Play the Baby Guessing Game!

We're a mere 30 days out from our expected due date, but when do YOU think the baby will arrive? Will the Bump be a girl or boy (poll shows "boys" in the lead), how long will the Bump be, and how much will the Bump weigh?

Go ahead and post your predictions now: birthday, gender, weight, and length.

(Hint: You may want to consider the information provided in the two previous posts before publishing your results.)


The Bump is Breech

My OB is giving the baby two weeks to turn head-down. If by January 8th the baby has not turned, he/she will officially join the 3% of babies who are breech.

At that point Jeremy and I will decide whether or not to have a procedure called External Cephalic Version. This procedure attempts to turn a fetus from a breech position or side-lying position into a head-down position before labor begins. When successful, version makes it possible for a vaginal birth instead of a C-section.

There are significant risks (to the baby) associated with the procedure, as well as a mere 50% success rate. As of now, we're leaning towards not having the procedure and will most likely go forth with a C-section.

Although our birth plan is geared around avoiding a C-section, our baby's health is first priority. It's not worth it to have my child's arm broken or risk a loss of oxygen resulting in brain damage just to save myself from another abdominal scar. It's just not motherly!

In the next couple weeks we are going to try a couple "home remedies" to try to get the baby to turn on its own. My OB said lying upside down on an ironing board at a 40 degree angle is just crap, but I've read otherwise. If you ask me, anything is worth a try. Any other suggestions are welcomed!


In the 65th Percentile at 34 Weeks

What does this mean, you ask? Jeremy put it this way...if there were 100 babies in the room, ours would be bigger than 65% of them. According to the doc, the little one is still in the 'normal' range, just on the higher end at a whopping 5 lbs. 5 oz.

Just check out those chubby cheeks and perfect little lips! We also found out the baby has hair! Yep, we saw it for ourselves, whipping in the amniotic fluid! (And I haven't even had any heartburn – another myth busted!)


Bah, Humbug!

I have no idea whose baby this is. But I had to post the pic, because it's so amazingly adorable.

Dreft (for Suckers)

After an unexpected trip to L&D this week, Jeremy and I realized we might want to purchase our remaining baby necessities sooner than later. (I'm fine by the way...1cm dilated!)

Our list consisted of things like button up pjs for the hospital, some nursing supplies, hard candy to help with dry mouth during delivery and last, but not least, Dreft to wash our all baby items in.

Unlike the bottle system or diapers I chose, I did no research on laundry detergent. Word-of-mouth and numerous advertisements in baby magazines led me to believe that Dreft is just what I should use.

Standing in the laundry isle I was in sticker shock...a 1.5 gallon tub of Dreft is $15.00? What the hell? What's in this stuff that makes it so special? If I use Dreft will the baby shit ice cream?

I just didn't get it, so I "attempted" to compare the solution in Dreft to the solution in Target's knock-off. However, you can't compare the two because Dreft doesn't release their secret ingredients. So there is no way to actually know just what is in this stuff that makes it so friggin' amazing.

I convinced myself that it was okay to splurge this one time and then do further research before buying it again. After all, in addition to clothes, I'm supposed to wash the bassinet and crib sheets, swing and car seat fabrics in this stuff...so I'd better be safe than sorry.

This morning I went to the Dreft web site and clicked their FAQ tab. The first question is, "How is Dreft formulated for baby laundry needs?"

The answer: The Dreft® formula is designed to not only help fight tough baby and toddler stains, but also provide a gentle clean for baby.

Well, no shit. Isn't that what all laundry detergent is formulated to do?

So from now on, I think I'll go with the Target knock-off or All Free & Clear – or something similar with no scents or dyes. I'll consider this a FIRST-TIME-SUCKER-MOM purchase and chalk it up to just being naive.


Dr. Ben Almasa-who?

Meet Dr. Benjamin P. Almasanu, D.O., the Bump's pediatrician. I met with him last week during an open house at Pediatric and Adolescent Practitioners, Inc. in Gahanna, Ohio.

Once a month the practice offers prenatal consults to expecting mothers. So I went, met with a nurse who gave me a tour and the 411 on the practice (how awesome is it that they have TWO waiting rooms – one for well visits and the other for sick children), then sat down and spoke with Dr. Ben.

I chose Dr. Ben as he was highly recommended by a neighbor. And I can see why, because he is very easy to talk to, open to questions, and is very aware of the kinds of things that freak new parents out (like the truth behind whether or not vaccinations are linked to autism). He's also realistic. Having an 11 month old himself, he understands what is recommended and what is real-life.

My next visit with Dr. Ben will be 5 days after the birth of the baby. Which, as we all know, won't be long!


Somebody Better Tell Mr. Slim Goodbody He's Gonna Need a Mrs.

Study: Evolutionary Change Lets Pregnant Women Stand Upright* /Wednesday, December 12, 2007

With all that growing weight up front, how is it that pregnant women don't lose their balance and topple over?

Scientists think they've found the answer: There are slight differences between women and men in one lower-back vertebra and a joint in the hip, which allow women to adjust their center of gravity.

This elegant evolutionary engineering is seen only in female humans and our immediate ancestors who walked on two feet, but not in chimps and apes, according to a study published in Thursday's journal Nature.

"That's a big load that's pulling you forward," said Liza Shapiro, anthropology professor at the University of Texas and the only one of the study's three authors who has actually been pregnant. "You experience discomfort. Maybe it would be a lot worse if [the design changes] were not there."

Harvard anthropology researcher Katherine Whitcomb found two physical differences in male and female backs that until now had gone unnoticed: One lower lumbar vertebra is wedged-shaped in women and more square in men, and a key hip joint is 14 percent larger in women than men when body size is taken into account.

The researchers did engineering tests that show how those slight changes allow women to carry the additional and growing load without toppling over — and typically without disabling back pain.

"When you think about it, women make it look so very damn easy," Whitcomb said. "They are experiencing a pretty impressive challenge. Evolution has tinkered ... to the point where they can deal with the challenge.

"It's absolutely beautiful," she said. "A little bit of tinkering can have a profound effect."

Walking on two feet separates humans from most other mammals. And while anthropologists still debate the evolutionary benefit of walking on two feet, there are notable costs, such as pain for pregnant females. Animals on all fours can better handle the extra belly weight.

The back changes appear to have evolved to overcome the cost of walking on two feet, said Harvard anthropology professor Daniel Lieberman.

When the researchers looked back at fossil records of human ancestors, including the oldest spines that go back 2 million years to our predecessor Australopithecus, they found a male without the lower-back changes and a female with them.

But what about men with stomachs the size of babies or bigger? What keeps them from toppling over?

Their back muscles are used to compensate, but that probably means more back pain, theorized Shapiro, who added: "It would be a fun study to do to look at men with beer bellies to see if they shift their loads."

*This post is NOT intended to spark a debate on Evolution vs. Christianity. Merely, after all these years (and I have no idea how many years I'm even talking about) profs from Texas and Harvard just now discover male and female bone structures are different. I have to call bullshit.*


Gestational Periods for Thought

As I embark upon the last 50 days of my pregnancy I couldn't be more happy. Of course I'm excited to see if our little chicken is a boy or girl, if it has hair or is bald, if its eyes are blue or hazel, and so on and so forth. But even more pressing, is that I'm over this pregnancy gig.

Not to sound ungrateful, but come on...I know this little dude wants out. When it's not poking me in the ribs, it's trying to dig its way out my cervix. And when it's not doing jumping jacks, it's doing the running man.

So I started thinking about what species have gestational periods longer than humans ...what species have it rougher than 266 days?

My research led me to this:
• African Elephant, 640 days
• Giraffe, 395-425 days
• Camel, 406 days
• Seal, 350 days

On the flip side, check out these lucky bastards...
• Opossum, 13 days
• Hamster, 16 days
• Rat and Mouse, 21 days
• Rabbit, 32 days

I think it's the giant panda who has it made. Female pandas are fertile for only 2-7 days, twice a year. Their gestational period averages around 135 days. And, once born, the newborn panda weights only 4-8 oz. and is around 16 cm long. Taking into consideration the mature female panda weighs in between 150-220 pounds, giving birth must be a freakin' cinch. I could squeeze something that small out on my lunch hour!

Only the Breast for My Child

Am I worried about how much pain I'll endure during labor? Not really.

Am I concerned about not getting enough sleep after the baby is born? No, I expect it.

Am I fearful of dropping the baby when walking down steps? A little.

Am I overwhelmed by the breastfeeding process? You betcha sweet ass I am!

I've always wanted to breastfeed. In fact, the only time I ever entertained the idea of not breastfeeding was when I was deciding whether or not to go through with the breast reduction. Luckily, the surgery was a success and all my milk-parts were left in-tact.

In sharing my hopes of breastfeeding with friends and family, and after recently attending a breastfeeding class, I've come to the conclusion that although nursing is a 'natural' feat, it isn't a sure-thing, nor is it guaranteed to happen naturally. Which, quite frankly, is scaring the shit out of me.

Here are just a couple remarks on nursing that I've heard lately:

- "I can remember my milk coming out looking like tomato soup because my cracked nipples were bleeding."

- "Breastfeeding felt like my nipples were being raked across a gravel road or sandpaper."

- "I can remember just crying because it hurt so badly."

And if those comments aren't enough to freak any newbie out, the lactation consultant at our nursing class asked us if we were doing anything to toughen up our nipples...like scrubbing with a loofah, a toothbrush or sandpaper. She quickly added those were things we DID NOT want to do, but either way, the visuals turned my stomach.

I know that if breastfeeding doesn't work out for the cub and I there are other alternatives. I can pump and feed him/her with a bottle or go straight to formula. I guess only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'd prefer to not hear any more horror stories on the subject. If anyone must tell me a story, make it a pleasant one, and lie if you have to. Lord know, these girls of mine have been through enough!


Childbirth 101: What to REALLY Expect When You Are Expecting

This past weekend Jeremy and I participated in a 2-day Childbirth Education class offered by the Ohio State University. What an eye opener!

This class helped prepare Jeremy and I for the events of labor and birthing. We were engulfed in a comprehensive overview of the birth process including signs and stages of labor, relaxation and breathing techniques, pain management options and the birthing experience.

We are now in the process of creating a birth plan we feel confident about. A major part of the plan is to walk as much as possible and utilize the birthing ball and various positions to help move the baby through the birth canal. I feel strongly about allowing "gravity" play a major role in the progression of my labor, which means I in no way want to be confined to a bed.

This ultimately means going through the labor process as naturally as possible. If/when the pains of labor become more than I can endure, I'll opt for the IV pain medicine Nubain or an Epidural, depending on how far along I am in the process.

Jeremy and I are starting to practice our breathing and relaxation techniques on a nightly basis. He's going to be a great coach! I only hope I'll be a cooperative student!


Sayonara Scion...Hello Mom Car

Thinking ahead, as I've been known to do, I started researching the safety ratings on my little Scion xB. Unbeknownst to me, the little box isn't really all that safe. Yes, it has safety features such as traction control and an air bag or two...but by parent standards, the thing is a death trap. It actually received "poor" ratings on side and rear impact crash testing. (And why didn't I look into this when I bought the thing?)

As much as I still adore the brave little toaster, it's just not a good fit for a family. Besides lacking in the area of safety, it also lacks trunk space. But it's great for commuting, which is the primary reason I bought it. Now, we just need to sell it – any takers?

...enter the "Mom Car." For about six weeks now, I've been scouring sites such as Cars.com, Automotive.com, and Edmunds.com looking for a vehicle that has everything I need, while not losing sight of the things I want. For example, I need a car with high safety ratings and gets good gas mileage. I want a car that looks sporty and doesn't have tan interior. I think you get the drift.

I started looking at the Honda Element then moved onto the new Saturn Vue. Jeremy quickly put things into perspective when he noted we already have an SUV and we don't 'need' two of them. The voice of reason spoke and I agreed. Less than enthusiastic about a sedan, I changed my path of research. I liked the Volvo S40, the Mercury Milan and the Mazda 6.

All this research led to me to CarMax.com. For those of you unfamiliar this company, they are the hub of used cars at no-haggle prices. We have two in-town, so I was hoping one of the locations would have a couple of the cars I was interested in, which would save us the hassle of test-driving all over town. Kind of like one-stop shopping.

The beauty of the on-line CarMax search is if they don't have the exact vehicle you are looking for, they provide you with what they think are 'similar' or 'alternative' vehicles. This is how I stumbled across the 2007 Toyota Camry SE.

Jeremy put the Camry bug in my ear weeks ago and I just wasn't buying into it. Camry's are mom cars with no style. And who doesn't have one...I need uniqueness! At least that's what I thought. Dare I say my husband was right.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still not crazy about the CE, LE, or XLE trims available on the Camry. But the SE, the sport trim, I LOVE! And although I didn't find my beauty at CarMax, I did find it at another dealership in town.

Here she is...safety and style all in one hot mom car package.


Our 3 Pound Toe Picker

On a number of occasions, my husband has jokingly questioned whether or not the baby is really his. (I know...ha ha...really funny.) If there actually was any doubt in his mind, today his concerns were laid to rest.

This morning, at our first visit with the high-risk doctor, an ultrasound was administered to determine the size of the baby. The baby is 3 pounds and apparently has a big head...2 weeks ahead of schedule, to be exact. :)

As we were watching our little one on-screen, the tech paused and took a picture of what she thought was 'so cute'...our baby had a firm grip on his/her foot.

I agree, this is very cute. However, the majority of you don't know my dear husband is an avid toe picker. He used to be a finger picker, but has since moved his focus to the feet. I'm always nagging at him to stop the damn picking, but it's a mean habit, and I have yet to successfully break him of it.

Apparently he's been a "picker" since he was born. In fact, his hospital picture clearly shows him making little fists and picking his fingers. Now he's passed this trait onto our unborn child. Lovely.

The baby also has Jeremy's guns...

Where the baby gets its flexibility from is still up in the air...


The Maternity Tour

Last evening Jeremy and I attended a maternity tour at The Ohio State University Medical Center. We met with two nurses, who took us through the entire hospital process...everything from where to park, registration, the LDR (labor/delivery/recovery) suites and postpartum care. We even got to sneak a peek at the little bambinos in the nursery.

I was very impressed with the staff and facilities. The staff supports keeping the baby with the mother/father at all times, which is why everything needed for a vaginal birth is in-room. If complications were to arise, OSU has a state of the art neonatal intensive care unit and is partnered with Nationwide Children's Hospital. I'm confident we'll be in talented hands!

Jeremy was most excited by the fact we could see The Horseshoe lit up from the LDR suite we visited. I think it put him further into baby-mode though, as he bought an OSU beanie, bib, and slippers for the baby.

Below is a picture of the LDR suites...crazy nice!


The Friends Shower...

to end all Friends Showers took place this past Saturday evening. My friends Krista and Tara put on the shower, and my Mom provided the beverages.

Ladies, thank you soo much! The decor was perfect, the food was perfect, the games were perfect (I loved the frozen baby one!), the cake was perfect and the company in which I was surrounded by, was perfect as well!

The baby and I couldn't have asked for a better shower. In fact, there isn't anything I'd change about it! Just check out this amazing center piece, made with 78 diapers and tons of baby trinkets...a Krista original!

I was, and still am, truly overwhelmed by the love and generosity the baby and I were showered with. I received baby care products, diaper bags, a swing, ExerSaucer, high chair, play yard, clothes, and so much more than I can even list. In addition, each guest brought a book for the nursery, which I absolutely loved! Out of nearly 20 people, there were no duplicates! I can't wait to put everything to use!

As suspected, there were a couple surprises. I'll start with the "good" surprise...this one-of-a-kind drunk baby onesie! (Which matches my 'drunk-girl' shirt in my blog picture above.) Julie, you are one crafty chick!

And then there is the "bad and ugly," or "hideous" as I so affectionately called it as I pulled it from the wrapping paper. I think I'm going to sell it on Ebay...some poor idiot might actually like this sort of thing. Carol Ann and Erin, you really got me good with this one!

So thanks to all the ladies who spent their Saturday evening with me, celebrating the little one. I appreciate each one of our friendships and love you all very much!


Taa Dah...The Bump's Nursery

The nursery is nearly complete. I'm still in search of a blue rug, ottoman and clock. But I'm so in love with how the wall stickers transformed the room, I couldn't wait to share! And trust me, these pictures don't do the room justice!

The walls are a yellow-lettuce. The caterpillar is plush and holds 26 finger puppets; each puppet corresponds to a letter in the alphabet.

The bugs, circles, and squiggles on the walls are actually removable wall stickers. The bugs are one from one set and the shapes from another...I was lucky enough to find matching colors! My favorite piece in the room is the wall book shelf. I'm hoping to get a lot of use out of it!

And yes, that is a rocket-shaped lava lamp. I read online that lava lamps give off the perfect amount of light for midnight feedings and 2a.m. diaper changes, so we couldn't resist. Who doesn't have a soft spot in their heart for a lava lamp?

I've also added pictures of Jeremy and I when we were babies.
Ahh, I just LOVE IT! To get a better feel for layout, click here.


Welcome to My 3rd Trimester

Only 10 weeks to go until I'm considered full term! Technically, full term is 38 weeks, but the majority of deliveries actually occur between 38-42 weeks.

Our little one is 2.25 - 3 pounds and is 15 inches in length (head to heels)...about the size and weight of half an average bag of sugar. The cub's eyes blink, which now sport lashes!

The baby's eyesight is also developing, and may be able to see the light that filters in through my womb. It's (yes, I'm referring to the baby as "it") also developing billions of neurons in it's brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

As for me, I can look forward to any number of the following physical side effects during the remainder of this pregnancy: constipation, heart burn, bloating, indigestion, headaches, dizziness, nasal congestion, bleeding gums, increased appetite, leg cramps, swelling, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, itchy stomach, protruding naval, hot flashes, backache, skin changes, fuller breasts, carpal tunnel, tingly hands and feet, fetal hiccups, skin eruptions, lower back and leg (sciatica) pain and clumsiness.

Two words: pregnancy bliss.


I Have G.D.

No, not V.D. silly. G.D., as in Gestational Diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women - about 135,000 cases each year.

The cause of GD is not known, however there are some risk-factors. The only risk-factors that apply to me is that I'm over 30 and am pregnant for the first time.

Gestational diabetes starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs for pregnancy. So, extra blood glucose goes through the placenta, giving the baby high blood glucose levels. This causes the baby's pancreas to make extra insulin to get rid of the blood glucose. Since the baby is getting more energy than it needs to grow and develop, the extra energy is stored as fat.

This can lead to macrosomia, or a "fat" baby (over 9 pounds, which Jeremy was at birth...so it's not looking like my baby will be small either way). Babies with macrosomia face health problems of their own, including damage to their shoulders during birth.

Because of the extra insulin made by the baby's pancreas, newborns may have very low blood glucose levels at birth and are also at higher risk for breathing problems. Babies with excess insulin become children who are at risk for obesity and adults who are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

Luckily I have excellent doctors who are monitoring me closely. I am on a fairly strict diet and eat every 2-3 hours, 6 times a day. I check my blood glucose levels 5 times a day (the pricking is going to get old, real fast) and have to submit my numbers to the nurse weekly. What a regiment!

I'll definitely be glad when the baby is born, as GD goes away after pregnancy!



I'll Be Right Here....

When I was 5 years old I saw E.T. with my mother and grandmother in a movie theater. Apparently I cried from the time Michael found E.T. pale and dying in the creek until the end of the movie. I saw it again when it was re-released with my mother and grandmother in 2002. Again, I cried.

Last April, Jeremy and I vacationed in Florida and went to Universal Studios. We rode the E.T. Adventure, and sure enough, I cried.

However, no emotional breakdown yet can begin to touch the episode I encountered when watching E.T. a couple nights ago on T.V. I was all snuggled up in bed with my E.T. stuffed animal (its finger and heart light up AND it talks), and sure enough I started crying as soon as I saw E.T. lying sick in the stream.

The difference between me crying at home and in theater, is the length of time I cried. I cried through every commercial. And just as I was pulling myself together, Gertie starts bawling at the sight of little E.T. starting to flat line.

Pregnancy hormones + E.T. = Me, a bawling mess.

Even my poor husband wouldn't stay in the room with me...he left and didn't come back until after the movie ended.

I heart E.T.
Is anybody with me?


The Nursery Project

The nursery is well under way, and practically finished! The walls are 'Yellow Lettuce' and the furniture a mix of natural wood and dark maple. The crib, dresser, changing table and rocker are in their respective places and the bookshelf and caterpillar have been hung on the walls. Jeremy has been a busy little bee!

Once the room is finished...curtains up, rug purchased and in place, and wall decorated above the crib, I'll post pictures. In the meantime, here is the room layout...


I'd Like a Catheter Please!

On average, I bet I make about 15 trips to the bathroom in a 24 hour period. It's similar to 'breaking the seal' when you are drinking...without the added benefit of a buzz.

I don't mind the frequency at home so much (except for the middle of the night). It's the at-work and in-public restroom trips that wig me straight out.

Yes, I use the potty protectors. However, I can't help but think about whose ass was on the seat before mine. And, because of my frequent trips, how many asses am I coming in contact with per day?

Luckily I'm usually in and out in under a minute. However short my stall time, the experience is kind of like an ass hand shake...you know you have to do it, it's quick and painless, and yet you have no idea where that hand has been.

That being said, I'd like a catheter please.


Jump Starting Your Baby: 101

Is your husband disappointed he's not getting to feel the baby kick? Do you find yourself putting his hand on your belly and saying "Feel it?" only to get a "No" response every time?

Odom's Tennessee Pride* has the recipe to turn this situation around! After all, no husband should miss out on the great joy of feeling those precious little baby kicks!

What you'll need:
• 1 pound frozen meat (we prefer hot sausage)
• 1 washcloth

1. Wrap the frozen meat in the washcloth
2. Lie on your side
3. Position the wrapped meat under your belly
4. Wait for the baby to start kicking like a champion

*OTP does not recommend nor condone the use of their products for jump starting babies. This technique was actually recommended by a friend (For privacy purposes, I'll call her 'Merideth', wife to Nate, and mother of Abby and Natalie) whose original suggestion was to use a cold beer can.

**Caution: This may insight a kicking frenzy which could last all night long, keeping you up all night long... which is the baby's little way of saying, "Mom, Dad... don't f*ck with me. I may be young, but paybacks are a bitch."

The Birthing Plan

What to Expect When You're Expecting (although a bore to read and the majority of it doesn't even apply to anyone having a 'normal' pregnancy) advises the reader to develop a Birthing Plan. Me, a lover of anything planned, didn't hesitate to start rattling off the birthing plan topics to Jeremy, so that we could start discussing our options.

One of the points of discussion was how quickly after the baby is born do we, the parents, want to hold our baby? Do we want them to weigh the baby first, put it on my chest first, etc.

Jeremy quickly pipes up with, "Do you think they'll wash its horns off first?"

To which I cluelessly reply, "What do you mean?"

..."You know, cause the baby will be a demon."

So, now I'm convinced my husband actually does believe I am baking demon spawn. After all, he's brought this up on more than one occasion.


I'm No Hussy!

That's right. I got married and then I got pregnant. That being said, nothing bothers me more than the fact my hands have swollen to the point I can't wear my beautiful engagement ring and wedding band.

For as long as I can remember, I've always done a "ring check" on any pregnant woman I've run across. Just curios, I guess. Until now, however, I'd never thought about the fact these ringless women may actually be married, but aren't able to accommodate their tokens of commitment.

I waited for over 30 years to snag me up some bling, and now just over a year later, I'm once again sporting the naked finger.

To comfort me in my time of need, this $15.00 sterling silver ring from Target is filling in. It's fat and ugly, but in the presence of strangers, somehow puts me at ease.


Registry Mayhem

Since about two weeks after I found out I was pregnant (okay, one week) I've been diligently working on our registries. I've printed off checklists from both Target and Babies R Us and have spent nearly 70 hours researching the products, checking out the reviews, and doing cost comparisons between the two stores. So, as Jeremy and I walked up to the doors of BRU, I felt pretty confident that I'd done an excellent job and we'd be out of there within the hour.

Our goal was to 'see in person' everything I'd registered for and to add items not available online. As we pushed through the doors, I told Jeremy that "everyone says this place is overwhelming...I'm sure they are exaggerating...I've already done mostly everything online."


The task alone of finding the items I'd already registered for was time-consuming in itself. Online there may have been 10 pacifiers from which to choose, in-store there were upwards of 300. There was an entire wall dedicated to pacifiers and nipples alone!

And, of course, the registry print out didn't have pictures so we had to search the tiny skew tags to see which ones we'd registered for. This pattern was basically the meat and bones of the remainder of our time in BRU.

We actually spent 3 HOURS and 45 MINUTES in-store. That's a total of 73 hours and 45 minutes dedicated to our registry.

The bitch of it all, is probably half of our gifts won't even be from our registry. And I'll be stuck wearing a mint-green Pooh diaper bag with sickening little jars of "hunny" all over it. (That's always bothered me, by the way, the misspelling of honey.)


The Bump is Half Baked

Yep, we've made it to the 20 week mark...we are half way there!

In the last two weeks, I've definitely noticed a big difference in my belly and upper arms. I've also noticed little kicks here and there! Woo Hoo!

As a treat to all my faithful readers, I've posted a mini-clip of the cub's heartbeat. It's a whopping 164 beats per minute! Damn I love that fetal heart monitor.

As you'll see, Jeremy is well on his way to becoming a professional videographer! Just check out the unique angle. :)

Note: At around 11 seconds, you should be able to hear a definitive "irp", which is a different sound than the heartbeat. I'm no expert, but this has been happening a lot lately, and I think it's the baby moving.


Yep, I'm a Sucker

So, I got this email promoting "Parents" magazine. They offered me 3 years for $12.00.

Now I KNOW I'll be a better mother. I mean, God knows there will be a day when I need to have 142 birthday party ideas!

B.U.M.P. and B.F.F.

Friday I was surprised with a package from my Savannian B.F.F...a Baby Under Manufacturing Process t-shirt.

I was also surprised to find it was a S/M! However flattered, I haven't been a S/M since Christ was a kid! I'd upload a pic of me in this t-shirt if I was in the mood for a healthy dose of self-humiliation, but unfortunately today is not that day!

Thank you so much for the shirt Betsy! I do love it, even though I can't get it over my head. :)

Me and Betsy McGee...


Zebra Belly...The Onset of Panic

So far, I've been pretty accepting of the changes that have been occurring to my body. I've also thought I have been fairly realistic about "what's to come." Until now.

Every week I get an update from babycenter.com informing me of how my baby is developing each week, as well as what I physically should/could be in for. Today I found out that I may experience some darkening skin patches; and most importantly, could fall victim to "the mask of pregnancy." As a good woman would do, I turned to Google for pics of this so-called mask.

Lucky me (please note the thick, thick sarcasm)...I ran across a site that prides itself on exploiting the reality of the postpartum body. I'm not exaggerating in the slightest, when I say my life has been forever changed. My heart hasn't stopped beating rapidly since my eyes laid on the disturbing imagery, and like a car wreck, I keep going back to the site and starring at these women. I'm so scared I could puke.

If you feel so inclined to view this newly-found site, please note that there is nudity (and not the good kind). Also know that if you have not yet had a child, you probably won't ever want to.


Our 1st Anniversary: Baby's 1st Buckeye Game

Saturday marked the first anniversary of the day Jeremy and I said our wedding vows! We could hardly believe it's been a year. Traditionally, the 1-year anniversary gift is "paper".

I surprised Jeremy with tickets to the Buckeye season opener and a calendar of our first year together.

Jeremy surprised me with a fancy dinner at Morton's Steak House and tickets to the Trans Siberian Orchestra in December.


The Extreme Baby Rap

I get it. It's a cute fleece swaddler/lightweight snow suit.

But what's with the photography? This suit is supposed to keep the baby warm...but he looks like he's freezing (and pissed off).

And why is he in the brush?


I Heart My Baby Doppler

I know, I know...it's been ten days since my last post. I'm probably losing loyal readers left and right. And I do apologize.

So far my second trimester has been a total bore. My OB says I should enjoy this part because I have no symptoms and a lot of energy. In my eyes, this is just the calm before the storm. It won't be long before I can't see my feet, shave my legs or hug my husband. It won't be long before I won't be able to wear one article of clothing from my pre-pregnancy days. (Sigh)

I have, however, found a way to bide my time during this uneventful pregnancy phase! Thanks to our ever-evolving world, I can get my hands on gadgets that weren't so readily available just 5 years ago.

Every night for the past four nights, I have been listening to the cub's heartbeat. Yep, I "rented" a baby doppler, a.k.a. fetal heart monitor. And, I'm pretty much in love with it.

The baby doppler has really brought our family closer together. The three of us really enjoy our daily game of tag. Jeremy and I laugh and the cub laughs, and all is right in the world...


Happy 16-Week Birthday Fetus!

Inside this beautiful lady bump is our little chick. Will our little chick be Audrey Kathleen or William Preston? We'll only know once it hatches.
Only 168 days to go!


I am a Neanderthal, Hear me Grunt

This evening I had the pleasure of being described by my husband as a "Neanderthal." As I stared at him blankly, unsure as to why he would call me such a name, he quickly described the previous ten minutes leading up to his comment:

"Kate, when you woke up from your nap you looked around as if you were unfamiliar with your environment, stretched, then let out three burps. You then came over to the table, sat down, and started eating off my plate with your fingers. Now you are standing before me with your shirt pulled up and your hand down the front of your pants itching your lower belly."

So, maybe being pregnant isn't the prettiest. But I think the word "Neanderthal" is a little harsh coming from a man. Men do all sorts of unflattering things, and they aren't considered anything but "men."


My Twisted Mind

I've read many mother-to-be books, and all of them mention the increased amount of hormones will induce steamy-hot-romance-novel type dreams. And maybe I have had a couple of those, but what about the dream I woke to about 45 minutes ago...

Jeremy and I were in a waiting room of sorts. We are surrounded by other couples who look clueless and terrified and then happy families with diaper bags and car seats. We're one of the clueless and terrified couples.

A few minutes pass before a nurse walked over to us and said, "The adopting family is still in with your baby. They have about 15 minutes before their time is up, then you can go in for 5 minutes." She then proceeds, "Before you are permitted to see the baby, I need you both to sign this release form stating you are still wanting to give the baby up for adoption."

(Hold the train...I gave birth, haven't seen the baby, and I'm giving it up for adoption...what the hell?)

As the nurse is still standing above us, I look up say, "Well, Jeremy and I haven't ever discussed giving the baby up for adoption." I then look at my husband and say, "Babe, do you want to give our baby up for adoption?" Without hesitation he replies, "Well, since we're here and that family from Michigan already wants it, we might as well." So, we both signed the papers. (Obviously in this dream world I do whatever my husband wants without question.)

Before long we're escorted into a new room. In the center of the room were three spinning glass cases. Inside these glass cases were infants sitting in car seats...just spinning around. Some of them were sleeping, others awake and looking around, but none of them were crying.

Jeremy and I walked around these cases trying to guess which baby was ours, but we couldn't figure it out. One baby would have my eyes, while another baby would have his dimples.

Before we could come to any conclusion, we were escorted into yet another room and sat down in blue office chairs. A nurse then brought our baby to us, wrapped up tightly like a little burrito.

As soon as I had the little one in my hands, I started to unwrap the burrito as I wanted to see if it was a boy or a girl! The nurse blew a whistle to get my attention and pointed to a large sign on the wall that read "PARENTS GIVING THEIR INFANT UP FOR ADOPTION MAY NOT KNOW THE SEX OF THEIR CHILD." (Damn, this dream totally sucks.)

Our focus on gender was quickly averted as we noticed a huge cut down the side of our infant's face. It started at the the top of "it's" head and went down to "it's" ear and was being held together with about 100 stitches. The nurse told me that the doctor had to use forceps to get the baby out, as it's head was 10 inches and 15 ounces big, but the size has went down to 9 pounds since birth. (This nurse is always so helpful and makes total sense).

Next thing I know my mother and in-laws are in the room. My in-laws don't even want to hold the baby. My mom doesn't either but I made her. Judy (Jeremy's mom) tried to help my mom hold the baby because my mom is afraid she's going to drop the baby. This is because my mom is left-handed...and everyone knows left-handed people have a difficult time doing things right-handed people do easily.

So, Judy and my mom are trying to position the baby correctly so it's head is supported. Then, silence. Judy backs up from the chair and our infant's head is detached from it's body because my mom didn't support it correctly. (All you lefties should make note of this!)

I'm in tears, take both baby parts in my arms and just start freaking out. Of course, the nurse wasn't around and I had no idea what to do. Nobody would help me, they just glared at me as if I was the reason my mom couldn't hold a baby correctly. I pulled myself together and forced the head back on the body, just like a Barbie doll.

As I looked around, I noticed all the other families were holding plastic-headed babies as well. However, now that I'd attached the head onto the body, my entire baby was DEFLATING!

Again, I panic, and call out for the nurse. This time she came to the rescue, quickly picking up the baby, opening up the bottom of the burrito and then whipping it through the air to fill the infant's body and head back up. (Similar to how I open the produce bags at the grocery when they are stuck together.)

Our time is up and we are never going to see our child again.

•••next scene...

I'm running back into the building where our baby is and frantically searching for the nurse the had us sign the papers to give up our baby. As soon as I saw her she ran toward me, hugged me, and said, "I knew you'd be back. I knew you'd change your mind. So I didn't process your paperwork." At that moment, I realized that yes, that's what I was there for...I wanted my baby back!

The nurse then apologized for being so mean to me earlier, but that she hates mothers who give their infants up for adoption just because they are clueless about being a parent. (Well, that sums that up.)

She then took me into a room I've never been in before... where four new nurses in white attire, resembling angels, are holding my baby. Michael Buble's song "Home" was playing in the background. I sat down in a nice, puffy white chair and the nurses gently laid the baby on my lap and whispered, "Here is Audrey, your beautiful baby girl."

At this point I start crying out of joy. My baby is a real baby and no longer had a plastic head! In fact, this baby isn't even the same baby I held before!

Jeremy then busts through the door (he must have been parking the car), kneels down by my side, and strokes Audrey's thick black hair. This baby actually does look like us! I continued to cry which ultimately woke me in a whimpering confused state.

•••The End•••

I must say, I am deeply disturbed by this entire dream experience.
I can only conclude the following:
1. Left-handed people are evil and will turn your baby into plastic. (No offense, Mom.)
2. People from Michigan are secretly adopting Ohio infants with the hope that the baby will grow up to be an excellent football player and can be passed off as 100% Wolverine.
2. My labor is going to be so difficult, I will pass out, not remember it, and wake up with a 9 pound, large-headed infant.

Who knows?


The Lalapanzi Travel Bed

Designed by two South African mothers, "Lalapanzi" is Zulu for place to sleep. Retail cost: $167.00

You may not know "Lalapanzi" is English for dog bed.
Retail cost (small bed): $20.00


The Bringing-Home-Baby Outfit

In the last few months I've made some wonderful "internet-friends" on Babycenter.com. Our most recent topic, "The Bringing-Home-Baby Outfit," has sparked some flavorful discussions! Most of the husbands are wanting to dress the baby in some sort of sports attire. The wives think differently.

As you may suspect, Jeremy and I are in the same boat.



I think we all know the baby will look washed out in red. I mean, scarlet. :)