Yes, I am definitely bigger than I was with Teresa at the end of my pregnancy. I've gained the same amount of weight (maybe even a little less) but my tummy is stretchier.
I'm now 38 weeks, 4 days. No signs that Baby Boy will be coming this week.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Look what Grandma sent:
Yippee! Okay, so now I can clothe THREE baby boys until 6 months of age... I'm sure I'll do some weeding once we see what we actually use. It's such a blessing to receive so much generosity!
And, as David affirmed when he saw this on our bed, my grandma is one gifted (or should I say determined?) yard sale shopper. :)
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Have you heard the news? We're having a boy. *squee!*
Way back when Teresa was a newborn, a nice lady in my parish offered me all her baby clothes. Sadly, she said she was done having babies and wanted to clear out storage space. Whatever her reasons, I gladly accepted the offer of clothes: 2 large bins of mostly boy clothes, sizes 0-9 months. Even though we couldn't use the majority of them for our beautiful little girl, it felt right to receive them. And lo and behold, my friend had a baby boy a few weeks after Teresa and needed clothes; I let her borrow both bins! A year later my sister-in-law was expecting a baby boy, and I made the transfer of clothes from friend to sister-in-law. Now our nephew is outgrowing some of the clothes and his mommy sent a binful back to me on Christmas day.
I love to inventory things! So today I laid out all the 0-3 months clothes and the 3-6 months clothes from the bin. Then I went up in our attic and pulled all the gender neutral clothes out of our 0-3 and 3-6 months bins. Here's a picture of the results:
Amazing! I'm still 4+ months away from welcoming our son (God-willing), and I already have most everything he'll need to be comfortable for the first 6 months. For example: in 0-3 months I have 26 short sleeve onesies, 15 footed sleepers, and 8 hats. 9 sleepers and 7 sleep gowns in 3-6 months. At least 6 cotton blankets. Ha ha!
There are just a few gaps/needs to fill, at my current estimation:
- long sleeve onesies
- soft shorts
- long sleeve onesies
- short sleeve onesies
- soft shorts
- top/bottom outfits
- thick fuzzy boy blanket (microfleece?)
- boy Boppy cover
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I haven't been much of a blogger in the past year or two, so I rarely post information in a timely manner. I'm much more likely to use Facebook to share news. It's not likely I'll become a regular blogger again, but this week - why not?
Yes, I'm pregnant! I'm due mid-May 2011. This time around I don't get an ultrasound until 18-20 weeks, so all I have to show for this pregnancy is the positive home test. Ta da!
The test confirmed our blessing on September 7th. I had my first OB appointment at 8 weeks (nothing too interesting) and my second appointment on Tuesday (at 12 weeks). I got to hear the baby's heartbeat, which is always a joy. My nausea has been about the same as it was with my last pregnancy, starting around 6 weeks and just now starting to subside (I hope). I don't get sick, but I feel ill and headachy and have no desire to eat until the afternoon. I don't get too exhausted, but that's probably because I'm blessed to get about 8 hours of sleep most nights and a little nap several times a week (while Teresa naps). It's SO NICE to be home this time, rather than slogging through my work in an office. :D
Here's an interesting tidbit about the pregnancy test: it cost me 20 cents. Sure beats $9, right? At Katherine's suggestion, I checked online for cheap pregnancy test strips. When you're not sure about your return of fertility and might want to use several tests before one comes back positive, it's good to get them at a low cost. I discovered several packages up for bid/sale on eBay, including a set of 5 for 99 cents - with free shipping! I snatched them up and waited for them to arrive in the mail - from Hong Kong. Nothing fancy, but they work. I had one negative one (previous cycle) before this positive one.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Deo Gratias, everything's going well! Compared to some other women's experiences, my pregnancy is an "easy" one. Although I have my share of little woes, they aren't much to complain about.
On Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) I went to the OB for my glucose tolerance test. I actually enjoyed the drink, which tasted like condensed orange soda (the carbonation helped). While we waited for an hour to pass we got to meet with the Certified Nurse Midwife I like best (of the three we've met). I asked her to help me understand exactly why my due date was changed from February 25th to February 15th and she explained that the new date was actually set back at my 8-week ultrasound (when Teresa was just a little bean) and confirmed at my 19-week "anatomy" ultrasound. Although I'm still inclined to answer "mid to late February" when people (frequently) ask me when I'm due, I now know why the OB thinks she'll come closer to Valentine's Day. If Teresa chooses to wait longer, I will hold my ground against induction for as long as possible.
I also asked the midwife if she had any tips for preventing or alleviating the back pain I'm experiencing daily now. She gave me a helpful brochure with exercises to strengthen my back. I'm trying to sit conscientiously (especially when I spend many hours in front of the computer for work) and change my position often. But every afternoon or evening that nagging pain in the right center of my back returns and usually doesn't leave until I get in bed at night. I use my hands or a vibrating massage bug to put pressure on the painful muscles.
After drawing my blood, the clinician told me that my glucose tolerance results would be in Monday and no news is good news. When we got home I received a phone call informing me that my hemoglobin level is low (9.4) and I need to be eating more iron-rich foods. So David made us steak that night. :) It's now Wednesday and I haven't heard from the OB again, so I'm assuming I passed the glucose test and do not have gestational diabetes. :)
I do experience a bit of heartburn at night and some digestive troubles now and then, but that's about it. David would add that I also have wild hormonal mood swings, but I don't know what he's talking about. ;)
Teresa has become very active - or I've become more sensitive to her movements. Either way, I feel her bucking, rolling, kicking/punching, and stretching often - I've even started feeling her feet in my ribs, as my sister described with her pregnancy a few weeks back. The movements are not bothersome and haven't kept me awake at night yet. Sometimes it can be a bit disconcerting when my belly "does the wave" or I'm repeatedly poked while trying to concentrate on a conference call or something. But I usually put my hand on my belly and she goes still. I enjoy sharing the experience with David, who has gotten to feel a lot of movement under his hands and his cheeks (he likes to put his face up against my belly).
My first nursing shirt (ordered during a Thanksgiving sale) arrived yesterday - it will be a cute part of my summer wardrobe. I look forward to collecting some more nursing-friendly tops as I prepare for Teresa's arrival.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Last night David and I were playing/practicing with the car seat (a wonderful gift from friends). David has encouraged me to start carrying it around a little so I get used to balancing its weight (it's a heavy one). He had fun figuring out the buckle and tightening the straps - he assures me he will be far more gentle with a real baby (poor bear!).
Since we've decided to go with a Graco SafeSeat/stroller frame combination for Teresa's first few months, we've seen more of them around and have watched caregivers easily move the seat from stroller to base and fold up the stroller one-handed. While the seat is heavy, the stroller is light (much lighter than those "travel system" strollers that are so popular). Although I hope to "wear" our little one in a sling as much as possible when we're out, the stroller will be very useful. We're grateful that an acquaintance of my sister's had one she didn't want any more, which will be passed on to us when we visit Beth in December. :)
Saturday, November 8, 2008
On Thursday David and I attended the first Bradley Method class in a series of 12 offered in the home of a local instructor. We agreed to give it a try and discuss whether to continue after the class.
Although the instructor anticipated five couples, we were one of only three that attended that first night. Turns out we know one of the other couples - they're due right around the same time as us - so I felt a little more comfortable in the new environment. With friendliness and earnestness, the instructor led us in introducing ourselves and discussing our decision to prepare ourselves for natural (unmedicated) childbirth by means of a healthy, informed pregnancy. She gave us an overview of good nutrition and exercise and led us in relaxation techniques, stretching, and massage.
I must admit that my predominant feeling that evening was humiliation. I had to admit (out loud!) that, though I understand the tremendous benefits of regular exercise and stretching, I have not been doing a good job of either. My lack of flexibility (even with helpful pregnancy hormones) and my inability to squat properly proved my lack of discipline in this area.
As we drove home, David and I discussed our reasons for and against continuing with the course. I admitted how challenging it would be to share my failings with the group - but I also saw potential for the accountability I need to get on track. David agreed: as much as he would like me to respond to his prompting, I'm probably more likely to listen to someone else.
I'm seeing the fruit of the instruction already - I'm definitely more motivated now to do my yoga, to take little walks, and to fit those stretches into my daily activities. And David has responded to my request that he give muscle rubs with a little more focus and effort.
As I type, I'm sitting on my ball leaning forward to promote optimum baby positioning and hip openness. Earlier today I was able to put my feet on top of a chair (one at a time, of course) to buckle my sandals without stiffness. Good stuff!
Photo credit: Annie in Beziers
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Here I am at 24 weeks, undeniably pregnant. :)
Actually, yesterday a store clerk was so bold as to ask me when I'm due. When I cheerfully replied, "February!" he congratulated me and shared that he has 5 children. Now, I've read a lot about parents of many children receiving less-than-pleasant comments from others, but my first real experience of it came when this clerk's coworker looked up from his computer and said, "Did you say 5? You need to get a TV."
"We have 3 TVs," the clerk quickly replied.
"Well, you need to watch one."
I wish I could have come up with something clever and overwhelmingly affirming of the blessing of children, but I am grateful to the Holy Spirit that I at least took the opportunity to show my support by saying, "5? That's wonderful - we hope to have many, too."
The top I'm wearing in this picture was expertly sew by my mom. She really does fine work!
Friday, October 17, 2008
One item I keep pushing down on my "to do" list is registering for baby-related classes at the hospital. Because David works for the hospital, we will be able to attend almost any class we're interested in for free. We reviewed the list and agreed that we'd like to go to several together. However, David's busy schedule has limited our availability in recent months - maybe now that he has completed his last lecture course (he got a 97% on the last test - woohoo!!) we'll be able to get our calendars coordinated.
I'm interested in attending sessions on newborn care, CPR and child safety, and breastfeeding, and I'm definitely hoping to tour the facility. The nurse highly encouraged us to attend the Childbirth Prep Class offered over a weekend or on a series of weekday evenings, but I am a little hesitant because I've confirmed that they only introduce Lamaze techniques for getting through labor.
Dear friends and a little study have led me to believe that David and I should learn about the Bradley childbirth philosophy and methodology. I found a class that starts next month, but the time-intensiveness and high cost are somewhat prohibitive. We would have to pay $250 for 12 weekly sessions leading up to the birth. Is it really worth that much money?
I've found the key Bradley texts online (and requested them on our Amazon baby registry) - can we just study those?
I'm very interested to hear others' perspective on this choice: what did/would you do to prepare for labor and delivery? What are the pros and cons of Lamaze vs. Bradley (that you know of or have experienced)? Can books and Internet research provide enough information, or are in-person classes essential?
Photo credit: G u i d o
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Deo gratias! A very generous family from our parish offered to donate a combination changing table/dresser to a family in need. The Director of Stewardship approached me after Mass one morning and asked if I would be interested. Indeed I was! So we made all the arrangements and the piece of furniture came to its new home last night.
The dresser unit is a really nice, sturdy, functional piece of furniture. The family kept mentioning that it is a Bellini, a manufacturer with which I was unfamiliar. But a quick search online led me to discover that this item is worth up to $900! It's a unique design - the "Retractable, oversized changing surface allows you to change the baby from head to toe, not from the side like most changers. The top powder shelf allows generous storage for toiletries, while a lower shelf allows easy access to diapers. When your child is out of diapers, simply retract the slide top and attach the top molding (included) to use this piece as a three drawer dresser with three open shelves."
Now I just need to wipe out the drawers and I'll finally be able to put away all the cute little clothes and cloth diapers I've been collecting and receiving as gifts (thanks, Beth, Patty, Mom, and Grandma!).
I'm especially jazzed about the pull-out changing surface, but I'm not 100% on the huge pad - are those smaller, contoured pads better for keeping a little one in one place during a changing?
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Here's something fun about this stage of the pregnancy: I've starting thinking about myself in terms of "we". Now that I've seen baby Teresa's face and refer to her by name half the time, and now that I can feel her moving inside me almost every day (which is so much fun!), I'm far more aware of there being a little person with me all the time. So I approach tasks and pleasures as a "team" experience - now WE eat something, WE go somewhere, WE hear someone. I love it!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Unless the Holy Spirit inspires us differently in the next five months, we will give our little girl the name Teresa Marie. Here's why:
In naming her Teresa we invoke three very holy women as her special patron saints: St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Avila, and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (who is bound to be canonized soon). St. Therese's Story of a Soul is one of my favorite spiritual classics (and David is enjoying it, too, as he reads it for the first time). In her autobiography, this childlike Doctor of the Church shares her sweet and simple experience of faith, devotion, and selfless service. Although this champion of the "Little Way of Love" lived very briefly on Earth (only 23 years), she's spent her "time" in heaven showering those who seek her intercession with roses - figurative and literal!
St. Teresa of Avila also left us with some inspirational writings (we've written about Interior Castle before) but it's what she did that really impresses me. This Doctor of the Church labored for the reform of the Carmelite order alongside her friend St. John of the Cross. Impelled by ecstatic visions of Christ (she was truly a mystic), Teresa sought perfect obedience and self-discipline in adherence to the Carmelite Rule - first for herself, and then for others. She governed and nurtured her sisters as a prioress and founded several convents.
Mother Teresa needs little introduction, as she has been admired by modern people of every religion. Her life speaks volumes without words, but I've always loved the way Mother Teresa got to heart of the matter in her pithy quotes. One of my favorites: “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”
We have chosen the Spanish/Italian spelling of Teresa because it is simpler. It also goes well with our last name. According to at least one dictionary, Teresa means "harvester." We hope our Teresa will participate in God's great harvesting of souls and faithfully answer Jesus' request: "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." (Matt. 9:37-38)
Marie is a Stone family tradition. In honor of their mother (my paternal grandmother), my father and his siblings have all given their firstborn daughter the middle name Marie. Since I am the firstborn daughter of my family, my middle name is Marie. My sisters and I intend to continue the tradition - that is why my sister (who is now 26 weeks along) has chosen the name Arianna Marie for her baby girl. Of course, David and I are delighted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and place our daughter in her loving care.
This morning's ultrasound went splendidly. Our little baby appears to be healthy and whole, thanks be to God. It was fun watching the ultrasound technician search for, capture, and tag all the parts they identify and measure. The baby's position made it challenging to confirm a heart with four chambers and a proper flow of blood, but we were able to see all that eventually. Best of all, we were able to see the telltale "three lines" and now know that God has blessed us with a little girl.
Our OB clinic automatically provides DVDs and record part of the ultrasound session for patients. They also use a special device to offer a 4D view of the baby, so we got to see her facial features (which will continue to develop and may look different later on). Way cool!
Friday, September 12, 2008
God provides! This week He blessed us with a whole bunch of baby items for an even lower price than last time: FREE!
Freepeats recently opened a forum for Charlotte-area moms to swap "gently-used baby, kid, and maternity items like clothing, high chairs, bouncers, swings, bikes, and toys for free." This online community (with forums for more than 23 cities) provides an organized system for parents to give away their unneeded items and pick up other useful items. I've been looking forward to the opportunity to participate for over a year (ever since I first heard about Freepeats).
Less than two weeks after the Charlotte forum opened, someone in my neighborhood posted an offering of baby girl clothes, blankets, and products. I let her know I was interested and we made arrangements for me to pick them up. This morning, on our way to an OB appointment (all is well with baby!) we got what I gratefully refer to as "a gift." Here's a picture:
While we have very little and are mostly in receiving mode right now, I hope to be able to share our blessings with someone else on Freepeats in the future.
PS If you're a Charlotte mom who hasn't yet joined Freepeats, I encourage you to do so now. Free membership until 9/16!
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Okay, so maybe I shouldn't have dropped my "no buying baby things" rule so soon...
A day or two ago I had a vague thought that I might visit the Assistance League Thrift Store this morning to see if they had any maternity clothes and, perhaps, to glance at their baby things. Well, David and I ended up driving to the 9 AM Mass in separate cars (he went to swim first), so I took the opportunity to stop at the store afterwards. I was somewhat surprised to see women lining up at the door (it opened at 10 AM, so I had just a few minutes to wait). But a sign on the inside door explained the crowd: "End of Season Sale: 90% off all clothes." Jackpot!
Do you think it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to go to the thrift store today?
Alas, their maternity clothes rack was bare, and the women's clothes were slim pickings. So I made a bee-line for the still moderately stocked baby clothes racks and started piling clothes into my basket. My criteria: cute, clean, no tears, no stains. The girls' outfits were especially nice looking and abundant, but I tried to get a fair number of boy things, too. With the prices so low, I reasoned I could "shop ahead" and chose items up through size 2T.
The wait in line was long, but oh-so-worth-it. A nice fellow shopper even helped me pull all my items off their hangers. In the end, I had claimed 60 items, most of which rang up for 10, 15, or 20 cents. The most expensive item, a Laura Ashley dress set (3-6 mo), was 40 cents. Grand total: $9.97.
With such an abundance, I'm eager to share with my sister or anyone else in need. I can't wait for baby to come and wear these clothes!!
My only regret: I got so overwhelmed by the clothes that I forgot to look for socks and shoes, which were also on sale. Bummer!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Baby magazines are peppered with advertisements for cord blood banks urging parents to have their babies' cord blood stored. For an average starting cost of $1,800 and yearly fees around $125 a bank will store your little one's umbilical and placental blood-making stem cells. These cells would be retrievable if your child (or perhaps its sibling) develops a life-threatening but treatable-by-stem-cells illness such as leukemia or lymphoma.
I don't know about your family, but I don't think that cord blood banking will be a wise insurance choice for our family, given its expense and the small chance our child(ren) will have of developing one of the applicable diseases.
Today, however, I read about an option that does sound right up our pro-life alley: cord blood donation. An article in an old issue of Focus on the Family magazine (which I love, by the way) shared one mom's decision to donate her sons' cord blood to a public bank for use by any matching patient. Intrigued, I did a little research online.
To donate cord blood the donor parents must complete medical documentation, receive a collection kit and instruct birth attendants in its use, and contact the bank to pick up the donation after the delivery. All free! Read more here:
- Information from the National Marrow Donor Program
- An informative article at Charity Guide
- More from Health Resources and Service Information, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Alas, the list of participating hospitals revealed that we will not be able to donate at our hospital - in fact, no Charlotte-area hospitals are participating at this time. Perhaps it's time to do some advocacy with the hospital?