Monday, February 27, 2012

21 Weeks


I am now 21 weeks pregnant.  According to What to Expect, my baby is now the size of a banana.  I’m not sure what grocery store What to Expect shops in, but wasn’t my baby the size of a cantaloupe last week?  Aren’t cantaloupes bigger than bananas?  Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter that much – just knowing that it’s getting bigger is enough.

Aaron and I spent the majority of the day on Sunday getting one step closer to being ready for baby.  We picked up a bunch of hand-me-down baby gear.  So we now have a stroller, baby swing, and a really cool, sci-fi looking vibrating chair.  We are so fortunate to have such generous friends! 

Our haul.


From left to right: Stroller base, behind that (and barely visible) is a Moses basket, next to that is a Mamaroo (aka sci-fi vibrating chair), car seat, swing seat, diaper box full of books underneath a bumble seat (aka chair you can plop an infant in).  Inside the duffel bag is a bassinet.  The circular looking thing next to it is the car seat base.

Here is the stroller, the Orbit G2.


This stroller is one of those systems that has the car seat/carrier and a car seat base.  It is a lot easier to fold/unfold than the ones we were messing with at Babies R Us.  You can fold it up using one hand, which will be very useful.  The seat latches on to a circular base, so we can rotate the seat to face whatever direction is best.  For example, if we want to turn the baby to face us as we are walking, we can do that.  Then if we go to a restaurant and there is only room to have the stroller face in an awkward direction, we can rotate the seat so that it is not awkward.  Also, the circular base will supposedly make it easier for loading the seat into the car as a car seat because you can plop it in at any angle and then rotate it.  The one downside to hand me downs is that you have to work within the brand you are given.  We will need two car seat bases, and buying an additional base for the Orbit is expensive!  So I think we might still register for a jogger stroller system so then we have an additional stroller and car seat.  And besides, then we could just keep one stroller in each car.

I also wanted to show off the cool sci-fi vibrating chair.  



This is called a Mamaroo.  Basically, it’s a vibrating chair that has a bunch of different settings.  One setting is supposed to mimic a car ride, another a swing, another an ocean wave, etc.  You can also hook your ipod up to it and play whatever music you want.  From everything I’ve read, some kids really take to it, and others not so much.  It will be interesting to see what our kid likes/doesn’t like.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

20 weeks


I am now 20 weeks pregnant – which means I’m half way through my pregnancy!  It’s all downhill from here, right? :)(jk)  According to “What to Expect” my baby is now the size of a melon.  I’ve gained 8 pounds so far and am now the heaviest I have ever been, and it’s only going up from here.   I won’t tell you my actual weight bc, frankly, it’s none of your business, and besides you all know I started out super small. 

I am finally starting to look pregnant to people other than just Aaron and myself.  Over the weekend, I had three different people say, “I can see your bump starting to show!”  I’m still not sure that a complete stranger would know I was pregnant and not just a little round in the middle, though.  Here, you can judge for yourself: 


Please forgive the cheesy bathroom photo.  This was one of the first times that I caught myself in the mirror and thought “Wow!  I look pregnant!”  It’s so weird looking down and seeing my belly protruding!

The funny thing is that I really feel like the bump has “popped” in just the past  couple days.  Weekend before last (when I was 19 weeks), some friends and I went around the city and did an urban ballerina style photo shoot.  It was so much fun!  And I was able to hide the small bump I had that weekend under my warm up outfit.  I also went to a friend's kid's birthday party and a lot of the moms there said, "You're 19 weeks?!  You don't look it at all!"  So it's kind of nice now, just a week later to be able to look in the mirror and actually see a bump.

The baby has definitely started kicking.  In fact, as I sit here typing, I can feel it (her?) tapping away on my insides.  J  It’s still too unpredictable and light for Aaron to be able to feel from the outside.  Lately our evenings will consist of us sitting on the couch watching tv and I’ll feel it kick and then he’ll put his hand on my belly.  And then we wait and wait and wait, so he finally moves his hand and then it’ll kick again 10 minutes later.  Hopefully someday soon, Aaron will have his hand on my belly at the right time and be able to feel it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Our Valentine's Day


We like to keep Valentine’s Day pretty low key in our house.  Usually we’ll cook a nice dinner together, open up one of those bottles of wine that we stash away for a “special occasion” and maybe watch a rented movie.  If we go out to dinner, we’ll go out the day before or the day after to avoid the crowds.  This year is a little different (for obvious reasons).  So we decided it would be fun to spend V-day starting our registry at Babies R Us.

Because Valentine's Day was a weekday and we both had to work, we only had about an hour to go around registering for things before the store closed.  We arrived, checked in at the desk and were given what I like to call the “fun gun” (i.e. the scanner that you use to scan in items to add to your registry).  Much like when we were registering for our wedding, Aaron got to be in charge of the fun gun for the baby registry – I find it makes guys more willing to participate in the registering process.

Since we had limited time, we decided to focus on the bigger ticket items.  We started with the gliders (aka rocking chairs), mostly because we tested them out while waiting for the customer service guy to greet us at the registry desk.  We found one glider that we really liked . . . and then we looked at the price.  We added it to the registry anyway because we knew it would be a good starting point for research.  In fact, most of what is currently on our registry was scanned with the thought, “Well, at least we know we liked it in the store and we can use that as a research starting point.”  So, if you are planning on buying us a gift, don’t go running to the registry yet . . . it still has a long way to go.

After the gliders, we looked at cribs, and got slightly overwhelmed.  After wandering around that entire section, we found one crib that we really liked, but it had an attached changing table and was kind of expensive.  I would actually prefer it without the extra piece, especially if that could bring down the price.  I went online after we got home and found a crib that I think is similar, but without the attached changing table, and is significantly cheaper.  But I think we’re going to have to re-visit the store several times before coming to a final decision on crib.  I know we want one that can convert to a toddler bed – though it seems like that must be the “thing” these days.  It’s actually pretty hard to find a crib that doesn’t convert to 3 other beds.

Next we moved on to strollers.  Omg, it is so easy to get overwhelmed in this category.  There are so many different options for strollers!  Do we want four wheels?  Three wheels?  A travel system (i.e. one that has a carrier plus stroller plus base)?  Or do we just want a straight up stroller?  We have received so much advice from our friends on this that it’s hard to keep it all straight! (Though more advice is always welcome, feel free to leave a comment or send me an email if you have opinions in the stroller department – or any other baby gear department, for that matter.) 

We had just been to a friend’s kid’s birthday party and were admiring their 3 wheel travel system style stroller.  So we decided to pull out one of the 3 wheel, jogging type strollers and see how it feels to push it around and test it out.  It must have been super amusing to the Babies R Us employees to watch us, rather obvious first time parents, in the aisles trying to figure out how to fold and unfold this stroller.   At least I know we were laughing about it!

Aaron testing out the stroller.

I swear, the smaller the infant, the bigger the gear!  Those simple, lightweight strollers that are further down the aisle won’t be available to us until the kid is significantly older.  By the time we finished looking at the strollers, we were running short on time (and I was running out of steam), so we quickly strolled by the high chairs and decided that would definitely require a different trip, same with bouncy seats.  I think we put an infant swing on the registry, though honestly, I can’t remember at this point.

I will say this, registering with Aaron is fun.  We both have our opinions, and they can be strong and  we can be stubborn, but we always have a good time.  I feel like you learn a lot about your partner when choosing items together.  We don’t really shop that much, so this is our opportunity to go out to a store and make a joint decision.  At the very least, we both came away from the experience knowing that we both agree on green as a good, gender neutral color.  All in all, I think it was a very good Valentine’s Day. :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

18 week ultrasound


On Monday we had our 18-week ultrasound.  It was at 8am, because that is most conducive to our work schedules.  So we schlepped our tired selves to the doctor’s office – me without the ad of any caffeine.  The whole way there, Aaron was complaining that there was a “6” on the clock when he woke up (he got up at 6:59).  We checked in at radiology and sat down in the waiting room.  The radiology waiting room is definitely different than the OB waiting room.  It’s not nearly as warm and inviting.  Though the nurse who checked us in was very nice, the other people in the room didn’t seem nearly as happy to be there as the women in the OB waiting room tend to be.  However, we didn’t have to wait for long.  I will say this about Kaiser, if nothing else, they certainly don’t seem to make you wait around very long.  I have yet to finish more than 3 pages in my book every time I bring it to the waiting room with me!

Once called in, we were shown to the ultrasound room.  Apparently the way Kaiser does ultrasounds for low risk pregnancies is that an ultrasound technician administers it and then the doctor reviews the images and goes over the results with us.  I think we got a little spoiled at our last ultrasound.  Because there was such a time crunch on it, they sent us to a private, high risk, doctor, so it was a doctor administering the ultrasound and he was able to tell us everything he was doing as he was doing it and reassure us that everything was fine.

Today, the tech told me to lie down and then she squirted warm jelly on my belly and started doing the ultrasound.  I couldn’t see anything on the screen because of my angle.  All I saw were grey blobs.  I kept trying to crane my head to see, but all that resulted was a headache at the base of my neck.  The tech was super quiet for the first 5 minutes or so.  All she said was, “Let me know if I’m pressing too hard.”  Finally I couldn’t take the silence any longer, and I asked if everything was ok.  That’s when she informed us that she couldn’t actually tell us if everything was ok because it was the doctor’s job to review the pictures and go over everything with us later.  But of course, the one thing (aside from knowing our baby was healthy) we had been excited to find out today was gender.  We had already been asked three times that morning if we wanted to know.  So now I was afraid that the tech wouldn’t even be able to tell us that.  I asked if she would be able to tell us gender today and she said, “Yes, but I haven’t been able to see it yet.”

She asked us if they were able to see the gender at the NT ultrasound.  Here’s a little piece of info that we hadn’t made public knowledge until now.  The doctor at the last ultrasound told us it was a girl, but he also said it was really early and not to go buy a bunch of pink just yet, to wait until we got confirmation at the 18 week ultrasound.

Finally, after much poking and prodding, the tech at this ultrasound said, “It does look like it’s a girl.”  But she didn’t say it definitively.  As you know from my last post, I want things for sure before I count on them.  But, like the tech said, it’s never 100% sure until the baby comes out.  We definitely did not see any boy parts during the ultrasound, but the baby wasn’t being super cooperative.  It had its legs together and straight out – like a lady would do.  J  I think we are sure enough that it’s a girl to start focusing on girl names (though still keeping our list of boy names just in case) and we will probably start calling it “her” occasionally.  And, if it turns out it’s a boy after all, that’s ok.  As long as it’s healthy, that’s all we really care about (though it would be really nice to be able to decorate the room with my old pointe shoes).

We finally got the ultrasound tech to open up a little and start chatting with us as she was taking all the pictures she needed, which helped to ease my mind a bit.  Then she turned the screen so I could see.  We got to see the heart beating again, and saw the arms and the hands and the legs.  The best part of all was seeing the baby move!  Its little arms were flailing all over the place!  And based on the position the baby was in, those “gas bubbles” I was feeling last week, were definitely not gas bubbles after all.

Here are some of the pics:



Like I said, we got spoiled at the last ultrasound with the clarity of the pictures.  This was my first over the stomach ultrasound, and this is more what I had always expected ultrasound pics to look like: grey, blobby, and alien looking.  But I really like the first one, where it looks like it's waving - you can see all the bones in her hand!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Movement?


I am now 18 weeks (no picture this week since the bump really isn’t that much bigger than last week).  According to “What to Expect When Expecting” the baby is now the size of a mango, about 6 inches long and half a pound. 

My pants are definitely tight – I put on a pair of my regular jeans yesterday and was barely able to button them.  I certainly couldn’t bend over when they were buttoned.  The main issue, until I develop a distinct bump, will be finding pants that fit well.  The maternity jeans that I was raving about last week (which only cost me $8) got super stretched out after only wearing them twice!  The main problem with maternity pants is that the only think holding them up other is a stretchy elastic panel – and since my belly is not quite big enough to hold up the panel, I find myself constantly pulling the pants up throughout the day.  Maybe if I buy a pair brand new the elastic panel won’t be as stretched out and will last me more than two wearings.  Maybe after I wash the current maternity pants, the elastic panel and the jeans themselves will shrink to the point where they are not falling down every time I go for a walk around the block.  Ugh, I have enough problems trying to find jeans that fit my short legs when I’m a normal size!  Oh well, at least I only have to go through this for a couple months.

Last weekend my dad asked me if I was feeling any movement yet.  I said, “I don’t think so?”  Apparently, the first movements are supposed to feel sort of like gas bubbles.  I’ve definitely felt gas bubbles – and a lot of those.  However, over the past week, the “gas bubbles” have started to follow a little bit of a pattern – after lunch it’s pretty common to feel them . . . but again, those could be real gas bubbles and not the faint movement of the mini me.  Then on Friday night, Aaron and I were sitting watching tv and all of a sudden, I felt a jab from my insides . . . it was either the first real kick, or it was just a muscle twitch.  I really have no idea, but I kind of like to think it was the baby.  This is probably how I ended up going an entire month without realizing I was pregnant.  I get too cerebral about things sometimes.  I think too hard, and convince myself that something “magical” is really explained away by something mundane: “I’m not pregnant, that was just a light period.” “That’s not baby flutters, it’s just gas bubbles.”  “That wasn’t the baby’s first kick, it was just a twitch.”  At least once the baby’s out, it’s milestones won’t be so nebulous.  I will know for sure the first time it rolls over or sits up . . . right?

Oh, speaking of “it” – tomorrow we have our “big” mid-pregnancy ultrasound . . . you know, the one where, assuming the kid is not being shy, we should be able to find out the gender.  So as of tomorrow (hopefully) I can start referring to “it” as “he” or “she.”