Archive for July, 2008

Riding in style

July 31, 2008

Good news!  We’ll be able to take B3 home from the hospital with us because we finally have a car seat.  Micah did his homework to pick a reliable, affordable model from the many, many available options, and we opted for the “Super Saurus” pattern of blue and green dinosaurs.

From what I can tell at this point, B3 enjoys riding in the car; when we’re on the road, I usually get a short break from the kicking and squirming.  Keep your fingers crossed that he turns out to be a happy little traveler!

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Testing 1, 2, 3

July 30, 2008

An important part of managing my gestational diabetes is testing my blood sugar levels four times a day with these little gadgets.  Fortunately, they’re very simple to use, and I can get through the whole testing process in about two minutes.  It also doesn’t usually hurt much at all, in part because I seem to have very shallow capillaries–or maybe just really thin skin–so I can set the pricker to a nearly painless depth.  These tests are far from my favorite part of the day, but I’m grateful that they’re no big deal.

Nursery painting, take two

July 28, 2008

Micah spent the weekend repainting B3’s nursery, to wonderful results.  Prairie Willow was definitely the color I had in my head, and now we don’t have to worry about our poor baby going blind from the glare of his bedroom walls.

In this picture, you can also see the beautiful Corgiville cabinet we got from our friends.  Don’t worry–we don’t plan to make B3 sleep on the floor.  Micah’s parents are going to bring us furniture next week.

Baby school

July 27, 2008

July has been the month of classes for us.  We’re nearly done with a four-part childbirth course, and we’ve also gone to sessions about breastfeeding and “Life with Baby.”  We’ve learned a lot, but it does get a little overwhelming.

One of the activities we did in the childbirth class had to do with what we think will most effectively motivate us to cope with the pain of labor and delivery.  The options were that the pain is normal, that it’s intermittent, that you can prepare for it, or that it has a purpose.  Each “support person” had to pick the one he/she thought his/her mom-to-be would find most helpful.  Almost all the partners chose correctly, and Micah was right in believing I’ll be most motivated by the “this pain has a purpose” approach.

Of course, I’m not going to limit myself to the obvious purpose of bringing our son into the world.  I’d also find it encouraging to hear things like, “Put up with this pain, and you’ll be able to eat fruit again–and maybe even a cookie once in while!”  Or, “Once you get through this, there’s a very good chance you’ll enjoy entire days without ever feeling sick!”  Another good one: “Yes, it hurts like crazy, but you’re doing this so the baby can kick other people, too!”  The prospect of meeting B3 will be great motivation for giving birth, to be sure, but let’s not underestimate the power of good, old-fashioned self-interest!

Now with shushing action!

July 26, 2008

B3’s librarian DNA is showing.  (In addition to his mom, his Great-Nana trained and worked as an academic librarian in the 1940s.)  I had ultrasound number five on Thursday, and the tech got a picture of him with his finger to his lips.  Apparently, while normal babies suck their thumbs, our kiddo goes “Shhh!”

The ultrasound results have been passed on to Dr. Clark, but I haven’t heard anything about them yet.  She wanted to check on his growth and size because the primary potential complication from gestational diabetes (aside from the mommy going crazy) is a super-sized baby.  (My understanding is that, since my body isn’t processing insulin correctly, extra sugar can get dumped into B3’s system, which will make him chubby, especially in the upper body.)  I’ll keep you posted.

Incidentally, the other picture resulting from this ultrasound is one the tech captioned “I’m still a boy!!!!”  I’m not going to put that one up because I don’t want B3 to have to go directly from labor and delivery to therapy.

Farewell to an old friend

July 25, 2008

Sad news today from Beaglewood Farm.  My mom’s Norwegian elkhound, Daisy, was put to sleep this morning.  She had lived a long and happy life but had suffered in recent months from serious health problems, including greatly decreased mobility.

Daisy was one of Mom’s sweetest dogs, always very affectionate and silly, despite her elegant appearance.  Her distinctive black face and early years somewhere in Appalachia (I can’t remember exactly where) led us to call her the “coal-mining dog,” and Micah liked to refer to her as “Huff-n-Puff” because she expressed excitement by panting heavily.

Mom buried her at the farm, marking the grave with daisies, and her interment was accompanied by a chorus of barking and howling from her pack.

Take a hike!

July 24, 2008

Hiking Clingman's Dome

Hiking Clingman's Dome

Last month we went on vacation in the Smoky Mountains with Micah’s family.  I wasn’t up for any serious hiking, but I managed a few of the shorter trails–sometimes with help!

Since B3 hiked these trails, too, we got him a couple of trail patches, which I’ve put on little onesies, so he can show off to all the other babies.  (The hiking shorts are a gift from his Nana Pat.)

 

Next time we do this, someone else gets to carry the kid.

 

Center of attention

July 22, 2008

B3 probably already thinks the world revolves around him, and this is only going to get worse in coming weeks.

I had my regular doctor’s appointment yesterday, and things seem to be progressing as they should. Contrary to what all the nice ladies at church say–or imply with meaningful looks–my belly is measuring exactly where it should for 31+ weeks. My blood sugar numbers are generally good, though the minor problems with my fasting numbers have resulted in a prescription for a small dose of diabetes medicine (which, if this morning was any indication, doesn’t work worth a darn).

While I’m doing a good job of controlling the diabetes (though I wasn’t exactly flattered when the doctor said I was “very compliant”), it still puts me in a elevated risk category, so B3 is going to be lavished with some extra attention for the remainder of the pregnancy. I’ll have yet another ultrasound on Thursday, to check on his size, and I have to start going in for fetal monitoring each week. I bet the little guy is thinking, “Ooh, I’m a special, special baby!” Which, of course, he is–but this is getting a bit ridiculous!

Is it too late…

July 21, 2008

…to move to Sweden?

We recently started getting serious about evaluating day care options for B3 after I go back to work. I’ve quickly discovered that the first thing I should have done after getting a positive pregnancy test was not celebrate with my husband but rather start getting our name on waiting lists.

We’re still holding out (vanishing) hope that we’ll snag an infant spot at the highly-regarded UH Child Care Center, where I could visit the little guy during the day. But even after months on the list, we’re probably not high enough to get in in January. The center doesn’t have anywhere near the capacity to meet demand, and the children of UH students and the siblings of current CCC attendees are given priority.

At the moment, Plan B appears to be attending as many worship services as we can each week, in order to get priority for church-based day care programs. I’m being only slightly facetious (and I’m starting to understand how day care centers can be a great outreach tool for congregations). It’s hard to find decent programs in convenient locations, but I have a few leads to run down.

The whole day care dilemma is distressing not just on a personal level but also on a broader one. I’m really dismayed that it’s so hard for us to work this out, even though our situation isn’t that difficult. We have a decent income, a flexible schedule, and readily available transportation–and still, as Micah pointed out, we’re having to beg and plead for someone to take our money to care for our child. If we really want well-educated women to stay in the workforce, we’ve got to offer them (i.e., us) better options.

Not-so-cool Aloe

July 21, 2008

Ever since we bought our house over a year ago, we’ve been wanting to repaint the room that will become B3’s nursery.  It was used by the toddler of the family who owned the house before us, and the walls were a headache-inducing shade of yellow called “Tigger’s Tummy” (the leftover paint was in the garage).  We decided we’d prefer the room to be a pleasant, soothing shade of green–and what could be more pleasant and soothing than a shade called “Cool Aloe,” right?

 

Wrong.  The walls are now the green equivalent of Tigger’s Tummy.

We’ve picked out another color, this one called “Prairie Willow,” and we’re hoping there’ll be time to paint again before B3 arrives.  We’ve also pretty much decided on a kind of theme for the room, which will be children’s books.  We’ve found a few great sources for posters, and we were given a fabulous gift of a cabinet hand-painted with characters from Tasha Tudor’s Corgiville Fair.  (The friend who painted it asked what our favorite children’s book was, and that was my response.  Micah chose St. Augustine’s Confessions.)  Suggestions for other ways to incorporate the theme–besides the presence of actual books, which is a given–are welcome!