Monday, March 29, 2010

35 weeks. Apparently all I can talk about is my circumference.

35 weeks. Frankly, I have no idea how some of you (you know who you are) managed to continue running 5+ miles through the last month of your pregnancies. I am beginning to suspect you are some kind of super-human cyborg, because I cannot see how that would be possible otherwise. It seems like all of a sudden - overnight, in fact - the mere act of moving around in a mostly normal fashion has become overwhelmingly difficult. Maybe it's the way I'm carrying or maybe I've just reached that hellish point in late pregnancy that everyone talks about how you just want it to be OVER ALREADY... I don't know, internets. But I can tell you that the sheer act of achieving an upright position has me grunting and heaving, and many everyday activities (getting in and out of the car, rolling over in bed, bending over to pick something up, walking up the stairs...) cause such discomfort as to actually be borderline painful. I have all this pressure / weight / laxity / whatever in my hips and pelvis and it makes simply walking around a feat of exertion. I have to waddle to and fro just to propel my enormous circumference from the couch to the fridge. Another 5 weeks?! Ye gods.

Also? My feet (and hands, face, everywhere else) are swelling on a regular basis now and it doesn't really matter how much protein I eat. I can hardly get my gym shoes on my feet anymore. I've given up wearing anything near professional-looking footwear at work and started schlepping around in flip flops. No one seems to care or even notice in the slightest.

Every task takes me twice as long as it used to. Adam and I spent the weekend getting ready for our move (on MONDAY HOLY MOTHER OF GOD) and I hardly did anything, yet I think I overdid it. I washed all the windows and dusted/cleaned the living and dining rooms, and vacuumed the downstairs, and it took me HOURS to complete all that. By the early afternoon, I felt like I was about 100 years old, hobbling around with nearly arthritic hips. How in the world I am going to survive the actual move is beyond my comprehension and I've decided to simply not think about it and let it happen.

And the heartburn OH MY GAHHHD. I have to stop eating 3-4 hours before bedtime, and definitely cannot eat anything heavy or I will end up with wicked heartburn the moment I lay down to sleep. I can literally feel the stomach acids bubbling up into the back of my throat and it hurts!!!

We are going to our last Bradley class tonight - can you believe that?! 12 weeks of birth classes, already over. I'm really glad we did the class and I would definitely recommend it to anyone if you are planning a natural birth. I feel as ready as I think I could. I barely feel anxious or fearful of the birth anymore. I feel nervous about the various things that could go wrong - I certainly haven't gotten to a place where I've resigned myself to whatever might happen (c-section, etc). I am keeping an open mind that there may be situations in which I will decide to have an epidural, however, if something goes wrong and prevents me from being able to even attempt the unmedicated birth I've been planning for, I will be upset about it. I'm not thinking about it too much. I'm content to wait and take each moment as it comes.

Now if the baby will indulge me by staying in a couple more weeks, but not much longer! God help me if it's the middle of May and I'm still blogging my many complaints!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

34 weeks of pregnant glory

Hoo boy. I'm tired y'all. TI - YERD. 12 hour workdays will do that to ya. It was only a few days for a conference we were running, but man it feels like I've been at work every day for a MONTH! My eyes were so bloodshot and glassy today that people were asking me if I should really still be working. I don't feel as bad as I look! Plus, I'm not THAT huge... I mean, really, I think the belly is quite big enough, don't you?, but it's not like people are starting to worry my water might break on their shoes or anything.

Yep. 34 weeks. Almost 35 at this point. This camera angle makes my butt look deceptively small. Only 2 weeks till I'm full term! Only one more week till we move yippee! It's really getting hotter here and I'm having a hell of a time sleeping at night, so I'm super excited to get into our new home. Plus Adam will be done with his month of night shifts, so we will actually get to see each other and sleep in the same bed at the same time again. I told him I couldn't sleep last night because the baby had the hiccups the whole dang night and he said, "I still like her." Hahaha, he amuses me :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

More reading on Obamacare

These articles are from various places around the web. Some draw parallels between the healthcare bill being debated right now and Massachusettes' healthcare system, which already undertook many of the same reforms in the Senate bill, and which is failing miserably.

How Obamacare is like the failed Romneycare in Massachusettes.

"In the past three years, insurance premiums in Massachusetts have increased by 8-10% each year, nearly twice the national average."

Yes Mr. President, A Free Market Can Fix Healthcare

"As [free] markets make health insurance more secure and medical care more affordable, fewer people will fall into this vulnerable situation [of not being able to afford care], and it will be easier to care for those who do."

Medicare denies the most claims

"Critics of non-government insurance complain that such companies deny claims, and imply that this would never happen with government-run insurance such as Medicare. According to the American Medical Association’s 2008 Health Insurance Report Card , the health insurer that denies the most claims is Medicare. This is compared to Aetna, Anthem, Cigna, Coventry, Health Net, Humana, and United Health care. 21% of Medicare’s claim denials had the following “reason code description”: “These are non-covered services because this is not deemed a ‘medical necessity’ by the payer.” It was the 2nd most common reason."

Poor face greatest difficulties getting care in Massachusettes

"One in five adults said they had been told in the last 12 months that a doctor or clinic was not accepting new patients or would not see patients with their type of insurance. The rejection rates for low-income adults and those with public insurance were double the rates for higher-income residents and those with private coverage."

Obamacare is Economically Unsustainable

"This bill adds a new health care entitlement at a time when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have. The full 10- year cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second 10-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit."

Obamacare is constitutionally suspect

Patients waiting up to a year to see a family practice doc for a routine visit in Massachusettes

“It’s a recipe for disaster,” Dr. Sereno said. “It’s great that people have access to health care, but now we’ve got to find a way to give them access to preventive services. The point of this legislation was not to get people episodic care.”

Although supporters of the Massachusetts plan had hoped it would save money, the opposite has occurred. The state expects to spend $595 million more in 2009 on its health insurance program than it did in 2006 — a 42% increase.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why I will be glad to move: Reason # 3,768,932

You guys. The other night, when I was home ALONE because A was at work, I had to confront a GIANT COCKROACH. I was in the bathroom doing my bidness, and the toilet paper roll ran out. Luckily I didn't need any more at the moment because I would have blindly reached over into the cabinet from my perch on the commode to retrieve a new roll, and grabbed a handful of cockroach instead. Because it was perched directly on top of the spare rolls. As it was, I bent over and stuck my face in the cabinet, the better to get the full effect. And he was clearly enjoying the toilet paper for it's intended purpose... he had already managed to poop all over two rolls! I'm reluctant to use the Raid anymore, but how the hell else are you supposed to kill these things? I would have needed a shovel to knock this thing out!

Behold. The poop. What is with the critters and their pooping on my toilet paper?! If it's not the damn geckos, it's the roaches.

There he is. I guess you can't really tell just exactly how enormous this roach is... trust me, it was about the size of my PALM. It took several squirts of the Raid to knock it out. The first squirt didn't phase him at all. He was clearly ready to shake it off and trundle back to his hidey-hole to spawn more of his disgusting ilk to torment me. And look. He pooped again on the floor as he was dying.

I called A and was like, "You need to come home and take care of this shit, I cannot be expected to handle all this smiting and cleaning of roach poop on my own in my current state." Of course his job doesn't work like that so he told me to just leave it there and he'd take care of it when he got home.

Well how could I go to bed, knowing I get up to pee about 5 times a night, and knowing the filthy corpse of that thing was going to be just laying there by the toilet - possibly undead and able to scurry up my leg, or perhaps his friends would come for him... no. I had to clean it up. But y'all know I won't touch that thing through 15 layers of paper towel and a rubber glove, so I used a cardboard box to scoop it up and dispose of it. Then I had to clean up the toilet paper and disinfect the whole area.

It was traumatizing.

A thinks I'm a little crazy but I have myself convinced that our new house will not be plagued with the insects and geckos our current house is full of. It's new construction! Do not attempt to shatter my fantasy.

Look! I'm pregnant and out in public! At the Polynesian Cultural Center over the weekend, where we went to walk around and go to the luau and the show with the firedancers! And I began to worry that I might actually go into labor early because I was having so many contractions - probably from the heat and all the walking around everywhere. SEE! I should not be expected to exert myself in so many ways in my delicate condition!

33 weeks of pregnant glory

The problem with reading other people's pregnancy blogs is that your sense of the reality of the process gets disoriented. I love to read about other people's pregnancies on their blogs... but you can read through the entire pregnancy and postpartum period in an hour or two. Your brain starts to get impatient with the process as you start imagining having the Little One in your arms!

I like this picture because even though I am finally looking as enormous as I feel, you can see the faintest hint of muscle definition in my arm - a memory of what once was. 33 weeks omgomgomg. It seems like I have both an interminably long and impossibly short amount of time left, depending on my mood. My feet and legs are swelling a LOT lately, exacerbated by sitting all day at my desk, and every time I look at them I nearly hyperventilate at the thought of spending 7+ more weeks in this condition. Same thoughts when I am struggling to shave my legs, or heave my circumference to and fro as I try to find a comfortable sleeping position.

But then? When I walk past our "nursery" (aka, the area where we haphazardly dump all the baby stuff as we acquire it), my heart races as I contemplate how much there is to do before the baby comes and how there is not. enough. TIIIIIIME! When I think about the birth, and nursing, and poopy diapers, and doctor appointments and potty training and puberty and college tuition, I practically have to lie down so I don't have an anxiety attack because DEAR LORD I WILL NEVER BE READY FOR THIS WHAT WAS I THINKING?!

The iconic Mother. I bestowed her with some leis in the hopes that she will be generous with the graces for me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ehhh.... I just can't help myself.

This article over at the Gold Coast Chronicle is one of the best succinct arguments for why Congress needs to go back to the drawing board with the healthcare bill. And while you're at it, check out the 50 Fallacies on Healthcare. Look, obviously we need to do something, but the direction they are headed now is just WRONG in my opinion. Quoting from the article:

Instead of “universal health care,” America needs free market reforms such as allowing patients to purchase insurance across state lines and using Health Savings Accounts for routine expenses.

Insurers should be allowed to sell inexpensive, catastrophic-only policies to cover rare but expensive events.

States should repeal laws forcing insurers to offer (and patients to purchase) unwanted “mandatory benefits” such as in vitro fertilization.

Such reforms would respect individual rights, greatly reduce insurance costs, and make insurance available to millions who cannot currently afford it.

Do we want to enlarge an already-bloated welfare state so that it can further violate our rights in the name of “universal health care?”

Or do we want a limited government that will respect our rights and allow individuals to prosper and thrive? America’s future is at stake.

Not to mention using legislative gimmicks like reconciliation to jam through one of the most important pieces of legislation in memory... it's a major process foul, Obama. And now the Slaughter Solution on top of it? What happened to the democratic process? It's bad enough all the pork and ridiculous horse-trading that has already been done, but now to try to bulldoze over the opposition by bending the rules? It's sickening. Quoting from here: "The Democratic Majority cannot deny that they are turning the process of our democracy on its head in an effort to achieve a highly unpopular, partisan objective."

I urge you, if you disagree with the chocolate mess Pelosi et al are trying to shove through Congress, to write your Congressmen and tell them to vote NO on the healthcare bill. They are still short of the votes they need for a majority. If your Congressmen are on the fence, it's even more important to write and tell them your views!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Breathtaking stupidity, 32 week midwife visit

Oh my. Y'all should go read this article. My mind? Is officially blown. I mean... I don't even know where to start with this one.

I've seen that show about the ladies who don't realize they are pregnant until they give birth, so I am aware that occasionally women don't know they are pregnant until the baby suddenly pops out into a grimy McDonald's toilet. Or something. Whatever, it happens.

But most of those girls say things like, "I felt totally normal, I barely gained any weight, I had no idea I could be pregnant!" Yes, it's hard to get your brain around -- if you've ever been pregnant before, it's hard to imagine that you wouldn't feel the baby or wonder why you can't bend over at the waist anymore.

This woman? She actually felt "off" enough to go to the doctor MULTIPLE TIMES! I guess I can sort of understand a little that maybe she herself did not realize the reason she felt weird was she was pregnant. She was overweight and menstrual periods can be wonky and disappear for a while. But you guys, the doctors diagnosed her with gout or maybe IBS, we don't know but don't worry about it take two tylenol and take it easy for a while. She went more than once and no one thought to do a pregnancy test?

And then! She goes into labor! And goes back to the doctor because, Yo, something is really not right with me. And the doctor finally, FINALLY realizes she is preggo, but tells her she's only 3 months along and sends her on her way! She goes home and gives birth to a nine pound baby a few hours later! The stupidity is breathtaking. It's unbelievable to me that even without ultrasound the doctor couldn't realize through a manual exam of her abdomen that she had a NINE POUND BABY in there. Even if she WAS overweight. Goodness, can you imagine suddenly just giving birth?! With no forewarning whatsoever? What a shock that would be.


I had my 32 week midwife visit today. I really hope this midwife is the one on duty when I go into labor! I like her a lot. The visit went well. I am measuring right on schedule. I asked her about the baby being breech and she felt with her hands and couldn't say for sure but she didn't think the Little Elf was breech anymore. We'll find out next week when I go in for my ultrasound. The baby's heartbeat was louder way down by my pelvic bone so she thought the hard round babypart by my bellybutton was probably baby butt.

I've gained exactly 20 lbs so far which means I'm gaining the textbook pound a week right now. It seems a little crazy to me because I'm eating way better now than I was for the first 20 weeks or so of my pregnancy when I had all sorts of cravings and aversions. But I guess your body knows what it's doing with the weight gain and as long as I keep it sane, I'm not going to worry about it. Apparently half a pound of the weekly weight is going on the baby at this point as she puts on fat. The other half lb is fluid retention - blood, amniotic fluid, water retention - and fat on mah bum. If it keeps up to the end, I will have gained about 28 lbs total. I'm still eating pretty much whatever I want, but luckily I'm wanting more fruit, grilled meats, veggies, yogurt, cheese and nuts instead of cereal and french fries!

She also confirmed that my 3 hour glucose test was normal. In fact, she said all four blood draws were well below the top of the normal range. So. I admit I'm happy I can still eat Girl Scout cookies whenever I want without worrying too much about my blood sugar.

Monday, March 08, 2010

32 Weeks, 30 Years

I suppose it would have been more poignant to turn 30 weeks on the same day that I turned 30 years, but it'll have to do. Man, I cannot believe I've been on this earth for 30 years! It seems incredible. I'm glad to say that I'm happier right now than ever before. I have a pretty little baby on the way, an amazing husband, a great job and a charmed life. What more could I ask for?

Guys, check out my Christmas Cactus! It is my one gardening success. The majority of the plants I started out with when we moved to Hawaii have succumbed to one sad fate or another. But the Christmas Cactus is blooming all over the place! There are four flowers on it now, and I counted four more buds about to pop out. All this little guy needed was a bigger pot. It was totally root bound in its original container, but it didn't bite the dust, it just held on until my mom finally repotted it for me, and now look at it!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Dear lord I hope so...

We've always known the Little Princess is an active baby. At our very first ultrasound at 12 weeks - back when she still looked somewhat more like a tadpole than an actual human - we could see her launching her little peanut self repeatedly off the side of my uterus with her legs like a Mexican jumping bean. I felt the first fluttery goldfish movements around 16 or 17 weeks. Since then, she's grown even more active, kicking and squirming with gusto around the clock. Lately, though, now that she's getting bigger and running out of room, the sweet thumps and swirls have turned into something more akin to a rabid ferret in a burlap sack. She likes to enthusiastically pedal what I can only imagine are her feet, and sometimes if she's positioned just right, she stomps on my bladder with enough force that it causes me to pee a little. I can't be held responsible for this, internets, I'm sure you understand.

31 weeks. Although I'm now nearly at 32... only 8 more weeks to go. I'm shocked that I haven't started to panic, considering that my cousin gave birth at 35 weeks and that is only 3 weeks away from now. And we have nothing for the baby but a carseat and a crib that sits in about 30 pieces in our guest room. Which we will be packing up into boxes and moving across the island in a month's time. My poor cousin had nothing either. Well, at least her nursery was done and ready to accept a scrunchy little newborn. But she was supposed to have her baby shower right before she ended up going into labor (it was canceled because of the huge snowstorm in the DC area).

Speaking of moving, the best news ever: our condo is rented! YAY! That is a huge relief lifted off my mind knowing there will be someone in here as soon as we leave and we don't have to fight with our landpeople about whether we owe them rent... I haven't been blogging about THAT saga, in case we ended up going to court with them, but now I don't have to worry about it! And we don't have to show the place or keep posting it on craigslist or worry about whether the toilets are clean in case someone wants to stop by.

Conversation at work yesterday, with that old guy who was constantly making the twins comments:

Old Guy: So when are you actually going on your leave?

Me: Well, it depends how I feel, but I'm hoping to work until my due date.

Old Guy: And your due date is when?

Me: April 30, officially. But I'm thinking it's not going to be until the first or second week of May.

Old Guy: ... this year?

Me: ........

Monday, March 01, 2010

Only nine more weeks to go - EEK!

Time seems to be flying by these days. Partly because I'm working a lot right now, I'm sure! In the beginning of this pregnancy, the time was just dragging. It seemed I would never reach the magical 12 week point, then it seemed I would never get to halfway. Now it's going by too fast! I'm feeling more and more pressure to get baby stuff and get it all organized, but I can't do any nesting really until after we move! Three weeks before my due date OH MY LANDS. Please Baby Girl, stay in full term.

My house is dirty and the bathrooms are starting to disgust me, but moving day is on the horizon and I have housecleaning "senioritis"... I need to clean them though because now we have potential renters tromping trough to see the house and I really do want the landpeople to find a renter before we leave.

We bought our carseat so at least there's that. We still have no diapers or onesies, and no nursing paraphenalia, but at least we can bring the baby home from the hospital. Speaking of nursing, I noticed a bit of colostrum in the shower the other day and ... well... it really kind of freaked me out! Dude. I guess I need to get used to stuff coming out of the boobs...

Adam is starting his month on the night shift today. He was still sleeping when I left for work this morning, and he'll be gone by the time I get home. I will see him for about 15 minutes tomorrow on my way out the door. So it goes. The weird part is going to be this weekend when he crawls in bed with me around 6 in the morning and sleeps most of the day while I go about my weekend. It's going to be interesting figuring out the baby routine with this weird schedule... especially if I go back to work full time.

Work. Meh. They gave me a parking pass so I can park near the building instead of having to waddle up the ginormous hill to the parking areas every day. I slipped and nearly fell on my arse about a week ago, so it's high time I started parking in a reasonable spot instead of the in the ridiculous joke of a parking regime they have here. However. That privilige will go away as soon as the baby is born. The idea of lugging a breast pump up and down the hill every day, in addition to my gym bag and lunch... god. It makes me want to sit down and cry.

So I will be going to our birth class alone this evening. We are talking about possible complications in labor and how to deal with them... basically getting educated on knowing when we need interventions and when we can still try to give birth without. Obviously there are some circumstances that would necessitate medical interventions, and it's important to know when to continue to advocate for yourself for the birth you want, and when it's time to fold the cards. Last week we talked about writing a birth plan, and the week before was second stage labor. I'm feeling more confident about the birth as the weeks go by. Now I just need this baby to get into the proper position and we'll be ready to go!