Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Got Diapers?

Got Diapers?
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Well, lord knows we do!

Don't worry, this isn't all of them. We have a couple packs on the floor, and a lot more up above them(you can see some of them in a different picture.)

Amanda and I spent a lot of time finalizing where everything is going in the nursery, and then we put it there! I officially feel that I can say the nursery (and its closet) is READY FOR BABY. And that is a terrific feeling. Of course we can always use more diapers. We are definitely getting stocked up.

Overall, Amanda is feeling pretty good, but I would say that her body has just about had it when it comes to holding on to the baby. "They" say that the last month of pregnancy is very tough on a woman's body, and I can see why. Amanda has been such a trooper dealing with all the pain and discomfort over the past couple of months. She's not going to be throwing in the towel anytime soon, but she's ready to have her old body (and clothes) back.

For all our family and friends who has been reading our blog, we really appreciate it! Thanks so much for all the love and support. We'll keep it up as best as possible. And we'll keep the pictures coming as well!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Making Progress

Back from my doctor's appointment today. Things are progressing. I am dilated to a one and am 50% effaced. The baby is head down and ready to pop out. Wow, it's exciting to hear, but a lot to process. I need this reality check. I have to focus on what MUST get done and not worry about everything else.

As she said, she can't predict anything -- labor is very unpredictable. I could walk around like this for a few weeks or it could happen very soon. She did encourage me to get my work wrapped up. I will be here tomorrow hoping to do just that.

Other vital stats, the baby's heart rate was 127. My blood pressure is good and I lost 1/2 a pound. I'm measuring perfect, and she thinks the baby will be about 7 1/2 to 8 pounds. I'm sure there's more from the appointment, but I can't remember it. I'm still back at the thought that it could be very soon. Wow. It's CRAZY.

I have to focus on work right now. Baby thoughts and concerns will be there when I'm off tonight. Of course, I hardly slept last night. (It's been a bad week for me and sleep -- I've been trying to find it, and it's been hiding from me. It would help if I could find the off switch in my brain.) I hate to rely on Ambien, but I'm exhausted today and with the news from the doctor, I probably will be in a drug-induced coma around 9:30 tonight.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Finished Nursery....

Finished Crib
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Well, almost. We still need 1 more vital piece. A pad for the changing table! If w don't get it this week, then its off to Babies R Us! I don't know what's going on with it, our registry says that it has been purchased, but we still haven't received it. We still have one final shower, so hopefully it will show up!

If you click on the picture it will take you you to more pictures of the nursery. I still need to take a few more, but the room is really still a mess, and when stuff gets put where it needs to go, we'll get more overall picts posted.

Time is a ticking away and we get more and more excited as baby time gets nearer...

Thanks so much for all your thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

In and Out

Yesterday's appointment was the fastest doctor's appointment I've ever had. I think the doc was in the room for about 2 minutes, if that. If I didn't like her so much, I might have been offended. Her reasoning was she had a back-up of pregnant women and she wanted them out of the office before the bad weather hit, which it never did, but that's another issue.

She measured me and check the baby's heart rate. I don't know what either was because it was such a whirlwind. I figure no news is good news. I go back next week and she promised to give me more time. I actually had lost a pound and my blood pressure was good.

Officially, we have three weeks to go. The baby is staying active and has decided he prefers hanging out on my right-side. I could spend countless hours watching my stomach. I just laugh watching the kid roll around and karate kick me.

I feel like we're fairly prepared for baby. The room is nearly organized (maybe I can get Mike to post a picture or two of how it's come together). The bedding is washed and put together. Mike hung new wood blinds and our curtain rod last weekend. I still need to wash clothes, but I've washed all the blankets, bedding and bath towels. The car seat is in the Vue. All of our shower gifts from last weekend (we were completely spoiled) have been put together and put away.

The baby can't come yet, though. We still need a bit more time, and I really need to make it past the first weekend in February, so my mom can actually be here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

...okay so we know everything right?

Well, that's it.

Last night was our last birthing class. So I guess now we are ready to be parents huh? Our instructor has taught us all we need to know from here on out right?

Probably not.

Last night was not so much a birthing class, as it was a "here's what your baby could possibly look like and why and how to care for him/her." We saw so many slides of so many varying degrees it made my head spin! Things I was interested in seeing, others, not so much, but I really didn't have much of a choice, that's for sure!

We do still have a breast-feeding class to take next week and then we will all be all ready to go! Uh, I guess.

Those classes are always so interesting to me. I am like a sponge at those classes. I just can't get enough tips and tricks for dealing with the little bugger. I know that we will get more and more tips as we progress along, but I really can never get enough info.

The teacher said that I seemed very knowledgeable and that I asked very good questions in class afterwards. So I guess I'm totally going to fail as a father now! :) Here's hoping that I really don't. Amanda thinks I'm a teacher's pet. Which I am, but I wasn't asking questions for the teachers approval, that for sure!

The nursery is nearing completion. Ever week we get just that much closer to have everything in place. Its all finally coming together.

tick, tock....tick, tock....

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Down to the Final Month

One month from today is my due date. One month. I can't believe it. I was sitting in a meeting early, looking at the agenda when today's date jumped out at me. I stared at the 12th in disbelief. Where has time gone? If I say that now, I can't even imagine how fast the first year will fly by, much less the first 18.

I'm sincerely trying to enjoy every moment of this pregnancy. I must admit, I'm getting so anxious to meet the little one and to know if it's a boy or girl. I can also see how the 9th month is the toughest month. Overall, I still do feel good for being 9 months pregnant, but my energy isn't what it was and my body aches a bit more at the end of each day.

Tomorrow is another doctor's appointment. I start going every week until the grand entrance of baby ball. I'm curious to hear what the doctor has to say. My prediction is I will go past my due date. No real reason other than I feel we need more time -- personally and professionally, and I want to be on maternity leave when the weather is nicer. Plus, my mom needs me to go at least until my due date. Otherwise, she might not make it down. Probably for all these reasons, I'll go early. Then again, Mike and I are never on time for anything, so why would our kid be?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Empathy for Mikey?

Mike "naked"
Originally uploaded by mbowling.
Well, here I am in all my glory. Okay, so I'm not REALLY naked, but I am filling out nicely don't you think?

It was really a lot of fun. If I'm not mistaken, if you click on the picture you can come to my flickr account and it will show you more of my adventures in being pregnant. It was only for 5 minutes or so, but it really was entertaining!

First I had to put the thing on with the help of the instructor, which was just a chore in itself! It had 2 weights plus a small-ish sand bag in it. Then I had to try to tie my shoes while crouching down. Not too bad, but it was a tad difficult.

Next it was on to the "bed" which was a couple of pads laid down on the floor. We had to lay on our back and feel the pressure of all that weight and find out why laying on our backs isn't the best thing when pregnant. Then as you roll to your side, you have to try to roll over to your other side while still trying to stay on your side of the bed! Not a feat easily accomplished, that's for sure!

After that we got up and took a picture with the person who was REALLY pregnant and then it was off to the next dad/coach who thought he was hot stuff and able to take it on!

To be honest, I couldn't exactly feel what Amanda is feeling physically, but I sure could understand where some of the aches and pains come from!

As for the rest of class, we spent it talking about transition labor and of course the big Stage II Labor: pushing that damn bowling ball out! Lots of breathing and funny faces. We watched a video on a C-section, not as graphic as I thought it would be!

Next week we are on to what the heck to do when you get that baby home with you! (aparently these things don't come with a "How to bring up an awesome child in 18 years" manual. What a joke! Somebody told me they did....

Friday, January 06, 2006

Sleep -- where are you?

It's almost 4 am and I've been up for an hour. Sleep has completely alluded me this week. I just don't get it. It's so frustrating. I love sleep. Everyone keeps telling me that the bright side in all this is it is preparing me for the baby. I don't need preparation in lack of sleep -- I've already aced that. I need good bona-fide sleep without the aid of drugs.

I think I'm going to resume my search for sleep. I hope I find it. I can't continue surviving on such little sleep.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Hands Off

What is it about pregnant women's bellies that everyone thinks they are public domain? Bear with me, I have to vent for a bit.

Sorry if this sounds rude, but I don't believe just because my belly sticks out that people have a right to rub, pat or touch it. I would never dare do the same to anyone else. Rubbing my stomach feels the same as rubbing my arm, and I’d much prefer people stick to my arm.

Please respect me enough to ask permission before reaching out and touching it. If the intention is to feel the baby moving, tell me that. When the baby decides to get active, I may be okay with someone feeling my stomach. Don’t be surprised if the kid doesn’t move while we’re together. I swear he has performance anxiety, much like his mom, and clams up the minute someone is waiting to feel him kick or swim around. Lately, he is most active at night, so unless I share my bed, it’s unlikely the baby will be moving.

I’m sorry. I know people are excited and they impulsively just react. I probably should just grin and bear it, but it’s really getting to be too much for me lately. It seems everyone wants to lay their hands on me, and I’m someone who likes and needs my personal space. I am who I am.

All this touching has gotten so bad that I find myself pulling back from any kind of touch, even hugs. Hopefully, this is just a late-term pregnancy thing. So, I hope people don’t get offended that if I chose not to hug them. It’s not that I don’t care about them, but it goes back to the whole personal space issue. Maybe it’s my maternal instinct -- wanting to protect my child. Protecting it from what exactly, I don’t know.

The humor in all this when I first get home at night. I can’t get my clothes off fast enough. I run up the stairs stripping shirts, jewelry, shoes, socks, etc. I then just stand for a few minutes in the closet stark naked taking a few deep breaths. Mike says it’s quite the site.

I’m not saying any of this is a rational thought, and what woman entering her final month is very rational. It’s just how I feel.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Grand Tour

At the end of last night's class, we took the grand tour of the maternity center. It was pretty standard fare. The delivery rooms are large and spacious. The post-delivery rooms are small, but still pleasant.

A few perks:
  • Free valet parking during the day for moms in labor
  • Level II NICU -- let's hope we don't need it
  • Good security measures -- stay away from the purple rectangles on the floor when wheeling around baby
  • Dad is welcomed and encouraged to stay through admission to discharge
  • Nap time for the post-delivery section of floor is from 2 pm to 4 pm -- visitors are discouraged from this time
  • Promote an atmosphere that it's important to respect mom, dad and baby's time -- once we switch to the post-delivery room, the hospital provides various signs for the parents to post on the door that indicate if visitors are allowed at that time or if they need to come back another time

A few obvious negatives

  • the size of the family and friends waiting room -- Mike counted only 11 chairs
  • parking lot is under construction -- good luck finding a spot during normal hospital visiting hours

Things I wish they had:

  • whirlpool tubs -- they do have a soaking tub they can bring to your room, but no jets
  • larger showers -- not sure how Mike and I are suppose to both fit in it (They encourage the husband get in with the wife while she's in labor as a form of water therapy.)
  • DVD players in the room

Overall, it's a good hospital.

Next week at class, the men wear the empathy belly. I can't wait to get a picture of Mike sporting it. He's been very empathic to me and very attentive, so I don't think he needs to wear one to see things from my perspective. I just want to see him in it for the sheer comical aspect.