Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 31

Week 31 shall forever be remembered as "The Week of Hormones".

Frankly, I'm not someone who can relate to the idea of "feeling hormonal". I'm generally unaffected by my womanly times, and I'm not the kind of girl who would typically cry at a movie. So, when week 31 hit - WOWZA.

I literally don't know what came over me. But...

...Guy who honked at me when I was walking across the street (while I had the right of way)?
I wanted to slam my hand on the hood of his car.

...Mix up with my jeweler who was cleaning my engagement ring and wedding band?
It took the entire car ride to work for me to calm the effff down.

...Late for my doctors appointment due to traffic, and then Mr. Fix-It gets tied up and can't take me?

...Mr. Fix-It acts grumpy over our dinner options?
I had to go for a walk outside before I could speak to him.

Fortunately, the crazies went as soon as they came. But SERIOUSLY, I was a legitimate mess. I actually now feel bad for people who self-identify as having a short fuse. It's no way to live! Week 31 also came with some positive things too: We completely and totally finished the nursery! I had another wonderful doctor's appointment! And best of all, we're one week closer to meeting this sweet little one!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 30

Yikes! I've fallen behind. I'll catch you up on the last two weeks as soon as possible. I know, you've been just dying of curiosity wondering what I've been up to.

Week 30 brought another baby shower! This time, we celebrated with Mr. Fix-Its side of the family in Chicago. I can't even begin to tell you how simply gorgeous everything was - I'll just have to show you in photos soon! I will! Promise.

 Look how lovely!

My Mom flew out to join us for the shower. It was a treat to show her the nursery and run lots of baby-related errands. Frankly, I can't imagine we'll ever need another thing but somehow we managed to pick up a few odds and ends. After two baby showers, some incredibly generous gifts, we might be ready to send this kid off to college.

As for me and the little one, things are still going wonderfully. I've still been feeling some HUGE movements from our wiggle worm - suddenly this baby feels BIG. And of course, s/he is only going to get bigger! I've heard from here on out, babies gain about an ounce per day or approximately a half pound per week.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Directions: It is not always the man's fault

Probably one of the oldest relationship issues that are continually addressed in movies, sitcoms, and stand up routines would be the difference between Men and Women regarding navigational skills and techniques.  In general, men use internal knowledge and rules to determine how to get from point A to point B.  We learn the various navigational tools available and remember points of reference.  We figure out generally where Point B is and start heading that way.  Women, I feel, like to be told a list of steps on how to get there.  There isn't always any verification that the steps are correct or will get them into the right location.

So a slight disagreement between Mr. and Mrs. occurred Saturday evening on the topic of where a building was and how to get there.  This argument started all the way back in 1830 when the City of Chicago established streets in a grid like fashion.  Quite the genius decision back in a time before motor vehicles.  While it was a good start, the system was not perfect with inconsistent numbering and duplicate street names.  In 1908 the City realized this was an issue and took steps to fix-it.  The result being a system of street numbering that creates a coordinate system to get anywhere in the City.  The numbers originate at State and Madison with State being 0 E/W and Madison being 0 N/S.  From State, numbers increase as you go either east or west.  So, 50 E. Madison would be to the west should you be on State.  It was also decided that every 100 would equate to a block.  So, 100 E. Madison would be one block east of State St.  Block sizes were also standardized and square.  Other than the diagonal streets and a few exceptions like Lake Shore Drive, street names stay on the same East/West line or North/South line.  If you are at Halsted anywhere in the City, for example, you are at 800 West or 8 blocks west of State St.  If you need to get to an address of 400 W _______, you travel east.  It is really simple.

So fast forward 104 years later into a car with Mr. and Mrs. FixIt trying to find 111 E. Chestnut.  This is an easy task I know that Chestnut is north of Chicago Ave, Chicago Ave is 800 N block of the City.  Also, Michigan Ave is the 100 East block of the City.  So, I knew my destination was just north of Chicago Ave and slightly east of Michigan avenue.  Google maps told the Mrs. that the destination was in fact on the West side of Michigan ave, at which point I said that cannot be true and Google was wrong.  (Google, if you are reading this, I apologize for questioning your knowledge, oh and thank you for the pictures contained in this post.)  "Discussion" was being had between my wife and I that I am sure was comical and at the same time slightly uncomfortable to those in the car with us.  So, stubbornly, I drive to the location in which the building should be and it was not.  Being that it took forever to circle the block was not helping the situation.  My grid system of perfect coordinates and reference points had failed me and my wife and technology were sitting in the passenger seat saying "I told you so."  Ugh, what happened?  I know that Michigan is 100 East, so it HAS to be east of Mich Ave, not west.  So I figured that Mich Ave does jog a little east as it goes north, maybe north of the river it is 150 East and not 100 east.  This would give reason to the fact that 111 East was still west of Mich Ave and I could just chalk up another piece of knowledge in my directional database.  That was until we passed the sign below.  It proves Mich Ave was still considered 100 East, and addresses with numbers greater than 100 E should still be on the east side of Mich Ave.  

I don't really have a moral to the story other than shedding light on the difference in directions between the sexes.  So, even armed with a century old system and almost 20 years of experience navigating the City, my wife chose to place her trust in the pin on a google map.  Ultimately it appears there is a flaw in the street numbering system in Chicago, a numbering system more than likely created by just men.  So there in, it remains, that  women are always right.

Anyone have any insight into why navigating a car can be so difficult for a couple to do?

(Google, if you are reading this, I apologize for questioning your knowledge, oh and thank you for the pictures contained in this post.)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 29

Week 29 came with a pretty big milestone: my last plane ride before baby. This also meant that we were traveling! Mr. Fix-It and I flew to Providence to celebrate a shower for our little baby. It was an absolutely wonderful event, and I'll write a separate post on it soon!

This week was really fantastic. After the not-so-fun kidney stone issue, I was feeling better than ever this week. I'll take back what I said about the third trimester, I feel completely like myself and quite energetic. Baby seems to have a surge of energy too - I've been feeling some major kicks and jabs!

Earlier in the week we had a follow up ultrasound to rule out a placenta previa. As of now, it hasn't budged one bit, so I'm still considered "flagged". The cut-off for a previa is when the placenta is within 2cm of the cervix. Right now, the sucker has been hanging out at 2cm for the past 8 weeks. They'll check again at 36 weeks to see if it moves and then make a final decision as to whether a c-section will be safest. I get the impression that my doctor is pretty cautious, and her attitude is to not take any unnecessary risks. I'm really crossing my fingers that I get a shot at a natural delivery, but health and safety come first.

The ultrasound also meant that we got to see our little one! S/he is estimated to weigh 2lbs 14oz and is measuring exactly a week ahead of schedule. The measurements don't necessarily guarantee an early delivery, but it's reassuring to know that baby is nice and healthy. Its little face was as cute as ever!

Also of note, little one was in the head down position. I've decided this means baby likes to be prepared. I approve! It was funny too, the tech was trying to get a measurement of the placenta and baby leaned back and pushed its head right in the way. And then refused to move. Little stinker! As a result, mommy had to get a "lady business" ultrasound instead. Thanks, kid.

I can't believe I have to wait until 36 weeks before I get another glimpse at the baby. I'm sure it will be here before we know it, and then pretty soon after that I can stare at our little one all I want. It's so exciting to be in the homestretch!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Pregnancy Week by Week: Week 28

I've heard people say that the day they hit the third trimester everything changed. Week 28 definitely felt different. I felt a little more tired, a little more uncomfortable, had a little more trouble sleeping, and felt a lot more like I wanted to do things other than be at my desk at work.

To add to the list, when I got to my office on Wednesday morning I literally could not walk. I managed to shuffle to my desk, only to continue to feel worse. I had a terrible pain on the lower left side of my belly. As the discomfort crept around to my back I started to worry about preterm labor. I called my doctor, grabbed my things, and got checked out. Once it was confirmed that the baby was fine and I was not having any sort of contractions, I felt a million times better. But, I still couldn't walk properly (or stand upright at all) and when the nurse touched my left side I nearly jumped out of the bed. Their best guess? Potentially a kidney stone. Oooof.

Supposedly kidney stones are fairly common in pregnancy due to all the extra stress your kidneys are under. Since they're working so hard (and you pee all the time), they simply aren't as able to process everything as well as usual. As a result, in addition to the other discomforts of pregnancy, kidney stones make the list of things that are more likely to occur.

By Friday, I felt back to normal. It was blissful. Not only could I stand up easily, walk, and had no pain, but my complaints from earlier in the week had also disappeared. I'm opting to call this a minor set back in a generally smooth sailing pregnancy. 

On to week 29!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sew, Mama!

A while ago I mentioned that I was going to take on a few sewing projects for the nursery. I'm not entirely sure what inspired this motivation, but I opted to be brave and dive in. The last time I attempted to operate a sewing machine was in 8th grade Home Ec, so I really had no idea what I was in for.

By some stroke of amazing luck and a series of good guesses, I was able to pull off a few adorable pieces!


{I used the tutorial found here}

I also made a few for a friend having a baby girl in September!

And a giant stockpile for our little one:


{I used a tutorial found here}


{No tutorial, just lots of measuring}

Can you sew? Know of any other baby-related projects I could try? If not, I'll just keep making burp cloths. I've heard babies need about a billion.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Thoughts on "Not Finding Out"

It started with a drunken night in Vegas. That's how all good stories start, right? We were in town to celebrate a wedding and Mr. Fix-It was hosting a bachelor party for his best friend. I opted to hit the town with the girlfriends/fiancees/wives of the group. One of the girls, recently having had her second baby started RAVING about "not finding out".

All stories are slightly more dramatic and important after a few drinks. But, that's not the point.

Slightly-tipsy-wife talked about how "that moment" in the delivery room - seeing her baby for the first time, hearing her husband announce it's sex, and taking in the realization she'd just had just become a mother - it was the most amazing moment of her life. She said the surprise, the excitement, the motivation to push harder in the delivery room had so much to do with her desire to finally know. Would she have a son or daughter? It made meeting her baby that much more incredible.

After hearing a pitch like that, it seemed awfully hard to not consider not finding out.

Mr. Fix-It was on board pretty easily. He loved the idea of saving the surprise for the moment we meet our baby. Plus, slightly-tipsy-wife presented him with a similar compelling argument when the boys took a break from playing blackjack. Mind you, at this time I wasn't even engaged. But again, that's not the point (right?).

When we finally did start talking babies, we both remembered that night in Vegas. And how much our friend made not finding out seem like the most magical thing in the world. So, we went for it.

Over time, we also found a few reasons of our own.
  • Items for Multiple Kids: I can tell you right now, if I knew I was having a girl there would be a whole lot of pink, girly stuff on our registry. Pink stroller? Maybe. Similarly, if it was a boy, I'm quite sure I'd be looking at more boyish swaddle blankets and the like. Not finding out is forcing me to select items that are for a BABY, and therefore can be used as we have more kids. It's practical, and avoids waste.
  • Avoid Gobs of (unwanted) Clothes: I'm picky about baby clothes. I've been called snobby - I don't mind. What I do mind? "Daddy's Little Princess" and "100% handsome" on baby clothes. No, thanks. I find a lot of the gendered stuff in big box stores generally unfortunate (and stereotypical). I know it's unavoidable to an extent, and people are generous enough to buy gifts so I should hush, but if not finding out helps us stick toward more classic pieces, so be it!
  • Getting the Essentials: Not finding out helps you focus on what you actually need. People love to by outfits. I do! But people also wind up with 3 tutus and no car seat. I know it's fun, but my infant doesn't need boat shoes. Yet.
  • It's fun to guess!: Really. I love hearing what people think we're having. I also love that I genuinely have no idea and will truly be shocked in the delivery room.
So, that's how we made our decision to not find out. And to those of you who swear you'd never be able to wait: honestly, it's not that hard once you've committed to it.