Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pregnancy Week 36 update

Due date: September 27
How far along: 36 Weeks
Next appointment: Sept 3...which will be a birthing 'class' / check-up
Total weight gain/loss: 20 kilos..eek (I put it in kilos so it looks like less ;)
Exercise: Still walking the dog daily and the elliptical , one or two times a week.
Stretch marks: Yes, they finally made their appearance. They look like a tiger clawed me
Swelling: Only when on long road trips.  We went to Austria last week with my brother and sister-in-law.  3 days of more than 4 hours of driving- it was a lot of time in the car, and lots bathroom stops!  We have no more trips scheduled at this point thankfully!
Maternity clothes: Yes, though I have found a few non-maternity items of clothing that can work with the bell.  A long skirt with an elastic waist, a sleeveless sweater that isn't supposed to be buttoned..
Belly button: It is still in, though it is strange looking
Sleep: It is very difficult to get comfortable and between the trips to the bathroom and extreme midnight movement, I now begin the night on the couch and come to bed around 4-5 a.m.  I feel like I am giving Ed a good few hours of uninterrupted sleep since sleep is pretty important when flying a fast plane. 
Food cravings/aversions: None
Movement: Starting at week 34, the baby reached my ribs.  I find it odd that there are not more women complaining about rib pain on the internet because of all things I have experienced in the last 8 months, this is the most painful and annoying thing.  The only thing that seems to help is standing and walking.  Sitting at a table or the computer for long periods of time almost becomes unbearable!  
Labor signs: I am having more BH contractions than ever. 
What I miss: Not grunting every time I sit down and especially when I stand up.  If I am lying on the couch and get up, I look like a turtle on my back for a few moments!
What I'm loving: The answer to this question will always be feeling the baby move.  Which is part of the reason I don't sleep well at night, but maybe because I like to lie there and just feel what he is doing in there!  Even when he is in my ribs, I will gently push where his butt or feet are and if it is his feet, he will often times kick back! 
What I'm looking forward to: Seeing the face that I have only ever seen in slightly distorted black and white images...and getting my body 'back'.  It will be nice to not have a huge, hard stomach blocking the path between me and my feet. 

 Milestones: While the baby is not yet full term until next week, one of my friends who writes a blog and recently had a baby described week 36 is a big week because 'you have 2 to 6 weeks left'.  The possibility of seeing the baby starting in 2 weeks is exciting.
Goals: To order the rest of the baby things from our registry.
Weekly thoughts/wisdom:  While I have no wisdom to impart, I have read a few books about natural birth that have given me something to think about.  My birth 'plan' includes a natural I have been trying to mentally prepare myself for that.  It seems like most women's birth plans rarely go as hoped so I don't really have any expectations.  Obviously this will be me first time to give birth but I am trying to think positively about the pain.  It's temporary with great reward at the end.  Also, every person on earth has a mom that gave birth to them so I am not the first person to go through this!
Thoughts and feelings from Significant Other: He is impatient and ready for this show to get on the road.  I made him a paper chain to see the number of days until the due date!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Week 31 Survey

Week 31 started in the middle of our 5 day vacation to Krakow.   We planned this trip in June with hopes that I would still be feeling up to getting on a plane at the beginning of Month 8. I have tried to stay fairly active for the past 7 months and I think that had I not, I would have been completely miserable since visiting European cities generally involves walking and a lot of it.  I will type a post about our week in Krakow later.  For now, I will just cover what the baby and I have been up to this week. 

How far along: 31 weeks. I print off monthly calendars 2 months at a time. I just printed August/September so I can now see the due date on the calendar!

Next appointment: Not scheduled yet, but it will be for our 2-on-1 birthing class with our midwife.  I am thinking that a group class in Danish would benefit me very little :)

Total Weight gain/loss:  I haven't stood on a scale recently but I am just going to guess that after a week of vacation, I have gained weight.

Exercise: 4 hour bike ride around Krakow and lots of walking

Stretch Marks: yes, they are faint but have finally made their appearance.  I knew I wouldn't get away without them...

Swelling: Only after our flight home.   There is something a bit disturbing about looking at my feet and not recognizing them.

Belly Button: Still hanging 'in' there

Sleep: Interrupted often by trips to the bathroom and back pain.  I was not meant to sleep on my sides.  I have to wonder if my back will ever be the same again.

Symptoms: Excessively large abdomen.  Maybe this 'question' is meant for earlier in pregnancy but I will add that my neighbor's six year old daughter asked her mom just today if I was having a baby. 

Movement: Yes.  It is almost funny how much he moves at times.  Ed thinks that it must be because something is wrong. Me, well, it just makes me happy.  I will add that he is now kicking just below my ribs so he is slowly but surely taking over my entire stomach.  Also, he was head down at our latest appointment.  Hope he stays like that!

Labor Signs:  Still having Braxton-Hicks.  The midwife said that mothers having children beyond their first generally have them more often because their uterus 'needs the exercise'.  I guess my uterus is out of shape??

What I miss: Not having back pain.  And running, oddly enough.  I ran out of the rain recently and just felt awkward.

What I'm loving:  Ed's conversations with the baby

What I'm looking forward to: My mom and dad *may* be coming sometime in August for a few days (so my dad can 'see' his grandson). It's been nearly a year now since I have seen my dad in person so that would be nice.

Best moment this week: I am a bit ashamed to even write about this but it was one of the funniest moments of our trip to Poland.   On one of the days, we hired a man who basically just drives tourists from one site to another in a minivan (rather than on a giant tour bus).    He did a bit of 'tour guiding' at Birkenau but was basically just a chauffeur.  The only other people along were an older couple from New Zealand.  When we arrived at the Salt Mine, we were running a bit behind for our tour time so our guide conveniently led us around the line of about 70 people and into the building where the tour started.  I didn't even realize we were 'cutting' until we were inside and he said "Well, if anyone asks, we'll just say that you're pregnant and couldn't stand in line outside"  He also mentioned before he left that there would probably be a really long line to come up the elevator at the end of the tour so he said to not waste time in the gift shops or restaurant and head straight for the line.  After the tour, we, along with our new kiwi friends, hurried to the line only to find 150-200 people waiting ahead of us.  We stood without moving for about 15 minutes before Ed and the other couple walked further up to see what the hold up seemed to be....Long story short, the lady ended up finding our salt mine tour guide (not our chauffeur but the lady who worked for the Salt Mine)  and told her I was pregnant.   I was not there for this conversation so don't know exactly what was said but whatever it was brought our tour guide around to take us to the front of the line. There, she handed us off to another tour guide who personally walked us through more tunnels to another queue of 40 people waiting for the elevator.  Here, I thought we'd just be dropped off at the end of the shorter line but no, he walked us past all those people and left us at the front of the line with a few words of Polish to the girl who was loading people into the elevator.  One girl even offered me her spot on the very next elevator up but I assured her that I could wait for 4 more minutes and with that, I hung my head in shame, held my stomach, and  took a seat that someone had offered me along the wall.  I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was about the whole fiasco! I hate being the center of people's concern--I actually felt like I could cry about the whole thing but figured that'd just look really dramatic so I managed to hold back the tears.  The stress of the whole situation even brought on a few BH contractions that didn't really go away until I had reached the safety of the van :)  

Weekly Wisdom:  If you are going to be traveling by plane in the 3rd trimester, check your airline's policy on pregnant women before you go.  To fly on Ryanair past week 28 requires a "fitness to fly" form that has to be filled out by your doctor or midwife.  While I was never asked to show this form, I did have peace of mind knowing that if they did ask, I would have it. 

Luke's pictures at his 'Fit to Fly' check up.  He doesn't look the same in any of the pictures. I had to include the umbilical cord around the arm because it's a bit scary looking to me, though is nice of his hand  :)

Sometimes it takes a picture to see just how big one really is...or maybe it was the shirt :)
So we can tell Luke that he was along for the tour of Krakow as well. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another Pinterest Post

Do you have a Pinterest account?  If yes,  estimate the number 'fulfilled' pins that you've pinned over the weeks and months.  Is it 50%?  20%?  1%?    I haven't actually counted all the things I have baked/crafted/purchased verses pinned but I'd say I am probably slightly higher-than-average because I use it like a cookbook and I like to bake cookies...a lot.  Anyway..

One thing that I always wonder about is the people that have pinned hundreds of DIY or 'clothing I want' pins.  I just cannot fathom how someone with over 1000 pins ever plans on implementing/purchasing all these different things.  Do these super-pinners ever go back and look at their boards or is it like...window shopping..on the internet?  Those are just my random thoughts on the matter and have nothing to do with what this post is really about-- my new ceramic berry baskets! I pinned this a couple months ago on my 'products I'd like to love' board:

In case it isn't obvious, they are, in fact, ceramic!.  A few months ago, I was in a store here in DK and noticed they had a little section of ceramic things that were made to look like 'American picnic items'--Solo cups, tin foil pie pans etc.  I had a chuckle to myself but moved on without spending my kroner.  However, these, I could live with!   When I unexpectedly snapped one of my favorite spatulas (didn't know that was possible), I decided that I would include these with my replacement purchase from Williams-Sonoma.   

They arrived last week and while Ed doesn't understand my obsession with 'containers', I think they make the Danish strawberries (that I could eat by the handful) taste better :) 

They are made by a company called Heirloom Home & Studio and they are also for-sale at William-Sonoma if you're interested in having some interesting, reusable berry baskets of your own!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Week 30, a pregnancy survey

I just looked back at my last baby post, week 17 and boy, have things changed since then! I have pictures from subsequent weeks but haven't made any additional effort to take just 'bell' pictures. I am now wishing that I would have taken a few more after seeing a few pictures that Ed took of me yesterday at moesgård. I will make no promises as to whether or not I will be able to keep with the weekly thoughts and observations for the the next 8 to 12 weeks but I will certainly try.

This week, baby is the size of a: A head of cabbage
Due date: September 27, 2012
How far along: 30 weeks
Next appointment: This saturday--we need to have our midwife fill out a 'fit to fly' form
Gender: Boy
Total weight gain/loss: unfortunately for my post-delivery me, 20-25 pounds.  It will only go up from there, right? (I am blaming an extreme number of 'cookies-eaten' on this amount..i'm trying to cut back)
Exercise: Yes, I'm Scout's primary walker.  We walk 1.75 miles a day.  Also, I still use the elliptical about 4 times a week.
Stretch marks: Nothing that I didn't have before pregnancy.  I put vitamin E oil on my stomach every day so maybe that is helping.
Swelling: Only 1 day in week 22.  I spent the day in the car on a road trip and then ate an excessive amount of chips when we arrived home.  I may have brought that on myself.
Maternity clothes: Yes, definitely for pants.  I still wear non-maternity shirts on occasion.  Belly band and my pre-pregnancy pants no longer work for me.
Belly button: In
Sleep: It is more difficult to get a full nights sleep, during the night.  I will wake up at 4am and just look at Facebook and the internet for a couple hours and then fall back asleep around the time Ed leaves for work. Then I will sleep another 2 hours or so.
Food cravings/aversions: No current cravings or aversions.  They've all passed for the most part.
Symptoms: Back pain--I have felt like my lower back has needed to be adjusted for the last 10 weeks.  I am not fond of side-sleeping so awake to find myself on my back many nights as well--which doesn't help the back pain.
Movement: yes, I love it!  He definitely is most active in the middle of the night.  In the evenings, I will use a kick-counting app just for fun and he will usually reach his 10 kicks in about 15 minutes.
Labor signs: after doing a bit of google research, I've determined that I definitely have been having a fair number of pain-less Braxton-Hicks contractions.
What I miss: fitting into my clothes (and wondering if I will fit into them again)
What I'm loving: feeling the baby move-definitely an amazing experience that I have been looking forward to for years
What I'm looking forward to: Sleeping on my back
Best moment this week: I finished a piece of art for the babies' room (which didn't help with the back pain)  Also, my mom sent me a box a baby clothes. She had wrapped most of the outfits individually so it was fun to unwrap them...and then wash them with baby detergent.  I love that smell!
Milestones: I have less than 3 months left (unless of course he waits until the last minute to arrive!)
News: I sewed my first curtains ever last week--and lined them.
Goals: Well, the babies' goal better be to put his head down in the next 6 weeks and my goal is to have the "5 S's" memorized  (I'm reading Happiest Baby on the Block)
Weekly wisdom: Don't by sandals that require bending over to buckle.  Who knew it could take 10 minutes to put on shoes!

Moesgård and the Bog Man

The past 2 months have been filled with a series of visitors and travels. While I have had plenty to write about, I was just out of the habit of writing and so my blog has been neglected.   Oh well...I am writing today so at least I will have 1 post for the month of July :)

Ed has been off work this week and it has been nice to just stay home and relax together.  I guess the Danish summer has not been what it supposedly can be because the past few weeks of weather can be described in the following way: dark clouds appear, sudden deluge of rain falls, sun returns long enough to dry the sidewalks before next wave of dark clouds appear.  Good thing I don't mind being out in the rain because Scout and I have been caught in at least 5 downpours this month.  The only unfortunate thing is that my rain jacket is getting a bit difficult to zip...

Yesterday, the weather looked slightly more promising than previous days so we went to the Moesgård Museum near Århus.  The main reason that we wanted to go to this museum in particular was because one of our Danish teachers had brought in a book (in danish, to expand our vocab..) about the 'bog people' of Denmark.  Since we live so close to one of the better-preserved bog people, it was on our list of 'places to visit', so we did.  I felt a bit strange about taking a picture, but someone else didn't so I will share their photos of the Grauballe Man.

The incredible thing about this guy is that he didn't die 500 years or even 1000 years ago... he died 300 years before Christ...He was killed (note the large neck wound in the top left picture) and thrown almost immediately in the bog.   He was so well preserved that archaeologists were even able identify and study his final meal (and it was on display at the museum..tasty) as well as determine he didn't do hard labor with his hands because they were smooth and unscarred (also his feet were quite nice :)

When I was laying in bed last night, i was thinking about the bog man... not necessarily just him but more about history.  I've grown up reading and studying the Old Testament, which is essentially Jewish history before and leading up to Christ.  All the while, it never occurred to me (before yesterday) that I am a descendant of someone, somewhere during this time period as well.  I am not Jewish, so who were 'my' people and what were they doing 300 years before Christ?  Were they eating grain porridge and sacrificing people to the bogs? The life expectancy of a woman was 40 years of age for this time period in Northern Europe...So that would make me a modern day 60 year old at the age of 27 during the same time period?!  I have always enjoyed history, but history from so long ago is difficult for me to wrap my brain around.

Aside from that, the rest of museum consists of various buildings scattered through the forest.  The rain held off long enough for us to walk on the trails for a bit before heading home.  It was a beautiful area--while the museum cost 60dkk to enter, the park and forrest were free so I am sure we will definitely return, if not to see the bog man, then to visit these goats :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bell Photo of the week - Week 17

This is the first week where I have really felt like I am getting bigger in a short amount of time.  Along with having an itchy stomach quite often, I've been awakened by  round ligament pain which is, I'm assuming, from sleeping on my side with nothing under my stomach. I still have not definitely felt the baby move so I guess I will just have to keep waiting for that to happen.  I decided that showing only the profile only tells half the story, so I've included a second picture that definitely shows the growing bell. 

Before moving to Denmark, my friend Rachael came to Texas for one last weekend together before I left.  While we were in the Gap, I was looking at the sale clothes, but was soon informed by a saleswoman that I was actually looking at maternity sale.  After my initial embarrassment, I realized that all of the shirts were less than 5 dollars.  "What a great deal" I thought to myself. I had already heard about the clothing prices here so I decided that I would spend a few dollars and buy some maternity shirts in advance.  While I have not yet been wearing them, I will add that I have tried them all at least once...with a lumpy sweatshirt baby.  Special is the only word that comes to mind...One can't be taught such great poses such is this one:

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's a....

Boy!  The night before the ultrasound, I was worried that the baby would be sleeping and the midwife wouldn't be able to get a good look at his/her gender.  The next morning I was drinking lots of water and orange juice in hopes of getting lots of movement. Within the first minute she asked me "So, what do you think you are having?"   Well, even I could see it was boy so I guess I had nothing to be worried about!  We posted the actual ultrasound on Facebook and several of our friends mentioned how he was quite the exhibitionist! My dad's view was that he was probably sitting modestly and that the midwife was just a voyeur! I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion! Anyway, Ed and I are really excited about the yet unnamed gentleman joining our family.  I am the oldest and grew up always wanting an older brother so I secretly hoped it was a boy...but if it would have been a girl, I obviously would have been really happy about that...I mean, have you seen baby girl clothes??  And, not only that but mothers and daughters always have at least one thing in common--they are both girls!   Speaking of clothes, I ordered my first baby item ever when the gender was still a mystery.  Before I was pregnant, we'd refer to our future unborn children as 'cubs', as in bear cubs. Well, this little number was on sale at Old Navy and I guess if we would have had a girl, she would have been wearing it with a skirt and blue bow!