While I will probably write a larger blog tomorrow after my last childbirth class, I wanted to write a little something about my current baby... my dog Okie.

I always wanted a dog, and when Gene and I first moved in together I pushed him for a dog constantly. One Valentine's Day he even gave me a card that he wrote on the inside how one day we will extend our family with a dog of our own. I cried.

About a year and a half later I just couldn't wait anymore. I went to a store called Pass Pets at Chesterfield Mall, and after being there for what seemed like forever, I saw this little puppy that was soaking wet from falling in her water bowl. I held her in the palm of my hand, upside down (facing up at me), and I knew instantly that this was the dog for me. My baby. My Okie.

This was Okie headed to the Mardi Gras Pet Parade 2011.

To this day I still get questions about where the name came from, but I honestly couldn't tell you. I have no idea. While I was holding her, the name just popped into my head, and we feel like that is the best name she could have ever been given. It suits her. Okie. :-)

I love her. With all my heart. She's not a dog to us, we never call her that, and it sounds weird that I'm even typing it. We call her our baby. She acts like a human, she loves like a human (if not better), and we just think the world of her. Now don't get me wrong, she has issues like anyone else - she licks constantly (not herself, but furniture and people). We yell at her probably 50 times a day about licking everything. Who knows what that's all about, but I will take a licker any day... especially her.

Okie is 9 years old now. She's had years of experience around us to know when something is going on. She knows when we are sad (and tries to give us kisses to feel better), she knows when we are happy, she knows when we are delighted with her... and now she knows that something big is changing, but she doesn't know what (at least I don't think she does). The way we can tell that she has an idea something is up is because she pouts all the time. She sleeps constantly. It's like she's depressed - she knows she wont be an only "child" anymore.

Okie fell asleep pouting last night.

So now I worry. I worry that she wont like the baby. I worry that she wont feel loved anymore. I worry that I will get all consumed with the baby that I will forget to give her some love too. I know it's probably all ridiculous to say or think, but she's been my one and only for so long that it brings tears to my eyes to think that I might hurt her. I can't even imagine how I will feel if we have a second baby.

Did I mention that we took her room over and it's now the new baby's room? We moved her into her "big girl room" but she of course hates it. She whines and cries every morning when we put her in there and shut the door. It breaks my heart, but we have to so that we can set our house alarm. She would understand if she knew, right?

So, you're probably reading this saying to yourself "Oh my goodness, it's just a dog." I hear that all the time. But, to Gene and I she is our first baby, and she will always be considered as such and never our dog.



A Lot Going On... Some Gross

Wow, the last 5 days have been eventful. Not over-the-top fun eventful, but just plain old boring eventful. Meaning there's a lot of stuff going on with baby and me.

First off, I'm going to warn you right now that what I'm about to get into isn't for everyone, so if you're squeamish about health and anatomy and such I'd turn away now and wait for the next post. Otherwise, read on for a very frustrating story.

On Wednesday night Gene and I went grocery shopping, at Schnucks of course. :) Since I ate before I left the house by the time I got to the second aisle I could feel a BM coming on. Of course, I'm like a dog or an old person - as in you walk me and I'm going to have to "potty" as Gene and I say it. I've never been one to enjoy using a public restroom to make my poos, even one as secluded as the Schnucks restroom. So, the plan was to hold it until I got home.

Well low and behold as soon as I got home I bee-lined for the bathroom and nothing. Nada. I know not to try to force it, and so after a minute of sitting there bored I gave up. I put the groceries away and decided I'd try again later. I never did get the urge to go the rest of the night so I just went to bed feeling a bit heavy. *My entire pregnancy I've always went when I had to go because I've heard all the horror stories about being constipated and such and I didn't want that to happen to me. And here, it does.

The next morning when I woke up my hips were a little stiff so I laid on my back a bit to get pressure off of them. Now, I don't know about the other pregos out there, but when I do lay on my back now it makes me have to potty. So, luckily, I had no more issues and I went without problems. One night, big deal.

Thursday night was Childbirth Class night, and we went over c-sections and a few other things as well as a refresher of the 2 classes before. We also talked about our birth plan (which of course I'm on top of it already with my 4 page worksheet for the nurse). My birth plan is super simple, so I don't foresee any of it being an issue for the doctor or nurses.

Friday morning when I woke up I was feeling pretty bloated, which is extremely odd because I have always woken up feeling refreshed, never bloated, and never any issues. It's like sleep was my magic elixir of life. I hopped in the shower and what do you know... I had hemorrhoids. How embarrassing. I've never had anything like it before. I know nothing about them, I don't know what to do about it. My mom always told me that once you get pregnant it's a roller coaster of issues, and up until now I just thought she was crazy. But now, I'm starting to think that she's correct.

So, after my discovery I just assumed it would go away on its own and I'd be fine by the end of the day. Wrong! I went to work as normal, and it was our employee appreciation picnic/bbq day so at 12pm we got to go to the lab and relax, eat and play games against the lab employees. They won as usual. After work I ran to Target to find my bikini (which was a bust as all bikinis are made for teeny-boppers or are $100+). I bought a 2 piece which still shows half of my belly - it will just have to do. I then went home, my Mom picked up Okie, Gene came home and we went to the Cards game.

Into the 2nd inning I just couldn't take it anymore and my rear was starting to bother me so bad. I couldn't get comfortable, I couldn't sit still, I was hot and sweaty, my hot dog was making me queasy, I had to leave. We did, went to Schnucks for fiber-rich foods like fruits and veggies, I bought some over-the-counter meds and we went home to chill out. I fell asleep right away. Lol, I just can't seem to stay awake too late anymore.

Saturday was the first day the pool opened at New Town and I decided I wanted to go (Gene had to work though). I got a pass this year for the adult pool. :) I enjoy that it's shallow, you can bring all your own food and drinks in, and there's no screaming kids. Let me just say that swimming with this belly feels amazing! It's like I'm magically skinny, and baby weighs nothing. I enjoyed every second. Not to mention my bum felt better in the cold water. I could have stayed all day but I brought Mom and she only lasted an hour.

That night Gene and I had Cards tickets too. We went, and he kept getting frustrated at the fact that I was walking so slow. My feet were still sore from Friday, and the sun from the morning made me so exhausted. We stayed until the 8th this game, but I noticed that my belly kept tightening up. It did it over and over and over. And when I stood to walk it felt like it would drop to the floor. It freaked me out pretty bad because in class we found that those are signs of pre-term labor. I had to leave, again. So we did. It took probably 30+ minutes for me to walk about 6 blocks. I could have cried. Gene had to hold my hand a drag me along, and then it was hell going up the stairs. We went home and I conked out. *That is the last game I'm going to until after Baby B is here.

Sunday was the first full day I got to spend with Gene in weeks (I told him it felt like a year). We had plans to visit the Science Center, but there was no way I could do that. Instead of me cancelling the plans though I was lucky that Mom wanted us to go help her buy stuff for the baby shower. We did, and can I just say that I enjoy getting to help! Then after my Dad got home from work we all went and had dinner and then went to go see The Avengers.

Monday morning I woke up and my bum felt 100% better. However, once in the shower I found that it is not better at all, just less painful. We went swimming with the rents and Gene's friend Ben for about 3 hours that afternoon, and then we had bbq at Mom and Dad's. We went home right after dinner (eat and run), and once home I was in agony. My rear end was hurting again (despite the pool alleviating all pain for hours), and on top of that, my belly was doing the tightening thing again. And this time, when I stood up, I couldn't stand straight. I was hunched over because of the belly pains. It lasted about 30 minutes, and then it went away so I know it's not contractions or anything. I wasn't gassy, I didn't have indigestion or heartburn - I have no idea what it was. However, I do know that baby wasn't moving hardly at all yesterday so I started freaking out. Bad.

Gene got me to calm down and climb into bed. After just a few second of me calming down the baby started thumping away in there. It was instant satisfaction. I could breathe. I knew my baby was okay and I was probably just stressing him/her out. I went to sleep and slept pretty great (even though I got up 6 times to pee throughout the night).

So, this morning I was hoping that everything would be fine for going back to work. On the contrary. My bum is still in bad shape, my tummy still feels odd, and I now have this beet red sunburn on about half of my body. Even more bad news is that I have a desk job so I spend most of the day sitting - my rear is never going to get any better. If someone has a miracle cure for this I would be very grateful.

Hopefully I have better news in my next blog.



Mom & Me

After I got married, and the ever-impending question of "when are you going to have kids" kept popping up everywhere, my Mom and I both finally agreed on one thing... The world is too crappy of a place to have a kid now. Well, goes to show that feelings can change.

But, now that I'm 7+ months along, I get the feeling that my Mom still feels the same way. She drops hints about things she wants for her grandchild. Things like to stay at home instead of daycare, to not take them out too much and when I do to "safe" places. I watched the news more at first because I felt more in-tune with the world once I became pregnant; part of the inner circle maybe. However, I saw all of the injustice, the crime, the hate, the murders and so much more. I'm terrified sometimes that my first instinct, that matched my mom's, was correct.

Is that the mom in me talking now? That I'm scared for my unborn baby's protection? I mean, I can only protect my child for so long, or worse, not at all because I'm not bullet-proof. I worry more about Gene now too because I want him to be around forever for our baby. (And this is where I start getting teary-eyed, when I talk about Gene with the baby.)

Deep Breath.

So, I avoid the news now. I avoid the political issues (of all kinds) online. I avoid movies about murders. I'm hiding when it doesn't help.

Maybe my Mom was right in a way. She always said that if she could go back in time she would think harder and plan better about raising me b/c of all the bad things out there. Please, I grew up just fine... sheltered actually; bubble-wrapped. She even once mentioned that if she knew now what she knew then she might not have had me at all because she still is in fear every day that something will happen to her little girl. I tell her all the time that I am the most cautious person in the world - aside from all the OCD ones out there... and I will try to raise my child(ren) to be cautious as well, but I'm already anticipating lots of panic and stress.

Sometimes I'm glad she put the fear in me because I'm much more aware of my surroundings in certain situations now. I steer clear of the areas that make me feel the slightest bit uneasy. I avoid roads that take me places I should not be in. It shouldn't be that way, but it is what it is, and so far it's worked well. I've only had a couple scary instances when I rebelled with Holli a few times (getting lost on the east side was pretty bad). The only downside is that I cringe listening to the potentially dangerous situations my friends get into, and they don't seem to care really.

So, because my mom always warned me, and showed me and coached me, I have been fine. And I will teach my baby the same things hopefully. I know this was an odd subject to write about, but I can't help but start to worry now. And with being a mom, I'm sure it will never stop.

In other news:

Ankles and feet are swelling like crazy, no matter how much fluid I consume. Have a few more stretch marks now. I'm getting tired super early in the evening and it's making me no fun. Baby keeps scaring me by not moving for long periods of time. I sometimes pee a bit when I sneeze, haha.

I'm getting into that nesting phase I think. Not the labor kind, just the have-to-get-it-all-done-today kind. Gene is exhausted by me I'm sure because I'm always on him to do something. But, I feel like I'm so behind, when just a few weeks ago I thought I was ahead of the game.

7 weeks, 1 day until due date! Yay!



Getting Bigger

Well, here I am at 32 weeks, 3 days, and I already feel so huge I cannot imagine getting any larger. That's what I'm supposed to say right? I've been told numerous times "Once you feel like you can't get any bigger, it happens overnight."

"Being pregnant is an occupational hazard of being a wife." -Queen Victoria

I now have to have Gene push me out of bed sometimes; when he's asleep it takes me a few tries to move all the pillows, throw one leg over, and use my arm to push myself up. If I eat too much when we're out he has to help me out of his car (he has deep bucket seats). If I've been sitting on the couch too long, he has to pull me up. There are other scenarios as well, but those are the most common.

The reason I need help is because since I'm getting bigger I tend to get this tearing or ripping feeling on the lower right of my belly if I don't have help when needed. It's not harmful in any way, but if it ends up hurting me I have to stand there a bit to relax before I can get moving again. I had my appendix removed a few years ago and the area that has the tearing feeling is where my scar is... not sure if there's any relation.

When I am home alone (which tends to be a lot lately) I tend to only sit on our ottoman so that I don't "sink" in and feel like I'm glued when I try to get up. I am very careful not to drop stuff because it gets harder every day to bend or squat to pick it up. And if I do sit on the couch I try to sit with my legs to the side of me so I can just flip them over the front to get up in one clean motion.

My clothes are getting tighter/smaller. Every morning when I get dressed I seem to get worn out and out of breath from dressing. Lol. Maybe it's my exercise of the day. Oh, and don't even get me started about how I'm taking up about 2/3 of the downstairs shower now. I've bumped my belly on the wall probably a dozen times.

Reading through what I've already written I almost sound like I'm complaining. But the truth is that Gene and I giggle about it every time he has to help me up, or how I waddle. Don't get me wrong, I grunt when I'm having problems, and I whine that I hate having to have Gene help me so much, but it's not that bad. It's actually pretty cute that he's so into helping me get around. :-)

Looking forward to:

- My belly button popping out (or just pushing out further).
- Wearing a bikini at the pool this year.
- All the comments at the showers about how big I've grown (I don't mind).
- The belly touching.

Not looking forward to:

- Stretch marks (I've gotten 2 already).
- Additional weight.
- Having Gene help me roll over in bed (almost there).

One other cute thing about my bigger belly is that Okie seems to think when we're in the car that it's her recliner. She just leans back on it, and she seems to really enjoy it being there for her. :-)

As you read these, please keep in mind that if I complain, or if I get grumpy, it's just temporary and I spend most of my days completely giddy with happiness and excitement. I'm loving this, and I cannot wait to have Baby B in the end. No matter what happens, it will all be worth it in the end. :-)



Pain Management

Last night's childbirth class (2 of 4) consisted mostly of the tour of the maternity ward (which we already did) and then all about the epidural, with the last 20 minutes breathing exercises.

I'm pretty sure I've decided against Stadol. The retired nurse Martha who does the class kept saying that it was a great choice in the first stage of labor, but I've read a lot of negative things about it. The comments online said it knocks you out, but you are still "awake" to feel the pain and hear everything around you. There were multiple entries about that. How creepy! No thank you!

I also am now contemplating not getting an epidural. Going all-matur-al. Lol, I'm sure when it comes down to it I will forget that I ever even thought such a thing. It's not completely because I'm afraid of it, but... oh, who am I kidding, I'm afraid of it. Just think about it, that needle to just the outside of your spine - but there's no machine to show them how close they are. What if my spine sticks out further than others? I'm sure most people think I'm nuts, but it's stuck in my head for now.

We also watched a video about epidurals which ended in seeing the actual labor. I cried. I have no idea why I cried, but I did, and I was the only one who did. And the baby was blue. It's been years and years since I've seen a labor video, and I forgot all about the baby being blue, and the cheese looking stuff on it. Gross. And the doctor in the video just flopped their baby on mom's lap for a few seconds. Flopped! I would have been ticked, and I hope my doc doesn't do that! I think they get so used to doing deliveries they just forget that the mom and dad don't think their baby should be handled that way.

Oh, oh! We got shown some tools they could use during delivery. This metal thing that they can put up there and screw (yes, screw!) into my baby's head. Baby's can't talk to say that it hurts and it seems pretty barbaric to me. And then there's this hand-pump vacuum they can suction to the baby's head to help pull them out, but it bruises baby. Ugh. I am seriously hoping for none of that!

Lastly, was the breathing. This week's breathing exercises and homework was "moderate" breathing (in through nose and once air hits throat out quickly through the mouth) and "patterned" breathing (fast paced a lot like moderate but all through the mouth, 3 quick breaths, faster, and a deep out breath after each set). I didn't enjoy either. If the point is to relax, those breathing patterns are not going to relax me at all. Gene wants me to keep practicing them though because he is certain the deep, slow, in-and-out breaths wont cut it once we are into the second phase of stage one labor.

The things that I love about class are that Gene gets all into it. He doesn't ask questions or anything, but he pays close attention, and he does all the relaxing and breathing exercises with me instead of just watching me. He had to fill out this sheet of questions, and he seems to be so concerned with helping me get baby out safely and quickly. I have tears just thinking about his concerns. :) Did I mention that we are the only married couple in the class? One girl has her mom as a coach, the other girl has her baby-daddy with her (and he has 3 other kids from who knows how many women already), and the 3rd couple, sho didn't bother coming to class last night, was a young couple just "dating."

I feel so lucky to have Gene, and I appreciate that we did this the way we wanted to. We wanted to get married, have fun, get to a good place, and then THINK about having kids. A little more than 6 years in and here we are; things couldn't be better. In fact, things are so perfect right now that every day I worry about how it will all come crashing down. Let's hope that whatever crashes does not involve Baby B.

8 weeks to go, and each week I get more and more irritable at work and anxious at home. Let's get moving father time!!!



Week 32 Check

I had my Week 32 check last night (3 days earlier than 32 weeks). While I was in the waiting room with 5 other pregnant women I found out that the doctor had to leave unexpectedly for a delivery. I thought for sure I'd have to reschedule, again, but a nurse practitioner (who was brand new to the office) was available to see me. I jumped on the chance because I love hearing from yet another doctor about my concerns.

Stats: 9 pounds gained total, BP was 110/70, Baby's heart rate was 136 and my belly is at a whopping 33.

Concern: Why have I only gained 9 pounds, is it okay, and how is my belly at 33 with only 9 pounds??? Nurse (whose name escapes me) says that not everybody gains weight and I've really only gained baby weight. I asked if it was okay and she said that baby seems healthy and my numbers are all normal so everything is great. I should be happy about a little 9 pound gain so far, but it's still in the back of my head that I'm doing something wrong.

What I wanted to talk about but didn't was my side/back hurting. It is my right dorsi muscle. I can only sit down for about one hour before it becomes excruciating. Having a desk job is a pain, literally. I ended up not bringing it up because really, what am I expecting her to do? So, I've decided to do more stretches, and get up to move more at work - this is hard as I am the insurance help desk as well and I get a ton of calls. If this just keeps getting worse though, I expect to be on bed rest before the end.

Side note, the hubs took me to Waffle House after completing our second registry last night. I had an "eyes-roll-into-my-head" experience with my food and now I can't stop thinking about it. I'll probably make another trip there soon. :-)

Oh, the registry. Yes, we did our second registry last night, of all places Wal-Mart. I've heard so many people say that baby registries are too pricey and such, so we decided to do Target and Wal-Mart. The only thing about going that route is that there were quite a few items to register for that I didn't because I couldn't find anything I liked at either. So, the hubs and I will probably buy our own stroller, car seat, carrier, and a few smaller items at Babies 'R' Us or online. It's not a big deal really, just kind of disappointing. I thought for sure Target would have everything!

Less than 2 months to go now! Let's hope it flies!!!




As I progress along I get different cravings. No, nothing weird at all, just certain things. Today, I ate potato salad twice. But, it has to be the most asked question so I thought I'd make a list of all of my must-haves.

- Brown Sugar Pop Tarts (toasted)
- Chocolate Milk (half gallon is lucky to last 3 days)
- Decaf Tea (this is a HUGE one for me)
- Deviled eggs (if I didn't hate making these I'd eat daily)
- Ice Cream (was never a big ice cream fan before)
- Doughnuts (3 Krispy Kremes at a time unfortunately - like a whole container of Crisco, blech!)
- Strawberries (go through a carton in a couple days)
- Brown Sugar and Maple Oatmeal (2 packs at a time)
- Cocoa Krispies (we keep about 3 boxes at a time now)
- Hot Dogs (burnt on the grill or blown up in the microwave)
- Chicken Nuggets (overly cooked and chewy)
- Snow Cones (Omg, TropicalSno is the best!)

Weirdest one yet:

- Tuna salad sandwich with potato chips on it. (I HATE tuna, and all fish really)

As you can see it's mostly sugary or processed. I guess becuase I didn't eat a lot of it before I want it now, I don't really know, but I feel guilty a lot of times. Baby B better like some veggies because I'm hoping to go back to normal after delivery.

One thing I'd like to eat... dirt. My iron isn't low or anything, but just the smell alone is wonderful, so I want to eat it. I've been telling the hubs to find me some clean dirt. I want some that no bugs have been in, and no dogs have pottied on. I cannot help it. I also think that's why I like strawberries so much lately, and tap water; I get a hint of dirt taste with them. Damn, now I want it again. Ugh.

So, nothing too crazy yet. I'm sure I will hit a crazy stage at some point. And even though the hubs thinks it's weird I eat deviled eggs for lunch with cereal for dessert, it's not weird because it's not at the same time.

Til next time.



I'm Going to be a Mom

Well, since a lot of my fellow pregos out there have a blog, and have had one since day 1 probably, I've decided to start one. Let's see if I keep it up.

To give you a bit of background information, I am 31 weeks along today, the hubs and I know the gender of "Baby B" but we are not revealing to anyone, and so far this whole experience has been pretty much smooth sailing. I'm up 8 pounds from pre-baby weight (according to last exam on 5/3) and I look pretty much the same except for this protruding belly; my tatas haven't even grown yet. Doctor says everything is on track, but it's odd to me that baby is already out of room and I seemed to have stopped growing as far as I can tell. I still say that by the end I will look like Jessica Simpson did.

It seems that everyone out there is irritated with Gene and I over the fact that we are not spilling the beans about gender. In a way it's hurtful because it's very romantic for Gene and I to hold such a secret and we seem to enjoy it. I now wish that I never spilled about possible names, but it's too late for that.

Baby's room is slowly getting there. We have all of the furniture moved in, and while it's not all exactly the same color it looks to be close enough. I'm going to wait a while before I put up everything as some of it is gender indicating, so for now it will all remain in it's original bags or packaging. I find myself just standing in there daydreaming about when s/he is here.

We've registered at one location already (Target) and we plan to register at Wal-Mart this weekend as shower invites will be going out soon. I noticed that I felt guilty while registering so I let Gene handle most of it. It feels more like asking people to donate than to be surprised with gifts. I know it's normal, but it just doesn't sit well with me for some reason; I'm sure I'll get over it. We've also bought some larger items ourselves to avoid having massive dollar amounts showing on the registry.

Hormones are killing me. It's a constant roller coaster and most of the time it seems that I'm stuck in the "infatuated-with-Gene" part and never moving towards a down-slope. I'm sure he's annoyed with me most of the time as I require a lot of attention lately. I even get jealous when he's showing affection towards Okie (dog) and not towards me. How ridiculous it is, but I cannot seem to stop it all. Oh, let's not even talk about the fact that I cry at almost anything remotely sentimental which happens to be at least once a day now.

We took our first Childbirth class last night. Gene wasn't too enthused about it at first, but I think we both found it informational to say the least. I especially liked the part where we practiced relaxing and breathing. The instructor/teacher, Martha, was great! She made it a point to make us tense up and then try our breathing out, and just focusing on my breathing alone I knew that it was going to be the one thing to get me through labor. We also went over all things anatomy. I enjoyed the time there and it seemed to fly by. I'm very much looking forward to the next 3 classes and highly recomment that everyone take them if they never had before. Oh, one more thing about the breathing, Gene was watching me practice it and I felt very awkward... here's hoping I wont care that much when L&D time is here.

Little things going on: Braxton Hicks contractions come and go at least once a day now, my ankles swell about every other day or so, my memory is awful, I'm getting nightly leg cramps which are getting worse and worse as time goes on, I can't seem to bring myself to do anything after work as just sitting and typing all day wears me out somehow, and lastly, I find myself wishing for Baby B to finish cooking already and just get here now (I want to stress the point that s/he be done developing!).

That's it for now, I have to leave some stuff for later otherwise I might never blog again. ;)