All About Munchkin

Archives: April 2002

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

04.30.02
First the happy stuff: Congratulations to Steph and D. on the birth of Lauren May! I'm so happy for Steph that her little girl is finally here and it sounds like the labor went pretty smoothly for her. I've been bouncing in my chair ever since I read the update on the site. Huzzah:)

Self has been having an icky-ish morning. I was tearing the house up with Sabs trying to find the box of checks and couldn't find it anywhere. I need to finish paying the bills and I can't find the box that has the next book in the sequence of checks. All that tearing around the house gave me a moment of cramping right before I left. I sat there for a minute wondering if that was building up to something, but it died off enough that I didn't feel like I ought to call into work. Lots of B-H on the walk to work, pretty much one right after the other and a little bit stronger than usual. They stopped as usual though, once I settled into a seat on the train and had a chance to catch my breath and haven't come back, so just more 'practice'.

Munchkin's doing the usual schedule of squirms now, plumping my right side out off and on and being Munchkiny. I'm all sleepy and tired myself though I slept like a log last night. Sabs kindly locked Tiger up in the computer room all night, so he wasn't banging on the door every half hour starting at 4am. I really slept like a baby, but just the walk to work has me wiped out already.

I'm so sorely tempted to try to take off before the babe arrives, I really wish I could, because I'm sure the rest would do me a world of good. I'm starting to dread the walk into work every day. I go slower and slower every morning, have more B-H every morning and it takes more out of me every time. I've grown to hate the slight hill that leads up from the bus stop to my office building. I have to stop halfway up to catch my breath and by the time I get to the door of the building I'm grouchy and out of sorts from trying not to pee before I can get upstairs.

A couple of days curled up in the glider with a book and a slightly less rigorous daily walk would do me no end of good I think.

Ah well.

Posted by Beth @ 10:57 AM PST
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Monday, April 29, 2002

04.29.02
Didn't update over the weekend because we weren't home for most of the day on Saturday and then we were very very good yesterday about cleaning the house. I'm feeling a little sheepish about not checking in over the weekend now 'cos it looks like Steph went into labor! Go Steph, I hope everything's gone well and Lauren is home with you and D. now:)

We took a class at the hospital on Saturday from 10am-5pm on Basic Infant Care and Breastfeeding. I was there mostly for the breastfeeding tips and Sabs was there to get tips on handling a newborn. We got to practice diapering with both cloth and disposable diapers, with pins, with fasteners and with diaper covers. The array of diapering supplies available to the modern family is truly amazing. I remember diapering my brothers with cloth diapers and pins. The new stretchy fasteners they have now and the diaper covers are SO much better IMHO. They give a tighter fit and don't pose a threat to baby thighs.

The instructor for the class was really cool -- very down-to-earth and friendly and very much of the 'you need to do what works best for you' school of thinking. She presented lots of different options for dealing with infants, different philosophies, but over and over kept repeating that we'd get our best cues from our baby -- baby will let you know what he/she can deal with best, so it's just a matter of paying attention and learning to understand your child.

Sounds good to me:)

Bathing babies and feeding babies were also covered in the class and we got lots of suggestions for helping with breastfeeding once Munchkin arrives.


With all the walking I've been doing, I think I may be starting to lose my plug just a little -- I had a little bit of spotting on Saturday that eased off, I'll be keeping an eye on that over the next few days.

Sunday we spent finishing our grand closet reorgnization. Sabs used our new Space Bags to reduce our comforters to a four inch tall stack that slides right on in there instead of taking up 3 cubic feet of space. I went through all of my fabric and consolidated it all into one bin, one foot locker and a tall canvas laundry bag. The rest of my sewing equipment is in the sewing box or a basket now, so I'm all organized and able to -find- things at last. I deliberately stacked the fabrics in the bin in the order of the projects that I'm working on, so that I'll be able to pull things out as I work on them.

I've got a layette baby pattern that I'm just itching to bring out to make some cute Munchkin things for when baby is beyond the newborn stage.

The bedroom is close to ready too -- there's still some stacks of books to move and the couch still needs to be put back together, but there's a clear path around the bed now and once the couch is out, we'll pull the glider into the bedroom and basically be all set up for Munchkin's arrival.

The babe was pretty active over the weekend, quieter today, probably because we're both tired out after all that activity. I kind of have my fingers crossed though that babe will decide to arrive this week or this coming weekend. We're full term and doing the slow progress thing, but I'm so tired and would love to be able to just say "that's it, I'm in labor, I'm staying home for the next month or so, sayonara work."

I guess I just feel like all my ducks are in a row now, all the prepping I needed to do is done, so now I'm just waiting on baby:) That's a good feeling really, but with hints of antsiness around the edges;)

Posted by Beth @ 10:22 AM PST
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Friday, April 26, 2002

04.26.02
Today's appointment went all right -- I was late due to the fact that a co-worker held me up a little as I was leaving and then my back was just killing me all the way down to the train and then the bus was late at the station.

That spot where my Group B test pinched last time is apparently an ongoing general sensitive spot for me -- Dr. Foley checked my cervix and when she stuck her fingers in I yelped when she hit that spot.

On the up side, the test came up negative:)

And further on the upside ...

1 centimeter dilated, lightly effaced and baby's head is right there where Doc can feel it:)

Any day now within the next two weeks. Any day.

Posted by Beth @ 05:47 PM PST
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04.26.02
Threw up this morning for the first time in a while. My blood sugar has been low again in the mornings when I wake up. I'm hungry constantly all of a sudden again, can't get enough food. Even though I hurled, there wasn't actually anything solid in my stomach. My tummy was pretty much as empty as it gets and I ate a HUGE meal last night.

I guess that speaks to the fact that Munchkin is in fact putting on a final growth spurt and a big one at that. My stomach has ballooned in the past few weeks and I'm completely worn out every day. Sometimes I'm already tired by the time I get to work in the morning and have to struggle to stay awake for the full day.

Today I'm slugging down vast quantities of beverage and nibbling on carrots to keep hunger at bay. I'm about to slip out to pick up lunch too and hopefully that'll actually tide me through until I get home after my doc appt which is scheduled for this afternoon.

Munchkin's been squirmy down there too, same as yesterday, lots of hiccups and slight shiftings of position, lots of stretching. Sabs was staring at my stomach last night when Munchking did some of the gymnastics, because all of a sudden the old abdomen turned into a geometric shape of sorts. The look of incredulity on Sabs' face was hilarious. "Your stomach just went -flat- on one side," he exclaimed in amazement.

"Uh huh," said I. "Welcome to being pregnant."

His dad called last night too with some good news about making a second round of interviews. The doorbell rang while Sabs and he were speaking, so I chatted on the phone with him about the baby for a little. He confirmed that he and Sabs' mom will be in town on June 5th for a long weekend to meet the bub. Very cool, though I can't help wishing now that we lived closer. This will be after all, the only child of their only child (until Munchkin is older and we have another at least) and their first grandchild and all that, and they're going to miss most of the babe's first year. *sigh*

Posted by Beth @ 12:36 PM PST
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Thursday, April 25, 2002

04.25.02
Wow. I was just looking at the calendar and realized that after this weekend, we're heading into the "Red Zone".

I'll be full term -- 39 weeks in the middle of next week around May 1.

This means that all three of the upcoming weekends are possible baby weekends if I don't 'pop' during the week. Our doula called today to say that she's on a camping trip in San Jose this weekend and hence is 1.5 hours away instead of a half hour away in case I go into labor.

I've been feeling a little bit different lately, but I really don't expect to see any action this weekend. Next weekend isn't unlikely though. Based on my estimated date of conception, any time between May 1 and May 31 is full-term and not 'overdue'. So I've been paying a little bit more attention to all the things my body has been saying of late.

My B-H are still getting stronger, though not so strong as to be straight on contractions yet. They're still just uncomfortable, not painful. They haven't upped in frequency either -- I still only get them when I walk a lot or do a lot of chores around the house. Otherwise they're quiescent.

Munchkin on the other hand is more active. The need to pee and the baby kicking woke me up last night and kept me up for almost 2 hours, while I watched the clock slow tick over from 1 to 1:30 to 2 to 2:30 and finally dozed off again just before 3am.

This is fairly unusual for Munchkin who usually keeps a pretty steady pattern of activity. I think the kiddo is probably getting unhappy with how little space is left. I've -really- rounded out in the past couple of weeks, the baby is taking up all the room from just below my breasts, all the way to my upper thighs. Big kid.

One of the other reasons I had so much trouble getting to sleep while the baby was active last night was that every movement pushed into my stomach which made my tummy upset. It took a while for the Rolaids to kick in and mitigate the effects of the acid churning up. As a result I've been tired, woozy and out of it all day. My blood sugar was funky this morning, giving me a headache as I got into work and I'm still feeling really tired out. It took a lot of eating and drinking today to assuage those symptoms.

So I'm basically thinking "any time now" but probably between May 5 and May 15 still. I won't be surprised if Munchkin decides to arrive before my mother and before any of my projected "I will be out on maternity leave" dates. Interestingly though, we're pretty much locked into Taurus as the astrological sign at this point, unless Munchkin goes late and doesn't get here until my Dad does on the 24th.

That'll be a 'new' sign in my immediate circle of family, which so far has been Gemini, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Aries and Scorpio. Both my brother and my husband are Aries and a large percentage of my close friends. It'll be interesting having another sign associated with stubbornness in the house. Heh.

Posted by Beth @ 04:15 PM PST
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Wednesday, April 24, 2002

04.24.02
So today at work, my project lead comes over and suddenly announces: "All Hands meeting, right now" and I panicked 'cos I didn't have a meeting listed on my calendar or an invite or anything.

I walk into the room with the other woman who is pregnant here and find everyone sitting around with cake and cookies and packages: they threw us a surprise shower!

Munchkin picked up another cute little outfit, including (yay!) booties and a Winnie the Pooh gift set, that includes a headrest, bottle, bottle holder, rattle and wash cloth. There was also a gift certificate to Toys R Us tucked into the envelope with my card for a not insubstantial amount of cash.

We'll probably be using that to get a stroller/car seat system, the last big ticket item on our list!

I'm pretty overwhelmed right now. The kindnesses and generosity just keep flowing and the beauty of it makes me want to cry.

Munchkin has been very squirmy lately. Lots of shifting around and turning my tummy triangular, lots of pushing up under my ribs and sticking feet into bladder and so on and bumping head against cervix area. Some of it is more ouch inducing than other bits. The most uncomfortable is when I get a B-H and baby pushes back. That starts to hurt and a few times it's fooled me into thinking that there was the odd 'real' contraction going on.

My doctor's office also called to reschedule my appointment for Friday and it's already Wednesday, so now I'm nervous about squeezing one into this week. I'm supposed to be having weekly ones at this point, and I haven't met this last doc in the practice yet.

At least my next one after this isn't until Friday next, so if they can't get me in this week, I can go in on Monday if there's a time available.

My fatigue is increasing exponentially as I get further and further along. Munchkin's getting heavier and heavier in there. I grunt when I get up out of bed, stand out of the bus and train seats and any chair in the house. In fact, getting up is something I try to avoid in general. I try to roll instead -- the couch has been folded down into futon bed for months now and I just roll off it when it's time to go to bed.

I need to move my nightstand so I can shove the co-sleeper further up toward my head so I can roll out of our bed again too. It's too far down right now, effectively blocking me from getting up at all unless I scoot down in the bed first and then swing my legs over the side of the bed.

We've been debating spending money that we don't have on a new bed. The old bed frame is pretty much shot, it's listing to one side and probably won't survive another move. To boot, it's the wrong size for the mattress, because Ikea switched their mattress sizes between the time Sabs bought the bed and when we bought the new mattress. The frame is a European king and the mattress is an American queen. An American king mattress would be too large, so we'd have to special order the mattress from the UK to have a mattress that fits properly.

Since the mattress is only two years old and the frame is more than ten, we're thinking that getting ourselves a nice new bed frame might be the wiser course of action. Another reason to get a new frame: the current one is futon height, barely 18 inches off the ground. A new frame would bring the mattress up to the proper height to be an unbroken surface with the co-sleeper which is currently a little bit too high.

Posted by Beth @ 04:47 PM PST
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Monday, April 22, 2002

04.22.02
I had my baby shower, courtesy of my good friend Jennifer on Sunday afternoon. We had a really lovely time -- it was laid back and casual, a small but friendly and chipper group gathered at one of my favorite pubs in Berkeley.

Munchkin was once again showered with useful and adorable things, for which I'd like to thank everyone.

Lucy: the books will be a delight to read to the baby. Thank you so much:)

Jennifer and Richard: the diapers are super and will be put to work very very quickly.

Cindy: the toys are absolutely precious, the calling card will no doubt be a life saver in the hospital and the sleep positioner is highly appreciated.

Tina: the bath toy is hilarious -- I keep making fish faces at Sabs.

Mrs. Mueller: the music box is lovely -- we're putting it away safe for now until we have a spot for it where the cats won't knock it over.

Mom: the gown is absolutely beautiful, you always know how to make me feel like a princess.

Perhaps the best part of the shower, were the sweet words of advice and wisdom that Jennifer collected for us from friends and family. Some were funny, some more serious, but all much appreciated and things that I will take to heart.

My mother in particular wrote something that I will do my utmost to remember: trust your instincts.

I couldn't have asked for a better shower -- thank you so much Jen.

Posted by Beth @ 08:24 AM PST
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Friday, April 20, 2002

04.20.02
So I started to write this on Saturday, but one of the cats was pawing around the computer and hit the power button by mistake and turned it off, so I lost the entire entry.

Most annoying, but here's the recap.

We finally went on the hospital touron Saturday afternoon, expecting to spend about an hour at the hospital getting familiar with the layout of the maternity ward and procedures for check-in.

The tour ended up lasting nearly two and a half hours, at the end of which my energy was seriously flagging and my back was complaining from wandering around hallways at a strolling pace for so long.

The upshot of the tour is that we are now fully pre-registered except for a photocopy of my insurance card. All we have to do is walk in and up to the maternity floor when I go into labor and most of my check-in should go pretty quickly as there ought not to be much in the way of further paperwork to fill out.

Overall I'm pretty happy with Alta Bates as a location for delivery. There are some little things I have gripes about: how high the beds are, the fact that the LDR rooms are a little bit on the small side though nicely renovated, the stuffiness of the hospital in general. I kept wanting to open up all the windows and get some fresh air going.

There are also some things I like a lot: the rooftop gardens on either end of the ward for walking during labor or relaxing post-partum. The hospital's overall philosophy is just what I want too: encouragment of movement, position changes etc. to help labor along, and a full two hours of recovery in the LDR to bond with baby and let baby latch on for breastfeeding. Sleeping in is also standard, though I don't like their silly transparent plastic bassinets.

Suffice to say, most of what I want will be available to me without any fuss, so I'm looking forward to having a good birth.

Posted by Beth @ 08:17 AM PST
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Thursday, April 18, 2002

04.18.02
I called the advice nurse this morning about the stinging and she said that doc probably just hit a sensitive spot when collecting the swab since the tissues can be quite tender down there right now. Since it pinched when doc took the swab, she's pretty sure that it'll clear up in a few days and sitting in a warm tub will help it heal.

Annoying, but nothing to worry about.

On a more positive note, we met with a doula last night and it went really well and I'm pretty sure that we'll be hiring her.

She was very easy to talk to, had an open and friendly manner and her philosophy seemed like a pretty good match with mine. We had a long conversation about means of relaxation and what sorts of strategies I'd like to adopt, how I feel about handling pain and so on. I asked her about her training and experience and what sort of manner she feels comfortable adopting with a client and other general 'feel out' questions.

Sabs was pretty happy with her too, and is glad that we'll be having someone else to help support us who isn't family and will help us both stay on track with the things that we trained on.

A huge bonus with this doula is that she's a licensed massage therapist -- I'm sure that that is going to help enormously when I'm in labor. I respond well to massage and in general just love getting all the tension washed out of my body by gentle touch.

In addition to having good qualifications and a warm manner, this lady has the most beautiful name: Islena Faircrest. Isn't that just gorgeous?

So I'm all excited, because this was one of the last things I wanted to take care of before labor and all the more so because we seem to have lucked into a good match.

Posted by Beth @ 12:08 PM PST
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Wednesday, April 17, 2002

04.17.02
Ow.

So the happy little Group B Strep test has left me with a stinging/burning sensation at the test site every time I need to pee.

I am -not- a happy camper.

Drinking much much water to dilute ye olde urine to keep it from stinging as much as possible.

*grumble*

Posted by Beth @ 04:37 PM PST
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04.17.02
Gyahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Had my '36' week appointment today with Dr. Foley and she did my Group B Strep Test. Hunca munca did that thing ever -sting-. I hope that it comes up negative and I -don't- have to have the test again because it was massively uncomfortable, close to painful in fact, no doubt due to increased sensitivity in parts that are rather tender to start with.

I also gained a lot of weight, yowsers, Munchkin is REALLY getting ready in there. I put on 8 lbs since my last visit, to hit an all time high of 252lbs. Hot dang. Clothes still fit though, so I'm not worried:) Munchkin'll be here before I 'outgrow' anything.

My BP was -really- good, 110/70 the past times it's been up must have been from the fall and worrying about the fall.

It also turns out that Dr. Foley is expecting and is due just a month after I am! I feel like a total doof for not noticing before. She just 'popped' since my last visit with her so it was much more noticeable. In an odd way I find it reassuring that my primary OB is also expecting, because it means she'll just be that much more knowledgeable from a personal perspective about what it's like to be pregnant. On the flip side, I'll have my fingers crossed that she doesn't go into labor early 'cos I'd really love to have 'my' doctor there for our delivery, no matter how much I like the other folks in the practice.

Munchkin's truckin' away in there -- heartbeat as steady and strong as usual, though the babe was squirming around a little this time and didn't want to sit still for the doppler. Dr. Foley had to chase kiddo around a little bit until we got a nice strong read.

We were talking about maternity leave and stuff and she's going to work until she delivers too. She told me that one of the other docs in the practice, was expecting several years ago and went into labor while performing a c-section on a patient. Her water broke just as she was finishing up, but she didn't call in another doc until then.

These are some dedicated folks in this practice, which impresses me all the more and affirms to me that we made the right choice.

I left all my forms for maternity leave and disability insurance with the office to fill out and we'll pick 'em up next week for filing. We'll also add our Birth Preferences List to my file then, even though it's mostly already done, because I may have one more piece of info to add after tonight.

We're interviewing a doula at last, tonight and I'm hoping that we hit it off as well in person as we did on the phone 'cos I'm desperate at this point, to find someone. She's willing to do low-cost, just enough to cover her own childcare expenses if she needs to get a sitter and she just sounds so nice on the phone. I'm all excited about this, though a little nervous too -- Sabs is under orders to clean up the foyer before this evening 'cos one cannot even walk in and out of it properly right now due to all the boxes from various deliveries!:)

It's a beautiful day, the sun is shining, the air is sweet, and I'm feeling pretty happy about everything, despite funky dreams, a seized up left shoulder and the amount of space Munchkin is taking up now. Even with all the trouble we've had to face, life is good and I can't wait until this baby is here to share the goodness with us.

Posted by Beth @ 11:17 AM PST
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Tuesday, April 16, 2002

04.16.02
So today the ninth month officially begins. This is it -- the last month, the home stretch. I can hardly believe that it's been eight months since I first read that positive result on the pregnancy test.

I look down at my stomach and sometimes have trouble believeing that I'm nine months pregnant too. I mean, I can -feel- it, but it still doesn't really -look- it to me, from the top looking down.

Any day now really, and baby would be fine, though a really early arrival isn't something I'm worried about. I still have Braxton-Hicks contractions, but no serious cramping, or other signs of early labor. Just lots of 'late pregnancy' symptoms:) Aching back, swelly feet, fatigue and the inability to eat much in one sitting continue to dog me, though as symptoms go I realize that I'm one lucky girl that I feel as comfortable as I do even this late in the pregnancy.

Lovely gifts from family and friends continue to pour in -- another thing I feel blessed about. Roni sent the kidlet a huge stuffed tiger that is just absolutely adorable as well as the baby tub we had on our registry. My order of baby hats from Baby Jockey finally arrived too, so Munchkin will definitely have a going-home hat in white with a little rocking horse on the brim.

The crochet is building up nicely too -- it actually looks like the top of a hat, though the early stiches are a little bit uneven -- testament to the fact that I was getting used to the rhythm of the craft again.

We have an appointment with doc tomorrow morning. Group B Strep test, blech blech blech and then we start weekly visits until baby arrives.

Wow.:)

Posted by Beth @ 01:38 PM PST
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Monday, April 15, 2002

04.15.02
After our cleaning spree last night, my left shoulder was so badly seized up that I had to take a hot shower to loosen it. Even then it was still bothering me, to the point where I wanted to just curl up in bed. Holding up a book wasn't very comfy though, but I wanted something to keep my busy.

That's when it finally occurred to me just -where- my crochet hook has been hiding. I've been looking for it for about 2 weeks. It wasn't with the rest of my 'woolly' gear, which would have been the logical place for it, in the bag with my spools of wool and knitting needles and so on. It also wasn't in my sewing kit, though I know I used it not that long ago to loop together the pieces of a knit sweater.

Then it hit me -- the cedar trunk downstairs with the rest of my fabric in it still has some odds and ends of equipment that haven't been moved up yet. So down the stairs I went, dug the trunk out from under a pile of crap and sure enough, both of my crochet hooks were tucked in there between the side of the trunk and the fabric.

Back up goes me, to settle in for a reacquaintancing with the art of crocheting a hat. I worked from about 8:30 to 10ish last night. The motions were oddly soothing after I got the hang of making the stitches again. By the time I put the lights out, my shoulder was almost completely loosened up, though my right wrist was bothering me a little because I've lost the 'technique' of holding the crochet-work, since the last time I made anything this way.

I ripped out what I was doing about six times and started over as memories of making hats with my grandmother leaked back into my sleepy brain. By the time I went to sleep though, I had the crown of a little cap half built.

I worked on it some more on the train today and it's shaping up nicely. More and more of the technique is coming back to me as I work more. For example I remembered that yes, you ARE actually supposed to count stitches and make increases at particular points to shape the hat in different ways. Gram taught me to make tam o' shanters and to make a tam, you need to increase at logical points to build the hat out in 'triangular' sections.

I'm not aiming to make a tam this time though, but something a bit more rounded, so I've been experimenting with where to make my increases. In a few more rows, I should be able to start decreasing a little to turn the brim of the hat down to make a little cap. And voila, we'll have baby hatness for Munchkin.

Crocheting will be my early labor project see. I'm going to need something to keep my busy that is fairly mindless and relaxing. When one gets going with crochet or knitting, the rhythm of moving the wool or thread along can be very soothing. I'm choosing crochet over knitting for this because of the pointiness of knitting needles. I've been clumsy lately, dropping things and so on. Sabs has 'forbidden' me to sew because he's afraid I'll stitch through my fingers with the sewing machine or put a needle through a finger. He's probably right, so I've been avoiding sewing projects even though my hands are -itching- to be domestic and creative. I'd love to finish the quilt I've been working on, but there's no way I can finish it 'in time' between my schedule and the 'dropsies' I keep having.

Crochet is safe and pretty easy and you can still make tons of pretty things, so I'm all excited about finding my hooks again. I'm considering popping over to the local craft store to see if I can pick up some soft cotton instead of wool since Munchkin will be born in a warmer season and wool isn't really necessary.

Posted by Beth @ 10:14 AM PST
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Sunday, April 14, 2002

04.14.02
We were -so- good today.

We vacuumed. We swept. We Swiffered. We moved Things. We stored Things.

Our living room now looks cozy and almost neat. There's still a few trailing Things, but most everything has been arranged in some fashion.

The piles of Things on one side of the bedroom have been dealth with.

More piles of old clothes have been tossed into the dustbin or prepared for a journey to GoodWill.

I can walk in and out of my closet. I can walk around the bed without tripping.

There's a good three feet of space on my side of the bed, where the co-sleeper in its box, is now sitting. It awaits assembly and testing only now, in order to be ready for Munchkin.

We were both very tired at points today and had to keep each other pumped up to keep going. We didn't let ourselves stop until dinner time. Sabs is upstairs making steak and fries and salad for dinner. I set the table and organized a few more things in the kitchen.

Munchkin's been quiet for the last couple of hours, though I expect an activity surge soon -- we've had a busy day and the babe may just be as tired as I am.

My shoulders ache, my legs ache, my feet ache, my back aches.

But gosh is it ever nice to see the place slowly pulling itself into shape for Munchkin's arrival.

Next step: couch and computer moving to get the office into its final state of readiness for Grandma's arrival next month.

Posted by Beth @ 06:13 PM PST
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Saturday, April 13, 2002

04.13.02
We stayed up too late last night -- Sabs was gaming, I was reading one of the baby books. Sabs didn't come up until 2:30am, I'd been asleep for well over an hour by then, but I still stayed up later than I should have.

We got a slow start on today as a result and were out in the baking sun walking to lunch, then walking to the store and walking back. Munchkin was 'hanging low' today and very far forward, pulling my abdomen down like a rock. Both of the walks we took had me holding onto the small of back as if it were going to pop off.

We were going to go to the hospital to take a tour of the birth center today, but by the time we got back from the store, I was beat and in a fair amount of sore/achey pain in my back. Sabs also talked to his Mom for a while, such that it was too late to start the walk down to the hospital. So we didn't go.

My feet got pretty swollen today too, mostly from the heat. I can't seem to drink enough -- slugging down water like crazy, and consequently going to the bathroom frequently. It's cooled off now that the sun is well down, but I still feel a little bit puffy around the edges footwise and my lips are a little dry.

Time to get to bed I think, and rest up, because tomorrow we need to make up for being sloth puppies today.

Posted by Beth @ 10:35 PM PST
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Friday, April 12, 2002

04.12.02
Left work much much later than I meant to because I was determined to finish all the documentation of my position today. I'd promised it to our new project lead on Wednesday, so I really wanted to make good on the promise and prove to her that yes, I am actually organized and capable of outlining and managing my own projects.

So I got the documentation done, but I didn't wind up leaving until after 6pm. This was bad because we needed to head down to take a look at a used futon that this nice German couple was selling through the Berkeley Parents list. For twenty bucks. Yes that's right, twenty bucks. A whole double-sized futon with frame for twenty dollars.

By the time I left though, my left shoulder was seizing up fiercely from all the typing I'd done, the Munchkin was hungry and squirm-stretching in that painful way that shoves baby ass up into my ribs and out my right side and I was just generally feeling a bit out of it and dehydrated.

Sabs popped up at the BART station -just- in time to hop onto 43 bus down to the nice German couple's house. I poured a handful of change into his hand for the bus fare and we were off. The driver, unfortunately didn't know which stop was closest to their street, so we got off two stops too soon, much to the detriment of my back and abdomen.

The futon was just what I wanted though -- a nice tight design that doesn't take up much room. Much less room than the bigass This End Up frame. The futon has gotten a little thin with use, but we can always put the single futon on top of the double for Mom. It smells blissfully free of cat urine though, which was the whole point. Poor Shara is sick, so it's understandable that she's been losing her bladder. But still. I'm getting really really tired of having to wash whatever we've covered the couch with every two days.

The 'new' futon is covered up with the vinyl mattress cover from the bed until I can pick up another waterproof pad for it. Hopefully that will suffice to keep it 'safe' until all the appropriate pieces of protection have been purchased.

The husband in the nice German couple very generously gave us a ride back to our place with the futon in tow. That was incredibly kind and saved my poor back more strain, as by the time we left their place I was starting to feel pretty rotten. I dragged myself upstairs and cleared a path for Mr. German Guy and Sabs to bring the pieces of the futon up and then promptly went to sack out, first in the rocker, which didn't help my left shoulder, and then on the upstairs futon.

I'd promised I'd call out for pizza 'cos Sabs was completely winded by carrying up the futon frame and most of the dishes are dirty again and it was roasting hot in here when we got home. But it felt so good to get the weight off my abdomen that I kind of phased out while Sabs was on the phone with a friend.

He came up a while later to ask about the pizza and I had to guiltily confess that I hadn't called yet 'cos I thought he was still on the phone. He asked me if I had the number for the pizza place. To which I had to say no. A little while later, I finally dragged myself off the couch to hunt the number down and found, much to my consternation that the take out menus were not where I thought they were.

Then Sabs popped up with the phone in hand, already talking to the pizza place. I flopped back onto the couch for a while, then hauled myself up again to give Shara her treatment. And of course that's when the pizza guy rang the doorbell.

Munchkin is kicking lazily now, seemingly happy with pizza in my belly. Shara is treated. Sabs is busily playing his weekly RPG and I'm going to go hop in the shower to get the damn knot in my left shoulder to release before I go get some, I think, well-deserved sleep.

Posted by Beth @ 11:19 PM PST
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04.12.02
So I followed this link from Athena to Amy's birth story for Spencer and I almost cried, because that's pretty much exactly as I've been hoping our birth will go, minus the IV as long as I don't have Group B Strep.

Ever since we took the Bradley classes, that is what I've been envisioning for labor -- hard work, but manageable with the proper support.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Posted by Beth @ 11:46 AM PST
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04.12.02
Got my order of used baby books from Amazon yesterday. One of them is seriously messed up, the pages are all out of order so a lot of skipping around is necessary to read it, but the text is all there at least.

The others are fine and I've been assiduously reading "Your Amazing Newborn" and "The Year After Childbirth" since yesterday evening. The newborn book is a 'fun' sort of read, has a lot of interesting facts about fetus and baby development, but not much in the way of practical advice, it's more about understanding the general behavior of babies and what wonderful things they're capable even when very young.

"The Year After Childbirth" on the other hand, is all about practical. Lots of suggestions about how to breastfeed properly, deal with ones emotions, eat right and so on and so forth. I skipped into it to read the breastfeeding chapter because breastfeeding has been foremost in my mind lately.

Even with the lovely gift of time off I've been given, I've been feeling a pressing need to figure out as much as possible about breastfeeding and how to manage getting breastmilk to Munchkin when I will have to go back to work so quickly. It's making me wonder if there's a childcare place right around here somewhere, or even if they'll let me bring the bub in to work for a little while until my milk supply and baby's feeding habits are well-established.

We've signed up for a Baby Care and Breastfeeding class at the hospital for 2 weeks from now. It's a little close timewise, but that's the next available weekend session, so that's the one we'll be going to. This should be good for Sabs too, so that he'll get some practice with how to handle a young baby -- holding, diapering and all that fun stuff. I did so much babysitting when I was younger, and grew up with two younger siblings that I only feel like I need a refresher in newborn care in particular. Sabs has never had to take care of a really little baby before though, so I'm hoping this class will be useful to get us through those first few weeks.

I'm slurping down a mango-peach smoothie right now -- reminding myself to eat yellow fruits and veggies for Vitamin A. I've been a little lax in that department lately. I think another bag of carrots to bring in, is in order.

Posted by Beth @ 10:35 AM PST
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Thursday, April 11, 2002

04.11.02
So, something wonderful has happened over the last two days. Something I didn't expect, but makes my throat close up with emotion: gratitude, gladness, relief.

As I have written before, I have been facing a shortage of paid time off, which meant that my maternity leave would essentially be unpaid, except for state disability payments. These payments have a cap on them and would not cover our basic expenses since Sabs is still unemployed and only receiving an unemployment check.

That check in fact, helps to make up the difference between our monthly budget and a small disparity that my paycheck doesn't cover in the first place. Since Sabs was laid off, we've faced a deficit of roughly $300 every month, meaning that we can -just- pay the bills, but food money has to be very carefully handled. His unemployment money covers the groceries, essentially.

That's a very tight bind to be in while expecting. Something which has caused me no end of stress. The prospect of being unable to rest after labor was not a happy one.

However, yesterday, a co-worker and I went down to HR and signed some papers and now I have some time off with pay. Thanks to this co-worker, I have the best baby gift ever: time to spend with my baby.

This miracle came about due to a policy I hadn't noticed before, in our Employee Handbook. Employees with a time off deficit and a medical emergency can apply to HR for a donation from other employees who may have a surplus or capped out their maximum paid time off. I qualify under the terms of the policy and my co-worker generously donated 2 weeks of PTO for me to be out on leave with.

Combined with my illness bank hours, I will have a full 3 weeks now, to recover and spend time bonding with Munchkin.

I'm beyond touched. I'm mostly speechless and gratified by the generosity of this person.

As crazy as the world is right now, it's a wonderful thing to know that there are still people like this out there, willing to extend a helping hand for someone in need.

Posted by Beth @ 07:43 AM PST
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Tuesday, April 9, 2002

04.09.02
Babe got busy again last night, squirming around like crazy and putting on quite a show across the surface of my tummy.

We were supposed to be watching TV, but I found the bumps and pokes going on across my abdomen to be much more interesting. Sabs can feel the rough placement of body parts when he rests his hands on my skin, but oddly enough he couldn't see the show last night. I kept pointing at little shoulders or what I assume could be a foot, poking up toward the light and Sabs would shake his head and say he couldn't see anything.

It's so obvious to me, I really don't understand how he can miss the rhythmic pulsing in and out of my stomach like that. It's so different from breathing, which moves most of the lower part of my body plus my chest. The kicks and squirms are very localized and quite distinctive to my mind.

It's amazing to me that there's this little person in there poking back at me. I kept pushing back lightly where I felt the bump and a few seconds later there'd be an answering tap. If I ran my hand along what I think is the baby's back, there'd be a soft rolling movement and then that little body would push up against my hand and stay there for a while.

Sabs likes to put his mouth against my tummy too and talk nonsense to the kidlet -- he's so funny, gets the goofiest look on his face when he does that. He's going to be a great Dad.

Munchkin is low again today, giving my lungs a break, but putting pressure down below as a result. The walk to work felt a little funny, every now and then babe's head would bump downward and it'd feel like I was walking with baby head between my legs, though of course Munchkin's nowhere near down that far. I'm sure I looked really funny though, waddling along as if I had a softball between my legs.

Posted by Beth @ 10:58 AM PST
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Monday, April 8, 2002

04.08.02
Phew.

Well we did it. We got both closets cleaned out and ALL of the clothes sorted through and put away. All of them.

It's unbelievable what a relief this is. I keep looking around for piles of clean laundry and then have to remind myself that yes, Beth, everything is actually either in the closet or in the bureau at last.

There's still some cleanup detail to do -- vacuum up all the dust we raised in this massive effort, for example. A call to the Berkeley Waste Disposal folks is in order too, to get rid of some bulk items that can't be left curbside. And there's a pile of books on the bed from the floor where they've been stacked for months and months as well as a couple of bags of books that were meant for the used book store, but had writing in them and the store wouldn't take them as a result, that need going through and putting away of some kind.

There's boxes to be broken down too and put out for the recycling guys, and I need to finish neatening up my bin of fabric and get all of the sewing gear into pretty much one place.

But the bulk of the reorganization is done and now Sabs can put the co-sleeper together so we can see if it fits by the bed. We may have gotten the wrong model, the one that fits standard height beds. If so it shouldn't be too hard to trade it in for the other model which is shorter and comes with leg extensions and is meant to fit anything from a futon on up.

The glider is all put together too -- it didn't take long, there was blissfully little to do. Tina came over and took us out to lunch and then she and I with some help from Sabs, attached the back and arms to the base and tucked the pillows in and voila, I now have an extremely comfy chair to sit in. It's tilted just right to support my lower back, it's a challenge to get me to get out of that chair now, because it's so comfortable.

This morning I woke up after a long night of upset stomach, still feeling like my stomach was trying to run out the window while leaving me behind. To boot Daylight Savings kicked my rearend with the result that I'm in a fog of 'jetlag' today, and still feel like I'm going to toss my cookies any second.

Not the best way to feel, though I suppose it's only to be expected after putting forth such a Herculean effort over the weekend.

I feel much more ready now for Munchkin's arrival. We have a place for the baby to sleep, a place to rock the baby, clothes to put on the baby, towels and blankets with which to wrap the baby, and provided my body is accomodating and Munchy learns to latch on properly, a ready-made food supply.

We're missing very little of what I'd consider basics at this point. Just need some diapers and bottles to be ready for the first few months.

That's a good feeling despite my stomach's apparent desire to take a trip to Shanghai without me.

Posted by Beth @ 12:00 PM PST
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Sunday, April 7, 2002

04.07.02
Gyahhh. I feel like I've been running a marathon.

But all I've been doing is helping Sabs to clean out our closets, sort through clothes and decide what to keep, what to send home to Mom (winter clothes that we just don't need in California) and what to give to Goodwill.

With the arrival of so many things for Munchkin, we finally got up the motivation to go through the closets, they need to be completely reorganized so that we have space for baby's stuff, not to mention needing room to set up the co-sleeper.

This is a job that we should have done a long time ago -- basically we never really finished moving in properly, there were boxes I just shoved into the closets to get out of the way after we moved in to this place in May of 2000. I cleared out a lot of those when I lost my job last February and was out of work for two months, but then I got my current job and ran out of time to finish the job. And that's how the closets have stood ever since.

There's sewing stuff in the bedroom closet, and still-packed boxes of notebooks and papers, as well as a few boxes of things from my old room at my parents' place that moved from our old apartment after my parents sold their house in August of '99. All of it is being gone through and triaged into keep, trash, and move to XYZ location.

We've gotten about halfway through the job as of yesterday, but it was such a huge effort, that I conked out on the couch around 9:30 after eating dinner and woke up shaky and disoriented. In a daze, I hauled myself into the bedroom, moved all the crap on the bed into a pile on the floor/on the couch frame that's been sitting in the bedroom since Sabs' birthday party and curled up to go back to sleep.

What this means is that there's still a huge pile of clothes in the middle of the floor this morning. They need to be hung up in the bedroom closet, but before we can really do that, I need to finish going through the drawers in there and clear out one final pile of stuff off the floor. That pile includes my sewing machine and yet-another-broken-boom-box.

We have two boom-boxes, the one I used in college and a coolio one from Jeep I got for Sabs a few Christmases ago for him to use either at work or in the car. Both of these broke due to power surges in this apartment during the rolling blackouts last year. Our main stereo is also broken because of the cats. We've meant to take all this stuff down to get fixed since we moved, but it was never a high priority money-wise, so it just kept waiting and waiting.

In the meantime, the only equipment we have for playing music is my portable CD player when hooked up to a small pair of computer speakers, or the computers themselves.

At any rate, the picture of our apartment is bleak indeed today. I used up almost all my energy on yesterday's spree and I'm achey and sore today, contemplating how to finish the job. Tina is coming over in an hour or so to have lunch and help put the glider together and neither Sabs nor I is dressed, or showered and the kitchen is a disaster area.

The one thing about pregnancy that I think I will really -not- miss, is how quickly my energy levels go from fine to nil. It's truly a disadvantage when there's so much to do to get ready for baby.

Right now, though I'm pleased with the fact that all of the clothes are out of the living room closet and a number of things we don't need daily are now in there, I'm displeased with the fact that I still don't have enough room to put anything for Munchkin where I want to on one side of the bedroom because all that stuff still needs to be moved.

And I feel like I've been run over with a Mac truck so I don't exactly feel like doing it right this second either. Baaaah.

Posted by Beth @ 11:38 AM PST
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Friday, April 5, 2002

04.05.02
And there was another box waiting when I got home -- the ducky hooded towels from Pottery Barn have arrived, courtsey of my friend Leanne!

Whee! Thank you Leanne, I'm sure Munchkin will appreciate having nice warm towels to curl up in after baths:):):)

Posted by Beth @ 08:13 PM PST
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04.05.02
Woo! Had an appt today and finally met Dr. Honegger who is the doc that my friend Cindy originally recommended to me. She's really great and I totally see why Cindy recommended the practice to me, based on Dr. Honegger's manner. She was very thorough and caring at the same time, with a good sense of humor.

She did all the usual exam foo and declared that Munchkin is properly head down, with head on the right side of my abdomen. She could feel exactly where it was and found the heartbeat with little trouble, still in that spot about 2 inches below and to the right of my belly button.

Next time is the icky, check for Group B Strep exam, blech blech blech. But after that it's the countdown to Munchkin Day -- weekly appointments scheduled for April 17, April 26, May 3 and May 9. I didn't bother scheduling one for the week that kidlet is due: baby will either be here by then, or I can schedule another appt as the time gets nearer.

I've lost two pounds since my last appointment, but that's not really anything to be concerned about at my weight and this late in the pregnancy. I haven't been eating -quite- as much, so it's understandable. I'll make an effort to eat my eggs and more fruit this week -- the past two have been hectic to say the least.

I keep thinking about Munchkin in terms of a person these days -- what will you look like little dear one? What will you sound like? What will it feel like to hold you in my arms? Will you be fussy or quiet? How cute will you look in all your little outfits?

A friend from online sent us a box which arrived last night: a big ole teddy bear with the prettiest combination of brown, tan and green ribbons around its neck. I'll probably take the ribbons off until you get older Munchy, so you don't choke 'cos some of them are thin ribbons and would be far too easy for little baby fingers to get a hold of.

Sabs also tells me that another box arrived today with a co-sleeper in it. I'll know for sure who sent it when I get home, but I'm close to bawling I'm so touched, because that was one of the big-ticket items I really wanted and didn't have any money for and now it's here and and and ... just *sniff* I have the best friends in the whole world.

Thank you all of you for helping to take care of us and our little Munchkin.

Posted by Beth @ 04:07 PM PST
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Thursday, April 4, 2002

04.04.02
It's been a stressful few days ... we did our taxes and have a -huge- amount of money due. Basically all of our resources will be completely tapped out between paying taxes and taking care of Shara.

Munchkin's been sort of quiet lately -- probably responding to my mood. Today though, it's all kicks, electric boogie down there as kidlet picks up the pace.

I'm starting to feel the strain of being over 34 weeks along -- my back hurts more often, I'm out of breath a lot, my gait has gotten waddlier, rolling over in bed is a struggle. Each day I get up and just try to take it as easy as possible, don't try to push. That's the hard part, reminding myself to stay relaxed and just do what I can instead of trying to keep up with my former level of activity.

This is the home stretch -- Munchkin'll be here soon and then it's a whole new ball game, with new factors to manage.

I'm looking forward to that challenge though. Perhaps I'm being naive, but I just feel like I'll be more competent when Munchkin and I aren't sharing body space anymore. I'll miss having the baby be a part of me in a way, but at the same time, I feel like I'll be more able to take care of baby outside of me, than inside. I guess I don't mind abusing myself physically a little when it only impacts me, but I just can't do it when kidlet would be too.

Posted by Beth @ 10:31 AM PST
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Monday, April 1, 2002

04.01.02
So I ambled on down to Walgreens today to pick up some things for baby's box and the hospital bag. One thing that I'm missing are the diapers with the cut-out for the cord. Plenty of time to get them, but they don't carry them at our grocery and Walgreens lists them on their web site.

Unfortunately the branch near work had every other size under the sun, but not Newborn. I guess I'll just order a package from the web site -- we only need one, maybe two as we'll only use disposables during the first hectic weeks and then switch to cloth diapers.

I found a pair of cheap sock-slippers for me though, with padded soles, and picked up some baby nail-clippers, which, appropriately enough say "Munchkin" on them. I also grabbed a trial-size containers of shampoo, lotion and toothpaste to slip into the bag as well as some extra toothbrushes. I bought a new packet of scrunchies and barrettes too, to keep my hair out of my face and a couple of other odds and ends to add to the stockpile.

Sabs finished the laundry with my nighties yesterday, so those are all ready too.
Now all I need is a few boxes of electrolyte drinks and some jello packs for snacks and the hospital bag is all set.

Can we say nesting?

Yeeees. Nest nest nest.

Posted by Beth @ 02:46 PM PST
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