Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Approaching 26 Weeks

This picture’s hot.

Oh, come on! I know it’s the anti-hot. But THIS what happens when you take me and blow me up to 26 weeks pregnant. Yikes! In my defense, there is a little person in that belly who measures in at nearly 2 pounds and nearly 14 inches right now.

Speaking of 26 weeks – can someone please tell me just how I arrived here with only one more week until I enter…


I’m starting to feel the pressure of the fact that I am having a baby. There is a little person in me who seems to only wake up when I sleep. Kick kick kick. All – night – long. It’s not painful (yet) but it definitely feels like something alien in your stomach with a mind of its own. The kicks are a constant reminder that he is in there and he is coming. And, he will need things – love, diapers, my lactating breasts.

I’m actually more scared about lactation than I am about labor. I am not kidding.

Realizing I feel nowhere near ready for the chaos of a child, I sent a plea for help to a friend that opened with something like this:

Hey, so...I’m having a baby in a few months and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HE WILL NEED!

Of course there are things you need, things you want and then there is everything else that people will give you that doesn’t fall into either category but they just thought it was really cute so here. All of that stuff is great. But….on a daily basis – WHAT will this kid need. I’m talking socks (do babies wear socks..?), soap (is there special soap for washing the baby…?), I could go on but I have NO idea where to go with this list!

On the list of “things Max will need”, I’ve divided it into two categories: breast vs. nonbreast. You might be wondering why breast requires its own category. There just seems to be a lot of “things” you need for lactating breasts. There is a pump, bottles to pump into, nursing pads so you don’t leak all over your clothes, special bras, special shirts so you can access that special bra so you can access your damn boob(s) already, special bras to sleep in, capes/blankets to cover your breasts during feeding.

Did you ever think you would have to accessorize your breasts like this?

To help me sort these lists out, I’ve signed up for two classes; breastfeeding and baby care. Honestly I don’t want to read another book – just tell me what I need to know. Yes, I know that women have been breastfeeding for thousands of years, but I haven’t. So, tomorrow night I’m going to stare at pictures of boobies and find out how to transition from decorative breasts to working breasts come late July.

Speaking of classes, I didn’t wrap up the birthing class this past weekend. The second day of the birthing class was a lot more about the physical effects of delivery and recovery.

All you need to really know is two things: ice packs and granny panties.

They actually make “recovery” panties that you can buy from Medela. They look like something your grandma wore on her most conservative days. Imagine mesh panties that go clear up half your stomach. And cut across perpendicular to your thighs.

I *almost* registered for them.

The instructor warned us not to bring thongs. And here I was thinking I would get my sexy back on right after cranking that baby out. Anyhow, the hospital supplies you with one pair of mesh recovery panties and giant diaper-like pads to catch the post baby-fallout (which includes a lot of “stuff”). I hear you can sport this look for up to 6 weeks. And then, your period comes back! It’s like the damn vagina just won’t give us a break. It’s always got to be yapping with something come out of it.

The best part of the class was taking a tour of the labor and delivery ward. It’s a lot more tangible when you are in the room looking at the monitors, the baby warmer and the bed.

And here is the mirror on the door that we can leave open in case you want to watch.

Mark me down as a “no” for that one.

The ward was pretty quiet but as we walked by the nursery, there lay 3 little teeny weeny eeny babies in warmers. OH MY GOSH! Better than looking at puppies. Better than looking at the little chicks in that exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry. Better than ice cream – little babies!

I could have looked at them all day. So small, new and fresh to the world. They were each swaddled tightly like tiny potato sacks with a head and mouth. It was all sunshine and cupcakes and rainbows for me until….one of them started crying like a feral cat.

I think I've seen enough.

Speaking of cats and dogs – the instructor told us that if you have a dog, the best way to introduce baby to the house is to first bring home a baby hat and let the pet sniff it. Then, have the “alpha” dog bring the baby in. Chris is definitely the alpha dog at our house and Boss is so obedient to him. In fact, every night they have a bizarre make out session on the couch where Boss licks his face clean.

And I have to remind Chris to PLEASE wash his face after that.

The class wrapped up and I felt more confident about where to go and what to expect. I’m not saying you should take a class but at least tour your chosen hospital/birthing center to have a “map” of where to go and the policies. The hospital I chose has a lot of policies about the number of visitors, when they can visit, how to get into the ward. It also made us think through how we are going to notify our family and visitors when Max makes his arrival.

Like the instructor said, you never get those first 15 minutes back – the 15 minutes where it’s just you, baby and daddy – in the room together recovering. She advised against sending mass texts, calling people right away. Everyone else waited over 9 months for the baby – they can wait a little longer. For those first 15 minutes, she said to just enjoy it amongst your new “family”.

I owe you an update. The ultrasound on Friday. I went to the perinatologist to assess if the antibody was having any ill effects on Max.

The ultrasound technician measured the fluid around Max – normal. She measured his heart rate – 143 bpm – normal. She then did a doppler of the MCA – not to be confused with the Beastie Boy – this is a measurement of the velocity of blood flow through an artery in his brain. The higher the velocity, the more likely he is anemic (leading to many problems).

Measurement were taken and then I laid there to wait for the doctor. And wait…wait some more….still waiting….at 20 minutes I had to pee (can’t I do ANYthing for 20 minutes without using a bathroom!?)….30 minutes still waiting and…finally 35 minutes later the doctor arrived.

The doctor explained that she didn’t know why my titers were rising. Because anti-Kell was so rare, they just don’t see it a lot and I got the feeling that it was a bit of the unknown. She took some more measurements. While she measured blood flow, I looked at Max. I haven’t seen him in 4 weeks and he is getting big. He’s running out of room to do full body squats but he has been kicking up a storm lately. Some days he is totally quiet while others it’s like a track meet in my stomach.

He’s running every leg of the 4 x 8 relay and beating me with the baton!

The doctor had to leave the room to get a chart that would tell her what everything meant. When she came back she said everything looked normal for his gestational age. I have to go back again in two weeks for the same procedure to continue to monitor his progress.

Someone asked for a picture of the nursery. It is a work in progress. We are missing two pieces of furniture but here is the crib:

Yes the crib is about 20 feet long and 10 feet tall. I'm telling you EVERYTHING in our world is big these days!

Chris is the luckiest baby daddy in the world because I did not once nag him to paint the nursery, when are you going to paint the nursery, you need to paint the nursery. We painted the room that color about 3 years ago and decided to stick with it, add some animals (mostly monkeys) and call it Max’s little man cave.

I’ve just about wrapped my registry up but I’ll tell you – this was harder than registering for a wedding! I almost had a meltdown while trying to decide between a bouncer, glider, vibrator (oh get your mind OUT of the gutter!) soother, jumper or exersaucer. If you have any suggestions on which of those might be the best for baby, let me know. If I had my choice, I’d choose the….


Nearly 26 weeks and I still have my sense of humor. I'd say I'm doing well, wouldn't you?


keo said...

Your post had me laughing out loud. Good stuff. It brought me back to what I was thinking shortly before delivering our first 5 years ago.

I just remember driving to the hospital to deliver our son and I did not even talk to my husband - he thought I was mad at him. Nope. I was scared out of my mind and was thinking that we had made a huge mistake and I did not want to have a baby that day. I was SO scared of breastfeeding! So scared! I mean, I was going to have to breastfeed in a few short hours and it just did not seem right. All of a sudden, I was going to have to be supplying milk from my boobs to this little guy. I did not know how I was going to do it - and I had read all the books. I was so scared about breastfeeding that I pulled a nurse aside and said something like "I don't feel anything in there. I don't think this is going to happen."

And then, it just happens and it worked and the nurses were great. I still felt strange when others were in the room while feeding. I tried for a bit to be cool and feed in front of family but I could not so I pumped like a mad woman and put it into bottles so I did not have to feed in public.

Molly said...

Well I think the picture looks totally hot! Happy healthy momma! :-) Glad to hear all the tests went well - I bet it feels like it's flying by!!!

Ange said...

I'd say you are doing very very well. The picture of you is adorable. I love it!!!
Nursing--it IS tough at first! Be prepared for that. It's awkward and messy and sometimes painful. But, It Does get better and then it's great.
SO happy little baby is doing well. I was wondering about your ultrasound.

Wes said...

NO, that picture is HAWT! Pregnant mommas are HOT, literally. Incubating raises the skin temperature. I always found this very stimulating. LOL...

You are too funny... but in this race, I can tell you, its not about the journey. It's about the finish line :-)

Stefanie said...

Elizabeth, this post had me peeing in my pants.

Best. Post. Ever!!!!

Melissa said...

You look great Liz! Um, if you put those panties on your registry, I will personally buy them for you. Hahahahaha. Who wears thongs home from the hospital? Crazy people.

Breastfeeding is really freaking me out too, I hate nipples and anything around them. Can't wait to hear if you learn a lot from your BF class.

I asked my sister about bouncy vibrating chairs vs. swings, and she recommends swings over bouncy chair, if you just get one. Both her boys liked the swing much better, it's closer to the swinging action the baby is used to before birth. That's my borrowed 2 cents.

So glad the ultrasounds was good and things are going well with you and Max!

Kristi said...

Ooooh yes, the mesh panties. Those and ice packs made out of rubber gloves were the hot ticket items on the maternity floor I worked on a long, long time ago.

Glad you and Max are both doing well! You look great. :)

Alili said...

Mesh panties are the best...for approximately 3 days and then you want to know what real underwear feels like again. I think the minute the 'stuff' was done I ran out and bought non-maternity underwear (nothing sexy by any means, just NORMAL).

Breastfeeding can be a roller coaster and I felt cheated that no one told me it could be HARD. I made small goals...like lasting 2 weeks...and then 6...etc.

YOU look fantastic and fit. I'm so glad Max is doing great!

Mary IronMatron said...

OMG, you are already so much better prepared than I ever was! Breastfeeding class = not a bad idea. It should be all natural and easy and stuff. But yep-- Class is a good idea.
You are going to LOVE those mesh panties... They are so HOT!
I didn't get my period for like a year after I gave birth... nursing does that for some!

Sherry said...

ROFLMAO! Yapping vaginas! So true, so true!

You look great, Liz... BOTH of you!

Keep up the great work. The finish line is so close now!

Jennifer Harrison said...

YOu are so cute pregnant! SOOO small even though you do NOT feel like it. If you ever want to feel "small" email me for one of my pregnancy pics.

YOU are so prepared, but of course, you are! I was just better off - doing the pregnancy as I approach everything else - let's just close our eyes and jump in! Honestly, for me, it was the best or ELSE I would have freaked out.

Breastfeeding was hard. No lie. and my boobies will never be the same...but some mothers it works like butter...really...just natural for them. Just depends on how your baby latches and how your milk supply comes in.

I think the BIGGEST surprise of the entire pregnancy and birth and early childhood was this:

the PLACENTA & the nurses massaging your uterus back down.

Sorry, someone had to say it.

meredith said...

hee hee! yapping vaginas! oh man!

i can't wait to meet little max.

Alicia Parr said...

That's not BIG. THIS is big for 26 weeks -