Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Lots to catch up on

It's been such a busy time!! On Thursday Feb. 21st, the 5th Annual Megaconferene Jr. event took place which has been keeping me hopping of late. It was Sophie's first Megaconference Jr. and though it was a long day for both of us, it was a fantastic success again this year and I'm very happy that it all went well.

Jim finished the floor in the nursery on Saturday and it looks amazing. I put the new knobs on the dresser which he re-painted and we moved the dresser up there so it is actually starting to look like a baby room now!! If you enlarge the photo you might be able to see that I've put up some photos of Jim and I as babies as well as a few little photos of Sophie in utero to try and imagine what she might look like when we meet her soon.

After finishing the floor and working around the house on Saturday, we we went to the Wilco show at the Tower theater in Upper Darby. It is the first time we've seen Wilco in our hometown (even though we've seen them live three other times - twice in Austin when we went down for the Austin City Limits Music Festival right before our wedding and once in DC at the 9:30 Club). It was a fabulous show even though Jim and I were both exhausted. And, of course it was Sophie's first Wilco show - yay! She was kicking and dancing along with mom and dad, for sure.

Then, this past weekend my mom and Roger threw an amazing surprise baby shower for us at one their favorite restaurants, Picas. It was totally and completely overwhelming and wonderful with so many people there. It felt like our wedding to me! Friends and family, guys and girls, little kids running around and helping Jim and I open gifts (so many gifts) - it was just so nice to be with everyone. And we had a special surpirse with our friends - both The Martin Family and Stacey R. - driving in from New York and Heather flying in from Ohio. What a fantastic surprise it all was!! As soon as I get some photos from the shower, I'll be posting those as well.

This is a rocking chair that was a gift from the Federwitz family and made by Dani. Isn't it beautiful?? It's just so sweet... I can already imagine sitting in it and rocking Sophia in my arms. The stool was a shower gift from Leila and Tom and the kids.

Amidst all the busyness of the past week or so, I realize I never posted about our 3rd childbirth ed class. This was supposed to be our last class but because of the ice and snow of the week before, it was our 3rd. The last class has been rescheduled to tomorrow night instead. We talked about coping mechanisms and methods of pain management. I was also surprised to learn that the Birth Center actually does have morphine and two other drugs (vistoril and stadol) if needed. They are rarely used but if the mom is in labor for a very prolonged time and needs to rest to be able to pick up with productive labor, they might administer morphine for her so she can sleep a bit. Apparently this is very rare and only done in early labor. The Vistoril and Stadol they have available to calm women in active labor who cannot use breathing and natural methods of relaxing. I hope to not need any of these but I guess it's good to know they're there if needed. We also did an excercise that is supposed to try and simulate a contraction where you hold a piece of ice in one hand and count to 60 seconds and that is the length of a typical early labor contraction. Jim did this also and it was not bad. We practiced it with and without breathing and then we did it holding ice in both hands and for longer time. I didn't find the ice excercise too hard (actually I had read about using ice before in the book Birthing from Within and so tried it at home already). I like knowing that the contractions are relatively short 60-90 seconds. When you're holding the ice that feels like a "manageable pain". I could be nuts and we will soon find out but if that's as long as they are, that is good, right? Then, we worked on having our partners practice massage for during labor. It was great! Nice back massage by Jim and he was very good at it so I'm looking forward to that as a comfort during labor for sure!!

Today we have another prenatal appt. and tomorrow night is our last childbirth education class so we'll be posting again soon with new updates.

On a final "how big is Jen now" note, yesterday when I woke up and was getting dressed for work, Jim said "you look bigger today than you did yesterday. You look like Kate." Kate is the woman from John and Kate plus 8 who had two sets of multiples. The "big like Kate" that Jim is talking about is in the opening credits to the show when they show her belly full of SEXTUPLETS!!! Here's what Yahoo Insider TV had to say about Kate when the show originally aired, "Before giving birth to her sextuplets, Kate's massive belly measured nearly five feet around, and required two ultrasound charts to show them all. Kate was even confined to bed because of the crushing weight during her pregnancy. Proud papa Jon recalls he "almost threw up" when he saw his wife's ballooning belly during her pregnancy" Come on, now, honey... I can't be THAT big, can I? I have to admit that Jim and I now watch this show sometimes and every time I see that shot of her belly, I do have to avert my eyes. However, I stand firm that it's physically impossible that I can look that big since I only have ONE baby inside there (not six). In fact, my belly does not measure five feet around - it's just 43 inches. Wait... that's 3.5 feet, isnt it? Can I possibly grow 17 inches in the next 32 days? Nahhhh...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

So big...

Ok, you know you're big when a stranger at a grocery store starts talking to you and mid-sentence looks at your belly and goes "Oh My God"...

We are 34 weeks and only 3 weeks away from Sophia being full term now!

Friday, February 15, 2008

8th Prenatal Appointment

This past Tuesday we had our 8th prenatal appointment. We had Nancy again (and we really like Nancy so that was great). She told us that my blood test last week came back perfect and my iron and red blood cells were great. She also gave us a worksheet to start thinking about our "Birthing Hopes and Dreams" (formerly called a Birth Plan) which is very exciting to start thinking about since we are now 34 weeks - only three weeks till Sophie is full term! Nancy also told us that Sophie might be at a higher risk for jaundice being born to a mom with O+ blood. She said to do some research on it and to hope for some sunny days. She took my blood pressure (100/60) and then she listened to the baby's heartbeat (140) and took my fundal height measurement which was right on track (33 inches)! Finally she palpated the baby and told us that Sophia was "in position". This actually made Jim and I a little nervous but we're very happy she is where she's supposed to be, which is apparently head down. So, I guess those hard things I'm feeling on the sides of my belly are feet and butt (or back) not her head. All in all a good appointment.

We also were supposed to have our 3rd Birthing Class this week but it was cancelled due to lousy ice and snowy weather. So, now we have two more birthing classes to go still. That's ok, plenty of time, right???

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Surprise Baby Shower

What a surprise on Friday night when Jim and I walked into our friends' house for what we thought was going to be a belated holiday work outing only to find that it was really a surprise baby shower for us!! It was so sweet and thoughtful and while there were a couple of tip-offs that it might not actually be the holiday outing, I really wasn't sure until we walked in the door and everyone yelled surprise.

Chris and Jim hosted it in their gorgeous house in the city and had a delicious spread of food and wine which folks had helped make and bring. Heather made these most beautiful shower decorations including a diaper tier cake and these beautiful flower centerpieces - all with pacifier accents of course! She also made sweet little flower favors with seeds inside each bag. It was really just so kind of everyone to come and to shower Sophie with some really beautiful and useful gifts and just all the thought that went into the planning was totally overwhelming. Thank you Heather and Chris and Jim and everyone for such a beautiful and thoughtful shower!!! We are so blessed to have friends and colleagues as kind and thoughtful as you!

Today we decided once and for all to rip up the old carpet in Sophie's room. Jim got that all ripped up and now we have decided that we will lay a new laminate floor on top of the older wooden floor. It just doesn't seem to be worth salvaging at this point. Jim also finished painting the dresser so as soon as we get and install the new floor, I can start washing Sophie's clothes with the Dreft I bought and start getting them ready for her imminent arrival (only 48 more days)!!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

2nd Childbirth Education Class

This past Tuesday night we had our 2nd of 4 childbirth education classes.

Thankfully, it was held at the Birth Center (and not the call room at the Radnor Police Station) so it was a much more relaxed night. Sarah talked about the cycle of tension and fear and how it creates for decreased oxygen, more fatigure and increased lactic acid in your muscles. When you can reamin calm and not tense, you (and the baby) get enough oxygen and less fatigue and don't have the negative effects of the fear/tension cycle which prolong labor. She emphasized the importance of learning how to relax and led us on another guided visualization, this time having us imagine white light every time we breathed in going to different parts of the body. It was very calming. After that, we talked about pain management and she had each couple demonstrate a different pose that could be used during labor. Jim and I got a pretty easy standing up pose with him hugging me from behind and his hands on my belly while I leaned into him and just rocked back and forth. It was a nice one and it's said to be particularly good because it increases Oxytocin, the hormone of love. I'm currently facinated by Oxytocin as it's the hormone that is involved in birth, sex, breastfeeding and get this - sharing a meal with others!! Isn't that amazing? Other positions for labor included one where you sat on a chair and leaned over the back and your partner rubbed your back. Another was very cool where you crossed your arms with your partner while both of you were standing and facing each other and then the woman can drop down into a squat position to use gravity to help out. After the positions, we all watched another movie and while it was overall a pretty good birth movie everyone got a little squeamish at just how long it was taking this woman for her labor. When we asked Sarah about it, she said no, that was pretty normal actually!! Yikes! Good thing we are learning relaxation techniques...

Tomorrow is 33 weeks. Only four more weeks until Sophia is full term! I can't believe it!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

32 week belly shots

Friday was 32 weeks - only 8 weeks to go till 40 weeks. Five weeks to full term!! I can't believe how close it is now that we get to meet our Sophie-girl. I'm getting pretty darn big. Yesterday the woman in the store said "You look like you're gonna have that baby any day now. When are you due?" When I told her I had 8 more weeks to go, she freaked out. Well, I guess that is what happens... Amy assures me that this is normal and even once pregnant women forget how big they once were too. I still feel incredibly lucky because I've not yet had many of the symptoms and woes that other women have (swelling, serious trouble sleeping, etc). Knock wood - I've been very very lucky and had a very easy pregnancy so far. I feel very blessed!

According to babycenter.com at 32 weeks, Sophia is about 3.75 lbs and 16.7 inches. In the next 7 weeks, she will gain a third to a half of her birth weight! Lord help me - how much bigger can I get?