Wednesday, October 15, 2014

29 weeks & the cold of doom.

I've been sick since last Monday. No one warns you about what happens when you get sick while you're pregnant. Basically, you have 0% immune system because you don't want your body to fight the baby like it's a parasite. The other more dire part is that you can take next to nothing for meds. I mean, I get it, obviously the baby's safety is the number one priority. BUT, it does make for a hellish nightmare of illness.

I have a cold. I can't even imagine what having the flu would be like. If I wasn't pregnant, I would have downed some Nyquil and kicked this thing to the curb days ago. I've missed countless days of work. I have no idea how screwed I am when it comes to my leave. I was out last Wednesday, Thursday, and then Friday I went in for an hour before they kicked me out. I was a hermit all weekend, save for a brief dinner on Saturday night. I thought I was starting to feel better but then it just kept going. I went into work on Monday and only lasted until about 11am before I got kicked out again. When you work in a hospital, if you come in hacking your brains out, you're going to get some side-eye for coming in and germ-ing up the office. I have no laptop, so I can't work from home. It's the pits.

Ruby has been my shadow this entire time. She loves having me home and is never far away from me or showing the belly some love.

So, yesterday, I was out again. I had a dr's appointment at 2:30pm with my OB. This was technically supposed to be last Thursday but I was so sick that they advised me to not come in and see my PCP instead, so this was my make-up appointment. My mom was kind enough to drive up from the Cape to take me and even brought me a humidifier to help get through this cold.

I had every intent of pleading my case for an antibiotic. That morning, I had absolutely had it. I was coughing so much the night before that Carl ended up sleeping on the couch and I was just so fed up with being sick and feeling like absolute crap. I was 100% throwing myself a pity party and on the verge of tears. I just wanted to finally start feeling better.

Unfortunately, I left with no antibiotic. I completely understand it's a last resort to take one and that I just have to ride this out. It's hard being out of work and especially with the weekend coming up. My friend Sarah has her baby shower and I really want to be able to go but I won't be able to if I'm still sick. I wouldn't want anyone to catch this.

Everything looked okay at the OB; the baby is measuring right on schedule and after some poking around, we found out she is head down, which is probably why I've been feeling some extra pressure down there. When the NP tried to get her heart rate on the doppler, she was moving around too much for her to get an average reading. They asked if I would be willing to do a non-stress test, to which I said of course.

A non-stress test is where they hook you up to a fetal monitor once you're nice and comfortable and listen to the heart rate for about 20 minutes or so. They also strap a second monitor to you to check and see if you're having any contractions. It's basically the same set-up you get when you're in, really sexy.

She was moving ALL OVER. It was honestly the craziest thing. She wouldn't settle down and you could just see my belly rolling over and over and over again. It's the first time I've ever really seen that happen - sometimes at night when I'm about to go to sleep, she'll be really active but never anything like this. She was putting on a show.

After over 30 minutes, they still couldn't get a baseline heart rate on her because of how all over the place she was. They wanted to make sure that her baseline wasn't actually set at an elevated level, so they sent me over to the hospital for extended monitoring. It sounds a lot scarier than it actually was, but I was really grateful that my mom decided to come with me for this appointment.

So, I ended up at work anyway. It was actually insightful because I got to see exactly where I would be going when I'm in labor. We even saw a very, very pregnant woman walking the halls trying to get her labor going. Once I got called back and hooked up (same scenario as at my OB), I was on the monitors for about 30 minutes before they told me everything looked great. Having this done is very routine and happens all the time, it's mostly just a double-check to make sure it's all good inside. Getting the all-clear that everything was fine was the best thing I could have heard.

Carl was a big old worry-wart, as usual. He is going to be a mess when this girl is born, I swear.

I'm home again today; I'm still coughing like crazy and just taking it easy. I'm really hoping it's the last day I'll need to do this and that I'm really and truly on the mend this time. Meanwhile, send some chicken soup and good thoughts my way.

Monday, October 13, 2014

showered with love.

I've been dying from the Cold of Doom 2014 since this past Monday, so I've had some serious couch time to write this out. I'm very jealous of you if you have today off, because I'm at work wishing I was sleeping.


I woke up on Saturday Oct 4th really excited to get dressed up.

I don't get many opportunities to get dressed up these days, especially when everything is uncomfortable and I can't have any alcohol to make uncomfortable things more comfortable. I had picked out my dress a few weeks in advance and was extremely excited to just feel pretty.

dress is from Rosie Pope Maternity here, but I snagged it on Gilt for half the price!
They tried really hard to make it a surprise. It almost was and the effort was seriously commendable. I am not an easy person to surprise by any means, especially because I'm nosy and will wear you down. The sad part about that is that I love surprises but more often than not, I spoil things for myself because I have no patience. My finding out about the shower was a complete accident and thankfully only the date. I didn't know any other details - just that my family and friends were putting tons of effort into it and I couldn't wait to see everybody.

When we pulled up, all the guys were waiting outside - my dad, brother in law, my uncle who had come up with my aunt just for the occasion, and my nephew running around the driveway.

We brought our things inside and I was surprised by how quiet it sounded. I made my way over to the dining room where I could see a beautiful table set-up and everyone who had already arrived jumped out and yelled, SURPRISE!

I was amazed at how beautiful everything looked and was so excited to see everyone, especially some friends I hadn't seen in months. Everything was exactly as I could have pictured it. I wanted the day to be low-key, close friends, and lots of laughing and hanging out. I wasn't very into the typical baby shower games or having it be a big fuss about me, I just wanted everyone to be able to spend time together and have a fun day.

The food was kept simple and highlighted my favorites, like crab cakes and peanut butter and jelly. Back when my mom asked what kind of food I wanted, I said PB&J and we were laughing about how to make it more fancy. I sent her this pin as a joke and low and behold, she actually made them!

They were delicious, btw.

My mom's friend Pam made this amazing elephant cake! She used to own her own candy store in downtown Plymouth and cake decorates but I was still blown away by how sweet this was. The fondant topper is stored away to be used for Baby Reese's first birthday.

There was a tea and martini beverage station where we each got our own glass. My mom brewed this ambrosia iced tea which was absolutely delicious. She also made the daisy centerpieces, one of which is happily sitting on my kitchen counter soaking up sun as I type.

My sister Dana and my niece Camryn put together this absolutely adorable diaper cake, which is also still sitting on my kitchen counter because it's so cute I can't bear to take it apart. I was shocked when she told me this was the first one she had ever made!

One of my favorite parts was the sock dryer line hung above the mantle. I had never seen anything like that before and it was both so sweet and unique. Plus I have tons of socks now!

We dived into the food first because I was starving (go figure) and everything was delicious. We had a blast just catching up on what everyone's been up to.

Casey and I, who is due with her twin boys in less than a month!
My niece was so excited to be my gift helper and you could tell she was chomping at the bit to sit and open presents. I can't even explain the generosity of everyone; Baby Reese was super spoiled and showered with tons of amazing gifts.

My friend Pam put together this fantastic basket - it had pacifiers, wash cloths, socks on a line, tub towels, rubber ducks, onesies, headbands, a book, baby wash and shampoo...I know I'm leaving something out because there was so much! It was such a thoughtful gift and I loved it. The basket is up in the nursery now beginning to accumulate toys.

My sister and her family got us our very much needed car seat with an extra base along with some other smaller items, one of which was a personalized necklace with my future daughter's name. I love it so much and I've been wearing it every day since!

Rachel spoiled us rotten with a my-size PB kids chair and some adorable clothes, including this personalized onesie that I can't wait to put her in!

We definitely can't back out on our name choice now ;-)

My great-aunt (the same one who gave us the super-teary book of family recipes when Carl and I got married) has been in the hospital recently so I definitely was not expecting anything from her. She knit this beautiful blanket for the baby; it's so warm and will come in handy during those colder winter nights.

After all the gifts were opened, we dove into the cake! It was delicious; Pam went all out and did a chocolate top layer while the bottom was funfetti. Both were fantastic, especially served with strawberry ice cream.

Overall, the day was amazing. I couldn't have possibly asked for more out of a shower, it was everything I could have hoped for. I felt so special and loved and it was really great to just see everyone and come together for a happy occasion. I have the best family and friends ever, I know they did so much to make this happen and I can't say enough how much it means to me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

28 weeks, hello third trimester.

Know what's sobering? Realizing that you have less than 90 days before a baby will be in your arms. That's us, right now. Less than 90 days.

I can remember when the wedding was that far away. It felt like an eternity but it was over in the blink of an eye. I imagine this is exactly how this will feel too. It's hard to think about Christmas because it still seems so far away, but in reality, it's right around the corner. Does anyone get how frightening it is that I'll be responsible for a tiny human being by then? Just me? Okay.

I've been slacking on the weekly pictures, I know. If you want the sugar coated answer, it's because my life has been really busy, I haven't had time, blah blah blah. You want to know the real reason? Well, I used to take those pictures in Carl's office because it was the only place where there was a nice blank wall space. There was a shelf in there that I would prop my iPhone on and then spend the next 30 minutes taking really awkward photos with the timer app until I got one I didn't loathe completely. Eventually, it got dark when I woke up, I was running late for work (most common reason), and then we moved the shelf into the nursery so I lost my prop-site.

Why didn't I just have Carl take them? Well, because then I get photos that aren't great. I love him to death but he takes zero consideration of how I'm standing, my double chin, if I'm even looking at the camera, etc. That one up there was like photo op #650895.

You might also be wondering why I was so dolled up. Well, that's because I was on my way to my shower! My baby shower was this past Saturday and it was amazing. I actually have some nice, non-iPhone photos of the event so that post is coming. Baby Reese was very loved on and we had an amazing day.

I made an unfortunate choice that day; for some reason, I always decide that important events are the times I need to fuck around with my hair or make-up or something. This time it was hair. I love seeing photos of hair that's been curled with a hair straightener. I had all the tools so I thought, this is the time. Right now. I watched a few youtube vid's and was amazed at how easy it looked. I should have practiced a few times before just throwing caution to the wind on the day of the event. It looked good right before I left but I needed a lot more hairspray since it all fell out. I'll definitely try it again but by the end of the day, that shit did not look cute.

Overall, I'm still feeling really great, save for the tireds. It's not nearly as bad as the first trimester but I am so sleepy lately. The second trimester energy is long gone. I've gotten to the point where if I drop something, I alternate between openly weeping and just leaving it there. The inside of my ankles above my achilles tendon absolutely kills on each foot. I noticed this when I was trying to stretch out my feet the other week and Carl poignantly pointed out that it was more than likely due to my center of gravity being out of whack.

So far the belly stretch marks have stopped leaching. I do spend time putting on lotion now so hopefully I can keep them at bay. I'm no stranger to stretch marks, especially on my boobs from gaining and losing weight, but these are the angry, red ones versus the skin-toned ones you can only really see in a certain light.

Otherwise? It's been great. I am loving having a nice, round belly to show off. I don't feel absolutely enormous yet but I'm big enough to get smiles from strangers, doors held open for me, and offered seats for things. I don't know what it is about pregnant people that just makes people happier but I'm loving it. I'm generally a happy person and try to be polite to everyone but clearly not everyone else is like that. So it's nice to have lots of reciprocated happiness since it's hard to be scowly at a preggo.

Oh and I passed my 3-hour glucose test! I had a feeling things were a-ok when they didn't call me the next day like they did when I failed the 1-hour, but I still held my breath while I waited for the nurse to call me back with my results. Can you imagine how much it would have sucked to not eat all the delicious treats at my shower this weekend?

This weekend, our glider is being delivered and we're basically working to finish the nursery up completely. It's absolutely surreal to think that less than 10 weeks from now, I could go at any time. My diaper bag is also on it's way, plus we plan to assembled and install the car seat in the Jeep.

How's that for sobering?

And, just for reference - here is the first day of the second trimester versus the first day of the third.

Monday, September 29, 2014

i've forgotten how to monday.

Today I left my house with no shoes on.

I walked out to my car and got in, ground wet with dew, started it, and then realized I was about to leave for work with nothing on my feet.

Then I rode the shuttle this morning and since I changed out to a smaller purse for the day, I didn't have headphones with me. This was really unfortunate because I was seated next to a rather obnoxious, townie nurse who carried on for the entire ride about what happens to unwanted puppies in the South. I won't scar you with details, but it left me wanting to throw up and about 8 seconds away from flipping out on these girls. Thanks for the 8am animal abuse debrief, jerks.

It's going to be a good week.

Last week and all weekend, we had August weather in September. Normal me would have been really excited about this but pregnant me wanted to hurt someone. I am in an extremely swell-y stage of pregnancy and any increase in temperature makes me feel like a beach ball. Case in point: we had a presentation for work that went until 7pm and the room we were in was sweltering. Maybe just to me, but I may or may not have texted Carl this picture with the caption "I AM MECHALEG".

We had no plans this weekend and it was seriously the best. Friday blew by because I was only in the office until about 11:15am. We had planned an offsite "retreat" of sorts for our small group of four people, conveniently right next to Chipotle. So I was in charge of snagging lunch, we did our thing, and then were released into the sweet weekend by 3:00pm. That is probably the only thing I will relish about this warmer weather: people's work mindset is still stuck on summer, so summer hours still apply.

I've been periodically stopping into the local Marshall's to find a cute mirror for the nursery but have been coming up empty-handed. I almost ended up with this one but ultimately decided against it.

It's always so hit or miss.

I was glad I held off though because I worked my girl/wife magic on Carl and after batting my eyelashes a bit on Saturday morning, he agreed to come to the huge, total awesome Homegoods with me. It didn't take a ton of coercion because iced coffee was on the way and there is a grocery store conveniently right next to Homegoods.

The trip paid off; I scored a super cute lamp and found a perfect mirror for the nursery. All for under $100. Seriously this lamp is so cute, it was $25. I'm still in shock about it. I can't wait to show everyone in the nursery reveal.

We had to hit the store because Carl was determined to make me a really nice dinner at home. We've been pouring all our money into paying off one of loans we took out for the down payment on our house and we're SOCLOSE that it will be totally paid off by October. Super amazing feeling but also means that we haven't been spending money on anything that isn't a necessity or preparing for the baby.

So, being the amazingly sweet husband he is, we entered Hannaford's armed with recipes for him to make me this meal. What was on the menu? Petit filets with Gorgonzola & Porcini mushroom sauce, garlic and parmesan whipped potatoes, and lemon parmesan broccoli.

This meal was to die for. It was that good. The steak melted in your mouth; I told Carl the first time the baby goes for an overnight stay at Nanie & Pop-pop's, I don't even want to go out, I just want to eat this meal and get drunk at home. I did have a teensy glass of Chardonnay with this and it was magical. I miss wine so much.

There was creme brulee to go with this for dessert, but sadly it didn't set all the way. Our oven can be such a jackass and you almost always have to leave things in longer than what the recipe calls for. I've fallen victim to it quite a bit but it honestly didn't even matter because dinner so fantastic. Since the creme brulee custard is egg yolks, I didn't want to waste the whites. Rachel had gotten me the Meringue Girls Cookbook for my birthday, so I decided to try it out once I realized I had the perfect amount of egg whites to make a batch.

I used to think meringues were hard to make but these were so easy and really customizable. To get a good meringue, having a stand mixer is really crucial. Castor (or superfine) sugar is put in the oven for 5 mins at 400 until it just starts to melt. During those 5 mins, the egg whites get whipped on high until they form stiff peaks. The timing works out perfectly; once the sugar comes out of the oven, it's added to the egg whites by heaping tablespoon until gone and then mixed on high until this beautiful, marshmellow-y sheen is made.

I went a little rogue on mine and added pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon to the batter and then dusted them with cocoa powder once they were cooled. Always fun to try something new and not waste ingredients!

Sunday, we did a lot of cleaning. The house was very overdue for it and also my sanity needed it. I was made acutely aware of how much my body is changing that day by a - how much my back hurt after cleaning and b - the very first appearance of stretch marks on my belly. I made it this far without them and thankfully they are still small, only beginning to leech out from my ever-shallower belly button. And yes, even though it's a myth and there really isn't much you can do about getting them, I've started slathering lotion on twice a day in the hopes they won't grow.

I know it seems like I probably gripe a lot about pregnancy. I hope it doesn't come off that way. It's very weird and it's a lot of change all at once, but I am so happy about it. Saturday marked 3 months until my due date which simultaneously thrills and scares the absolute shit out of me. Carl asked me the other night if pregnancy was everything I thought it would be to which I'm like...I guess? It's something you can't really anticipate how you're going to feel going through the motions. I'm very Switzerland about it; I don't diehard love pregnancy but I also don't hate it, at all. I know there are some women who absolutely love being pregnant; it all depends on how your pregnancy goes I suppose.

I certainly can't complain; while I don't love everything that's happening to me, I love her to death. I had a dream/nightmare Sunday morning that she was stillborn and I panicked the whole morning until she started moving regularly. The minute that stick tells you what's to come, you care. You become become a parent.

After cleaning, we relaxed a bit and then my parents came up to go out to dinner with us. It was nice of them to do so, especially coming off cape on a Sunday of a very beach-weather weekend. They had to grab a bunch of things of theirs we had, but most importantly, my chalkboard from the wedding to be used at my shower next weekend.

Yes, I know about my shower. I am a jerk. It was supposed to be a surprise but I am a really, really difficult person to surprise to begin with and I'm also nosy. I happened to find out completely by accident and all the details are still a surprise; I just know the day, which is great because now I won't show up in my best sweatpants.

Also, be sure to send me lots of luck - tomorrow is my 3-hour glucose test and we are team #nogestationaldiabetes. If you can believe it, this is my last full week of the second trimester. 10 weeks from now,  I could deliver at any time. Not scary or anything.

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