Sunday, December 31, 2006

Soothing sounds for baby

A couple days ago, I apparently ate something that my body (let's blame the baby) did not like and I was rewarded with a non-stop burping rampage. It started out funny, though, because we were lying in bed making fun of all the strange and new sounds my stomach and throat were making. We tried to categorize the sounds with appropriate labels such as "moaning cow", "squealing monkey" or "dying cat".

However, the fun quickly lost its entertainment value when Michael was able to go asleep and I was left to ward off the wild animals on my own. It hurt! It wasn't just that I was burping a lot; it was that every time, I could feel it building up inside me until it finally reached a painful release. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.

I finally got up and looked for some Tums that I was sure my mom would have somewhere in her freaking freezing cold house (it's a log cabin up in Estes Park, Colorado). Much to my dismay, nothing could be found in the guest bathroom or in the kitchen, but I did discover that I felt better when I was standing up. So, I tried to sleep sitting up in a chair, covered in my mom's fur coat for warmth.

That lasted about 10 minutes until I found myself rolling around in pain again. As I sat there trying to decide if I should wake my mom up for help, my mind started wondering about how I could make the most of my misery. The best I could come up with was a device to play the stomach churn sounds to my baby to soothe her to sleep after she is born. I'm sure you've seen a similar device before, where you can play relaxing sounds like the ocean and a heartbeat for the baby because the baby is accustomed to hearing such pleasant sounds in the womb. Uh? An ocean in the womb? Hello!? I'm of the opinion that stomach groans are probably more common.

Soothe your baby to sleep with the relaxing sounds of heart burn and gas! I doubt such a product exists. I'm going to be rich! $$$* Don't worry, when that happens, I'll try to remember all the little people. Or at least the ones I don't resent for sleeping peacefully throughout the night. =)

* Pronounced as "cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching"

Thursday, December 28, 2006

When it's ok to stick your hands down your sister-in-law's pants

I try to be a good sister-in-law when it comes to my relationship with my sister's husband, but I know that I have my moments of weakness. So the fact that I got a kick out of this is something I feel bad about, but I'd be willing to bet that you wouldn't blame me for sharing.

My baby has been super active recently. Very little time usually passes between kicks (which makes me wonder how much my baby is going to sleep after he's born but we'll worry about that later). Anyway, my sister was excited to feel the baby move and felt a couple really good kicks.

Since she was so excited, she called her husband over, "Quick! Come feel the baby!" He hesitated and came over to us only to have my sister grab his hand and shove it down my pants and put it on my tummy. My poor brother-in-law grew deep red and was as stiff as a board while he tried to wait patiently for the baby to kick.

Of course, the baby decides he is shy and doesn't move. Maybe he was thinking "if I stay very still, he won't know I'm here!" Whatever the cause, poor brother-in-law just stood there frozen for what I'm sure seemed like an eternity to him, until I gave him permission to remove his hand from my pants by saying "Bummer, the baby stopped." I've never seen someone look so relieved, especially to get out of my pants.*

I tried to make him feel better by explaining to him that my pants are now much higher than my usual pants. Had he placed his hand there 5 months ago, it would have just been on my stomach and not down below any zippers. However, I doubt that made him feel any better. =)

* Ok, ok, I'm sorry. That was inappropriate. I'll stop now.

It's not the quantity that counts...

but the quality that counts. And in case you didn't know, that applies to weight gain too!

Things I learned this week:

1. I (and I'm assuming others as well) weigh a lot less in Colorado than I do in Maryland. Need a good weight loss plan? Go to Colorado! It's simple and you can eat any food you want. For the small cost of a plane ticket, you will automatically lose over 5 pounds! I kid you not. I weigh 5 pounds less here with my clothes on than I do in Maryland butt naked.

2. I have big ankles. I'd like to blame it on the pregnancy. Maybe that's where my weight gain is going! I just hope that my feet don't start to grow to keep up with the ankles. The last thing I need is bigger feet! Maybe in my next life, I can be one of those cute women with little graceful feet.

3. I have large hips. And apparently I always have. This whole time when I was thinking that I was an extremely sexy desirable woman (no comments please... lol) in my prime years, I have really just been blind. Big hips. I'm told that it's a surprise I've never noticed. I hate it when I'm the last to know these things!

4. I am gaining more weight than I need to. Apparently it's not necessary to grow in all directions when there is a baby inside you after all. This week I think I've gained 3 pounds (I'll know for sure when I get back to Maryland and see that it was really 8 pounds or something). At this point in the pregnancy, I should only be gaining a pound a week and so I believe I am now 5 or 6 pounds above average. Ugh. But please, it's the holidays. Speak up if you happen to be the one and only person who doesn't gain weight during the holidays!

5. Weight gained does not go away when you're pregnant. Usually when I gain the typical 5 pounds from eating turkey and candy, I can get rid of it pretty easy. Skipping one meal and drinking loads of water always does the trick for me. However, that seems to be illegal when you're pregnant. I can't skip a meal and believe me when I say I do not need a reason to pee more than I already do!

So I've learned a lot this week that I didn't know before. It's shown me a side of myself that I never considered. However, the most important thing I've learned is this:

6. I have great friends and much of the above just simply is not true. I met my mostest favoritest girls for dinner this week and told them about my newly learned information. They were nice enough to explain to me that most of it was wrong and that indeed I am as sexy as I always thought I was. And they know what they're talking about! These women (all 4 of them) have the sexy thing down! They know what sexy is. So woo hoo! Let's hear it for the girls!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Are we keeping it from you?

I guess I should address the question that seems to be one that many people share... "Are we keeping it from you?" That is, are we going to tell people the names we like or when the time comes, the names we choose?

It's a good question, really. I don't blame people at all for asking. I have asked the same thing when it comes to talking to the few people I've known who were expecting their own baby. It used to surprise me when I would get a hesitant response with no real answer. It made me wonder things like "are you just that unsure of the name you picked?" or "you're making this way too hard. it's just a name!"

Oh how ignorance is bliss!

Here's the thing... We're not exactly keeping it from you as much as we are scared to tell you. We have told a few people our initial list of names we like and have gotten mixed results. Oh, don't get me wrong, everyone is excited about the topic and it's a lot of fun to see their reactions and take in the energy they give.

However, amongst all the fun there are still comments that come out (some joking and some not) that when taken one at a time are not a big deal, but they start to weigh down the excitement a little. Some of the comments I have received so far (some more often than others) **:

"I knew a _______ once and she was a spoiled brat."
"______ for a girl?"
"______ for a boy?"
"______? Isn't that a last name?"
"______? Isn't that a dog's name?"
"______? Like the cheese?"
and last, but not least...
"If you name your boy ______, he'll grow up to be gay, (pause) not that there is anything wrong with that."

Having said that, there are useful comments we've received too, along the lines of:

"Kids will make fun of _____ because it rhymes with _____."
"H_____ I_____ Vincent? You might want to rethink that!"
"There are just too many ways to spell ______, she'll be spelling her name for people her whole life!"
"______ is a fine, but people will call him _____ for short and that sucks."

So even though we haven't shared our names with a lot of people, I can now understand why those who I have asked in the past were hesitant to tell. When it comes down to it, we're not going to make everyone happy with whatever name we pick, but even the critics will fall in love with a name once they fall in love with the baby!

You're probably now thinking "yeah, yeah, yeah, but you didn't answer the question" so now I will do just that... I will share the names we're thinking of as soon as Michael and I come up with middle names to go with them. Our game plan is to pick our top three names (for each gender) and choose middle names for each. Then we'll see where that takes us. I have to keep you guys in suspense, you know?! =)

For now, would you settle for knowing what our initial favorite names were? Kaitlyn and Aidan were by far our favorite names at the beginning, so much so that I didn't think we would have to address the topic again. However, we have since found out that everyone else in the world also loves those names and if there is one thing we've learned from being Jennifer and Michael, it's that we don't want a super-common name for our baby!

** Disclaimer: If you're one of the people who have given one of the responses listed above, please do not be upset that I used it as an example. I know that everyone involved in the process has the best of intentions and that sometimes these comments are meant in a joking manner and spoken with a smile. That's the disadvantage of blogging... though I can type a blog entry with a smile, it gets lost in translation somewhere amongst the fuzzy cloud we call Internet.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

To Baby Vincent

We came home last night to a package marked:

Baby Vincent
c/o Michael & Jennifer Vincent

Woohoo! Our baby got her first piece of mail! And her first Christmas present!

And since we're on the topic of Baby Vincent, I might as well add that Michael and I discussed baby names again last night (over butternut squash ravioli... Mmmm!) and I have exciting news to share! No, no, we didn't pick a name yet. Or even two for that matter. The exciting news is that we agree on our top two girl names!* Yay! Yay! Please, no applause. Just send money.

It's too bad that we can't just combine the two names and have a full name picked out, though. They just don't sound good together. Oh well. It's at least one step further!

* I think we also agree on our favorite boy names as well, but they're more difficult than the girls. It's so much easier to find girl names to get excited about and love. Boys are so hard to name!!! We have a few that we like, but nothing that jumps out of us like the girl names. This baby-naming process is ha-ard!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Is it hot in here or is that just me?

It must just be me.

Damn! These hot flashes suck! I don't know whether to blame it on the weather (an insanely warm 70 degrees a week before Christmas??) or the pregnancy but all I can say is that I'm grateful that I'm not going to be pregnant during the summer months! Ugh!

Tummy Tummy Tummy (22 weeks)

It's picture time again!

It's hard to believe that I'm half way through my pregnancy when this was taken (at 20 weeks)! The time has gone by so dang quickly!

As time goes on, I get more and more excited about these pictures because I'm anxious to see the entire progression. I really haven't looked at all my tummy pictures together yet, and I think it will be really fun to do.

Remember when I mentioned that line on my tummy? You know, the line that every big pregnant tummy has? If you don't know what I'm talking about, you'll surely notice it next time you see a big pregnant tummy and you'll think "Oh, that line!" Anyway, here it is. I still think it's weird weird to have a straight line going all the way down my tummy. All the way down.

Here I am at 22 weeks. I'm starting to get chubbier. In fact, my midwife says that I'm gaining a little more than average (by 3 pounds), which of course is not what I wanted to hear! =)

And apparently my ass has grown too! That must have been in the fine red letters because I know I didn't sign up for that part of the deal! Tell me the truth... does this baby make my butt look too big? Michael says it needs to grow to act as a counter-balance for the baby. My response was to stick my tongue out at him and walk away. Maybe I should reconsider being excited to see the progression all at once!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Life Is Precious

Things have been pretty stressful for a lot of people at work lately. We have some major deadlines coming up (New Year's Eve), so everyone has been running around like crazy trying to get stuff done. Then, after the deadline, we don't have a moment to relax because while everyone is so busy working, they are simultaneously falling behind for the next deadline. It's a vicious cycle, really. But the end result will be more than worth the effort because it's going to change so many people's lives. Big time.

This week started off on a very bad note when we found out that a coworker committed suicide over the weekend. Without going into too many details, it has taken everyone by surprise, as such a thing probably almost always does. Being my emotional pregnant self, I had a difficult time Monday and Tuesday. However, I called many of my closest friends and family to tell them I loved them and that helped.*

Now onto the happier, pregnant side of the story... I do not know if I am just imagining it or not, maybe the timing is just coincidental, but it seems like my baby took that sad moment as an opportunity to remind me that life is precious. It seems that since Monday the baby has been super-active. If I sit down and pay attention, I can usually feel him kick at least once every few minutes. I love it!

This, combined with the fact that I've started my scrapbook by making a family tree, has resulted in me thinking a lot about my grandparents. I can't help but wish all the grandparents could be around to meet their new great-grandchild**, but I suppose that's how the circle of life works.

* If I didn't call you, please don't take it personally. I'm sure that if you're reading this blog, I love you very much and appreciate having you in my life. =)

** I am, however, extremely excited for the remaining grandparents to meet Baby Vincent. I can't wait to take those pictures!

Latest Thumping News

Sorry for the silence this week, but apparently my work has decided to block blogspot on random occasions. Today is the first time I've been able to log in. "Why don't you log in from home?" you might ask, to which I'd respond with "Because."

But an update... Tuesday we went to the doctor again. It was the first appointment since our ultrasound. The midwife reaffirmed that everything looked normal for the baby, so yay! Then she measured my uterus and listened to the baby's heartbeat. Apparently the baby was doing acrobats in my tummy because it was difficult to hear anything other than kicks and such, so that was fun.

Baby Statistics (as of December 12):
Weight = 36 percentile (small baby, but still in normal range)*
Heart rate = 160 bpm
Uterus = 22 cm (just above my belly button)**

* As long as it's still in normal range, I'm completely supportive of a small baby! I still haven't completely accepted my role towards the end of the pregnancy.

** I'm still not quite sure what this means. All I know is that they measure where my uterus is and that helps them determine how my progress is going. From a more personal perspective, I have noticed that the bump on my belly is slowly moving upward. Apparently 22cm upward. =)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Random Pregnant Knowledge

Today's random piece of information I learned about pregnancy -

I have issues with the doors on the bathroom stalls. In the last week, I must have hit my tummy half a dozen times while opening the door to get out! Apparently I need to learn that a tummy takes up more space than a non-tummy. Either that, or I need to learn that when in tight spaces, I should open doors much more slowly.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It Just Will Not Do

I started writing a post this morning that, sadly, I can not finish for quite sometime (I'm not-so-patientily waiting for pictures). However, in starting to write it, I quickly realized that something has to be done about this "he", "she" and "it" nonsense when talking about my baby.

Since I do not know the gender, and I am getting further along in the pregnancy, I hesitate in writing "he" or "she". I do not want one of my readers (I love that I have readers!) to see something on my blog and then run off telling everyone "It's a boy!" or "She found out it's a girl!" when indeed I have done no such thing.

On the other hand, I refuse to call my baby "it" just to keep the crazyness to a minimum. "It" is so dang impersonal!

The solution? I'm going to follow the examples I've seen in my Baby-gami* and Baby Sign Language books. The author always uses "he" or "she" when talking about the baby and just assumes that the reader is smart enough to make the mental change to apply to their own baby as necessary. So, let it be known that from this moment on I will refer to my baby as "he" at times and as "she" at times. No jumping to conclusions without my permission**!

* Baby-gami: The art of wrapping a baby. hehehe... cute book title.

** Though Michael tells me to request that my readers (hehehe, there it is again, readers) inform me if I start to always refer to the baby as a girl or boy, instead of a nice mix of both.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hello, baby!

Is it strange that when I'm bored or if I find myself with a moment of "what do I do for the next couple minutes" I find myself looking at my baby? Hello baby! You're so cute!

And as another quick little note, I have been feeling my baby move quite a bit recently. And yes, I am now convinced that it is indeed the baby. And I love it!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

High School Woes

I've never really had a problem with my weight, and I have always been very thankful for that (I owe it to my mom's side of the family... Thank you!).

In high school I weighed a measly 110 lbs.
In college I gained my Freshman 15.
After graduating, I gained another 5 lbs and then stabilized.

Not too shabby, eh? Especially since I have always been too lazy to work-out (though to my credit, I have tried to start up the stationary bike recently). Remember that commercial? The annoying one that says "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful". Well, try not to hate me for not needing to worry about my weight.**

Having said that, I know I'm never going to weigh the same as I did in high school, and who knows what it's going to be like after having kids. However, given the fact that the most I'll ever weigh is when I'm super-pregnant and the least I've ever weighed was in high school, I was surprised to learn this morning that my high school clothes might very well be the only clothes in my wardrobe that I will be able to wear throughout my entire pregnancy!

Woohoo! Let's hear it for the grunge era!

In recent weeks I've learned that there is a definite difference between a "fat day" and "pregnant day". I've had days where I just look at my growing tummy and think "Could I be any less attractive?" Yet, I've also had days where I look at my growing tummy and think "I've never felt so sexy!"

What I find to be particularly strange is that when I put my baggy high school clothes on this morning, today instantly became a "fat day". I blame it on the memories I have of hating high school because when I wear these clothes I have the same self-esteem as I did back then (or lack thereof). It really makes me wonder why I kept them.

** Disclaimer - It all evens itself out in the wash. I may never have had to worry about my weight, but I have also never been blessed with a nice complexion or long thick hair. =)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Thank you all for your emails and phone calls saying you're waiting patiently for an update on our appointment we had last week. I didn't want to post the update until I had scanned a picture, and it has been a hectic few days for both of us.

Enough babbling... Look! It's our baby! I know you're anxious to know if we decided to find out the gender, but I'm going to be mean and make you wait.**

This was taken at 19 weeks and 6 days. The baby's heartbeat is 152 bpm and the baby weighs about 10 oz. The doctor says that everything looks good, and he will be sending a full report to my midwife.

The appointment was both exciting and disappointing. First, let's start with the exciting part. See the baby's hand in the picture? We actually saw the baby wipe his face! It was so very very cute!

Now for the disappointing part. Both Michael and I were hoping the appointment would be a "Grand Tour of Your Baby." You know, something along the lines of "And off to your right, you see the baby's foot with 5 toes. Now if you look to the left, there is the baby's heart. Any questions? Ok then, let's move on..." But instead it was "And there is the baby's hand" click "and there is the baby's stomach" click "and there is the baby's kidneys" click, which left us thinking "Wait! Wait! Go back! I didn't see!"

But the important part is that the baby is healthy!

And now for the exciting news that I know everyone has been waiting for! Is it a boy or girl? Did we break down and find out? Well we have an answer for you!

It's a ...

Baby! Yay! We're so excited!

We ended up deciding not to find out the gender. Actually I intended on convincing Michael to find out, and we were discussing it all the way up to the end when we were waiting in the lobby for our appointment. However, there was this cute couple who overheard us talking and they spoke up. The woman said they are expecting their 5th baby and they've never found out the gender (so far they've ended up with 2 boys and 2 girls). She told us a little about how it can be frustrating to not know, especially towards the end, but the moment when the doctor hands over the baby and says "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" it is the best feeling in the world.

Now I know that the moment when the doctor hands over the baby is bound to be the "best feeling in the world" regardless of knowing or not. However, the way she spoke made it all seem worth the wait. Damn her.

** That is, of course, forgetting about the fact that you could always just scroll down to the bottom of the entry to find out right away, but how many of you were really that smart? =)