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The waiting

October 11, 2009   

Just a week and a half ago, I was nervous and wishing the baby would arrive late, because I felt panicked and worried about, well, everything.

In the last week, I’ve come to a place of readiness and waiting (as has Seppo), which has turned to impatience to meet the little guy! Almost every night, I experience what feels like really low-intensity regular contractions about 10-20 minutes apart, which convinces me that I’m in early labor, only to have those contractions go away by morning.

We had two non-stress tests (NST) and amniotic fluid scans last week, and everything seems to be better than fine, so there is no rush to get him out of there. I know this, but this doesn’t stop my impatience! πŸ˜€ I have another regular doctor’s appointment on Tuesday and another NST on Wednesday.

I think he knows we don’t have a name yet and is waiting for us to make up our minds. Heh.

I was really stressed out during the middle to the end of this week because it turned out that the insurance company had the wrong identifying info for me. I hadn’t known I could contact our outsourced HR administrator to resolve the problem for me, so I spent several days on the phone trying to get things worked out. It was stressful because the insurance company representative stated some extremely alarming things regarding my coverage (or lack thereof, in their eyes). With Seppo’s assistance and a follow-up by our HR administrator, the issue got straightened out, but it was a stress point that I didn’t want to have to deal with. I wish the insurance company rep hadn’t been so alarming in his statements, which threw me into a panic and an embarrassing breakdown/crying jag.

I really don’t enjoy feeling/looking weak in front of others, especially strangers, especially in a business setting. I hated that it happened that way, but it is hard to discount the role of an overwhelming amount of hormones coursing through the system, as well as all the normal stresses involved with getting ready for a baby.

I’ve been napping on and off throughout the last few days. I haven’t been sleeping well because of the contractions — both the physical feelings of mild contractions and the mental awareness that they are happening — but I think I’ve also been extra tired. I’ve pretty much had the phone going straight to voicemail.

My mom is coming on Tuesday, late at night. When we booked the tickets, I assumed that we’d be home with the baby by then, and Seppo could slip out to pick her up, but now I wonder if the baby will even be born by then. Who knows, really. He’ll arrive when he wants to arrive. He’s not listening to his mom even now; can you imagine when he’s a teenager? :p

We had a cleaning crew come to do a thorough cleaning before the baby comes. They came on Saturday and did an amazing job. I can’t believe how fast and thoroughly they worked. This really helped us get the last bits of organization for the baby done, so we can focus on the big picture instead of worrying about small details. It’s such a load off my mind.

I’m still writing the thank you notes (and looking up people’s addresses) from the baby shower, but at the rate I’m going, I’ll be including pictures of the baby with the thank you notes! πŸ˜€ Well, not if the little guy refuses to come out. :p

We’ve been filling our evenings and weekends with a combination of trying to get ready for the baby and going out to do random things that will be harder to do when the baby is here, like eating out or even going to Best Buy. It’s hard not to think, “This will be our last outing before the baby, surely,” only to have the days keep passing.

Dear baby,

You might as well come out already. We have prepared a good home for you and we are ready to love you. Well, we already love you, but we want to both be able to hold you and look into your face and find out what you are thinking. I can’t speak for your dad, but I’m not too excited about the changing diapers part, but I’ll do it because I love you. πŸ˜€ We’ll show you all sorts of exciting and new things. The world has so much to offer. You’ll get to meet all sorts of wonderful people, like grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and little friends (most of them are bigger than you, but some will be coming after you). It’ll be much better than being inside. I wouldn’t lie to you!

Love,
Umma

A truly awesome side effect of pregnancy

September 4, 2009   

Lest you think that I only have gripes, let me tell you about something awesome.

I am nigh-invulnerable to getting carsick by reading in the car now. I mean, I’m not perfectly immune to it, but I only get slightly weird-feeling after a considerable length of time looking down at a map or directions or my iPhone *cough*WordAce*cough* whereas I used to get extremely nauseated within seconds of doing any of those things in the past.

And I mean all my life. Even if I wasn’t reading, if I had to sit in the back of a long vehicle (like a van, not a regular car) for a long time, I’d get sick. Same if I had to ride along on a long, twisty path, even if I sat right in the front passenger seat. I’d have to roll down the windows, close my eyes, and almost hang my head out the window (not really out the window, since it’s dangerous), panting and trying to keep from barfing.

But ever since about the middle of the pregnancy, possibly a little earlier, I’ve been able to do map navigation, check email, play games, or even do a few lines of reading while Seppo is driving us around.

It feels like a super power. πŸ˜€

Lunchtime Blogging

July 28, 2009   

Been crazy busy with work lately. Not so unusual, but it’s pretty exciting. I wish I had a couple of breathers to just sort of clean up all the messy corners and tighten up the loose bolts, but time is limited.

Sleeping badly lately too, probably far less than before getting pregnant. Hip joint and left shoulder hurts like a mofo. Hip joint pops every time I get up and hurts like a joint that shouldn’t pop.

Clearly have been tweeting too much, as I can only seem to write in fragmented sentences.

Looking forward to the new season of America’s Best Dance Crew. Woo!

The public areas of the house are starting to tidy up Β and feel nice.

Trying to figure out when to have my mom come out to help with the baby.

Found out yesterday that my sister told my dad I was pregnant. It is nice to know he knows. I’m still reluctant to talk to him, for complicated reasons. I may write him a letter. He has a job as a security guard and is working. With my grandmother’s recent passing, I don’t want to have regrets about not reaching out to him later, but it is still really hard.

It kills me that even with all the money I make, I don’t make enough to Β pay all the bills here, shore up our financial security, and still get my mom off food stamps. I breaks my heart that she’s still on food stamps. It just kills me.

I’ve finished the Sookie Stackhouse series (up to the most current one out) and started Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series. She got me with her free Kindle book, Darkfever.

Looking forward to getting away to Hawaii in August. At the same time, I think about my dad in Korea and my mom and think, gah, is this really, really ok? Couldn’t I be helping them more? I know there are things I need to do for myself too but in the long run, what will make me happier?

A blogger I read regularly is getting divorced. It saddens me more than it should, given that he’s a stranger.

I’ve been cooking Korean food the last few days. Simple Korean food (not restaurant food) really feeds more than my body; making it and eating it calms me, makes me feel rooted, and other touchy-feely bs that kinda makes me want to hurl, but there it is, undeniably making me feel good. Truly, it is comfort food.

I feel tired. I feel restless. I feel like things are changing faster than I can really take in. I don’t feel like myself, but a wimpier, weaker, whinier version of myself. This too shall pass. I’m not used to it, but it’s not like it’s a permanent state.

I recently reread my NaNoWriMo project from 2 years ago. Or has it been three years already? It wasn’t as good as I had hoped it was. Oh well. It was a learning experience, and I think I can come up with something better.

I’d like to organize my photos. I wish I had more photos as a baby.

Seppo and I talked about how amazing it was that we are where we are in life right now. I was born in my grandmom’s house, lived in houses without running water or indoor plumbing or a modern stove (cooking was done over the fire), and now I live in the Bay Area, in a great neighborhood, living a comfortable life, calling some incredible people my friends, with access to all sorts of material and cultural goods and experiences. It’s crazy. Honestly, if I thought it was just through my own hard work and not also through a series of incredibly lucky events and helpful people, I’d be the most arrogant ass on Earth.

Life, despite all the little bumps and bruises, is great. The bumps and bruises are tiny, insignificant. Our child-to-be has every chance to live to great life, and I just have to make sure he doesn’t become an entitled person, but an appreciative one. πŸ™‚

Another generically-titled update

July 1, 2009   

Let’s see… Back pain is increasing in proportion to weight gain, which is to be expected. Vision is definitely a little on the blurry side. Hands and feet experience some swelling for about an hour or two a day, depending on my position, but has not been as bad as the one time when I was visiting my best friend in May.

The biggest unexpected thing from the last two weeks is pain in my hands, near my thumb joint. I think it’s because I have been using my hands a lot more to compensate for the lack of ability to use my abdominal muscles to sit/stand up or even roll over. It’s amazing how the body works in unacknowledged concert; it’s only when you have reduced function in any one part that you can truly appreciate the well-orchestrated machine the body is. I’m sure some of the pain in the hands is also due to a bit of RSI that is exacerbated by the swelling of the extremities.

The baby himself has been very active, which is really fun. He seems to shift around a lot when I roll over. I think he’s been waking me up at around 6am every morning. Or maybe I’ve been waking him up? He also is fairly active after I have a meal. So far, it’s just an incredibly neat, stupefying experience, rather than a painful one, so I am enjoying it as much as I can. It’s amazing to see my belly jump around every so often. I hadn’t expected to see this much movement externally in the second trimester (which is coming to an end soon), but it’s really cool.

Our friends H&S have said we can borrow their infant carseat and breast pump, as they will be just transistioning off them when our little guy arrives, if he’s not too early, so this is great for us. We picked up some baby clothes, a floor gym thingy, and a Bumbo seat, the last of which we’ve lent to H&S for now, since we won’t need it for at least two or three months after the baby is born.

I have to go in to do the glucose test for gestational diabetes this week. Fun! πŸ˜€

Not much new going on

June 17, 2009   

Let’s see… the last week has been fairly uneventful. The baby is kicking fairly regularly which is really nice because it reassures me that things are progressing normally in there. Oh, last week, we had to sleep downstairs because the upstairs floors were getting repaired/refinished. I slept on the couch, which actually improved my backaches. I slept with my back flush against the seatback of the couch, which gave it good support. The slightly sagging couch seat provided good support for my side since I was instructed to sleep on my left side if possible.

I’ve had low-grade heartburn for the last week or so, which gets worse when I’m lying down, but it’s nothing compared to the first semester. Last night, I had to take a dose of antacid, but it wasn’t so bad after that.

I suppose we need to figure out a name and think of what crucial items we need. I don’t want to get too much stuff just from the excitement. πŸ™‚ It’s better to buy slowly and save the money for taking time off or for a future education fund.

Small stresses

June 4, 2009   

Just when I thought the worst physical symptoms were over, new ones began! πŸ™ Physically, I’m great when I’m sitting down — almost no pain or stress. When I lie down, my back, thighs, and neck hurt like crazy. You can imagine how this affects my sleep. I wake up every morning more tired than the morning before. When I stand, my back strains and my legs & feet swell up. The swelling has been much, much better since I’ve been able to drink water at will, so it’s not a big issue, but does kind of freak me out occasionally. I’ve woken up a couple of times at night with freakishly painful cramping in my calves, which my friend U had warned me might happen.

In some ways, these things are MUCH better than the constant nausea, vomiting, and heartburn of the first trimester. But having had a reprieve of a few easy weeks really spoiled me!

In addition to the major things, it’s been really, really depressing the number of very minor things that are harder for me to do. Putting on my shoes, bending down to pick up a book, reaching a shelf for something I need, picking up my backpack, walking up stairs, getting out of the car, walking Mobi & controlling him when he’s seen something he wants to chase, bending to pull out the drain plug from the bathtub, etc. Literally everything is harder, most of which I hadn’t expected. The biggest thing is that because so many of these things are so lame, I feel horrible about even mentioning it out loud or asking for help. And when I just keep it to myself, I get into sort of a lonely, sad state of mind. So here I am, talking about it. 😐

Mentally, I have been fretting. Am I doing enough at work? Am I doing enough at home? Am I getting enough rest? Am I eating the right foods? Should I have had that cup of tea? Why didn’t I feel the baby kick today? Did I do something to hurt the baby? Are the paint fumes bad, even though we ventilate the house very well and I only paint for short periods of time? Should I have lifted that heavy bag? Why did I eat that? Am I complaining too much? How will we find daycare? Which pediatrician should we choose? When should we start taking classes? Do I want my mom to come to visit just before giving birth or after Seppo goes back to work? How will Mobi feel when we have a baby? Will Mobi hate the baby? What will happen to the project I’m working on when I’m at home? Do we have enough money to take more time off? Should we be buying baby stuff now? How will I learn to be neater so our baby doesn’t grow up in my mess? What should we name the baby?

My brain feel so full, and I can’t get any relief from the thoughts.

Kicks and other news

May 28, 2009   

We definitely, without any room for doubt, felt kicks externally yesterday. It was pretty exciting. I had felt the so-called flutters and even some things that I was reasonably sure were kicks in the past, but yesterday was the first time I was like, “There is nothing in my body that could possibly make that sensation except for a baby!”

I also tried to use the stethoscope to find the heartbeat, but I couldn’t. I knew it would be hard this early and especially with a baby that is attached in the front (I don’t know the technical term, but that’s where the placenta is), but it was fun trying. πŸ™‚ Some people say they get paranoid when they can’t find it, but I know I can feel the baby moving around in there, so I’m not concerned. It’s just for my amusement.

In the last couple of days, it seems as though the baby has further accelerated in its growth! My stomach is ginormous. It has become uncomfortably large, in that it is big enough to make other people around me feel uncomfortable. It is the metaphorical elephant in the room, so people feel obligated to make a comment, but no one should feel like they need to talk to me about the baby. My brain is already chock-full of baby thoughts and I don’t mind a distraction about “normal” things. πŸ™‚

My coworker brought us a bundle of baby things for us. They are completely unused (long story, not mine to tell) and of an amazing quality. The haul included a stroller, a baby food steamer/blender, some toys, and a baby bouncer*.

* One might imagine a tough little baby that kicks people out of clubs, but really, it’s a bouncy thing the baby lies down on.

Roll, baby, roll

March 31, 2009   

Wow, that was exciting. Last Thursday, we went to the first of our integrated tests. As expected, they did an ultrasound, where they measured the baby in various configurations.

I’ve seen ultrasounds for my little brother, my niece, and for my friends U&C’s baby D. So I knew it could take a couple of seconds for the baby to come into the proper position for viewing. However, BAM! As soon as the technician put the ultrasound thingy to my belly, there he/she was, in perfect profile like they always show in the movies.

THEN, he/she rolled over and showed us his/her back. Then appeared to wave at us with the left hand. Obviously, these are completely involuntary, unconscious movements, but I have to say, this was the moment for me, where I was struck over the head with the reality of there being a real baby in there. The husband had this goofy/silly/dumbstruck look on his face like, “Did you see that?” I almost cried from the amazement. I definitely would have if we weren’t in there with a stranger.

Sizewise, the baby seems to be the right range. The technician said 6cm, but the fuzzy printout says 6.7cm, I think. The printouts suck to what we actually got to see when we were there… I wish I had asked her also what the uterus size was, because I was astounded that the baby could move so freely, with zero awareness on my part. It wasn’t squirming, just hanging out and rolling about freely.

I mean, I’ve known and felt pregnant for months now, but it’s really different seeing the baby in motion, while listening to the heartbeat. Now, there is a new awareness of this new being in there.

In funny news, I think my husband and I are having an ongoing disagreement on how much we want to push our kids. We had a really tense discussion the other day on what learning is, and yesterday, while we were watching How I Met Your Mother, we clearly came down on opposite sites of Lilly (wants her kindergardeners to have fun playing basketball) and Marshall’s (wants them to push to win) argument.

In pregnancy symptoms news, I will overshare and say that constipation sucks. And the nausea is definitely better than the peak I hit a couple of weeks ago, but it’s still ever-present. I have headaches and nausea. I had a 4-day streak (maybe it was longer) when I didn’t puke, but that got ruined two days ago. Boo.

I certainly don’t feel like my usual upbeat & happy self. In general, I feel like a stick-in-the-mud. I never feel up for doing anything and I’m grumpy when I hang out with people, and I always want to puke.Β 

But it’s still better than a couple of weeks ago! πŸ™‚

Lots o' Pills

March 25, 2009   

No, nothing pharmacological. I’ve been taking ginger pills since last Thursday, and vitamin b6 pills since about two days ago. Compared to my pre-pregnancy self, I still feel like utter crap, but compared to last week, I am much, much better.

We went to our regularly scheduled doctor visit on Wednesday and listened to the heartbeat for the first time. It’s pretty crazy. Even though I heard it perfectly when I accompanied my friend to her appointment, I failed to hear it right away for us. πŸ™‚ My husband did hear it fine though.

We told two more of our friends on Sunday at a small dinner gathering to celebrate the husband’s birthday. I also told another friend on Monday when I met with her for lunch.Β 

Tomorrow is the first of our integrated testing. This one will be some sort of ultrasound, where they measure the width of something behind the neck and make various other measurements to ensure that everything is going along ok. We won’t be told about their conclusions re: neck measurement or anything unless it is so severely out of wack that it’ll be obvious something is wrong. If things are not immediately noticeably wrong, they will wait until the week 16 tests to interpret tomorrow’s results, to ensure a much higher accuracy.

I’m nervous. I just hope the fetus is the expected size and everything.

I have graduated

March 12, 2009   

… from regular vomiting to projectile vomiting. I have ruined my black sweats. πŸ™