Friday, May 25, 2012

home again home again jiggity jig

This Monday, with my doctor's note in one hand and boarding pass in the other, I got on an airplane to Las Vegas, Nevada where I would spend four days supporting an annual conference that I've traveled to for the last five or six years.

Last night, with swollen feet and a great sense of accomplishment, I returned to Arizona.  From a business perspective, this was a very productive and fruitful trip, and thanks to my coworkers' kindness and team work, I was able to stay off my feet as much as possible and felt very supported in my current physical state.  I do love the hustle and bustle of participating in a good conference -- it's fun, a professional "thrill" if you will.

But pregnant in Vegas was vastly different than not-pregnant in Vegas.  Aside from the obvious things -- no cocktails or sushi buffets, etc. -- the experience was very different in other ways too and made me appreciate HOME so very much.   From a personal perspective... I was more ready to come home than ever before.

These are the things I was most excited to come home to...

My husband.  Words could not express how deeply I missed my husband this week.  I've done a lot of business travel in my career for seven years and counting, including a handful of trips after I met Daniel.  But this is the first time the baby bump and I (and my hormones) have packed a bag and left town for a few days without him.  And it was tough.  There were so many times I could physically FEEL that he wasn't in the room with me, a sensation I can't describe and hadn't felt before in that same way.  I needed him. Some might label me not as strong, not as independent, not as self-sustaining as I used to be -- like that's a bad thing; but I truly think that pregnancy and everything that comes with it has strengthened the bond between this wife and her husband and made me realize more than ever how much I can't do everything alone anymore, and wouldn't want to if I could.  I almost burst into tears when I finally saw him yesterday.

Our bed.  Now that getting comfortable is becoming increasingly ummm challenging, while very stylishly decorated the lumpy springy hotel bed just didn't cut it compared to our bed at home.  I used to love sleeping in hotels on account of being able to set the thermostat to any given temperature without paying the electric bill, and sleeping on a fresh bed with clean sheets every night without having to do any laundry or make the bed in the morning.  I guess things change, I was happy to make my own bed this morning after a great night's sleep.  (I did however take full advantage of the thermostat flexibility at the hotel; had it set at 67 degrees!)

Quiet.  Vegas is full of excitement and activity -- and noise.  It's never bothered me before on my various trips there, but this week my brain was overwhelmed by the constant noise.  There literally was no place I could go to have complete silence, even my hotel room.  Last night as Dan and I were driving home, we didn't even listen to music in the car.  I was so relieved to have the serenity of the complete quiet while holding my husband's hand.

Our refrigerator.  No, not the food in it (I had plenty of good food available to me 24/7 in Vegas). Our fridge is currently COVERED in graduation announcements, baby announcements, engagement/wedding save the dates, invitations, sonogram photos, nephew pictures... it's a shrine of all the good things that are happening right now in our lives and the lives of our loved ones, and a daily reminder of what a great community of people we are a part of.  This reminds me, I need to get some more magnets.

The doggies.  Every morning in Vegas I woke up sadly disappointed that I didn't have to step around two furry creatures at the foot of my bed on my way to the bathroom.  I couldn't wait to pet them and hug them and smell them and see their doggy smiles.  They were very happy to see me last night, and this morning my little canine companions haven't left my side.

Last but not least... The nursery.  Daniel sent me a teaser-text at about 1:30am a few nights ago.  It was a photo.  My amazing husband had worked all evening and into the night finishing painting the nursery and assembling the baby furniture so I'd have a surprise to come home to.  He even put up the burlap banner that cousin Mika made.  I couldn't wait to see it.  And it looks amazing.  I can really visualize our munchkin living in there, with the perfectly mint green walls and dark wood furniture, the brown carpet and soon-to-be-gray rocking chair and cradle.  Now I can't wait to populate it!  Hooray!

Monday, May 7, 2012

One Hundred Days

...I'm due in one hundred days.

Every day in my head I keep thinking... I really should make a To Do list of things we need/want to get done before the baby comes... but then my brain gets too tired or I forget.

Obviously there are some things that are directly related to the baby or the birth which we won't have to do until later, like pack the GO bag and install a car-seat and decorate the nursery and go to a La Leche League meeting.  But there are lots of little things that only I can know that I really want to get done before all our attention is diverted to the tiny human being that will be living in our house come August.  Like painting the baseboards and doors in the basement.  Touch up the paint in the upstairs.  Finish painting the garage door.  OK not all the things in my brain have to do with paint...  Have a garage sale.  Back up... go through all our stuff and figure out a bunch of things to sell at a garage sale.  Take a first aid class.  File all our medical and taxes paperwork.  Back up... go through our office paperwork THEN file it all.  Look at our health insurance plan options and figure out if we want to switch once the baby comes.  Get our cars detailed.  Get my teeth cleaned and eyes checked.  Sell some stuff on eBay or Craigslist.  Learn how to use our camera, thoroughly.  Be more diligent about my Bradley exercises.  Purchase and send wedding gifts for all the friends and family members we have getting married this year (we've got at least eight weddings between now and the end of the year, isn't that incredible?) and stay on top of RSVP's and trip planning.  Organize my practice plans and other stuff for next volleyball season.  Identify wedding pictures for our wedding album before it's too late.  Schedule our meeting with the estate planner that's going to help us with power of attorney and wills and other grownup stuff you need to do before you have a kid.  Go through all the stuff that's been carted over here from my old room at my parents' house.  I know Dan has a list too, in his head, of things like organizing the garage.  And a bunch of things I can't even think of right now.  And a whole 'nother list, twice as long and ten times as overwhelming, in the career/professional category. All the stuff I need to do at work to prepare for maternity leave...

My brain hurts.  I want to cry.  All this stuff is so overwhelming and time is flying by.  I hope this is a normal feeling.  I hope that the exhaustion and overwhelmed-ness passes and at some point I'll get a surge of energy and motivation to Go Do - with Jonsi-esque enthusiasm.  Some women have told me that one day it's like a light switch turns on and you start nesting and get all Task Ninja on things.  I hope they are right because right now I know as soon as I hit 'post' and close my computer, I'm going to forget I even wrote this until the next time something occurs to me and my brain starts spinning again...

Friday, May 4, 2012

Hunger Gains and Reality Checks

Wednesday it hit me that I was hungry.
Not one instance of hunger -- all day hunger.  Hungry in the morning.  Hungry after I ate breakfast.  Hungry an hour after I ate the snack that I ate after breakfast.  Hungry for lunch.  Hungry for second lunch.  You get the point.  I can no longer get away with my usual eat-when-it's-convenient modus operandi.  The baby wants food.  Pretty much all the time.

My daily nutrition checklist, based on Dr. Brewer's nutrition guide for pregnant mamas, looks something like this:

4 servings of milk products
2 eggs (yes, two eggs, every day)
2 proteins (separate from the eggs)
2 green veggies
2 other veggies
4 servings of whole grains
1 vitamin C source
3 good fats
1 fruit
Total Protein: 90-100mg (yes that's a lot of protein)
(oh and no supplements.)

Notice it says nothing about calories?  This is the first time in my life I have ever kept a food diary and not counted calories or fat grams.  Just protein.  It's glorious.

Rock Hard Stomach

It hit me about a week ago that my waist was gone.  In the beginning stages of "showing," I had my bigger-than-ever boobs, my narrower-than-ever waist, and my cute baby bump beneath.  Narrow waist no more, now there's just swollen boobs and a belly.  A big belly.  It kind of mesmerizes me when I look at it in the mirror -- almost like it must be a plastic attachment I'm wearing like the ones in the movies.   This is without a doubt the tightest my stomach has ever been, rock hard like a soccer ball wrapped in two pillowcases.  If only my stomach were this tight when it was flat...

Things Are Getting Real

Yesterday I woke up and it occurred to me that I hadn't really felt the baby move in the last twenty-four hours or so, that I could remember, which disturbed me.  Was he/she just having a mellow day?  Sleeping a lot? Or was something wrong?   I was a little freaked out that the chiropractic adjustment I got on Tuesday (my back has been pretty bad me these last couple of weeks) might have affected the baby in some bad way.  Or that the lung-turned-sinus infection that I've been harboring for almost three weeks now had somehow permeated my uterus.  Or that a stressful week of work might have caused rising and falling blood pressure that could have had something to do with it.  The places your brain goes when you're concerned about your child.   And on this particular day, I was especially conscious of my growing child's mortality and the fragility of his/her life because at the very beginning of this week, our family experienced one of the scariest and most earth-shattering events of my life -- a near-drowning of my two-year-old nephew.  (you can read the full story on my sister-in-law's blog).

When this happens, chances are the baby is just resting but it's good to be aware if the baby stops moving just in case something is wrong.  I did just what I read that you're supposed to do if you aren't feeling 'the usual' movement in your womb:
1. Don't panic.
2. Give your baby a sugar rush by chugging some fruit juice.
3. Lay down on your left side to chill and wait to see if movement increases.
My baby didn't respond right away to the sugar rush but I decided to pray and relax and give the rest of the day a chance to reveal anything that needed revealing, rather than panic and go to my doctor or something.  Later in the day while I was at work, baby woke up and I felt much better.   Today he/she's been back to normal.

All this to say, it hit me this week that the baby is real and the baby is coming soon.
For some reason in my head I was thinking I had four months to go.

Nope, three months to go until we will be saying 'any day now'.

Where did the time go?

We bought paint for the nursery.
I started having the dogs listen to YouTube videos of newborn babies to desensitize them.

It won't be set in stone until he/she is born, but I think we might have named the baby too.

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