Monday, May 28, 2012

Pregnancy: Week 18

What a restorative week. We went on what felt like a secret getaway to Whistler, B.C. I say secret since hardly anybody knew where we were. It was kind of fun. I can't wait to write about our trip and the great food we were blessed to try. It was quite timely also, as Arthur and I have been struggling through this new season of life we're in. We haven't stopped pursuing the Lord through our trials, but it's been a challenging time, to say the least. I had been praying that this vacation would be a retreat for us to unplug, talk, pray and grow in spiritual intimacy, and it definitely was. I hope to be able to someday soon write about what the Lord is teaching us, but I don't have a clear enough picture just yet.

This was a big week for LB, who is now the length of a bell pepper and weighs around 7 oz. AND is wiggling around like a crazy person! I feel wiggles all throughout the day now and can almost always tell the difference between twitches and the baby. I even felt my first gentle kick on our drive home from Whistler. We were singing Kings Kaleidoscope worship music all the way down the mountain, and during a particularly fun whistling part, I felt it. This is my favorite part of pregnancy so far and it definitely makes it feel much more real. I find Papa K trying to sneak a feel any chance he can get, but I keep telling him that I don't think he'll be able to feel anything for a few more weeks. So I've been trying to include him by telling him every time I feel something and even flicking him with my finger to give him an idea of how hard/gentle it feels. I'm sure he won't love this as much when it turns into a full on punch...

LB at real size!

On our way up to Whistler, I scheduled a stop in Everett to take a look at and potentially buy some cloth diapers I found on Craigslist. The woman was selling a "lot" of 10 pretty used bumGenius 3.0s that I was thinking I could take out the hook and loop (velcro) and install snaps, 7 brand new bumGenius 4.0s, and 10 very gently used small-sized Fuzzibunz for $200.

At the very least I knew I was interested in the new bumGenus 4.0s since I already have those on our registry and she was selling them for about $4 less per diaper than retail. This is a good deal in the cloth diapering world! But I wasn't so sure if I wanted to go through the work to install snaps in the older 3.0s that were already losing elasticity, or if I really needed small-sized cloth diapers. There will be more to come on our cloth diapering buys, gifts, decisions and research, but for now I will say that we ended up getting the 7 new bG4.0s and the 10 small Fuzzibunz for $150. This seemed like a steal to me. I can't wait to start playing around with them now that I have them in hand to practice!

We also stopped for the night in Bellingham to visit Arthur's dad and break our driving up a bit. My Grandma Bev lives in Bellingham as well, so we made sure to stop by and say hi to her while we were in town. She was so excited to hear we were stopping by because she said she had a baby quilt that she has been waiting to give to us! She plans to make a more formal one for a shower gift, but said this was meant to throw on the ground for the baby to play on. Some of the squares are corduroy, which will probably be fun and tactile for LB. There are also lots of animals we can teach him/her all about. She even unknowingly used the same material that she put on the back of my "blankie" for this one. I thought this was so cool.

Later in the week we had our second Centering class. You might remember me mentioning after our last one that I wasn't so sure if this is the best fit. I won't lie, I still don't feel like I'm getting much new information from Centering, but Arthur and I both agree that the socializing we get and the few morsels of new information are definitely worth it. I did learn that I've gained 6 pounds so far. I thought I would be closer to about 10 by now, but I know I'm eating healthy and getting enough food, so no worries here. We also got to hear LB's booming heartbeat again. It was going strong at the usual 156 bmp. I'm really hoping we get into some "meatier" topics in future classes. Nonetheless, here are some new things I gleaned from this weeks discussions:
  • I shouldn't be sleeping straight on my back at this point. However, all I need is a pillow under my hip/upper leg to tilt me ever so slightly to either side. I have been so worried about this since the very beginning that I've almost exclusively been sleeping directly on my side, which isn't always comfortable. The idea is just to get your uterus off the central artery that it can block blood flow through when you lay on your back. 
  • You can fly in an airplane until 36 weeks.
  • Any sex position is fine, so long as the woman is comfortable.
  • You can sometimes get a free doula in training through Bastyr if you are needing one at the right time. Just call them and ask. Although I would rather have someone with more experience, I thought this was a great tip!
  • If you are planning to use childcare/daycare, the wait lists are crazy long and you probably should have put 10 deposits down on your top choices way before you were even pregnant. Nuts!
  • Nanny shares are a good childcare option that might even cost less than daycare.
  • The infant/child CPR class really is necessary to take. In my personal research, I found that the class at Swedish is just infant CPR, while the class through Parent Trust is infant and child (up to 8yrs) CPR—more bang for you buck!
Speaking of sleeping, my back is becoming more of an issue and was irate at me for sleeping on foreign beds throughout our travels earlier in the week. The night we got home, I figured all would be back to normal, but it was actually the worst night of back-pain yet. I always find that when I come home it takes a day for my body to get readjusted to my bed. Why is this? It's so weird. Anyways, my back is doing better now, but I've begun sleeping with a fortress of pillows around me. Much to his dismay, Arthur only claims about 1/3 of the bed now with all my pillows. 

I think yoga is going to be great for my back, but sadly I haven't had any time to go. I'm hoping next week will be the week! We did get a small hike in while in Whistler and lots of walking. I'm not exercising regularly enough though and need to kick it up. We are just sooooo busy lately, leaving me with hardly enough time to even cook dinner. I'm hoping for lots of sunny walks during the upcoming holiday weekend!

Baby K got so spoiled this week with cute outfits! Papa K is known for the silly and fun t-shirts he always wears, so he secretly ordered onesies to match some of our favorite shirts. I almost died out of excitement when I saw these. I absolutely cannot wait to put our little bean in them because they remind me so much of him. Counting down the days until I can take pictures of them together!

Our friends Ellie and Matthew also got Baby a hilarious outfit. Around family, we usually call LB "Shark" because Arthur joked forever about naming a boy with the middle name of Shark—yes, after Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. So Ellie found this awesome shark onesie for Shark to wear! We love it and them to pieces.

We find out the gender soooooo soon—June 4!!!! Girl or boy?!

ps: Do you like my haircut? This is technically a week 19 change, but we take belly shots on the weekends, so you're getting a sneak preview!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pregnancy: Week 17

What a beautiful week! We had the windows open most days and even slept with a cool summery breeze coming through our bedroom window a few nights. I hope this weather stays for the long haul.

This week, Little Bean is about the size of a 5-inch turnip (crown to rump, as they always say)—not so little anymore! The soft cartilage in his/her body is beginning to turn to harder bone and Baby's general proportions are evening out. I've read that LB is going to double in weight over a few weeks and have quite a growth spurt.

I'm thinking this might have been the cause behind my two-day morning sickness stint toward the end of the week. It was a total throwback to my early weeks in the sense that I had absolutely no appetite and food made me want to gag. Lucky for me, it went away after a couple days and ended with a sleepless night of feeling like my uterus was going to burst open. I could tell my stomach was being stretched and that something was happening in there. So exciting to know our little babe is getting big and strong!

I think I'm starting to feel a few little wiggles. My baby emails have always equated those first movements to feeling like gas, and they definitely do, but I'm not always sure when it's a gas bubble, a twitch or the baby. I can't wait to find out what kicks feel like soon!

Earlier in the week we went out to an exciting and fancy dinner with our friends, Dan and Carrie, at a prix fixe restaurant I've been dying to try called Sutra. We always have a great time trying new restaurants together, and this one absolutely did not disappoint. A full post on our fun experience coming up soon. Of course, the night ended with a scoop of Molly Moons, which was conveniently right across the street.

The next morning my mom came and picked me up bright and early to make our way through the West Seattle Garage Sale. I heard about it from our family and friends who live in the area, but didn't realize what an organized and well-produced event this was until I came across the map and list of sales. Holy heck! There were over 250 sales registered, and they were all mapped out with a description of what was at each sale. I'm not much of a garage sale gal, but I knew there had to be a slew of baby gear since we live in such a family-oriented neighborhood. So I highlighted the ones that claimed to be stocked with baby things and planned our route. It ended up being a total blast and the weather couldn't have been any better—sunny and hot.

Yes, that's my mom's finger in both pictures :)

We scored a huge pile of baby clothes—all priced at $1/item—from a few well-stocked sales. My mom and I were both dying that we didn't know the gender since everything was so cheap and in almost brand-new condition, but we did our best to pick through the masses of blue and pink for anything cute and gender-neutral. She even schmoozed a few of the ladies to exchange contact information with me so I can pick through their leftovers in a few weeks once we know the gender. Can't wait! I am definitely a believer in the WSGS and am eagerly anticipating next year.

My favorite little pants!

Oh—I almost forgot. I even ended up with a pile of maternity clothes. The last sale we stopped at was at a swanky house down on beach drive where the couple was downloading all of their (really nice) baby things. She was the same size as me and had four pair of almost brand-new Gap Maternity jeans and a few tops. I walked away with probably close to $400 worth of maternity clothes for $10—praise Jesus! We had to pry ourselves away from this sale and her buckets of uber-stylish baby girl clothes, but you better bet I have her phone number, just in case... However, I did manage to score a like-new Boppy Lounger for $5 and the most adorable baby Puma's for $2, never mind they're both girly. What a way to end the day!

As if all of this thrifty excitement wasn't enough, I got to celebrate my first Mother's Day the next day. I  was feeling a bit off, so I napped through the afternoon while Arthur did house work for his mom. Once he got home, I rolled out of bed and we headed off to a relaxed dinner at my parents house. We celebrated my mom, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law who is expecting, and me! It was a perfect evening watching the sun set on the upper deck around the fire.

We even had wild fish that my stepdad caught the day before, grilled purple asparagus, a lemon/dill/olive oil salad that I made and a yummy strawberry dessert. The guys started planning the massive treehouse project Papa K is dreaming up for the big tree in their backyard. So far it sounds like the treehouse will have a pulley elevator system and will sit higher than the house so it has it's own view of the water—fancy! My brother-in-law in an architect, mind you.

"Marcella", the tree house tree
Once the weekend was over, it was back to life. We have been trying to set up life insurance for a few weeks now, and are hopefully on the last leg. The insurance companies have nurses coming to our home in a week or so to do physicals and blood draws. It's such a weird and unhappy thing to be constantly talking about, but I'm proud of Arthur's diligence in finding us the best rates and coverage, and making sure that our family is taken care of if anything were to happen to him, or me. I'm ready for this to be over with though. We will unfortunately have to pick it up again soon to plan a will, and I'm equally not looking forward to that.

While Arthur focused on life insurance, I started researching birth doulas this week. I feel way in over my head, but have decided to just go for it and start doing interviews. I reached out to maybe 30 doulas, with about half of them actually getting back to me and now have a few interviews lined up over the coming weeks. I have heard such great things about having a doula present at your birth and am totally sold on the idea, especially since I plan to have a natural, drug-free birth, if possible (more on our birth plan later). Papa K, however, is a bit leery about whether or not this is important enough to spend $600–800 for, which is on the low end of a Seattle birth doula fee from what I've researched. I'm hoping he'll warm up to the idea once we start interviews and he can ask questions. I will do a doula interviewing 101 post once I have a few under my belt.

Have you heard of pets having prenatal/maternal instincts? Our cat, Mia, has started to become incredibly clingy over the past couple weeks and sleeps wedged in between both of us or actually on Arthur's back! I think it might have something to do with the baby. Maybe?

We're off to Whistler now to kick off week 18 and celebrate our one-year anniversary!

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