Thursday, July 31, 2008
Apparently, my body is 'practicing' for labor. Those are my uterine muscles contracting- putting in a good workout all on their own in an effort to get stronger. Preparing for D-Day. 14 weeks out. Seems like a good time for them to start their training plan.
I looked it up online to see what was going on. My body has been doing all sorts of weird stuff for the last 26 weeks; all apparently normal pregnancy behavior, but weird nonetheless. I always figure that as long as I don't start bleeding, everything is fine. I'm not much of a worrier I guess. Anyway, the latest with the contractions appear to be "Braxton Hicks contractions". The American Pregnancy Association has this to say about Braxton Hicks:
What are Braxton Hicks contractions?
Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the second trimester, however they are most common in the third trimester. The muscles of your uterus tighten for approximately 30 to 60 seconds or as long as 2 minutes. Braxton Hicks are also called “practice contractions” because they will prepare you for the real thing and you can practice the breathing exercises you are learning in your childbirth classes.
Braxton Hicks are described as:
Irregular in intensity
More uncomfortable than painful
They do not increase in intensity, or frequency
They taper off and then disappear altogether
If your contractions are easing up in any way, they are most likely Braxton Hicks.
What causes Braxton Hicks contractions?
There are a few speculations for why women have these contractions. Some physicians and midwives think they may play a part in toning the uterine muscle and promoting the flow of blood to the placenta. They are not believed to have any connection with dilating the cervix, but may have some effect on the softening of the cervix. However, as Braxton Hicks contractions become more intense closer to the time of delivery, the contractions are considered false labor, which can help in the dilation and effacement process.
So there you go. Training Plan for my uterus. I wonder if I'll get a good taper in before the main event?
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Pretty cool though that you can see the ribs in the first picture... and it's brain in the second (look closely... brain pretty much fills the skull). I think it's head is looking awfully big... and knowing that it still has 14 weeks to get bigger before I have to pop it out isn't such a comforting thought. Of course Scott and my MD didn't share my same level of concern...
Speaking of popping it out... I've started looking into birthing classes that Scott and I can take. Nothing too crazy, but Castle Hospital offers a basic birthing class that just goes over, well, the basics. I asked Scott what he thought... here's what I got from him via email today...
Not sure if he thinks a furry cat is gonna come out of me or what??
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I think I like the surfer theme... so there are some things I could get that would be unisex... but for most of it, we'll just have to wait!!
You learn all sorts of interesting stuff from this magazine, and the best part is that all the foods are really good for you! Scott and I aren't actually vegetarians... we both eat meat sometimes. I just prefer not to cook it- so we'll eat it if it is well prepared by someone else! But for cooking at home, the Veggie Magazine is the bomb.
A challenging thing about learning to cook is that sometimes you get a little overly confident and stop actually following the recipes. Ok, I do anyway. Last night was a classic example. I found some interesting looking pre-made chinese black bean and garlic sauce at the store... thought it would be good to marinate some tofu in that then broil it for dinner... layered the tofu over some curried couscous and steamed swiss chard... it looked good! How creative I have become on my own! Who needs that magazine??
Apparently, I do. The chinese sauce was so salty I couldn't even start to eat it. Not even a little bit. YUCK! Totally ruined the whole meal. And you know what? My dear dear husband went back for seconds. He is a tried and true supporter, even when his wife makes something completely inedible for dinner.
Tonight, it's back to the magazine.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Of course, since my endurance isn't at all what it used to be, we've split this up into a multi-day event... We're on track to be complete by the end of the week!
Scott has started building his surfboard rack. We decided he needs a good place to store his 9 surfboards which are actually quite challenging to fit in our 2 bedroom condo! I just thought he looked hot while playing with his power tools.
Hot indeed, especially with these safety glasses. I tried to convince him that my swim goggles would work just as well, but he didn't go for it. What you really have to love is the safety factor involved in playing with power tools while drinking a beer.
Ranking next on the list after the surfboard rack as home project... putting together the new crib for baby! Maybe next weekend?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Today Hoku and I met Erica, our neighbor in the building who is a new mom! We met her adorable 10 week old son, Nico, too. I knew Nico had been born (we hear him sometimes, although not as often as I would have thought! He's NOT collic a kid, thank goodness!), but was waiting until he was a little older before trying to introduce myself to them... figuring that the new mommy must be totally underwater trying to learn to deal with her new infant while not sleeping through the night, etc. Boy was I pleasantly surprised to see that Erica looked GREAT, and her baby seemed totally happy and well adjusted (he spent a significant amount of time cooing and smiling and making funny faces at us! It really does make you melt when you see that genuine toothless smile...) Erica and I chatted for quite some time; she gave me the scoop on the first 10 weeks of childrearing from her experience. She decided not to go back to work so she's found all sorts of things to do with her baby everyday- like joining the 'Stoller Striders' group every morning. I'm gonna have to look into that!
Today she was out and about testing her new BOB Revolution Baby Jogger- it's the one everyone says you need to get...
Cool because she let me try it out too (no, I didn't sit in it- just pushed it around a bit). I agree that it is indeed the coolest thing ever invented for moms. I am pretty much done with pregnant running now since it just doesn't feel so good anymore... I'm envisioning my comeback beginning around Thanksgiving... And this jogger is going to be my regular companion!!
Anyway, I'm just psyched that I have a neighbor who is so cool who is in the same position as I'll be with a new little one. We figured that our kids will be about 6 months apart in age- she said Nico will be happy to be 'older' than someone because right now he's the youngest of everyone he knows! ;) I can picture Erica and I becoming good friends... Now I'll have at least 2 local friends with newborns around the same time (Kelley of course being the first!)... YEA! I can picture us all running in tandem with our babies and our cool joggers... HA!
For me, the decision to change my name was easy. In fact, it wasn't really a decision at all- just something I always knew I would do. Especially since we have a child on the way... it feels like a more cohesive family unit to me when we all share the same name. And I like being linked that way to Scott. :)
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
And Scott is more prepared too... HA! Thanks Margo!
We received so much stuff for baby we had to pack a whole extra suitcase to bring it all home. Swadling blankets, 'sleep sacks', hooded towels, little t-shirts and cute white/yellow/green outfits, baby bath stuff, toys... Think Baby's going to be spoiled? The weekend was well spent laughing, talking, eating cake and ice cream, wrestling in the grass (ok, that was just the nephews... and my husband), playing croquet in the front yard, swimming in the back yard... I really lucked out and married into a GREAT family! :)
Last night we got home to a bunch more boxes of stuff on our front step... with apparently more to come! Babies require so much stuff, it's kind of overwhelming. But because of the generosity of our friends and family, we're pretty well set up now with a crib... baby stroller... 'jumperoo'... Baby Bjorn carrier... sling carrier... diapers and 'diaper genie', etc. Thank you everyone!!!! Now that I don't officially have a job outside our home, my job is our home... so I'll be spending plenty of time getting it all organized and ready. Nice that I still have about 3 1/2 months to get all that done!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This water looked pretty calm to me. Definitely swim-able. And better yet, there were bouys out there. You can't really see them in this picture, but there was one about 500 meters out, and then another one about 250 meters past that. Bouys are great when you're swimming in the ocean because they give you a goal. The ocean is so vast... without a bouy you can feel like you're just swimming aimlessly...
That day I felt like I was swimming aimlessly... On Friday morning, I got an excrutiating call from my boss... and a representative from HR was also on the line. I had known that my company was going through a 'downsizing exercise', but I really thought my job was safe. My boss thought my job was safe. My teammates thought my job was safe. I'm the only one doing it in the state of Hawaii. What were they going to do? Just stop servicing the doctors and patients in Hawaii?
Turns out, that's exactly what the outside consultants that were hired by the higher-ups in the company decided to do. I. lost. my. job.
With my head still spinning on Friday morning, I headed out to that vast ocean. Cap and goggles on, I headed for the bouys. I definitely get my best thinking in when I'm exercising, so I knew this swim would help me clear my head. I've never not worked. What am I going to do now? What's Scott going to think? I'm having a baby in 3 1/2 months. Who's going to hire a woman who is 6 months pregnant? Am I meant to be a stay-at-home mom? How's that going to be? I was in Unfamiliar Waters.
I didn't get all the answers during that swim, but I did think a lot about goals. Looking up every fourth stroke to see if I was still on track to the bouy, I thought a lot about goals. When you've got one to aim for, you confidently take stroke after stroke, knowing that you're on the right track. Without the goals I used to have at work (get that next appointment with that busy office, get the Dr to agree to have his nurse call me when they have a new patient, get the nurses trained on how to dose the IV portion of the therapy...) I need to establish other goals. I'm just not sure right now what those other goals are?
Having finished my swim, feeling just a bit more clear for the moment, I sat on a chair in the sand and looked at my growing belly. In that moment, I felt a new bond with the baby that's being formed in there. I had an epiphany... "It's you and me, kid." Maybe I'll look back and think that this layoff was a great blessing for both of us, allowing me to stay home and raise my baby rather than handing him/her off to a nanny. And just then, for the first time, I *saw* the baby move in my uterus- the strongest kick yet that actually moved my skin. It was a totally unfamiliar sight, and I giggled.
Monday, July 14, 2008
So guess what my husband did as soon as we got there?
A trip to Kauai wouldn't be complete without jumping off the Hanalei Pier (with all the other 10 yr old kids)... so guess what my husband did?This is a cool video from Hanalei. Watch these girls surf... and turn up the volume so you can hear their dads cheering as they go! I can totally see this in our future. How cool to grow up in Hawaii...
And check out this crazy local family playing in these VERY dangerous waters... It was a father and his 3 teenage kids (the father is the one who dives in). Scott and I watched in awe. I don't think we'll teach our kids to do this!!
It wasn't all adventure though... we did take some time to relax and just enjoy the simple things in life! :)
Can't wait to go back to Kauai... :)
Saturday, July 12, 2008
I actually came over on Thursday for work, which in a crazy and surprising twist of fate, turned out to be my last day of work (but that's another long story that I'm trying to forget about for now... will write another blog on that after my BabyMoon with my awesome husband is over...) Scott flew over yesterday after work (his company isn't downsizing so he gets to keep working... lucky for us!) and we have been hanging out together and relaxing all weekend so far and it's just been incredible. Totally what we both needed!
We get to stay in this amazing private rental house right near Anini Beach on Kauai's north shore. Pictures of our cute cute cute abode coming once I can download them... It's so quiet out here. Except for the birds. And the frogs. And the roosters. We love it. So much so that today when we were driving around we stopped at every house where we saw a 'For Sale' sign and picked up a flyer to check prices. Too bad everything we saw was in the $3 Million range. Apparently beach property on Kauai isn't any more affordable than beach property on Oahu. Funny how when you lose your job you start dreaming about all the possibilities ahead of you that you never would have considered before (like moving to rural north shore Kauai). Oops. Sorry. That's another blog.
Anyway, we hiked part of the Na Pali Coast trail today. Words don't describe how spectacular that is, so I'll just post the pictures (and video) when we get home. :) Now we're gonna go grab dinner at Postcards Cafe, which is supposed to be pretty good. Doubt it'll top our Blossoming Lotus dinner from last night though! There's every possibility that was the best meal I've ever had!! Maybe in my new jobless life I'll start a restaurant like that?
Monday, July 7, 2008
All in all the dog/cat meeting went pretty well, although Hoku did try to assert herself as the dominant animal with her aggressive bark. Amazingly, Monti didn't react at all. He just totally went submissive. Monti could hurt Hoku with his claws if he chose to do so (and maybe Hoku would learn a good lesson about getting too close to the cats if he did!) but I don't picture Monti doing anything like that. He's too mellow.The good news is that since Monti lived here for 8 months last time Ellen went to Kuwait, Monti and Ally are already buddies (this picture was taken last time he lived here). I think the two cats actually have a little bond going on... one that will grow as they work together to avoid the big black monster that lurks downstairs. This morning they both snuck upstairs into the bedroom and are hanging out in relative safety together. :)
Ellen has been my good friend since the first summer I lived here. She and I have been ocean swimming buddies for years. We did our last "Duke's Swim" this weekend and it was really nice to be out there with her enjoying the water and the sights. And I guess it wasn't really our 'last' Duke's swim... we'll do it again when she returns in February. We'll spend our time getting back in shape together! My other military friend and swimming buddy, Dana, (middle of picture above) left Hawaii about a month ago to go to Washington DC for his neurosurgery internship. I can't believe Dana is going to be cutting people's heads open! :)
Until we meet again, Ellen.. Be safe out there... I'll take good care of your cat!!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Now Andrea and I are both hitched, and if I were a betting woman I'd say she's going to be on the pregnancy path before my baby has his/her first birthday luau! ;)
Yesterday Scott and I got to attend our first wedding together as a married couple. We watched as Andrea and Jason exchanged vows out at a beach park near Hawaii Kai. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception... and the cake was *delicious*! I indulged in two pieces... one for me and one for my baby! ;) We wish them all the happiness that we have found in each other! (ahhhh)
It was neat for us to watch another couple go through what we did just a short while back... brought back lots of very good (recent!) memories for us too. I can't help but think about how much I am enjoying being married to Scott- and how lucky I am to have found a great man like him to share my life with.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
As if the Olympic Trials aren't enough excitement, the Tour de France starts today! It's times like these that make TIVO worthwhile... the Tour is shown live every day for 3 weeks, which means here in Hawaii it is on from 2:30 AM. But the good news is that we can watch it when we get up, and fast-forward through all of the commercials. :) I've loved watching the Tour for years now, pre and post the Lance era. I think it's amazing to watch athletes push themselves beyond what they know is humanly possible... I just hope that this year it's a clean Tour. The last couple of years the Tour has been full of doping controversy, which is just so disappointing. It bugs me when athletes feel they have to win so bad that they'll cheat to do it.
Anyway, I always cheer for George Hincapie. I know he won't win the whole thing overall, but I think he's such a good representation of the sport. This is the 13th time he's ridden the Tour de France. George's wife just had another baby about 3 weeks ago. :)
My pick to win the whole tour is Alejandro Valverde from Spain. He's shown promise in previous tours by crashed out last year. Looks like he believes he's gonna win too b/c he sprinted to the stage win on day 1! He crushed everyone with a dominating attack at the final climb to the finish.So it's an exciting athletic summer of athletic events... Three weeks of the Tour and then the Olympics start 8/08/08. It's a perfect summer to be a spectator!
Friday, July 4, 2008
Scott and I got up this morning and after our new Saturday morning ritual of french toast and fruit, took Hoku to the beach. It's been a while since she's been there and she has such a blast playing in the water! I asked her this morning, "Wanna GO BEACH?!!?!" and I swear all four of her legs jumped at the same time and she started running in circles. (Our ulterior motive was that we knew it would be a good way to wear her out so hopefully she'll sleep through the terrifying fireworks tonight that will undoubtedly have her hiding in a closet all night...)
Anyway, here's some video footage of Scott playing soccer with her at Kailua Beach Park!
Here's another video of us playing in the water. She's a good swimmer!
Finally, showing off my belly at the beach... :) Next 4th of July we'll have our little one down there with us! For now, it's time to go comb more of the sand out of Hoku's fur...
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I went out for a little 3.5 mile jaunt this morning, which is the longest I've gone in several weeks. I've been jogging back and forth to the pool to swim, which seems like a good pregnancy workout- jog a mile, swim 1.5 miles, jog a mile home. It's pretty hilly around here so I do a little walking up some of the bigger hills to keep my heart rate in the moderate zone. Anyway, I actually felt pretty good this morning. Maybe just being outside doing 'normal' things is the key for me? I put some mellow songs on my iPod and listen to them which makes it easier to just take it easy and go slow. I have yet to feel the effects of the relaxin on my pregnant joints but I'm paying attention and know that I may have to be more careful at some point so I don't injure myself.
The good news is that I can still outrun the dog! Well, I wouldn't put your money on me if it was a 50 meter sprint and the cat was the prize at the end... but the dog can't jog for more than about a minute without slowing down so I end up dragging her if she comes along with me at all. She's not a born runner (unless there's a soccer ball to chase or a stick in the ocean to retrieve!)
And speaking of the dog, Scott and I have begun experimenting with our "parenting skills" with her this week... After clogging the vacuum with Hoku hair last weekend, we decided that it would be best to keep the dog off of the carpet upstairs, so she has been restricted to downstairs access only. This has been a bit of a shock to her, but she's a smart dog so it didn't take her long to figure out that she isn't allowed upstairs anymore. So she knows, but she doesn't like it. Especially since the cat has figured it out as well and now spends *all* her time upstairs. Anyway, Hoku complied for the first day, but has been testing us ever since. She waits until Scott and I are both gone and then sneaks upstairs to find the cat. I get home from work and she's got this guilty look on her face as she puts her tail between her legs and slowly descends the stairs. For a while she weas even sneaking up the stairs while I was home- normally she's like an elephant when she moves and we can hear her every step... but she can be stealth if she wants to. Sneaky dog! But she's getting adjusted to the new rule and she gets praised like crazy if she's downstairs when I get home. So a little more time consistently enforcing the rule maybe it'll actually stick? Parenting isn't so hard... HA!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
We had our week 22 ultrasound today! Sorry the images are so small... couldn't figure out how to get them to appear larger? But they're pretty good pics, don't ya think? (If you click on the image they may appear bigger on your computer screen.) The baby's face was really clear- we could see all the facial features... it's really amazing to us how much it has grown... a true miracle. 16 weeks ago I had my first peak at it and it was just a blob of pulsating cells... today we saw the four chambers of it's heart!! Our doctor was good about not getting too close to the legs so we still don't know if it's a boy or a girl (she said she doesn't know either because she didn't look). But all in all everything is fine and she doesn't expect any complications along the way. We're more than halfway there now! We talked today about possibly inducing me maybe just a couple of days before my due date (Nov 5)... Dr didn't think there would be any issue with that... mainly for planning purposes since my mom is planning on flying out for the birth and then to help for a few weeks afterward. Would make it a bit easier for family members to buy the plane tickets if we knew when it was coming! Next appointment July 29!