26w0d She had dumps like a truck truck truck

Your baby’s the size of a rutabaga!

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14 1/2 inches long with his legs extended. He’s sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing his eyes, and perhaps even sucking his fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby’s brain is very active now. While his lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if he were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don’t bother him, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp up now and then. They’re carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs.

Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief. 

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

This week’s baby description of the 27th week of pregnancy (above) rings particularly true for me.  (Not the rutabaga part – before today, I thought rutabaga referred to an exotic tropical island in the Caribbean.  What is a rutabaga?  Is it a vegetable?  A fruit?  An onion?  A paintball?)

The past couple of weeks have definitely brought new ACHES IN MY BACK and CRAMPS IN MY LEGS.

These days, I can’t get out of bed, sit on the couch, walk to the bathroom, take Henry for a stroll – basically any and all activities involving movement – without feeling a constant, dull ache in my lower back and a cramping, vise-like pressure in my lower calves.    It sucks.

I’ve started doing some prenatal yoga and making J rub out the worst of the kinks each night, both of which bring temporary relief, but an hour later I’d start feeling the aches and pains again.  I feel like I’m freaking a hundred and 31-years-old.

Unrelated, or possibly related, I’m also starting to feel a weird pressure in my lady parts, different from what it feels like when  you have to pee…more like the baby is trying to push all my insides out.  I picture Baby Z doing the YMCA in my belly, but rather than saying that it’s fun to stay at the YMCA, he’s screaming, “I HATE IT IN HERE.  GIMMEE MOAR ROOM MOM.”

It’s just awesome.

All this in addition to the general discomfort of being the size of a dump truck, and I wish I can put on an e-collar and join my handicapped dog in his crate with a bucket of Haagen Dazs until I’m ready to face the world again.

TGIF.

(Buddy, hang in there.  This is how Mommy feels too.)

25w5d Baby Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is coming up, and as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, it’s quite possible that Baby Z will be in a costume for 364 days out of the year and I’ll dress him up as  a “normal baby” on Halloween.   Har har.

I’ve been collecting some baby costume ideas.  Here are some of my favorites:

1. Baby Wilson Volleyball

2. Baby Lobster in a Pot.  Yum!

3. Baby Gnome (I’d carry Baby Z around and take Polaroid photos) 

4. Baby Superhero.  Aww.

5. Baby Gandhi.  Haha.

6. Are you ready for this one?  Baby Honey Boo Boo!  Saw this on Ellen and it’s genius.  

 

7. And my personal favorite, and I’m a little sad that it may possibly be only relevant this (election) year…BINDERS FULL OF BABIES.   Someone please dress your kid up and send pics to me, so that I may live vicariously through your child.

 

 

 

25w4d Crib and Glider arrived!

Our crib and glider arrived last week, and my wonderful husband indulged my crazy nesting compulsions (aka couldn’t stand my nagging any longer) and assembled the crib this weekend, even though we’re still three months out from meeting Baby Z.

We wanted a simple, modern-looking crib with clean lines that didn’t cost a fortune.  After a ton of research, we finally settled on the Babyletto Madison 3-in-1 Convertible Crib sold at Target for $249 (although the Ikea Hensvik came in a close second – it has amazing reviews and is ridiculously affordable at only $100).  Why the Babyletto crib?  Because Mommy is vain and she likes how pretty it looks.  Babyletto just released this new crib this year, so we’re a little nervous about how it’ll hold up over time, but it looks virtually identical to its Babyletto Moto crib (and made of the same materials), which has received good reviews all around (but costs more at $389).   So far, we’ve been pretty pleased with our choice!  (Tip: If you are interested in getting the Babyletto Madison and see it in stock on Target.com, I recommend getting it immediately because it’s frequently sold out within a WEEK of restock online.  We had to wait two restocking cycles before we finally were able to purchase it.)

We also got a great deal on our Little Castle Blake Glider, which we purchased from Buy Buy Baby.  It was originally over $370, discounted to $270 and we were able to use an additional 20 percent coupon on top of it so all in all, our glider cost us less than $300 with tax – infinitely cheaper than the Dutalier Glider we were originally considering.  Plus I love how our glider looks like a nice upholstered chair rather than looking too much like a nursery chair.  It also fits nicely into the corner of Baby Z’s little room.

Next on my nursery list – wall art and photos!  Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

25w0d Big Baby Henry

Your baby’s the size of a head of lettuce!

The network of nerves in your baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner’s as you chat with each other. He’s inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he’s born and takes that first gulp of air. And he’s continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (a head of lettuce) from head to heel. If you’re having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

The reason why I’ve been behind on posts is because last week, our dog Henry (aka our first born, aka Big Baby Henry) dislocated his right hind leg and needed to have an emergency FHO surgery.  FHO is a surgical procedure that removes the head section of the femur bone and the joint is allowed to heal and develop its own fibrous scar tissue so that the joint is no longer bone−to-bone, which is supposed to relieve future bone rubbing and continued pain.

It has been an exhausting and scary week for all of us.  We were first notified of his hip dislocation by his groomer – apparently Henry’s leg slid out from underneath him during grooming and he had been howling in pain.  J and I immediately went to pick him up and tried to keep him immobilized at home, hoping that it was a temporary sprain that would go away on its own.

This was the look on Henry’s face when we picked him up.  He was so sad!

But it was clear to us by the following morning that he was still in a lot of pain, and even the smallest movements sent him into a whining frenzy.  We frantically hailed a cab (not an easy feat during morning rush hour) and hurried him to our vet, where our vet had to sedate him in order to take x-rays and examine his hip.

24 hours later, an orthopedic surgeon performed the FHO surgery.  Our vet said that Henry’s hip was unfortunately already prone to dislocations, and this would have happened eventually – it was good that we caught his condition fairly early because he is still young, and he should make a full recovery from the surgery in several weeks (possibly several months)although there is a chance that he may have a permanent limp in his gait.

I won’t lie,  I probably took the news of the surgery – and the surgery itself – a lot harder than our dog did.  When we were able to finally pick him up two days after we first dropped him off at our vet’s office, I burst into tears as soon as I saw him hobble towards me.  We rushed toward each other like the scene in Forrest Gump when Forrest and Jenny ran through the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool facing the Washington Monument.

Maybe I was being a tad over dramatic…but I literally could not stop crying.  Blame it on the damn pregnancy hormones.  I probably scared the shit out of our vet (who offered me a box of tissues and then rushed the hell out of there).  I’m surprised that J didn’t ask the vet to spay me.

Whatever – I’m not ashamed to admit that I love my dog like he’s my child.  (Sorry Baby Z, your big brother Henry will always be Mommy’s first born!)  Seeing animals in pain is the worst because they don’t understand what’s happening to them.  Seeing my own dog in pain?  Forgeddit.  The vet may as well have taken my femur instead.

We couldn’t find a cab on the way home, so my poor husband had to carry our 30 lb dog nearly 20 blocks back to our apartment.  I don’t know who looked more exhausted afterwards – Henry or J.  At least Henry had the benefit of being high on morphine pills and antibiotics.

This was the look on his face the entire way home.  Now I know what a doped up puppy looks like.

I worked from home for the next couple of days to make sure that Henry didn’t tear his stitches and didn’t need, like, I dunno, me to donate my femur to him or something.  Thankfully, he’s been recuperating fairly well – he’s still limping quite a bit but he’s starting to put some weight on his injured leg.  His appetite was nonexistent at first, but after mixing in some of his favorites (boiled chicken, cheese, wet food), he’s been doing much better and is now eating more regularly.  He’s still a bit sluggish and is more subdued than usual, but our vet said that it’s to be expected since he’s still taking pain killers and antibiotics twice daily.  J and I are optimistic that he will make a full recovery.  He still loves snuggling with us in bed, following us from room-to-room, and plopping down onto our laps as soon as we sit down.  The surgery may have taken away part of his femur, but definitely not his sweet, loving, and slightly stalkerish nature.

Feel better soon Henners!  Daddy and I can’t wait until you have your joie de vivre back.  We love you!

24w2d Infant CPR

J and I took a private at-home infant CPR class  with our friends (2 other couples who are also pregnant with their first child – we’re all having boys!) on Sunday afternoon.  The class lasted approximately 1.5 hours and was more helpful than I anticipated!  I’m curious to know what a larger group class experience is like now, because I really enjoyed the smaller, hands-on nature of our class.  Our instructor ditched the instructional video (which reminded me of the safety instruction videos on flights) and  just talked us through each of the various CPR scenarios.  Interestingly enough, the course covered both adult/child CPR and infant CPR, so it was definitely more comprehensive than I had anticipated.

I think the most useful tip I learned was the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator) kit, which is a portable electronic device that automatically diagnoses the CPR patient and is able to treat them through defibrillation to help the heart reestablish an effective rhythm.  According to our instructor, manual CPR alone is less than 10 percent effective in saving the patient – with an AED, the success rate is over 90 percent!  All public spaces hosting more than 100 people (e.g. restaurants, fast food chains, apartment complexes, shopping centers, etc) are required to keep an AED kit on site (which reminds me, I should check with our doorman to see if our building has one).

Another useful tip I learned was that the best way to check for infant consciousness is by ticking the bottom of his foot.  Aww.

All in all, I would highly recommend a CPR course to everyone – whether you’re expecting a child or not.  You never know when you may have to use it to save a loved one’s life!

24w0d Cauliflower baby

Your baby’s the size of a cauliflower!

Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. His weight — a pound and a half — isn’t much more than an average rutabaga, but he’s beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he’ll start to look more and more like a newborn. He’s also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you’d now be able to discern its color and texture.  He’s also enjoying his new sense of equilibrium — he now knows which way is up and which is down.

(Source: Baby Center and The Bump)

I’m cheating and backposting by a few days, but I didn’t have time on Friday to post up here because things were crazy busy at work.  October is shaping up to be a pretty rough month for me both professionally and physically 😦  I’m starting to go the bathroom frequently in the middle of the night again – and here I thought those days were behind me!  My toes have also officially disappeared from sight and the waddle is now a permanent feature of my walk, rather than just when I’m trying to stretch out new jeans.  My fingers and feet are also swollen – I used to wear a size 7-7.5 in shoes, and now even my 7.5 shoes are fitting a tad too snugly (more excuses to buy these new winter boots I’ve been eyeing at Bloomingdales? ;p)

All really, really fun stuff.

On a happier note, I really like picturing Baby Z as a cauliflower 🙂  For some reason, a cauliflower baby sounds adorably cute.   Anyone else with me on this?

23w6d Prenatal Appointment (24 weeks)

Baby Z and I had our first prenatal appointment sans Daddy Z this week 😦  J couldn’t make it because he had a doctor’s appointment of his own.  Boo.

All is well, though. Baby Z’s heartbeat is steady at 140 bpm, and he even showed off a little for our doctor by kicking (visibly) during our visit.  I’m beginning to notice that Baby Z starts kicking up a fuss whenever I sit or lie down for prolonged periods of time – his way of telling me that I’m boring him!  Which is probably just as well, because I used to sit all day at my desk without ever getting up for a stretch or walk – now I’m reminded every half hour or so to get up and take a short stroll (usually to the bathroom).  Baby Z is already watching out for my health 🙂

Our OB also gave me a glucose drink for my next visit in one month.  I didn’t know this, but apparently between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, many doctors check for gestational diabetes, a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy.  According to Baby Center, between 2 and 5 percent of expectant mothers develop gestational diabetes, making it one of the most common health problems during pregnancy. And because the condition rarely causes any symptoms, testing is the only way to find out whether you have it.

So in a few weeks, I’ll have to fast for 14 hours and chug this bad boy one hour before the test.  When I arrive for the test, the technician will take a blood sample to measure my fasting blood glucose level.  Fun stuff.

It’s a good thing that I scheduled my next OB visit/glucose test for first thing in the morning!  These days, I’m not sure if I can fast for 14 minutes, much less 14 hours.

And hopefully this drink tastes better than it looks.

23w0d 6 months!

Your baby’s the size of a cantaloupe!

Your 10.5-to-11.8-inch fetus weighs about 12.7 to 20.8 ounces and every week he gets closer and closer to being ready to survive (and thrive!) in the outside world.  He cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he’ll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing “branches” of the respiratory “tree” as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.

(Source: The Bump and Baby Center)

Dear Baby Z,

Happy 6 months birthday bub!  I know that I sound like a broken refrain, but I can’t believe that you’re six months old already.  In less than 4 months, Dad and I will finally meet you, and we can’t wait.  We’ve been very busy preparing for your arrival this month!  It look us a little while to figure out everything that you will need when we bring you home (footies, gowns, onesies, rompers – here I thought that they were just called shirts and pants), but I’m happy to say that we’re finally done with your registry (thanks to some very good friends and family) and we’re quickly on our way to learning what half of them means and how they work 🙂  For such a little person, you sure need a lot of stuff.  So far, you have a car seat (even though we don’t own a car, haha.  Get ready for your first NYC taxi cab ride!), a dresser, a mattress sheet (but no mattress) and some baby clothes (an apple hat and a bear outfit).

I know…we’ve still got a long ways to go.

Dad and I have also been busy converting our study area into your own room.  I hope you like blue and grey, because you’ll be seeing a lot of both colors for a while.  Your Mom is also possessed with decorating fever, and she’s been drawing and designing pretty pictures for your nursery wall.  I hope you like them!

There is still so much to do – your Dad and I are trying not to get too overwhelmed, and stick to just getting basic things that you will need (like pretty pictures, obviously) and figuring out the rest along the way with you.  It’ll be an adventure and a learning process for all of us.  In the end, we know that you won’t care which brand of stroller you have or how many toys you have in your room – all those are nice extras that are secondary to being fed, changed, and most of all…loved.  And you are most definitely, unconditionally, and unequivocally loved.

See you in T minus 3.5 months, my Baby Z.

Love,
Mom