Tuesday, March 25, 2014

23 weeks/Baby Shower Blues

Still growing strong! If you look closely you can see my unfortunate belly overhang!! Ha!
These days I'm thinking back to a time not so long ago when I was ambivalent about a baby shower. I miss those days. My good friend sold it to me as a small gathering of friends that would only occur after 28 weeks, which I was adamant about. When I sat down and made a list of the few close friends I would like to be there, it turned out to be about 30 people O____O...

Then, after visiting with my extended family this past week, the questions I got the most was...When is the shower? followed by Don't forget to let us know when the shower is. Le Sigh.  So now I'm thinking that EH and I can't exclude the family. So all together, including friends, this small gathering has turned into a guest list of 100 people!! 100 people for a baby shower!! Just writing it seems preposterous.

EH and I sat down last week thinking about how in the world we could swing it. I can't expect my good friend to plan a shower for 100 people. That's just ridiculous! So I looked into some cheaper alternatives.

1. Renting space from our local YMCA. We went to a friend's baby shower a few years ago that took place at their local YMCA. The food was catered by a local restaurant. People came and went and it was cool and seemed stress free.

2. Barbeque in the park. This is still my front runner. EH is not as down with this idea because he's concerned about having to rent tables and chairs. I think it's just the easiest stress free thing to do. The food can be catered by a local restaurant. It would be low key. There are some picnic tables included.

3. Rent a hall and get everything included.  This is my least favorite idea because a) I'm cheap and I don't want to spend the money, b) the food in catering halls is always bad and never what anyone wants to eat, including me and c) all the places I've looked at online are either tacky looking, have no parking or are in not so pretty areas.

I'm still mulling these things over but I gotta be honest...I'm a teensy bit upset that I'm having to even think about this at all. What it all boils down to is that I HATE asking for help. It's one of my worst character and spiritual flaws, in my opinion. I continue to believe that things will not be the way I envision them unless I do it myself. That the person I reach out to will drop the ball, the whole thing will fall apart and I'll end up looking like a fool. Partly, this is true but partly I tend to surround myself with some flaky folks who promise a lot but then don't deliver. This continues to be a growing edge for me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

22 weeks!!/I Love Mayonnaise

I'm getting bigger, as in fatter, ya'l!!

Every Tuesday I think to myself, "this is going way too fast. There's way too much to do." All the other days of the week I think to myself, " Eh, I got plenty of time!"

EH and I saw a heart specialist today to check on Whelpalina's heart. EH was born with a hole in his heart that closed up by itself but we're just doing our due diligence. I spoke to Whelpalina in the shower yesterday and told her she had to be extra nice and not squirm around too much. She was pretty much asleep during today's ultrasound so I was very proud of her :-)

The doc said her heart looked great and totally normal with a good rhythm so we are thankful for that. He advised us to get another scan at 32 weeks because the Metformin might affect the way the heart develops later on. I've decided I'm not going to worry about it because he added that whatever effects it has diminishes after birth. Did you know that babies "breathe" through their hearts before their lungs develop? Apparently, there are two extra glands in the heart, one of them is called P4, that carry blood and let out extra air...if I'm understanding it correctly. They totally close up at birth. Isn't that cool? Totally blew my mind!

I've been seeing a lot of family this week due to a death in the family. My Aunt's husband passed away and the family has been gathering everyday to watch over her, cook, clean and generally keep her company. The circumstances have made me think about death in general. I've had only three deaths in my family so far, my grandparents and a great aunt, but these all happened way before my miscarriages. I think those experiences have skewed my idea of death.

I feel like my emotions regarding this most recent death has been one big shrug. Granted, we weren't exactly close and he has been very sick for a pretty long time. Maybe it hurts less because I expected it? Maybe I'm a little desensitized in that I now KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that bad things can and do happen and people survive? In either case, it's been really good to see family members I haven't seen in years, except on Facebook. I'm taking advantage of this opportunity because I know when Whelpalina comes I'll be preoccupied for a while.


EH and my best friend are planning a baby shower for me that will include just our close friends. My mother, who I haven't really had a meaningful conversation with in a while, wants to throw a shower as well. I told her that I didn't really see the point since I was already having a shower so she has settled for just buying a boatload of clothes for the baby. My place isn't that big and I'm afraid I'll just get a bunch of stuff I can't use and that the baby will grow out of before she even wears them. The thought of having too much stuff drives me insane.

Now I'm feeling a bit guilty about not having a shower for my family members. We didn't include them in the friend shower because they truly are a multitude, on both sides, and I didn't want to saddle my best friend and husband with the cost of feeding and entertaining the whole brood. I'm at a loss as to what to do because I'm afraid feelings will be hurt. I'm totally open to suggestions and alternatives here. I wondered if I might do a little picnic in the park, with no need for gifts, in the summer so that all the family can come.

Meanwhile, I'm still eating like it's going out of style and my new craving is...mayonnaise! I know, totally gross, but the thought of a sandwich with a nice smear of mayonnaise on it makes me giddy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

21 Weeks!!/ Sleep is a Beautiful Thing

I've discovered a pattern; the bump is getting higher and maybe wider! :--)
EH and I went to our 20 week appt at the Perinatologist this morning and I left feeling disappointed and just a smidge worried. First, their fancy schmancy/hi tech ultrasound machine broke so instead of viewing Whelpalina on a large flat screen we had to settle for a portable ultrasound machine---basically a lap top. It was really hard for me to make out the parts that the tech was pointing out. It all just seemed like a gritty blur on the screen. AND....we got no pictures...whomp whomp. The GOOD news is Whelpalina is doing just fine!! She was not into the ultrasound exam at all and was laying down with her ankles crossed so the tech really had to shake me around to get her to cooperate. Sounds like my daughter already! She's 13 oz and 10 1/2 inches long....HURRAY!! I am, indeed, feeding her enough :-)

I was a bit worried when the tech pointed out two fibroids that were growing in my uterus. They're pretty small (1cm each) and they don't seem to be affecting Whelpalina at all. The whole thing made my anxiety go into overdrive. I knew there was a possibility that my fibroids could grow back during pregnancy but I was hoping I would escape the inevitable. Either way, the doctor doesn't think they'll grow much more than that and EH assures me that Whelpalina has them beat on size alone.


Since Whelpalina is doing well ,and we're feeling more confident with time, we've decided we can finally tell our extended family and good friends about the pregnancy. I ended up going with this card:

I decided that it said everything I wanted to say so I stuck with it. I'm kind of anxious about the response that we're going to get. I'm sending it out as a private message to a select group of family and friends on Facebook just to make it easier on myself but I'm already feeling anxious about the sheer number of replies I'll have to make. I may just wait a few days for them all to come in and give a standard group "Thank You" to everyone. Am I the only one who gets overwhelmed by all this?? With the exception of my good friend from Canada who I spoke to a few minutes ago, I don't want anybody to call me because I don't have the energy to talk to people about the same thing over and over again. Am I wrong??

In other news, I'm TIRED. I mean, like, all the time.  I no longer take naps during the day because it's a nice thing to do. Now, it's NECESSARY. I was getting ready to cook dinner the other day and I just fell out asleep on the couch and ended up cooking late. I just could not hang. The crazy thing is that when I do nap it's only for at most an hour and I'm still exhausted during the day but can't really sleep well at night, so I end up feeling pretty sleep-deprived. I recently went to babies r us and bought myself a Snoogle:

Hey Snoogle, what's poppin??

I'm convinced it's the best thing in the whole freakin' world!! I told EH that Snoogle and I have decided to run away together on a tropical vacation because Snoogle cuddles me all night long without me asking!.....he was very jealous. :-) Now, if I could only get my hot flashes under control....I may finally have some great sleep!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

20 Weeks!!/Nursery Nook Ideas

Cute idea when crib it in the parents room. Banner decal above the bed makes it look like crib is a part of the room. Love the gray and yellow combo.
Today, I'm back with a look at some of my ideas for the whelp's nursery nook. That's right, folks, a nook! There are a few reasons why our little one won't be getting her own space until a little later on.

(1) We just don't have the space. Living in a one bedroom apartment in the city doesn't really allow for a separate space for Whelpalina, a new name inspired by Bek C!. We do plan to move to a different apartment  in our building shortly after she's born but there's no guarantee that it'll be a two-bedroom.

(2) I'm a big proponent of some form of attachment parenting and I can't really see myself being separated from Whelpalina at nap times or overnight.

(3) Both EH and I grew up in cramped spaces and we'd like to think we turned out just fine. I didn't have my own bedroom until I was well into my teens, I shared with my 7 years younger brother, and EH lived in a one and a half bedroom apartment with three siblings. We've got a pretty large bedroom in our apartment now so she'll be hanging out with us in a corner of the room, similar to my inspiration pic.

I love a couple of things about the inspiration pic. EH and I finally got a new queen-sized bed on President's Day. We've been sleeping on a full-sized bed since we met in 2006! I say all this to say I'm pretty excited about decorating the bed. The color of the walls looks a lot like Ocean Air, the color from Benjamin Moore that's on our bedroom walls. I would love to get a headboard like the one pictured someday.

But enough about that. I've tried working with mood boards in the past and just got totally frustrated with it. I decided to give it another try because I need some kind of visual direction so I don't go all over the place with this nook.

Whelpalina's nook was inspired by the piece of homemade artwork that's in our bedroom, pictured above. It's a large piece I painted that's a mixture of blues, oranges, golds and  mango yellow. We're going to place it on the wall above her crib, along with a print I saw on Etsy ( I Am A Child of God) that I'm going to get in a sunny yellow color, another piece of homemade art I drew before I got pregnant of a happy little girl (foreshadowing?? Maybe!), a picture from our yet to be booked maternity photo shoot, and a shot from our yet to be booked newborn photography shoot.

I'm not really sure what to use as a mobile above her crib. I like the idea of colorful paper poufs placed high up in the corner of the ceiling instead of hanging right over the bed. If I did them over the crib they would probably be a lot smaller than the ones pictured. I don't know if I trust myself to be that creative so it would be great if I could get them pre-made from Etsy or some other place so all I have to do is hang them.

Speaking of cribs, we probably won't be getting one for Whelpalina until she outgrows her co-sleeper. I love the idea of the co-sleeper for late night feedings and portability. We can take it with us when we're able to leave the house and it turns into a play yard, which I love because I'd like to have something separating her from Josh, the cat. The portable co-sleeper and maybe a baby rocking seat (for naps), like this one,

 Amazon.com: Fisher-Price Deluxe Bouncer, My Little Snugabunny: Babywill be her primary residences until she outgrows them.

I'm really digging the crib in the picture. It's the Hudson 3-in-1 convertible crib from Babyletto. I love the modern two-tone color and the fact that it can convert to a toddler bed when the time comes.

Next to the crib, I've placed a good ole' staple from Ikea, the Poang Rocking Chair. I've wanted to get one of these just as extra seating for a long time but there always seems to be something more important going on so that idea has been benched multiple times. I love the Poang because it's pretty low profile and portable. I can sit with Whelpalina in our bedroom or I can bring it out into the living room and be sociable when we have guests. When it's done being used as a rocking chair/baby feeder I can see myself draping a really pretty throw over it and sitting in it for however long it lasts. I thought about getting a serious glider but when I pictured putting it in our living room it seemed way too big, clunky and generally out of place.

I've added a gold pouf footrest to my mood board because....it's a gold pouf footrest. It would be great to find something like it for a good price but in the end I have a few small, square ottoman/footrests scattered around my living room and I may just recover one of them in a nice fabric and reuse it instead.

Underneath the nook area, I'm thinking of placing a neutral, natural fiber rug. The room is already busy enough so no need to add colorful carpet. I'd love to use one of those beautiful Senegalese baskets as a hamper for the inevitable avalanche of dirty clothes Whelpalina will produce. I'm planning to use one of those ubiquitous clear Container Store containers for extra storage in the nook. It'll probably hold some clothing, diapers and extra supplies. The good news is I already have it as storage for my own clothes so no money involved there. I'm hoping to get an actual dresser for myself with real drawers before she arrives. Then, I'll be able to add a changing pad to that.

So that's it! Not much to the nook but I'm a simple girl and I like it that way.

20 Weeks!! I don't see much of a change but new stretch marks have appeared! Oh Joy!