Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! There are only a few hours of 2009 left, and 2010 is going to be great!!! We've got a lot to look forward to!

This morning's check up at the doctor went very well! According to the doctor, it's normal for cervix measurements to fluctuate now. Well, last Saturday mine was 3.16cm, and today it was back up to 3.6cm. The doctor said everything looks great, and we've got nothing to worry about. They're going to check me again next week just to monitor things, but there's no need to put me on bed rest and it doesn't look like we need to worry about early labor. So that's good news!

I had a couple wacky dizzy spells yesterday, one of which was a little bit crazy and lasted quite a while! And all I was doing prior to these spells was either sitting in a chair or standing up while washing my hands. Pretty strenuous stuff! The doctor said this is perfectly normal now, and I just need to be careful to not move too quickly. Okay, I get it! I can't move to quickly in ANYTHING THAT I DO anymore!!

We're getting ready to enjoy a quiet New Year's Eve at home tonight with a couple friends, some take-out Thai food, and some DVDs. No champagne for me this year - I've got my sparkling apple cider chilling in the fridge for later! The house is almost back to normal, or should I say the new normal? Just a couple of things left to clean out and finish packing up, but we're basically on track! Geoff did a lot of amazing work while I was under doctor's orders to put my feet up, and I think it's safe to say that we've pretty much met our goal of being baby ready by the end of 2009. We're almost there and I'll be finishing up the last few things soon, so I think that's close enough!

Have a safe and happy new year, and best wishes for a fabulous 2010!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas - 32 weeks

Merry Christmas!!
At the Paseo Nuevo Mall in Santa Barbara (above)
Outside of Woodstock's Pizza in Isla Vista (our favorite college pizza!)

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and that Santa was good to you! We had a great time, and Kyra got some very cute gifts! I'm including a couple belly picks from our day trip to Santa Barbara last Tuesday (in honor of my 30th Birthday!). I just keep getting bigger!

We had another doctor's appointment this morning, and I mentioned to the doctor that I've been having a bit more discomfort and light cramping in my lower belly - it seems like Kyra's been putting some pressure on me lately! So the doctor checked my cervix, which is still within the normal range at 3.16cm, but is close to the 3cm mark of being on the thin side, which could signal pre-term labor. There's no immediate cause for concern and I don't need to go on bed rest yet, but I was told to take it easier and stay off my feet if possible. I go back in on Thursday for another check up to see how things are looking. The doctor told me I need to take it easy until at least 35 weeks (I'll be 32 weeks tomorrow). After that, it's okay for Kyra to come out - although I certainly hope she stays in longer than that, so I'll continue taking it easy!! We have no real reason (yet) to believe that she'll actually be born early, but it's definitely got me thinking about being fully prepared well ahead of time!

We got to see Kyra's face on the ultrasound this morning, and she looked adorable! She looks like she's filled out and actually looks like a real baby now. Not that she hasn't looked like a baby all along, but she's got the chin and chubby little cheeks now that babies are supposed to have! She's head-down/face-up now and the doctor said that, at this point, she should be staying put and so hopefully I don't need to worry about her being breech.

Sadly, I'm not going to be able to help Geoff out with much of the remaining cleaning and organizing that's left to do around the house, but he's already made significant progress and is doing an amazing job!

Have a wonderful last week of 2009, and best wishes for a terrific 2010. I know ours is going to be good!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Single-Digit Weeks Remaining!!!

I'm 31 weeks as of yesterday, which means we've officially crossed the threshold into single-digit weeks remaining until my due date!! Only 9 weeks to go! That seems crazy to me - I can't believe how fast this has all gone by! Tomorrow's my Birthday (tomorrow I enter the world of my 30's!), which always marks the start of the December holidays for me, then Christmas, then New Years, then before I know it, it'll be January 16th and time for the Baby Shower.

Once the Baby Shower's over, I might slowly enter full panic mode, where I'll feel like I'm suddenly out of time even though I'll still technically have a little over a month remaining. That's how I work - for those of you that know me well, you know that I need to be prepared and early for everything (at least by a few minutes!); to be "on time" makes me feel a little bit like I'm going to be late for something! I know, it's ridiculous. I was raised by the notoriously late Mom (and by late, I mean LATE!! Sorry Mom, but it's true and you know it!), and the notoriously 5 minutes early Dad. My brother got the lateness gene, and guess what I got!

But I really have no need to worry - although Geoff says that I find a way to worry about something all the time (he's probably right, but I can't help it, although I think I've greatly improved over the last few years!). I know we'll be ready. The house will be ready, Kyra's room will be ready, but will I be ready? Well, is anyone ever fully ready? If my recent exhaustion and frequent trips to the bathroom are any indication, I know I'll at least be ready to get her out of my tummy and into my arms! I love feeling her kicking and moving so much these days, but it'll be so nice to actually meet her and start getting to know her!

In terms of the "kick counting," Kyra's been passing with flying colors! She's generally really active in the morning (around 5:30-6am), or is at least easily woken for a little playtime with Mommy! So I've been enjoying morning kicking sessions with her. In the bathtub last night, I watched my tummy jolt and tumble uncontrollably as she rolled around and "swam" during my bath! And she's also had the hiccups at least twice, so that's been interesting!

Geoff's enjoying his winter break from school, and I'm finally done with all my school work too, so now the focus turns to enjoying the holidays and finishing our baby prep work around the house. We're still totally on target for reaching our goal of completing all the baby prep by midnight on New Year's Eve! That way, we'll have January to leisurely organize new baby gifts into the house. And I'm keeping February open for now (since I must always be prepared ahead of schedule), just in case Kyra inherits the "early" gene from her Mommy and Grandpa Lou!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

30 Weeks - Counting Baby Kicks

Counting baby kicks...there's an app for that! Actually, there are a few app's for that. Too bad I don't have an iPhone. Looks like I'll have to do it the old fashioned way with pen and paper. I'm 30 weeks today, and my doctor told me to officially start keeping track of Kyra's kicks from here on out. She's definitely been more active lately!

There's a whole process to this counting. I'm supposed to pick a time of day, drink a cold glass of water, then sit or lie down quietly in a dark room and keep track of kicks for 1 hour at that same time every day. Once she hits 10 kicks or movements within an hour, she's "passed the test." However, if she doesn't get to 10 kicks or movements in an hour, we're supposed to go directly to Labor & Delivery to make sure everything's fine! That part is a little scary for me, so I think I'll start counting tomorrow and may give Kyra a day or two to show me exactly what time of day is best for us to be counting. Like I said, she's been kicking and moving like crazy lately, so I just have to find the best time of day for this.

I had a check-up on Friday, and she was kicking during the appointment so her heartbeat was much faster than it was last time when she slept through the appointment (in both cases, her heart rate was still well within the normal range). Friday night, we went to see the movie "Up In The Air," and she was kicking and moving around on my left side for most of the movie (maybe she's a fan of George Clooney, like so many other women are)! I guess that's a little reminder of what it'll be like for me to try to focus on things at home once we have her! (the movie was great, by the way, in case you're interested in seeing it). I think I've gotten used to the kicking feeling, but when she actually moves and turns and flips around in there, it's still such a funky feeling!

We had our 4th and final childbirth class yesterday (Baby Care Basics), so we should be experts now, right? I think Geoff and I are both feeling pretty good about things these days...I just keep watching the days tick by, and am beginning to feel a little nervous just because time seems to be flying by! But I'm getting more and more excited to meet our daughter, and just want to finish getting the house cleaned up now so that we can make sure everything is ready for her! The Baby Shower invitations went out about a week ago - they're adorable and in keeping with the elephant theme the nursery has. We already received our first gift in the mail (the baby spa & shower - thanks Rosemary & Mark Olson, grandparents to Kyra's future buddy, Jake Balice!), so I'm mentally preparing myself for all the fun baby stuff that's going to be filling up our little house soon. Geoff recently put together the stroller and car seat travel system, and we've got the Pack n' Play waiting to be unpacked. We'll be ready for Kyra when she gets here in just another couple of months!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and have a great week!

PS: as I'm finishing this post, Kyra's tumbling around in my tummy, reminding me that it's time for breakfast!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

29 Weeks Down, 11 To Go!

29 weeks and counting!

In the photos above, I'm wearing the shirt that Carol made when she was pregnant with Geoff. It fits her a little better than it fits me, but it's still adorable! If only I had Carol's fantastic mustard-yellow pants to match! Jen also wore this shirt back when she was pregnant with Mia and Maddie, so it's fun to think that this has been passed through our family.

I'm feeling pretty good these days, although I've been having some back pain and sleeping is not very comfortable these days. But it's all worth it for our little one! Now that I'm going to the doctor every 2 weeks, time is definitely starting to feel like it's running thin and I'm guessing that the next 11 weeks are going to fly by. Tomorrow night is Breastfeeding class, and coming up in a couple weeks is our final class, Baby Care Basics.

Kyra is now the size of a butternut squash:

Her energy is surging, thanks to the formation of white fat deposits beneath the skin. She is also settling into sleep and waking cycles. Also this month, all five senses are finally functional, and the brain and nervous system are going through major developments. She is growing rapidly now, and will more than double in size by the time she's born! This week she weighs about 2 1/2 pounds and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is getting bigger to accommodate her growing brain — which is busy developing billions of neurons. Every day, about 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in her skeleton, which is now hardening.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Nursery Update!!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! After our turkey day yesterday (or, as we know it, our "chicken & noodles" day!), we spent some time today working on the nursery. Daddy Geoff built the crib and put up the curtain rods. The bedding set is so cute! I've started decorating, and the nursery looks so adorable! I'm having so much fun setting everything up. Bella and Zoe are, as we like to call it, "live on the scene" investigating the new room and all the goodies inside of it. Throughout the rest of the weekend, we're going to start tackling the mess that is the entire downstairs of our little townhouse...

We had a doctor's appointment this morning, and Kyra's doing great! Mommy, on the other hand, has put on a little more weight than expected. Since I was sick over the last couple weeks, I haven't been as active as usual so, now that I'm mostly feeling better (except for a nagging cough) I'll be going for more walks. Hopefully I can keep the weight gain in check for the rest of my pregnancy. I'll be 28 weeks this weeks, and I can't believe I'm already entering my 3rd trimester! Kyra is now facing head-down, and I've been feeling her moving around and kicking quite a bit lately.

Only 12 weeks to go!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sneak Peek At Kyra's Nursery!

Painted closet doors
Door to the bathroom
Door to Kyra's room
A window waiting for curtains!
Carol's work-in-progress dresser

Super-comfy glider chair
And matching gliding ottoman

The nursery has officially been painted, and I couldn't resist posting a few sneak peeks! There wasn't the best lighting in the room when I took these pictures, so try to imagine that the pink and green are both a bit brighter. The colors turned out so cute, and Carol and Phil did such an amazing job! Carol's coming back on Friday to put another coat of white on the dresser. We're adding a few white shelves to the pink wall above the dresser. I'm looking around for some cute drawer knobs for the dresser and the closet. Next up, Geoff gets to assemble Kyra's crib, hang curtain rods, and we get to start decorating the room! I also just ordered the cozy chenille glider chair and ottoman pictured above! I can't wait for those to arrive! I'm planning to add a couple other brown accents to match the pink/green/white color scheme. Kyra's Grandma Linda lovingly purchased the stroller/car seat travel system and matching Pack 'N Play from our registry, which are currently waiting to come out of their boxes. I know we'll get tons of use out of those items, so thank you Grandma!!

I'm 26.5 weeks along, and currently trying to kick the cold that I've been dealing with for almost a week. Luckily it just seems to be a head cold, but it's still really annoying! I'm not sure if my cough has been bouncing Kyra around a bit more, or if she's been doing that all on her own, but I've definitely been feeling more kicking and movement recently. Geoff finally got to feel her kicking, so that was very exciting! I can't tell for sure, but at times it seems like she's responding to our voices. It's really fun to think about her wiggling around in there!

This Saturday we're going to the wedding of Geoff's longtime friend, Erik Hugstad, and his beautiful bride, Kristin Hodges. Geoff will be standing up as a groomsman, and I will happily be seated as a wedding guest! Standing for long periods of time isn't exactly my favorite thing now, so I'm looking forward to sitting back and watching the festivities! We'll take pictures at the wedding, so I'm sure I'll get a bump photo or two of myself to post. This Saturday will also mark a couple milestones for us: our 11-year dating anniversary, and also 3 months until Kyra's due date! After 11 years together, I guess it's about time that we're finally adding a baby to our little family (not that our 8.5 year old kitty babies, Bella and Zoe, don't count!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Kyra Is Kicking!!

Last night, Geoff and I were wondering if Kyra might end up being a calm and quiet baby, considering that I haven't been feeling too much activity from her and very few kicks. Well, after what I've been feeling (and seeing!) this morning, I think she's trying to prove us wrong!

I've been sitting here with my laptop, fighting off the desire to procrastinate on research I need to do for a big school project I'm working on. Of course, right when I get down to business and actually start my research, what do you know? Huge kicks! I actually watched my tummy move at least 4 times - big thumps! (the photo above is not me, it's just something I found online. I have no idea if it's real, but after the giant thumps I saw this morning, who knows!) There were a handful of other smaller movements in there, and she's still sort of moving around now as I'm typing! So of course I'm a bit distracted and am having a hard time focusing on doing research. Instead, I'm sitting here talking to Kyra, trying to get her to keep kicking. Research is going to have to wait, since I'm definitely going to continue talking to her and watching my tummy until she falls asleep! Hopefully Geoff is around the next time she decides to get some kicking exercise!

Tonight we're off to our next childbirth class, where we'll practice Lamaze breathing and labor positions. Grandma Carol and Grandpa Phil have been working so hard on Kyra's nursery - you two are amazing!! The room is completely cleared out, except for Kyra's changing table and dresser. The walls are primed and ready to be painted! CaPhwa, as our nieces Mia and Maddie called them when the were too little to say Carol and Phil, are coming back tomorrow and Sunday to keep working! So hopefully soon we'll have some pictures to post of the nursery as it really begins to come together!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Childbirth Classes

We had our first childbirth education class last night at St. John's, where we'll be delivering Kyra. We'll have one more class next week, and then in December we go to a Breastfeeding class and Baby Care Basics class. We should be experts after that, right? Leading up to last night's class, I was wondering if it would scare me more for the delivery, or (hopefully) leave me feeling a bit more prepared. It was a mix of both throughout the 3 hour class, but overall Geoff and I both left feeling more prepared. Ironically I think I'm less concerned with the actual pain of delivery (send the epidural and pain meds my way, please!), but am more nervous about having the stamina to endure the entire delivery process if it turns out to be a lengthy delivery.

We were shown a large diagram (similar to the one above, but with notation on each of the organs), which compared the female anatomy before pregnancy to a woman carrying a full-term baby. I've seen similar images already, but last night's diagram made it clear why I'm running for the bathroom more frequently now and don't seem to have room to eat large meals anymore. The weight of the baby rests entirely on top of my bladder and compresses it, and yet we're told to drink 8-12 glasses of water/fluids per day! Us poor women just don't get left with much room in there! My uterus is apparently the size of a soccer ball now, and will continue to grow to a watermelon size!

Last weekend, Grandma Carol and Grandpa Phil came up to help Geoff and I around the house. They took a ton of stuff to Goodwill, helped Geoff with a plumbing problem under our sink, sanded Kyra's dresser to prep it for painting, cleared out our patio, and the list goes on and on! Amazingly, they're still willing to help and are coming back up on Monday to continue clearing the nursery and get started on painting! We picked out the paint colors last week, so I'm excited to see the room start to really take shape! I just feel guilty that I can't be helping more with all the manual labor. I wouldn't say that I'm a control freak necessarily, but it's hard for me to be so removed from this process. But luckily we have some very generous and willing helpers in our family! In our class last night, one of the husbands was trying to convince all the couples in the room that his wife was crazy for making him paint various rooms in the house, assemble the crib, and lay down tile flooring. He just couldn't seem to understand that his wife is nesting and acting completely normal (normal for a pregnant woman). He was convinced that his wife should be doing all the work! Seriously! I'm very happy to be married to my wonderful husband who, although I suppose possibly could think I'm crazy at times, let's me think I'm completely normal, volunteers to help out, and doesn't try to convince the world that I'm nuts just for wanting my house set up before I have a baby.

There's still tons to be done, and we just don't seem to have the room to efficiently move everything around. But we're making it work. It's a bit of a puzzle right now, in terms of where to move things, but it'll all work out in the end. I don't think we'll be having any dinner guests anytime soon though!