Monday, June 29, 2009

Foot update

X-rays of my foot did not show a break or a mending crack in my foot (mending cracks are more visible than fresh cracks), so I probably just tore some ligament loose. Wrap it, ice it, elevate it, stay off it etc. Basically, suck it up but don't take Advil. And our wonderful insurance only charged us $10 for that information! Not bad for three pictures of a foot.

Upon asking WAY too many questions about X-rays and baby exposure, with me blanketed in lead drapes, the rest of my body only received the same amount of radiation that you receive on the average plane flight. I hadn't thought about radiation received on a plane flight, but that makes sense. Thinner protective atmosphere and whatnot. Dude also said that being in the sun for 8 hours is the equivalent of a chest x-ray.

Mediocre realizations

We had a good weekend that was very productive and pleasant all around. Last Thursday and Friday, Hubby had a series of meetings for work that went really well and he sounded very happy on the phone. It was so nice to hear him sound really happy. I started thinking about the last time I heard him happy or excited about something and it had been a while. And we've even gone on vacation recently! I've been grumpy to deal with because of slight depression and pregnancy mood swings, so home hasn't been a barrel of monkeys lately. And our pre-baby finances are a wee bit stretched which makes for a series of un-funny conversations. And we've had trouble "connecting" because of standard pregnancy issues. So, while nothing is really wrong, other than unexpected expenses piling up, nothing is really positive either, and un-smiling faces around the house are always catching.

Don't get me wrong, we're happy we're having a baby, but even the pregnancy has slid into the doldrums. Our little guy is very active, and doing great, but there hasn't been anything new and exciting on that front recently. I guess I got spoiled to having new things happen with the baby on a regular basis. Now, all systems are present and active and he's just growing bigger in there. I don't think we'll have any more "new" things happen like "now he can hear us" or "I finally felt him kick". Now our "new" things with the baby are all along the lines of "wow you're even bigger than yesterday". I don't yet hear those kinds of comments as negative, but I might be there soon. I'm a little concerned about how big I'll get by the end of this, just from a comfort point of view.

I've realized that while no part of this pregnancy has really been miserable, I don't think there's going to be a period of this pregnancy where I feel really great either. Some women say they loved being pregnant and wish they could feel that good always. Or at least that their 2nd trimester they felt like they could conquer the world. I'm now in my 3rd trimester and didn't feel particularly great during my second. I had really hoped that there would be some part in there where I felt great, but those little bursts of great have only been about 6 hours long at the most. So at least this pregnancy will be mediocre for me. Neither great nor miserable. I had really hoped for at least 4 weeks of great in there somewhere. Oh well.

Money issues: We are an average earning, lowish middle class family. We have comfortably been able to take nice vacations on a budget while whittling away at debt and saving for retirement, all at once. Like everyone with a new baby, or a baby on the way, things will be tighter once the baby arrives. I had hoped that we could take care of all of our credit card debt before the baby arrived and therefore start our new, tight budget with only house and student loan debt under our belt. Yeah right. Then we bought a new computer (not the latest greatest) to handle new baby pictures, video, and video messaging. We renewed my gym membership for 18 months in one fell swoop (got a great deal!). Hubby needed new glasses. The car needed $800 in repairs. The other car needed new brakes on the front. We were in a friend's wedding that added up.

We still don't have a video camera for the baby. We still need to sign up and pay for cord blood registry which is $2000 up front, then less than $15 per month after that. I had really wanted to replace my dishwasher (kiss that goodbye). Hubby has been invited to join this formal masonic group that would require him to buy a tux, one jacket with tails, one without. And it's the kind of group where it's a big honor to be invited and is not the kind of group you really want to turn down. My work, very generously, will give me full pay for 6 weeks after I have the baby. If I take an extra 6 weeks of unpaid leave, we will go about $2000 in debt due to my lost income. But for $2000 I could spend the first 3 months of life with my little angel. Have you kept a running tab of all that in your head? And once I return to work, and daycare begins, then we will have about $100 left over each month to put towards debt. So it's not even like we're spending a lot now, but we can pay it down easily later. We'll have that debt for quite a while.

We have no car payment now, but we will probably need a new car in the next 2 years, at least. My car is 11 and hubby's is 9. Hubby's employer has said not to expect pay raises for the next maybe 3 years. I work for an extremely stable non-profit, but giving is down nationwide and I bet I won't get a raise next year, or worse, they might reduce my hours. I need to get out my excel spreadsheets and double check this gloom and doom situation. For three years, we put 12-13% towards retirement knowing that would not maintain that once we had kids. Now, we're contributing about 8% of our money with our employers kicking in some as well. Our only real source for more cash is to reduce the 401k contribution by a bit more and hope for less rainy days later.

If we're having this kind of non-spectacular time in our finances and our marriage in general, I can't imagine the stress involved for someone with an unplanned pregnancy in a non-stable relationship! In general, we're doing OK financially and our marriage is really only being affected by my hormones. Independent of pregnancy, we have no financial issues, or marriage issues. Almost daily now, it crosses my mind to be sooooo thankful that we've gone about having a family in the correct order.

And I've got a cold, and I think I might have cracked a bone in my foot 2 weeks ago. It's been two weeks and still hurts a good bit, and not like a muscle or ligament strain. I go in an hour to have it x-rayed. I'm going to be so ticked if I wind up in a boot while pregnant. And how much does a boot cost! And I can't exercise and get endorphins easily with my bum foot.

See what I mean?! I'm just a freakin' barrel of monkeys lately!!! Maybe I need some "happy tea". A herbal tea that me and a couple friends have found makes us a little happier after drinking it. Yeah, happy tea for me!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pregnancy week 26

A lot has happened since I last wrote, but completely catching up everything would make for a really long blog. We spent the week at the beach relaxing, lounging and swimming in the sea. We also took a day trip to Fort Sumter which was very interesting. Middle of the week, I tripped on some stairs and damaged my foot a bit. The baby wasn’t hurt since the trip basically meant that I sat down hard. But my foot has swollen and hurt ever since. That’s been 8 days now and I’m about sick of my foot hurting and limping. And I can’t take Advil because of Baby boy.

We got to see Hubby’s Dad and family on our way back from the beach and had a lovely visit with them. While we were gone, we had our cat locked up in our house whereas usually she enjoys being an inside/outside cat. I expected her to meow at us for about an hour when we got home, but it was more like 2.5 hours. So she read us the riot act!

While I returned to work Monday morning, my brain seemed to arrive back at work on Tuesday morning. Not so fun for me or my co-workers. Today, Hubby’s car wouldn’t start and he needs to go out of town Thursday, so that’s been a pain today. Well, for him. I just went to work and left him at home with AAA on the way.

Our baby boy now weighs nearly 2 lbs and is probably around 14 inches long from head to heel. He is a very active little boy. This past week, seems to have very sharp elbows every couple of days. He seems to be hosting some jammin parties about the time I go to bed, but they seldom keep me up. HUBBY can feel the party from outside my tummy too. Last week, we were in a store with music playing with a loud beat and I really think Baby boy kicked me 5 times in a row with the beat of the song. Pre-natal toe tapping! We were at the beach this past week and I played in the surf a lot. I wondered what that felt like for Baby boy. If it was a pleasant, floaty ride, or if it felt like I was vigorously shaking a 2/3rds full Coke bottle. My belly button/turkey timer is nearly popped, but not quite. For the first time ever, I can turn my belly button inside out. Dat a'int right! My hands and feet have started swelling more, and I think that I will soon need to buy a larger sized costume jewelry wedding band to wear instead of my wonderful wedding set. I NEVER take my wedding set off for fear of loosing it, so this is a scary prospect for me.

I'm starting to panic a bit about my long to-do list before Baby boy arrives, but I can start tackling a good bit of that this weekend. We bought a crib and baby swing this week and the baby's room is coming together. I can probably sign up for the cord blood registry while at work this week. They offered $200 off as a Father's Day promotion, so I think I'll take advantage of that. That costs nearly $2000 to set up! But stem cell research is always progressing, and think what they could do with stem cells in 25 to 30 years when Baby boy might need it! I’m starting to get wallet attack pretty bad. The short list of expenses right now is cord blood registry, whatever car repairs need to happen today, Hubby needs new glasses, we need to buy a video camera for the baby, and a interactive computer video camera for the computer (maybe just $30!). Still that could add up to $3000 pretty quick. Right now, we have about $1000 extra per month for this kind of “un-budgeted” items which seems like a lot until you look at the price tag on this list. Because of craigslist, we paid $35 instead of $105 for a baby swing, and $175 instead of $250 for the crib. And the crib we bought is of higher quality than the $250 one we picked out for our registry.

Hubby and I are REALLY enjoying my roller coaster mood swings. (Can you hear the sarcasm there?) We have reminded each other that considering how many months of our lives we will spend together, it will be relatively few that I'm pregnant. Basically, this too will pass. Then we'll just have sleep-deprivation to deal with. And, you know, that radical change to every aspect of life thing. Nothing too big, right?!

Ok, so this was a really long blog anyway, and I left out a great many details. So, sorry for the length! But there’s only like 3 of you reading this anyway, so no big harm there.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ocean side baby shower

Just a quick update on our lovely beach vacation. My mother-in-law and her best friend threw me a beachside baby shower!!! How many people who live in land-locked states can say that! They had banners safety pinned to the beach umbrellas, games, and an impressive stack of presents! They bragged that they were the first to hit our baby registry that we made a couple weeks ago, so everything I got was exactly what we had registered for. Bibs and burp cloths and sleeper sets and cute outfits, baby wipes, baby bath, and a ton of other stuff! The men were willing participants since there was scotch available and a truly yummy cake. The weather was beautiful on our perfectly manicured stretch of lawn. Pretty and sunny, not too windy, setting sun with the crashing waves behind us. Since hubby and I were dressed for an after dinner dip in the ocean, we had an after shower dip in the ocean just before the sun went down. And with just my bikini on for the dash to the ocean, all the shower participants could really see that yes I do have a bump! Lots of other vacationers around here probably don't realize I'm pregnant when I have my swim suit cover up on.

A truly unique experience! Wonderful, wonderful day!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ahhhh the beach....

We are once again at the beach for a week with my husband's mom and step-dad and their friends. We did this vacation two years ago and really enjoyed it as a relaxing vacation. We make a clear distinction between our adventure vacations and our relaxing vacations and have never really tried to mix the two.

Our hotel room has a tiny kitchen and a balcony with a side view of the beach. We've been here for 4 hours and have already had an hour in the surf. It is so much fun and so very uncomplicated. While jumping waves, I asked my hubby if I was thinner hip to hip, or belly to back so I could figure out how to slice through the waves better. He thought about it for way too long and finally said that he didn't know which way was thinner! For my pregnancy, since everything has either swelled, grown, or just gotten fatter, I've bought a bikini that adjusts at the hips, and ties at the neck and back so that it will still fit for the whole pregnancy. This seemed like a great idea. And it is for the lake. But the ocean tends to have a bit more force and I had to re-tie my hip straps twice while in the ocean for a hour. I wonder if I'll go the whole week without flashing other swimmers. Last time, I'm not sure we ever swam with our friends, so it's not likely I'll flash family. But maybe I should buy some girl swim shorts for this week. What do you think?

So I've got long salt water sodden braided pig-tails dripping on everything and am ravenous for my dinner out with the group. We're waiting for a storm to pass so we can walk to a restaurant.

Me and hubby are such nerds. For the first time, we've brought 2 laptops on vacation and we both jumped on the wifi at the same time. He's playing his video games and I'm sitting here blogging. Welcome to the modern age!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Seweing success!

I've made myself a pretty maternity top and I've gotten 5 compliments on it today from people who didn't even know I made it myself! I thought it looked pretty, but I couldn't trust my own judgment. It's shiny, polished polyester (looks like silk) with a pale green background with pink flowers. Very happy and colorful. I'm so proud of myself!! I might have to attach pictures of it to the blog. I've already got cloth for a second top that I haven't started on yet. After our vacation next week, I'll get started on that one!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Woohoo Craigslist!

After adding up how much all the ocean of new baby paraphernalia would cost, I began my mission of trying to buy as much of that stuff on Craigslist as possible. As soon as I buy a thing on craigslist, I remove it from my gift registry at Target to avoid duplicates. Yesterday, I bought a bouncer for $17 that looks brand new, and a toy organizer shelf thingy for $25. These retail at Target for $50 and $65 respectively. So I spent $42 and got $115 worth of stuff. Am I awesome or what! And the toy organizer thing was exactly what I had registered for!

The only thing I'm hesitant to buy used is a car seat. Both our cars are pre-2002 models and therefore don't have the super-duper LATCH system. When you buy a carseat new, it comes with some extra pieces that secure the carseat to our "old style" back seat seat-belts. Chances are, these new pieces just get discarded by folks who don't need them. But my bigger concern is that the carseat has either been in a bad car wreck, has sustained some damage, or both. Inside the car is where I'm most worried about the baby's safety. OK, well, that and I worry about if he manages to roll to his tummy while sleeping on our pillow top mattress in the middle of the night. One of these fears can be solved with money and that's a price I'm willing to pay.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rough night Saturday night

I had a fairly rough night Saturday night. Saturday afternoon, I took a 2.5 hour nap in the hammock. That sounds like it would be wonderful, but for at least an hour of that, I was in that between stage of sleep and awake where you can't move or wake yourself up. My husband had a friend over and they had sat on the back porch talking for a while. When the friend fired up his truck to leave was when I noticed that I couldn't open my eyes or wave bye. When I finally did come in, my husband said the friend had been gone for about an hour. During that hour, the most mundane dream type things happened that were terrifying because I couldn't move. I spent a lot of that hour trying to evade people and situations in my dream without being able to move or make noise. I even dreamed that my husband was sitting just inside a nearby window (he was not) and I couldn't make noise to alert him. He's normally really good about being able to tell that I'm having a nightmare and wake me up, but he also has strict instructions to not wake me from a nap on the weekend. Since he could neither see me, or hear me outside, he had no idea I was in distress.

Anyway, that horrible nap ended at 7:30 which would normally mean that I wouldn't be able to go to bed at a reasonable hour. So at about 11pm, I took two benadryl to make sure I got a good night's sleep and got back on a regular schedule. The benadryl did it's major job of making me really sleepy, but a muscle in my left leg kept jumping so bad that it was keeping me awake. It was an uncontrollable spasm (not painful) and kept me from sleeping well, or at all, I'm not sure which. And because of the benadryl, I was having trouble really being awake to know what was really going on. Because of the muscle spasm, I couldn't stay really asleep. The jerking leg was keeping my husband up so he had gone to another room to sleep. And because of the horrible hammock nap earlier, I started to freak out that I was stuck in a paralytic sleep/wakefulness thing again. As a result, I was laying on my back some which is not really recommended at 6 months pregnant because it can make you short of breath. Being slightly short of breath certainly didn't help my panic and so each aspect of my distress started feeding off the next to make me really panicky. I took a bath to try to relax the muscle spasm, which involved laying on my back which made things worse. And I was exhausted and desperately wanted to go to sleep. Then it crossed my mind that I hadn't really felt the baby move in the last hour and was the baby OK in there? So now I'm even more short of breath. And it's 3:30 in the morning.

Finally I call my sister, a nurse, nearly hysterical, to find out if this shortness of breath & can't sleep & can't feel the baby thing warrants a trip to the ER. I'd rather not go to the ER on a Saturday night after the bars have closed, but I can't breathe! She determines that I am getting enough oxygen, and I'm not having a drug reaction. She also probably figured out pretty quick that I was just freaked out with nothing much wrong with me, but was sweet enough not to say that. Instead she just chatted with me for more than half an hour about random stuff which calmed me down enough to stop panicking. The muscle had nearly stopped it's spasm as well. She recommended putting on a calming chick flick and trying not to actively worry about not getting to sleep. That worked! Sisters are wonderful!

So I finally got to sleep around 4:30. So much for my sleep schedule. With a few short sentences around 8:30, I told my husband what had happened and he let me sleep until 10am. He knew I really wanted to go to church. If we get up at 10, we can just make it to church on time and still sing in the choir. The baby still wasn't moving. I felt rotten and groggy through most of church, but was glad I was there. During a hymn, I felt the baby kick and I relaxed quite a bit. A friend with two kids told me that being freaked out about nothing is normal during pregnancy. Great! That's something to look forward to! Me and hubby both agreed that I shouldn't have a Sunday nap, even though it is the "day of rest" so I could try to naturally get back on a good sleep schedule. I did the less active things on my to do list and that worked out quite well.

I finished sewing a maternity top I had been working on. My first clothing sewing project in maybe 10 years! It took a lot of hand stitching because I'm not smart enough to figure out how to make the machine stitches neater on the fancy edging. So it was a lot of sitting yet being productive. We took a long walk in the evening and I had a good night's sleep Sunday night. Whew! Finally some normal sleep!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

baby registry fun

Anyone who knows me and knows how I love my Excel spreadsheets will completely understand this post. While looking over our baby registry looking for any holes, I copied the whole thing into an Excel spreadsheet and added up how much it would cost to buy one of each thing on the registry. Now this is our first child, so we need everything. You ready? It's amazing! $2424.78!!!

That doesn't include 2 car seats, a glider rocker (already bought on craigslist!), and a good many multi-packs of outfits. God bless the folks who have already given us some stuff!

This seems really funny right now but I'm sure it won't later if we have to foot the bill for half of that ourselves.

Bring on the showers!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Baby registry fun

Ok, so this blog is poking fun at my wonderful husband, but let me just say at the beginning here, that I'm sure I'm making an equal amount of naive comments that other moms are hearing me say and snickering into their hands.

We went to Target and got the wonderfully fun baby registry gun. Here are just a few comments and exchanges that happened while we were registering.

Hubby: I already scanned a package of burp cloths.
Me: Do you really think we're only going to use 4 burp cloths in a week?

Hubby: He already has a bunch of socks!
Me: Really? How many does he already have?
Hubby: Three.

Hubby's eyes light up and he says with a smile "I'm gonna be a Daddy! Is that what all this stuff means?!" Then he grins, pats my belly and scans yet another baby blanket without being told.

Hubby: We won't need bottles if you're breastfeeding and pumping.
Me: How do you think the pumped milk gets into the child?
Hubby: Oh.
But I'm so overwhelmed by an entire aisle of baby bottle options that we register for none of them. I must do research.

Hubby: Oooh pacifiers. Let's get lots of those.

Hubby: So we should register for like 8 packages of diapers, right?

Me: Let's try to find a cute snot sucker, not this plain one.
Hubby: there is no such thing as a cute snot sucker.
Perhaps he's right about that.

Hubby: Why can't we just use towels that we already have?
Me: Because these fit the child and are cute.
Hubby: He then picks out a duck hooded towel and scans it without delay.

Hubby: Geez! We've registered for 116 items?!
We were halfway through the baby section at that point.

After we had finished going down every aisle in the baby section:
Me: OK, now we need to go through the toys and furniture.
Hubby: Toys! Do we really need toys!
Me: Yes honey, children need toys.
Hubby: But at the beginning, isn't he just going to be a pooping machine?

About here, I tell him that if his mother had an audio recording of this whole process, she would be weeping with laughter.

Looking at an infant toy with about 20 little colorful plastic rings to connect, chew on, and shake:
Hubby: We don't need those. Those are a lot like hair bands and we've got tons of those for the cat.
Me: OK, #1, hair bands could choke the child and #2, we're not giving our child cat toys to play with.

I love my wonderful husband very much, and we both have a lot of learning to do about babies in general and our little boy in particular. His comments were sweet and clueless, but mostly excited and enjoying clicking away at stuff.