Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Monday, August 31, 2009

State of the Uterus (Update)

I took Derek and my parents with me to my ultrasound and appointment today and we got good news...

Cervix: Didn't get checked today - but we'll start checking it every week starting 9/8 (next Tuesday).

Contractions: I've been having a lot of painful Braxon Hicks contractions and back pain the last few days. Yesterday they were 10 minutes apart for about an hour but they went away after that...

Tests: Strep B came back positive so I'll have to have antibiotics during labor. Not a big deal but a hassle. The big news is that we had our ultrasound today and baby is head down!!!! No c-section here! Other great news is that she is still a she (hooray!) and she weighs about 6 lbs. 7 oz. right now.

Verdict: I'M OFF BED REST!!!!!!! ::does a little dance:: We are full term, head down, and allowed to deliver any time from here on out... yea!!!! Doctor says about half of the women he treats go off their meds and deliver in a week, the rest go full term so it's a 50/50 shot. I'm very much hoping to go sooner rather than later but either way we're almost there!!

Baby's Position: Head down, feet in my ribs.

Our next appointment is on 9/8... unless we go into labor before that!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

36 Week Update (9 Months!!)

How far along? 36 weeks/9 months
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? One itty bitty one...
Sleep: What is sleep?
Best moment this week: Getting to meet Mike and Heidi's baby boy Sawyer. He was born this morning and it was fun to see a new baby and it made me realize that there really is an end in sight for this pregnancy...
Movement: I feel a few bursts of kicks each day but she is less active than a month or so ago...
Food cravings: Butterfinger bars... mmmmm
Gender: Girl
Belly Button: Still flat... I don't think I'm going to get a pokey outy one...
Labor Signs: See my State of the Uterus Update below...
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, my ankle bones, horseback riding, and my skinny jeans.
What I am looking forward: My parents being here this weekend.
Weekly Wisdom: Nothing lasts forever... thank goodness.

Sawyer Paul Robel
7lb. 6oz.
19 inches
State of the Uterus Update...

I went to see Dr. H today... here's the deal...
Cervix: Didn't get checked today.
Contractions: Awful! I've been having several painful contractions every day for the past three or four days. They wrap around and hurt my back and it takes a lot of focus to get through them. I'm sure they're nothing compared to the real deal but for now they're painful enough for me. I've also noticed my tummy has been upset for the last two days and my intestines are, shall we say, over productive. Ugh.
Tests: Group B Strep test done today, don't know the results yet. Ultrasound on Monday.
Verdict: 5 more days of bed rest!! Almost there!
Baby's Position: Absolutely no idea.
Our next appointment is on 8/31... then we go to weekly check-ups. We're almost there!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

I should have paid attention in Home Ec.

I started off my endeavor with a quilt that we received at a baby shower, my mom's sewing machine, $20 in fabric, and not a clue as to what I was doing. I haven't sewn anything other than buttons since the 7th grade...

I dug out the instruction manual and drew up a diagram to figure out my color pattern and dimensions... look closely and you can see all the places where I had to scribble out and start over...

My fabric choices... would you have expected any different?

I learned very quickly that I lack the steady hand required to cut straight lines...

I sewed the squares into strips and then sewed the strips together... it was tedious and I had several swearing bouts when the bobbin went crazy... I only sewed the wrong pieces together once which was better than I was expected...

Just don't look too closely... there are LOTS of mistakes :)

35 Week Update...

No picture this week... I'm feeling less than attractive right now.

How far along? 35 weeks
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? I still have the one tiny stretchie but my skin has taken a serious turn for the worse. I have developed PUPPPS (see previous blog post titled "I hate pregnancy"). I have tiny, itchy bumps all over my body. I'd rather have stretch marks at this point.
Sleep: Awful. I can't get comfortable - my PUPPPS itch like hell and when I try to lie on my side it feels like I've been punched in the gut 100 times. Plus, I have to pee every 3 hours... on the bright side, at least when Addison gets here I'll be used to not getting any sleep.
Best moment this week: I had to struggle for this one and I put off writing it until just now... I just finished making my first quilt for Addison. I haven't sewn since junior high so it was a pretty big accomplishment for me. Other than that, life sucks.
Movement: She's slowing down a bit - I think it's because she's running out of room. She was head down with her back to my right side last week but now she's turned and I can't tell how she's lying... I guess we have to wait until our ultrasound.
Food cravings: Fettuccine Alfredo, steak fries, and fruit
Gender: GIRL!! (Scary side note - most people who get PUPPPS have boys... we have everything pink so Addison had better stay a girl!)
Belly Button: Still flat... I don't think I'm going to get a pokey outy one...
Labor Signs: Still having contractions but mainly just at night.
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, my ankle bones, horseback riding, and my skinny jeans.
What I am looking forward to: Being DONE with being pregnant. Let's go people.
Weekly Wisdom: When in doubt, question your doctor.
Milestones: I'm on my last week of bed rest... thank God!

I will survive.

At first I was afraid, I was petrified...

I don't know if that is an appropriate song for surviving pregnancy but it's in my brain anyway... I just got back from my friend's medical practice and we have a plan of attack for this stupid PUPPPS crap... It may or may not make a huge difference but I feel better knowing that I'm trying something and that it isn't something that could hurt the baby (icky meds).

So here is my regimen for PUPPPS...

Stress Management:
- Did acupuncture today, may go back next week for another treatment
- Got a referral for massage therapy a couple times a week
- Try and stay relaxed (haha... that's funny if you really know me but I'll give it a shot)

- Avoid any foods with yellow, red, blue, or green dyes
- Avoid foods loaded with preservatives
- Get as much vitamin K as possible - soy beans, egg yolks, kale, spinach...
- Continue trying to drink 2 liters of water in a 24 hour period... ugh.

- Take 1 tbsp. of Frutol (fish oil/pro biotic/everything else supplement) daily
- Take 1000 mg of vitamin C twice to three times daily
- Drink 3-4 cups of Dandelion Tea with Raspberry Leaf Tea daily
- Take urtica (homeopathic treatment) 3 pellets once or twice daily
- Continue taking prenatal/multivitamin daily
- Continue calcium supplements daily

- Take oatmeal baths to relieve itching
- Use oatmeal based lotions and soaps
- Use Caladry (Calamine lotion with Benedryl) on itchy spots

- Continue taking Nifidipine every 4 hours for contractions
- Take Atarax every 6 hours for itching

Side note: the tea I have to drink tastes like marijuana... don't ask me how I know, I'll plead the fifth.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I hate being pregnant.

I love my daughter and I can't wait to meet her and I would suffer anything for her. But that being said, I now hate being pregnant. I vented to the universe once on here and asked what it is that I've done to deserve such a shitty pregnancy and I didn't get any answers. Just when I thought that things really, truly couldn't not get any more awful, I get proven wrong again. PUPPS (Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy - look it up on google, tons of fun) shows up. At first I thought it was just my tummy being irritated from being stretched so ridiculously tight but then the itching started and each day I have watched it spread from my tummy, to my chest, to my arms, to my hips, and today it engulfed my thighs. I can only liken it to having 10,000 mosquito bites but I really think this is itchier than any bug bite I've ever had. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and had to see our PA because Dr. H was in a delivery. She prescribed me Atarax for the itching and some horrendous powder that is supposed to "bind" the bile that is causing this mess. After a long discussion with the pharmacist I chose not to take the meds. The powder interacts with other pills and I worry that it'll counteract my anti-contraction pills. The Atarax is heavy duty and I feel guilty taking it no matter how miserable I am. I don't want to drug my child. So I sit here, in tears, hoping that my friend (and also doctor) calls me and has some naturopathic way to help this. I'd take anything just about now - a dip in a tub of acid sounds more appealing than sitting on the couch like this for another 5 weeks.

Remind that next time I want to get pregnant to look into a surrogate. Obviously I was not meant to reproduce.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pregnancy Public Service Announcement

1. Please don't ever comment on a pregnant woman's weight - EVER. This includes not mentioning that you think she's too big/too small for however far along she is. In case you didn't read the memo - no two pregnancies are the same. So no, I don't care that you didn't show until you were 8 months pregnant and you only gets 2 1/2 pounds - OBVIOUSLY I DIDN'T GET THAT LUCKY.

2. Don't judge baby names. Someone probably thinks your name is stupid too... they just have enough respect to keep it to themselves.

3. Don't tell someone they're lucky to be on bed rest or that you're jealous because "that sounds so nice". It is not a vacation. It's miserable. You may get out of doing the things you hate (housework/yardwork/workwork) but you also get banned from doing the things you love. It's lonely and boring. Add to that the stress that you are on bed rest because something is WRONG with your pregnancy and maybe you can see how laying on the couch playing computer games is not so cool.

4. Don't touch a pregnant belly without permission unless you are the co-creator of the baby or my mom. Otherwise, ask first. I don't come up and rub your gut out of the blue, don't do it to me.

5. Please don't try to tell me how to feel about labor and birth and how it should or could go. I went to the classes, I read all the books, I know my options. You may have loved you c-section but I don't want one. Don't try to convince me otherwise or tell me how to feel about it. If you want another c-section, get pregnant. I'll take a vaginal birth please.

6. Don't get mad when pregnancy hormones get out of control (like in this blog post for instance). I can't control them but I do my best. If I cry because I want to have a ceasar wrap and hang out with my hubby instead of being confined to the couch, don't try to understand it, just go with it. My mood swings don't make sense to me, they sure as hell won't make sense to you.

7. Do nice things for pregnant people. Hold doors, pick the crap up that they are constantly dropping, rub their back/legs/feet whatever, help them get off the couch and out of the car. You have no idea how uncomfortable and difficult these things are at 30+ weeks.

8. My appetite is much like my mood swings - I don't understand it or plan it, it just happens.

9. Do something really nice in those last few weeks. Every day I survive being pregnant I feel like I deserve a medal. Sciatic nerve pain, shingles, contractions, swelling, mood swings, constipation and all the other fun stuff make the days a little long...

10. Tell pregnant people they're beautiful, even when they're not.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

34 Week Update

How far along? 34 weeks
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? One showed up this week but it's small and I'm not telling where it is :)
Sleep: Shingles is still killing my sleep, it hurts to lay on either side and I can't breath on my back. It's not good. Plus I have to pee every two hours.
Best moment this week: My baby showers... it was fun to see family and we got lots of cute stuff :)
Movement: Pretty much the same - when she gets going she really can make my tummy rock and roll...
Food cravings: I'm back to fruit... peaches, plums, and blueberries beware!
Gender: GIRL!!
Belly Button: Still flat... I don't think I'm going to get a pokey outy one...
Labor Signs: Better this week, I've had a lot fewer contractions.
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, my ankle bones, horseback riding, and my skinny jeans.
What I am looking forward to: The end of bed rest... two weeks to go!
Weekly Wisdom: You can't worry about everyone else - people's feelings are going to get hurt no matter how good your intentions are. Just move on and hope everyone can get over it.
Milestones: The nursery is done!!!!!!

State of the Uterus (Update)

I went to see Dr. H today... here's the deal...

Cervix: Didn't get checked today - assuming it's still doing what it's supposed to. Lately it has been assaulted by baby kicks and punches - not comfortable!

Contractions: The meds seem to have them under control when I'm home doing NOTHING. If I go out or am up and around the house too much they come right back.

Tests: No tests today but we listened to her heartbeat and she's happy as a clam in there. We have an ultrasound scheduled for 8/31 to check position and baby's size.

Verdict: Continued bed rest until the 1st of September... two more weeks - we can do this!

Baby's Position: We have to wait for the ultrasound to know for sure but after some serious poking and prodding today, Dr. said she *could* be head down but he couldn't tell for sure. I guess we just have to wait and see.

Our next appointment is on 8/26... then we go to weekly check-ups. We're almost there!!

I see dust. It's unacceptable.

Holy cow... yesterday I was fine and dandy with the state of things and then, last night as I was crawling into bed Derek said something along the lines of, "Just think, could only be 21 days before she gets here." and WHAM! My brain instantly starts freaking out over getting things ready... I know the logic isn't there, I have cleaned out this house twice since finding out I was pregnant but that was months ago! The problem is being on bedrest makes it damn near impossible to do anything on my own. I will find a way people... have no doubt about that. What's that superpower called when you can move stuff with your mind? I'm going to go get that and clean from the couch. Don't worry Addison - this house will be SPOTLESS for your arrival. Mommy promises.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A sense of accomplishment...

I have been working (SLAVING) this summer to write and create unit plans for this fall. My reasoning is two-fold... 1) I will have a sub for the first 12 weeks of the year and I want that person to focus on teaching, not figuring out WHAT to teach. 2) I am teaching two brand new classes this year, 7th and 8th grade Language Arts instead of 7th grade Literature and 8th grade English, so my lesson plans had to totally change. Now I have the first 1/2 (ish) of the year planned out and the materials created. I do have a brand new elective that I'm going to be teaching (Computers) and I have done absolutely nothing for that but I'll worry about that one when I get back to work.

So.... I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!

Now I can relax and read a book like I've been threatening to do allllll summer long.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Hello hormones. It's not nice to meet you.

I wasn't going to write this but after reading another stressed out preggie's blog, I have changed my mind. I am in a funk and it's been nagging at me for the last couple of weeks. I try really hard to not say anything because I feel like I'm already a drag on everyone's time and energy by being on bed rest and that complaining about yet ANOTHER thing, would be pushing my family to the limit. But here I go, bitching away...

I'm stranded on this couch for another 3 weeks. I realize that some people have been on strict bed rest for months and I should be thankful that I can leave the house and have some (tiny) semblance of a life. I am grateful but I'm still miserable. I hate feeling helpless. I can't stand that I need help to get out of the tub or off the couch or that I can't carry things into the house or clean up a mess that's driving me insane. I HATE that I have to ask someone else and rely on someone else to do those things. And to add insult to injury, my body won't let me do anything without complaining - I'm sure it's the weight gain, but just walking up stairs to the doctor's office is painful, my joints hurt all the time, and I can't catch my breath just walking to the car. I want my body back - I want to be able to pick things up, to mow the lawn, prune my roses, wash my effing car that has spray paint on it, and most of all - put away all the stuff in my living room from the baby showers. But instead, I sit on the couch, uncomfortable and knowing that I can't do any of those things and that if I want them done - I have to ask Derek to do them. How long can you be an invalid before people start to resent you? I'm scared that if I have a c-section and this dependency continues for six weeks after Addison gets here - Derek will be sick of me. :(

I feel like pregnancy has made my life everyone elses business and concern and that people think that because I can't lift or cook or clean, I must have also lost my ability to think and make decisions. Everyone seems to have an opinion on EVERY decision I try to make and it's exhausting trying to defend myself all the time. I know I should just let them say their piece and know that I'll do what's right for me but I feel a little bullied sometimes. I can't count how many people have tried to tell me how I should feel about bed rest or the possibility of having a c-section. They assume that they know my reasons for not wanting one and try to comfort me and then I have to explain that no, I'm not a chicken about surgery or recovery, it means something totally different to me. I can't count how many times I've had that conversation.

I don't know that there was a purpose to this post, I just feel like if I don't say it somewhere, I'll either break down like I did this afternoon or explode. I finally understand why people always say they're "done" being pregnant - they're exhausted, uncomfortable, and ready to start the next chapter of their lives. Months 6 and 7 were fantastic, I LOVED being pregnant and I felt great. Month 8 is proving to be much, much, much harder and I can only imagine what month 9 has in store for us... if we get that far. I'm ready for this little baby to be here so I can start being a mom and feel like I'm actually worth something again. Shit, here come the waterworks again... I know this is all hormonal and irrational so I'm going to bed and hoping that eight hours of sleep will make things look sunnier in the morning.

Family Baby Shower...

Girls Night Baby Shower in the Red Room...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The glider is done!!

No more walnut wood and denim cushions... Derek refinished the chair to make it match the toy box and dresser and mom recovered the cushions...

33 Week Update...

How far along? 33 weeks
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? None yet...
Sleep: This is a loaded question... I've been having tons of pain on my skin over my left rib cage. It turns out that I have shingles (because I needed something else to complain about) and sleeping on either side is a big no-no because of the pain. If I lay flat on my back I can't breath so I have to prop myself at a 45 degree angle and wedge my pillow under me to support my belly. I've taken Tylenol PM most nights because the pains are so bad so I have been sleeping pretty good once I actually fall asleep.
Best moment this week: Having mom here all week... it's really nice to have someone to talk to during the day. Plus, she's been working like a slave and has finished the crib bumper and in the next couple of days she'll have the glider reupholstered and the window seat cushion made. The nursery is really starting to look complete and that gives me the warm fuzzies :)
Movement: Pretty much the same - when she gets going she really can make my tummy rock and roll...
Food cravings: I got my fried chicken (HOORAY!!!!) and the last few days spinach salad with pears, red onions, and blue cheese crumbles has been the object of my obsession.
Gender: GIRL!!
Belly Button: Flat - which looks really strange!
Labor Signs: Better this week, I've had a lot fewer contractions.
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, my ankle bones, horseback riding, and my skinny jeans.
What I am looking forward to: My baby showers this weekend!!!
Weekly Wisdom: Ask for help and then let people help. I may feel guiltily while mom and Derek do dishes and wait on me, but not having contractions makes it worth it.
Milestones: We got our stroller and car seat all set up which is a huge relief to have ready to go. Also, we met our pediatrician yesterday and she was fantastic. I'm thrilled to have someone like her to help us take care of Addison.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The crib is done!!

My mom is in town this week and today she finished sewing the crib bumper. It looks so cute!!
And I made my mock-sewing debut and made a baby blanket!

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm trying to rank the pain of shingles with other pains in my life... spinal headache still takes the cake but I have to say, shingles trumps a broken nose. Still no blisters, so no medication yet. I'm hoping to fight it off before we get to the blistering stage but it does feel like it's spreading a little bit. This sucks...

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