Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hawaii Tsunami?

Adam and I woke early this morning to near simultaneous phone calls and text messages from our families on the mainland warning us about the earthquake that happened in Chile and the resulting tsunami warnings. We got up and started searching the internet and watching the local news to find out if we need to evacuate to higher ground. Apparently we are not in an evacuation zone in our house. Even though we are right across the street from Kaneohe Bay and the water, it seems the bay will not be affected by any large waves. So we are basically hunkered down right now watching the news and waiting to see what will happen. They are expecting the first wave to hit the big island at 11:00 and then for Oahu to see the repercussions around 11:30. They've been sounding the tsunami warning alarms every hour on the hour since 6:00 this morning, and evacuating people in coastal and low lying areas. But they are telling everyone else to stay in their homes and off the roads if you're not in an evacuation zone. Of course the gas stations and grocery stores have been inundated with people freaking out and trying to get last minute supplies. The officials are saying they don't think the water levels will rise more than 4 feet above normal. Adam just told me that the base gym is open and is actually an evacuation center, so we might head over there soon to work out and wait to see whether everything is going to be washed away.

Update: It's quarter after 11 right now, 10 minutes since the first estimated impact time, and so far nothing has happened. We're just watching on the news the cameras watching Hilo on the big island, which will be the first part of Hawaii to feel the effects of any waves.

Update: They are saying we are now experiencing the tsunami, but it's not very big. The waves are only about a meter higher than normal and then they recede about a meter lower than normal and this happens every 20 minutes or so. They are saying it *could* get worse, but my guess is this is about as bad as it's going to get.

Update: Alright. Well, it's 1:40 and so far we are just seeing the tide rise and fall every 20 minutes or so, but no dramatic water levels. I think we will all survive over here! We're going to the gym.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Valentine's Day Dinner Cruise

While my computer was still on the fritz, Adam took me on a dinner cruise for Valentines Day (and partly for our anniversary too). We started out at the Aloha Tower in Waikiki and sailed out past Diamond Head and back.

Looking back at Aloha Tower and the piers where our cruise started.

Dinner was lobster and steak - YUM! I did not realize we were going to get a whole entire lobster to eat. I was thinking like lobster tail on the side of a steak, but this is what came out:

Getting ready to dig in. Eating lobster like this is more complicated than it seems at first. I have eaten lobster in the shell only a few times in my life, so I'm not really savvy on the most efficient way to do it. I ended up with lobster juice and chunks of meat and shell all over my hands and down to my elbows. I didn't even bother with the moist towelette they brought over, I just got up and went to the bathroom to rinse off!

We destroyed that lobster. Then they brought out another course of steak, veggies and mashed potatoes.

Adam and I went outside to get some pictures before the sun set, but it was really windy.

View of Diamondhead you don't usually see - from the waters off the southwest coast.

What a fun night!

30 weeks of pregnant glory

I was doing squats in the squat rack at the gym on Sunday. I was changing out the plates on the bar when this girl came up to me and said, "You're so motivating!" And we chatted for a few minutes about lifting weights during pregnancy. I was completely flattered because I see her in the gym all the time and I admire HER! She's beautiful and she's always doing weighted dips or squats.

I actually feel really good lately. The last few weeks have been the best part of pregnancy for me. My belly is growing, but it's higher up and seems more out of the way. The nausea and fatigue of the first 4 months has long passed, and I finally look obviously pregnant instead of just chubby or funny shaped. My maternity clothes fit instead of me having to hike up the waistband every few steps. I'm even feeling strong in the gym. It's still a chore to get a work out in, especially because I don't feel much like a fit chick. I mean, less than a year ago I was doing this:

And now I look like this...

30 Weeks EGADS

10 more weeks to go! Whee! Of course, I'm doing way less in the gym these days - I'm squatting half the weight I was before, and taking lots of rest in between sets, and nothing high intensity. So it was a really nice for that girl to tell me I'm motivating. I still have the fire in me, it just has to wait a while before I can stoke it again.

Speaking of feeling good and nice things, thanks for all your lovely comments on that last post. I'm basically over it. I took an entire day of sick leave on Wednesday and spent the day at the hospital with A in tow (bless his heart he came with me for the whole day). I did the 3 hour glucose test first thing in the morning and then we had a nice lunch at a nearby golf course. We rushed back to the hospital afterward for our ultrasound and a tour of the L&D facility at the Army hospital.

The glucose test was not too horrible. I mean, the drink is ghastly, and getting stuck four times in 3 hours is no picnic either. But the time actually went by pretty fast with A there. We brought a laptop and dvd to entertain ourselves. And so far I have not heard a peep from the midwives about my results so I can only assume I passed. If I don't hear by the end of today, that's what I'm going with.

The ultrasound went fine too. The Little Elf is totally caught up now and is not even considered lagging behind in growth anymore so that is good. She is almost 3 lbs! She is still breech, but I guess it is too early to worry about THAT. She has taken to kicking me in some vital soft spot way off on my right side and it sometimes takes my breath away! I was sitting with Adam the other day and I made a face and he asked what was wrong and I said, she kicked me and it really hurts! He jumped up and put his hand on my belly and said, "Baby Girl!! Are you giving your mama a hard time?!" Haha.

As for the L&D tour, what can I say? I'm still somewhat skeptical about giving birth in a hospital. I am pretty sure I would prefer some foo-foo birthing center or something. However, I'm glad I will be with the midwives and I'm still hoping for a completely intervention-free birth. I may end up with an IV, but I'm hoping that will be the extent of the prodding. The only thing that really worries me is whether they will be full when I go into labor. They have 10 birthing rooms and 18 private mother/baby rooms. If the L&D rooms are full I could end up giving birth in a tiny triage room - not ideal. And if the private mother/baby rooms are full, I could end up with a roommate. The Army hospital here is a virtual baby factory, so them filling up is a real possibility in my mind. They run their L&D tour every weekday and the tour is booked for the next 6 weeks!

So here's what you missed last week... 29 weeks! I'm growing so much that I decided to take pics every week instead of every two weeks. And here's 28 weeks. These pics were still in my camera and I had to get everything running on my laptop again before I could download them. Yesterday I spent the whole day organizing and downloading and fixing everything on the computer. It's so frustrating because I already DID THIS when I first got this new computer! Grrrr....

I also made the video montage for Adam for our first anniversary on Friday. It was fun going through all our old pictures and reminiscing about A&M and DC and all the adventures we've had. It took me a while to figure out how to get the pictures right with the music and how to get it up on the internet. A was working all weekend so I had plenty of time to myself for it. I really can't believe it's been a year! It's been an awesome year and I can't wait to see what year two brings.

Happy Anniversary Honey! I Love YOU!

Adam and Michelle First Anniversary from Michelle Seiler on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Welcome to my pity party. Hope you brought the whine. Har.

I'm feeling really cranky and discouraged right now, and I'm about to complain. Y'all, I failed the 1 hour glucose test! Can you believe that?! ME! The Queen of Nutrition?! Failed! Now I have to go back in for the 3 hour test omfGGGGGG. I am guessing it was a fluke and I do not have gestational diabetes and I will pass the 3 hour test. Especially since no one told me I was not supposed to eat for a few hours before the 1 hour test, and I ate right before I drove over to the appointment, probably about an hour before the test. Still, even if I pass the 3 hour test, it's just one more thing.

And I have to say, right now, I'm feeling like I'm just done. I don't want to do this anymore, any of it. I swear to god, I'm at the fucking doctor every time I turn around. I already have 4 appointments to go to every month, and at least one of those involves getting stuck with a needle for a blood draw. Sometimes I get an extra appointment added on for yet another blood draw. I'm already going every 4 weeks to the midwife, and the endocrinologist, and a growth scan ultrasound. And I have to go separately to the lab and get bloodwork done for my thyroid. It takes two weeks to get through all those appointments, and the next thing I know I'm back again two weeks later. I just spent about 2 hours at the lab last week doing the 1 hour glucose test. Now I've got to go back again for the 3 hour test. And I'm reading online that 70% of women who fail the 1 hour pass the 3 hour test. High false positive?! Yeah, just like every other screening I have done during this pregnancy.

What has any of the additional testing that I've been reluctantly talked into done for me or the baby? Nothing so far as I can see. Nothing but worry and wasted time. Hassle and stress. From the genetic screening to the ultrasounds, and now this glucose test, which is likely also a false positive... what benefit have I gotten? Man, I'm sort of kicking myself for not doing my usual annoying-to-everyone-around-me routine and become hyper-educated on my own about pregnancy and screening tests. Instead of trying to be nonchalant and not freak out about being pregnant, maybe I could have saved myself some trouble by educating myself and declining to have the tests done. The only reason I consented in the first place is because they get you with the whole, "it's for the BAYBEEE" thing. But what has my baby gotten out of any of it either? Good lord if the medical establishment today doesn't make you feel like a sick and dying person and omg something might go wrong with the baby if you don't do this test! Oh really. How in the world did our grandmothers and great-grandmothers ever manage to have babies? Are we doing any better now in our so-called modernity? Not from what I can tell.

I'm just feeling irritated and overwhelmed by the whole thing. And I'm ready to get off this ride. It's not enough that I go to work every day, find time to exercise, try to sleep and eat healthy, get ready for the birth, the baby. It's enough already! And now it's just one more thing, another test, another 4 hours of my life wasted. And if I fail that? A special diet, and possibly medication. I'm just done.

I feel like a lab rat. Like I'm being tormented for no good reason. And it's sad, but there have been several times already when I've seriously thought to myself, I love being pregnant, but I don't think I ever want to go through this again. I don't know if I want to have any more babies if it's going to be like this. It's just too much. Where's the joy? I feel joyful inside, and our families are joyful for us, but everywhere else it seems like all I get is negativity and difficulty. It's not just from the medical establishment either! If you've been pregnant before you know how people love to dish out the negativity when they see you're pregnant. I hardly ever hear about how magical and wonderful it is to have babies. It's all - Just wait till the baby is born and you never sleep again! Just wait until you can never do anything by yourself again! Just wait till they spend all your money and tell you they hate you and crash your car! And they predict all this misery with such glee. It's sickening, really.

It makes me wonder what in the world I'm doing with my life? See how the pregnancy hormones enhance the melodrama?! But seriously, why am I putting up with any of this crap? Why am I surrounding myself with people like this, and allowing myself to be subjected to the medical establishment? It's not like I don't have a choice. It may seem completely impossible to do something different, to seek out different prenatal care, to find a different community. But I do have a choice.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. At the moment, I'm stuck dealing with the situation I'm in and trying to make the best of it. I'm sure this foul mood will blow over eventually and I'll get through whatever ends up happening. Right?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

First Stage Labor and Some Book Recommendations

I have new belly pics to post, however, my computer (my BRAND NEW DELL) is completely kaput. Yes I am pissed, need you ask? And it is looking like it may be a week or so before I get back in business. So, belly pics will have to wait, I'm afraid.

We had our fifth Bradley class yesterday evening. It was about first stage labor. I thought it was very informative - the first time I've *really* felt like I'm learning something in class. Don't get me wrong, I don't think the classes are useless. If I wasn't already so well-versed in the nutritional aspects, I would already have learned a lot. I think it's important to include everything we've gone over so far. Part of the Bradley philosophy is not just the birth process, but how to stay low risk and healthy so you don't end up needing unnecessary interventions caused by things you could have prevented by, for example, eating plenty of protein, salt, water, etc.

Last night the instructor had a couple who "graduated" from her class come in to speak to us about their experience. It's always nice to hear or read birth stories from people who made it through without any medication. We are so innundated with birth images from the media that show screaming, irrational, out of control women. It's good to see the other side of birth. We also talked about what is happening to your body during the first stage (basically the whole time up until the pushing), and emotional signposts. Next class will be about transition and the pushing stage. That is the part I am most nervous about, even though I keep hearing that pushing is a relief and easier / less painful than contractions. I keep thinking about the baby coming out of that rather small orifice and, well, it doesn't sound very relieving to me and I'm sure you can see where I am going with this.

I also have a few book recommendations that I keep meaning to do separate posts on, but since I keep getting sidetracked, I will just throw them out there for you.

The first is Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck.

This is a great overview of proper nutrition in pregnancy. It reads more like two girls sitting down to talk over coffee than a how-to manual. It doesn't tell you to eat 2 of this and 5 of that. Rather it gives principles and general guidelines to follow to ensure you are getting the best nutrition possible for yourself and your baby. Highly recommended to read before you even think about getting pregnant, since it is so important to have proper nutrition in place in the months prior to conception.

Second is the Baby Bargains book by Denise and Alan Fields.

This book has been my bible for what to buy for baby stuff. It is very easy to read and provides reviews and ratings of pretty much any baby product on the market. Invaluable for the crib and carseat safety recommendations. I would have probably spent (splurged) $300 (in gift cards! shut up!) on crib bedding if it weren't for the advice of this book: don't bother with bumpers since you'll have to remove them once the baby can pull herself up, and quilts are useless since you can't really use them until baby is a toddler. My copy is already dog-eared and well loved.

The last book is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler.

You've likely already heard of this book, but if you're like me, you decided it wouldn't be useful for you because a) you are on the pill or using condoms, b) you're not having trouble conceiving (perhaps you are not even TRYING), or c) you just don't really care that much. I was all three at one point. However, I hope I can persuade you, if you are a woman or if you are married to a woman, to at least give this one a skim. I wish I had read this book years ago. It explains a woman's cycle and the changes she experiences throughout the month. Yes, it does teach you how to chart your cycle so you know when you ovulate, but the information goes beyond learning how to do that. Even the charting info is really interesting. I thought it would be a huge pain to take my temp every morning and record it on a chart, but I decided to give it a try, because I finally got fed up with the pill.

I struggled for years with the pill - trying different brands and feeling each time like I was getting progressively more batshit crazy. Not to mention, when I finally went off it, I became amenorrheic for 18 months. Now, I don't know for sure if it was the pill or my thyroid troubles or something else, but I'm willing to bet the pill had at least SOMETHING to do with it. It took a combination of cutting way back on my exercise, gaining 20 lbs, reducing stress in my life, acupuncture, and natural progesterone cream, to get my period to start again.

So after giving up the pill, and encouraged by the Earth Mother and her husband who came to talk about Natural Family Planning to our group during our Catholic Engaged Encounter marriage preparation weekend, I got this book and started charting my cycles. And I thought it was kind of fun, even! Like a little science expirement. And we got preggers right away. ANYWAY, all that just to say I think this book is worth your while.

PS: I get nothing if you buy these books. I just like them and thought it would be helpful to pass it along.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fat, small, baby, freak-out.

The other day I was walking down the hall in my office building and the tiny 80 lb Asian woman who cleans our floor saw me and did a double take. She speaks in broken English and it's sometimes hard to understand everything she says. But when she saw me, her eyes bugged out and she made a basketball shape in front of her tummy and said, "You hab babeh?!" [Keep in mind she sees me every day.] And I said, yeah, I'm pregnant. And she said, "How long?" And I said 6 months... baby is due in April. And she said, "Oh, befoh, I tot you jus git fat!" HahahahahaHAAAAA.

Yesterday I took advantage of my day alone to go get my hair cut and my toes did. Both the hairstylist and the nail technician made a comment about my belly being "small". When I told the nail tech I was 6 months along, she said, "Oh for real? How come you're so tiny?!" I was like, uhhh.... I don't know? I don't feel tiny! I guess it's better than everyone making comments about how enormous I am. I really wouldn't like it if everyone was like, Are you sure you're going to make it to your due date? Sure it's just one baby in there? Etc.

My cousin - the one who was in my wedding - is also pregnant. She was due in mid-March, but my mom texted me this morning and said she is in labor now! At 35 weeks. And they live in DC so they got snowed in yesterday! Apparently they had to have 5 firemen come and dig their car out of snow so they could drive to the hospital! Egads! Luckily I won't have to worry about THAT problem (the snow, I mean). However, I do worry that this baby will come early cause, y'all, WE ARE SUPPOSED TO MOVE 4 WEEKS BEFORE MY DUE DATE. Good lord. We are insane. Certifiable. I have a feeling the Little Princess will stay stuck until it's time for her to come, but now I have a new thing to worry about!

Adam is already telling people the name we picked out for the Little Princess, and even calling her by it so I guess maybe I will think about announcing it before she is born. Maybe. I might save it till she's really here. He told me he can't wait to meet her and I said, she is going to love you! And I told him he is going to forget all about me once she is born :) He said no way, he will have two princesses, but I will still be the number 1 princess hehe. He's cute.

I am going to get 5 pizzas from Costco and bring them to A and his buddies at work today for the Superbowl, isn't that nice of me? I don't mind doing it because I will get to come in and get a tour of his workplace and meet all his new friends.

Only 12 more weeks to go!

Friday, February 05, 2010


You have probably noticed I am getting a lot of spammy comments recently. It's taking up too much of my time to continually police that and delete spam from the comments, so I am going to turn on the comment moderation.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

If you talk to me in real life, you may as well skip this one because I have already complained or rejoiced to you ad nauseum on these topics

Work is drowning me lately, and I say that only to explain the dearth of posting around here. It really cuts into my lunchtime blogging when I don't even GET a lunchtime. And normally the last thing I want to do when I get home from staring at my computer all day is turn on the computer, but I have so many things to tell you!

For example, I locked myself in a stairwell at the hospital today! Don't worry, I found a way out (obvs). Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

First my big, BIG news: we got offered a base house! YEEHAW! Our move-in date is April 6 and I am very, very excited. We had a hot spell here and I was dreading spending 5 more months living here without air conditioning, especially as I get bigger, and once the Little Elf is here and I'm up in the middle of the night nursing a tiny radiator... The last couple days it has been downright chilly in the night, and I've slept so well, I've been pining for air conditioning. And our prayers were answered because we got a house, and we'll get to move before the babe comes.

Here is the floorplan, click to embiggen.

Adam went and drove by the house today, just to check it out. We can't go inside until the beginning of April because the current residents don't vacate till April 1. But here it is:

A garage! We will have a garage! And a yard! And... AIR CONDITIONING!!! That place is going to be an ice box inside I can't wait.

Back to my adventures at the hospital. I went to get my pregnancy blood glucose screening done today. I was running late (due to WORK), so I was running up the gigantic hill from work to the parking lot, then up another big hill from the hospital parking lot to the hospital. I got to the 4th floor where the lab normally is, but they had moved it! So I ran off again to find the new location, and instead of waiting on the elevator, I thought I'd be motivated and walk down the stairs instead. But when I got to the 2nd floor, it turned out to be the stairwell to nowhere. And then when I tried to get back in the door, it was locked! I followed a long hallway around the corner and found another set of stairs that spit me out into this little grassy area and then I had to walk back around to the entrance to the building. But, I finally made it up to the lab and got to do the test. They gave me an orange soda that tasted like Fanta that I had to drink in 5 minutes, then I had to come back an hour later for a blood draw. It was no big deal. I hope I pass!

Bradley class week 4 was about the Coach's role (meaning your husband). Of course, my coach is great. He could be a bit better about reminding me to do my exercises, but he does go to the grocery store with me every weekend, and he grills me a bunch of meat on Sundays, and he rubs my feet and my shoulders every day. I'm lucky to have him! Well, except for the part where he mouthbreathes like Darth Vader all night and then his alarm goes off at 3:45 am wtf. And yet, somehow I love him anyway.

Pregnancy is cruising along. I'm lucky it has been mostly uneventful. Of course, I still have plenty of things to complain about though. I'm uncomfortable. My back hurts and it keeps me awake at night. It's getting really hard to shave my legs and I can't even see most of my bikini line anymore so I have to shave that by feel. My bellybutton is about to pop out. I'm no longer swelling like a heffalump, but my hands, feet and face are puffy. I'm puffy enough that my rings no longer fit. Adam is working this weekend and I will be all alooooonee. It's hot. Um.... I'm sure there are more things, but my brain is running out of steam.

The Little Elf is kicking a lot and getting the hiccups almost every morning! It's very cute. We are pretty much settled on a name for her, but I don't want to announce it until we are 100% sure!

Monday, February 01, 2010

27 weeks ZOMG THIRD TRIMESTER Whaaaa...??!

Well, we are now officially in the third trimester! I know! When did THAT happen? I mean, for as much as it's felt like time is just dragging on during this pregnancy I cannot believe I'm already in the homestretch. Well... 13 more weeks is a looooong homestretch, but the last trimester at any rate. Baby grows, as you can clearly see. We are headed to our birth class so you know I will have more to say tomorrow.