It seems worse in the shower. Add to it the sweltering Texas heat and the broken foot, and I've got myself a very challenging third trimester.

Deep breaths, deep breaths...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend wrap-up.

We had a good time at the Lady Gaga concert on Friday, regardless of the fact that our seats were much worse than I had imagined. We could have taken a ceiling tile home with us as a memento. Oh, well, at least she sounded good, even if we couldn't really see her. Torin either really liked the concert or really hated it--he was active almost the entire time!

In the usual fashion, this weekend has gotten away from me. With my injured foot (for which I am seeing an orthopedic specialist tomorrow), I haven't been able to do much of anything around the house. I really need to move my clothes from the nursery closet into another closet, but my aching, swollen foot has impeded any progress I might have made in that regard.

And as if I'm not busy enough already, I have taken on a freelance editing assignment. I'll be helping an RN with her texts on narrative medicine and healing through poetry. It's interesting work, to be sure, and I look forward to including this experience on my resume and curriculum vitae. I just wonder when I am going to have time to rest and get the house ready for Torin. What have I gotten myself into?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Week 28: Thursday, July 22, 2010

Weight: 145 pounds
Symptoms: edema (ankles; a little bit in the face, Joey says), fatigue, insomnia
Mood: tired, hopeful, excited

Why am I excited? Well, first, because I'll be a mommy in less than three months. But also, Joey and I are going to see Lady Gaga in concert tomorrow night. Our seats aren't very good, but I don't care--it was so hard to get those tickets, I'm glad just to be able to go at all!

Last night, we had our last session of the childbirth preparation class. This session was all about breastfeeding. It looks like I've got my work cut out for me, what with the pumping and latching and positioning and all. Everything I've learned about breastfeeding so far has intimidated me, but I'm determined to make it work. The more challenging they tell me it is, the more I am driven to succeed. (I wonder if my son inherit my hardheadedness.)

Anyway, I'm sort of sad that our childbirth preparation classes are over. I was just starting to get into a Wednesday night groove and had been looking forward to visiting the hospital where Torin will enter the world. Oh, well. We have a one-day Lamaze class there next month, and then shortly after that, it will be time for The Big Event. I cannot wait!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Progress, finally.

Over this past weekend, we made our first big baby-related purchase (well, besides the furniture that we put a down payment on awhile back). We bought Torin's playard, the Chicco Lullaby LX Adventure:

Joey put it together in a matter of minutes (despite tons of consumer reviews saying this product is so difficult to assemble), and now it sits next to our bed, ready for Torin to lie in it. He will sleep in the bassinet portion of the playard, next to our bed, for the first several weeks, and then we will transition him to his crib. Afterward, it will serve as what was formerly called a playpen.

In other news, I had a routine doctor's visit today, with yet another of the four obstetricians in the practice. Joey and I liked this doctor, as we have all the other doctors and staff members in the practice. My foot is still hurting; I am being sent to an orthopedic specialist, whom I will see first thing next week. Otherwise, the baby and I are moving along nicely, and my measurements and test results are all good.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Week 27: Thursday, July 15, 2010

Weight: 145 pounds
Symptoms: edema (ankles only), back pain, insomnia, fatigue
Mood: anxious

Yesterday was Hump Day Bump Day, but because we had childbirth class last night, I am just now getting around to posting.

Class went well. Joey didn't seem to get as much out of it as I did. We practiced bathing, changing diapers, and swaddling. I guess Joey has already done these things (mostly with his nephew), but I have no experience in these matters at all. I need all the help I can get! Also, we learned about safety, mainly for the car and home, as well as postpartum/discharge hospital procedures. Next week, during the final session, we'll learn about breastfeeding.

These classes are informative, yes, but they also help reality settle in. They are very eye opening. I am just now beginning to understand how drastically our lives are about to change. I'm curious and intimidated, excited and shocked.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Photo: Week 26

Monday, July 12, 2010

And his name shall be...


We chose Torin because it's not very common, yet it's not too far "out there" or strange. It is a Gaelic word meaning "chief." The middle name, Parker, is a family name on my father's side. One of my more famous relatives is Quanah Parker, the last Quahada Comanche chief.

So there you have it. Now I can start buying personalized stuff--yay!

The verdict is in.

I passed my 3-hour glucose test! The nurse didn't give me any specific numbers, but I'll bet it was a close call. Perhaps I will celebrate with some ice cream this evening.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My left foot.

A few posts back, I casually mentioned that I had an injured foot. It began last weekend, while Joey and I were shopping. I was just walking along, and bang! My left foot began to hurt. Well, that pain never subsided. In fact, it got a lot worse this morning, so much so that I called my OB's office. The doctor on call, who happened to be the one we last met with this past week, advised me to head to the ER for radiographs.

As I suspected, there was no visible fracture or other abnormality on the radiographs. The ER doctor explained to me that what's probably happening is that as my body prepares for labor (yikes!), some of the cartilage in my body is going to soften. Of course, the body can't choose which cartilage softens, so my left foot is suffering. I was given an orthotic shoe and a pair of crutches and sent on my way.

I hope that my staying off of this foot will help it heal quickly. Otherwise, these next 13-14 weeks are going to be a LOT longer than I had anticipated.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A three-hour test. A three-hour test.

Today's three-hour glucose test went well (I hope). There's nothing quite like the taste of 100-g glucose solution first thing in the morning. It reminded me of a flat Sprite soda.

Throughout the morning, I was checking my blood sugar levels with Joey's meter so that I could assess whether I'd be likely to pass this test. Here were my plasma readings, with normal values in parentheses:

Fasting: 85 mg/dL (less than 95 mg/dL)
One hour: 168 mg/dL (less than 180 mg/dL)
Two hours: 155 mg/dL (less than 155 mg/dL)
Three hours: 114 mg/dL (less than 140 mg/dL)

By these numbers, I should be fine, with the exception of the two-hour reading--it's right on the borderline. Our readings can differ from the lab results by 20%, so there is some uncertainty there. I guess will find out for sure next week.

I didn't feel as bad during this test as I thought I would. I thought maybe I'd feel nauseated and sweaty, but I didn't have any problems. Joey slept most of the time, and I surfed the Internet on my laptop. It wasn't the worst medical experience of my life, to be sure.

However, afterward, we went to eat lunch at Chuy's, and before we sat down, I began feeling the effects of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. I know this feeling, as I've had pancreatic problems before. I checked my blood sugar with Joey's meter: It was down to 38 mg/dL! Just a few more points lower, and I would have passed out. Luckily, we were seated right then, and I was able to boost my sugar level with Dr Pepper and some of Joey's sugar pills. It was quite the scare! Afterward, I called the doctor's office to let them know what happened, and I asked if this episode could have harmed the baby. I was assured that all is fine.

Needless to say, I did feel bad after all of these ups and downs with my blood sugar, so I came home and napped. I still have a bit of a residual headache right now, but I think my baby and I will be just fine.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

School's in session.

Our first of three childbirth preparation classes went off without a hitch last night. As much as I've read and researched so far, I think I still stand to learn quite a bit from these sessions. Last night we learned about the signs of labor, the benefits of donating the baby's umbilical cord blood (which we will do), and what happens at the hospital upon admission.

Also, we got to take a tour of the Labor and Delivery department, where we saw some newborns in the nursery. We also saw a room that looks just like the one we'll be in after the baby arrives:

I didn't take that picture; it's from the hospital's Web site, but you get the idea. It's not your average hospital room. The sofa even turns into a small bed for Joey to sleep on (however, the cushions are stained, so we'll need to bring a bed sheet for him).

Our instructor, Allison, is a Labor and Delivery RN who obviously loves her job and gushes enthusiasm and positivity. I really hope she is on duty when I'm in labor. I need her and other nurses like her to help me through this ordeal!

In all, it was quite overwhelming to watch videos of childbirth and learn about everything that will be happening to my body just before our son arrives. I am completely filled to the gills with a cocktail of fear, hope, curiosity, and more fear. I mean, once my body recovers, will I be a good mother? Will Joey be a good dad? Will my son be able to detect my fear? These and a hundred other questions keep firing off in my head.

I could sense that many of the other couples in the room were having the same thoughts. All of us must look wide eyed and terrified to the instructor. After all, this is probably the mother of all life-changing events for couples like us (pun intended).

I guess the reality finally hit me last night: This baby has to come out at some point, and I'd better learn how to cope!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Week 26: Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Weight: 141 pounds
Symptoms: fatigue, edema (ankles only), back pain, hip pain (only when lying down for a long time)
Mood: excited, nervous, preoccupied
Reading: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Well, this is the last week of my second trimester, and what a better way to kick it off than with childbirth preparation classes! Joey and I go to the first of three sessions this evening. I can't wait to tour the labor and delivery department of the hospital, meet other expecting couples, and learn as much as I can about what I'll be experiencing in three short months.

And it's official: My doctor's office called and said I did indeed fail yesterday's glucose test. I have to go back this Friday and take the grueling three-hour test. I'm going to take the whole day off work since I know this test will make feel all sorts of yucky afterward. If I fail this test, then I have to see an endocrinologist for the treatment of gestational diabetes. Yay me.

I hope to post updates from our first childbirth class here soon!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bittersweet, without the "sweet."

At my regular monthly appointment today, I took my one-hour glucose tolerance test. According to Joey's blood glucose meter, I failed. My blood sugar got up to 200 mg/dL (the limit was 130 mg/dL)! Of course, I'll have to wait for the official word from the doctor's office, and after that, I'll have to do a more intensive, three-hour glucose test. I'm fairly certain I will fail that one as well.

What does all of this mean? It means I most likely have gestational diabetes. No more sugar or otherwise high-carb meals or snacks for me. I can't say I'm surprised. My pancreas has always been "weak." However, I don't know how I will be able to accept the fact that I can't have any more ice cream, candy, or cake for the rest of this pregnancy. How depressing. That seems cruel and unusual for a pregnant lady, doesn't it?

In other news, we got to meet with another one of the obstetricians in the practice today (they want us to get acquainted with all doctors in case my own doctor won't be available when I give birth), and she was delightful. She was very thorough and friendly. Joey and I are extremely pleased with our choice in obstetricians. Everyone at this practice is extremely helpful and kind. It's reassuring to have this sort of peace of mind about the people who will be there before, during, and after the delivery of our son.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our last independent Independence Day.

Today is the Fourth of July. Joey and I have spent most of the weekend roaming around town, shopping and dining. It's so refreshing to have three and a half days off work; my growing body needs all the time it can get to rest and rejuvenate. I don't really have the strength to do much of anything right now, especially since it seems that I have somehow injured my left foot and am coming down with a sinus infection.

I can't help but wonder how Independence Day will be next year. Will our son be old enough, at nearly nine months, to enjoy fireworks? Will we be spending the holiday outside, perhaps by a pool and/or a barbecue pit? What sort of adorable red, white, and blue outfit will I dress our son in? Will he be standing on his own by then, and getting close to taking his first steps?

The holidays will be forever different for me and Joey. I hope that as a family, our festivities are more exciting and more memorable than they've ever been. Our boy will add a much-needed depth to our celebrations, no doubt.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Week 25: Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Weight: 140 pounds
Symptoms: swollen ankles, back pain, fatigue, insomnia, night sweats
Mood: tired, happy, introspective
Reading: Goodnight, Moon (at night, for the baby); Baby 411 (yes, I'm a slow reader)
Watching: True Blood, season 3

Happy Hump Day Bump Day, once again! It's unbelievable how quickly these weeks are moving. It seems like just a couple of weeks ago, I was complaining about my ultra-sensitive nose and my extreme food aversions. My, how I've grown since then--literally.

About a week ago (maybe longer), I noticed the appearance of the linea negra, or "black line," on my abdomen. This line isn't really black; it's more like a brown or dark tan, and it's very narrow. It goes from my pubic area to all the way past my navel. It doesn't hurt or cause any inconvenience. It's just odd and exciting to see the changes my body is going through.

(A side note to my son: Sorry, I know you don't want to be reading about your mother's nether regions, but it's nature's way, you know? I just want you to know that at least some parts of me are indeed normal.)

Yesterday, I got an automated e-mail from one of the pregnancy Web sites with which I'm registered, welcoming me to my third trimester. !! I'd like to think I'm not quite there yet! Technically, I've got two more weeks left in my second trimester. I'm trying to hold on to each day as best as I can. October will be here in a flash, and I want to appreciate this pregnancy and be as prepared as possible for our bundle of joy to arrive.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rain, I don't mind.

As The Beatles once sang, "Shine, the world looks fine." It's raining right this evening, a rare summer treat here in North Texas. I am definitely a rain person. I get bored of sunshine too easily.

This surprise shower sends me into a daydream of future rain showers when my son is here. I hold him as we look out the window to watch the drops fall from the sky and the trees and the eves. I softly sing Beatles songs to him. He rests against me. Life is what it should, be at this very moment.