Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Man Cold

Was speaking to a friend this morning about how her husband has a bad head cold. This little viideo from YouTube shows just how woosie men can be when they have a little cold. (Stars the friend from "Shaun of the Dead" - good stuff!)

Belly shot

The latest belly shot (37 weeks) was taken as we were walking out the door to go to the hospital for the external version. Figured since there was a slight possibility that I might end up having a c-section, it was best to get this photo in before there was no more belly to document.

Well, I still have a belly but no 38 week photo yet. The belly isn't much bigger, but I did have to buy some new clothes this past weekend at Target. I have no winter clothes that fit so a couple of long-sleeve maternity shirts were definitely in order! Felt silly buying new clothes so close to delivery time, but I figure my neighbors would rather me spend some money on new clothes than prance around the 'hood with my belly hanging out from under a too-small-t-shirt!

On the delivery front: things are progressing but s.l.o.w.l.y.... but at least Ava is still head down and looks to be in that position for the long haul!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What will Ava do?

Before birth, mothers-to-be nest. They clean, they scrub, they organize. But what do dads do?

Joe codes. Last night he worked on a small application that allows folks to guess Ava's birth date, time, weight and length.

I guess the men need something to do!

What do you think Ava will do?

"She's fully delighted!"

Caught a snippet of dialogue on an episode of Baby Story on TLC this morning. A nurse, of unknown origin (perhaps from somewhere in Europe), exclaimed of her patient: "She's fully delighted!"

We all know what she said was really "dilated" but I loved how her accent put such a positive spin on the whole situation.

Let's just hope that when I am fully dilated, I'm also fully delighted!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Christmas is done!

Ok, so the tree and all decorations are still in their boxes in our storage area, but that doesn't mean we're not ready for Christmas. All presents are purchased and wrapped and ready for delivery! WOOHOO! Having all gifts taken care of takes a lot of stress off my life right now, given the fact that Ava is still head down (woohoo!) and things in that general region are moving along in the appropriate manner. There is some dilation, some effacement and Ava's head is in a good position. The doctor said he doubts she'll flip back (whew!) and believes her head will have no trouble fitting through the birth canal (she doesn't measure huge, which is a relief). Now... I know women have walked around for weeks with dilation and effacement continuing, but Joe and I are hoping that doesn't happen to me - I'd like to get through Thanksgiving as I have a tasty menu planned out for the two of us - but anytime after Turkey day would be just fine with us!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

McDreamy, McNewborn and McChristmas Tree!

Despite having driven to the hospital two mornings in a row (first on Friday for the ECV and then on Saturday to attend Newborn Basics class), we've had a really nice weekend . . . that is shaping up to continue with a nice relaxing Sunday at home.

McDreamy is back! We love Grey's Anatomy but love it even more when it arrives at our house in the 4-episodes-per-disc format. We're a season behind (just started 3, while the rest of the world watches 4 on TV) but not for long. The good - and bad - thing about getting the show on DVD is that it's really easy to just sit for 3 hours glued to the television. But it's an enjoyable three hours, filled with McDreamy, McSteamy, McSlutty, McB*tchy. All the good stuff we look forward to when the Netflix envelopes arrive. We already watched two episodes this morning but are saving the next two on the disc for later this afternoon when the need for more mindless relaxation kicks in.

Christmas is officially here - we spotted Santa last night in Durham! Joe and I met up with Mike and Kim and Tristan for dinner at Chammps (yummy salad!) and a walk through the outdoor plaza to view the lighting of the christmas tree. Santa was onstage for a bit and the tree was beautiful all lit up. And after the lights were on, it started (fake) snowing - a nice way to ring in the holiday season (even though we're not yet at Thanksgiving!).

Christmas is almost complete at our house - christmas gift buying, that is. I have some more wrapping to do and then we'll be done! The decorations and tree will be brought out of storage and assembled after Thanksgiving, so if Ava decides to make an early entrance into the world (post Thanksgiving), she'll come home to a house all decorated for the holidays.

On tap for the remainder of the relaxing Sunday at home: grocery list for the week, grocery list for Thanksgiving dinner, thank you notes for the baby shower (I'm the worst at those), more work on a secret project, laundry and some general house cleaning. Oh, and no trips to the hospital for painful procedures or baby seminars. All in all, a good forecast for the day!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The head is down!

Woohoo! After a 53 second (Joe counted) external cephalic version this morning, baby Ava is now in the head-down ready-for-birth-provided-she-stays-there position! We're both very excited and are very glad we went ahead with the procedure. It was definitely not pleasant; in fact it was very painful but at a minute, it was do-able. I am not so sure I would have been able to stand it if it continued for 3 or more minutes, but luckily it was quick.

Now we have to a) hope she stays in that position and b) wait.

But for now we do a little happy head-down dance and hope all continues well!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Turn baby, turn!

Ok, so for some reason that silly disco song is now in my brain - and while there is no "disco inferno" at my house, at least it offers a good blog title!

Tomorrow morning at about 9am, Joe and I will be on our way to the hospital where I'll undergo an external cephalic version (ECV). Basically, that's a fancy way to say that my doctor will manually try (from the outside of my belly) to turn the baby.

At our appointment this past Monday, we had confirmed what both Joe and I already knew: Ava is still breech. Unfortunately, while most babies will turn to the birth-appropriate head-down position, Ava is not situated in a position where she will likely do that on her own. So, unless we want to pass Go, collect $200 and move straight to scheduled c-section, we both have decided that trying to turn her into is the best thing we can do at the moment.

Here's what'll happen:

After some fetal monitoring and giving me a muscle relaxant, the doctor will ultrasound my belly to confirm Ava's position before trying to move her. It can take a few minutes to half an hour (each case is so different). After moving her (if she moves willingly) they do another ultrasound and more monitoring to make sure that she has turned and that she is not in stress. If she doesn't move easily, they stop and call it quits. I've heard from three different people who have had this procedure. The rain in discomfort goes something like this:

* no big deal
* uncomfortable
* if I'd known what it would feel like, I would have requested an epidural

Yikes! Safety of Ava aside (as that's always a concern) I'm most afraid of what it will feel like. I don't know how I handle real pain. I've never had much real pain to deal with. I can imagine that this pain / discomfort is not like labor pain - different sensation altogether. I do know that when I accidentally bump into something with my belly, it hurts. I can only imagine what that would feel like magnified with someone pushing on my belly rather than a small bump.

There are risks involved with the ECV. If any of these risks occur, we'll skip Go and head directly towards an emergency c-section (forget collecting $200). If the version is unsuccessful (ie. Ava is fine but refuses to budge), we'll move onto Plan B and schedule a c-section for one or after December 1st. Of course the doctor will perform an ultrasound before any c-section begins in the slim chance that she turns on her own in the next few weeks. If the ECV is successful, we'll do a little jump for joy and continue with the game . . . the waiting game, that is, which is what we've wanted for this birth since the beginning.

Turn baby, turn! I keep telling Ava that she has only (now) a day left to turn on her own and avoid any unpleasantries, but so far she has been unresponsive to my suggestion.

To Ava: Don't make me come in there and turn you myself!

Good practice for what's to come, I suppose . . .

Insomnia strikes . . . again.

So, while I'm up at 3:30 for perhaps the fourth time in the past week, I figured I may as well use this time for good (instead of evil) so I'm uploading some pretty fall pictures that Joe and I took on our walk around the lake last night. We have no fancy flashes for the camera, so the walk around the lake quickly became an exercise in "how still can you stay while clicking the button and waiting for the shutter to close" and how many non-blurry pictures can we end up with.

Indi's snoozing in the corner - she refuses to stay in the bedroom when I get out of bed, so at least I have some company.

Joe is snoozing in the bedroom.

It might rain outside. Usually that's very soothing when sleeping but unfortunately it hasn't started raining . . . yet. With my luck it'll be time to get actually be awake when it does start raining.

Should also finish writing my to-do list before tomorrow and our trip to the hospital. And then use the rest of today to actually complete the to-do list!

I'd go bake but I baked a cake yesterday and don't have any reason to bake at the moment. I have some baking projects in mind, but they're for a later date (the cookie swap isn't until December 1st) and Ava's birthday is yet-to-be-determined.

On to the pictures!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The evolution of a new backyard

Demolition day has arrived.

When we moved into our house a year and a half ago, we had a nice wooded lot behind ours. We knew one day this wooded lot would be demolished to make way for a new house, but in the meantime, we enjoyed watching the birds make use of the small forest.

Bye bye trees. Bye bye birds. But also bye bye ticks and icky spiders. I'll definitely miss the trees (but hope that the birds will find their way to the trees in our yard) but I won't miss all the scrub plants behind our yard that were a safe haven for ticks.

Going . . . going . . . gone.

I must say, though, that despite how destructive one crane can be, it's weird to watch how strangely gentle and delicate the machine is while tearing down trees. The claw part almost acts like an elephant's trunk as it carefully picks up debris. Very strange to me.

Cheesy CSI: Miami line

What I love about CSI: Miami are the increasingly cheesy lines the actors are forced to say each week. Inevitably, one of the speakers is Horatio Cane (played by David Caruso). Here's the line from last night's episode.

Alex: Not a very private place to kill someone.
Horatio: He wanted it to be seen.
Alex: Do you think someone was trying to send a message?
Horatio: I do . . . and I just got it. [then puts on dark glasses as he usually does after delivery of such cheese]

Gotta love it! I had dropped CSI: Miami from my tv lineup but couldn't give up those goofy lines so easily.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Time check

Ugh. Went to bed last night feeling quite yucky (without leaving any gross details, lets just say it started with really bad heartburn and quickly proceeded to worse than that). Woke up once to pee and then woke up again at 3:40. After over an hour of just laying in bed awake, I decided to get up and check some baby stuff online (since that was most likely the reason for keeping me awake - my brain constantly thinking). It was 5:15 at this point, so I figured it was near wake-up time anyway.

So, I'm sitting at my computer and I glance at the clock and it says: 4:40am. No way. I got up after 5. And then I remember . . .


So really, I've been awake and lying in bed since 2:40 and up since 4:15.

This is going to be a long day.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Pretty in Pink

So, I've received a lot of flack from people due to the fact that I don't "do pink" - I have been given a lot of hand-me-down clothes and a lot of them are pink. I'm not complaining. I am extremely grateful for all the clothes we've been given. However, when it came to the baby's room or what I would buy in the store, I did not gravitate towards pink . . . until I found this outfit online.

This is what Ava will wear home from the hospital. It's from Zutano and I love it! It may be pink (Ok, the little pants are hot pink) but at least she'll be stylin' in pink on her way to her new home!

Ava's Room

Here are some photos of Ava's room - I think it's done, but with each day, I find something new to tweak or rearrange! This truly was a labor of love and has been underway since earlier this summer when Joe was out of town and his dad came in to help me paint. He and Joe worked on the chair rail a few weeks before that, and the finishing touches have been added gradually. I hope Ava loves her room and doesn't demand a pink princess room as soon as she's old enough to speak!

Our new ride!

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a . . . mini van? Yup. Joe and I are now officially ready for the baby. It wasn't enough to have diapers and clothing; we needed to get a bigger car also. Really, it's not so silly once you hear our reason - the Liberty (while fun to drive) just wasn't going to be a practical fit when you factor in our stuff, baby stuff, baby and dog when going on trips to visit family and friends. I did not want to get into the (expensive) habit of having to board Indi while we visited folks, and I didn't want her to be shoved in the back of the liberty with all the stuff we'll have to pack, so the only option we could see was a mini van.

The dreaded "M" word. It was Joe's idea really. I had always said I would drive a nice Volvo station wagon, but when looking at and pricing those, we realized they offered no more room than the Liberty and were MUCH more expensive. So, we'll be selling the Liberty and keeping the Camry (Joe has finally learned to embrace the Camry after much resistance) so all in all, a great deal! And we were able to GET a great deal on the Odyssey because the 2008s were coming into the stores and the dealers were anxious to get rid of the 2007s. Suited us just fine!

Aside from a minor snafu involving the color of the van (Joe requested a dark gray; the dealer heard him say dark cherry) and an extra day to fix said snafu, it was a very painless quick transaction. The way every car buying experience should be but rarely is. I strongly recommend test driving one day, deciding on the car, then calling dealers who have that car and haggling price over the phone. We arrived at the dealer and all we had to do was sign paperwork. No high pressure sales, only small amounts of sleaze.

Meet the new member of our family: a 2007 Honda Odyssey in Nimbus Gray. (And before you all say "Eeww! A mini van!" you should see how smoothly it drives!)

Where's Indi?

Today was spa day - Indi's least favorite day of every month. She usually starts hiding the moment she hears the tub filling with water and me saying "I'm going to clean your ears and trim your nails." Little did she know that Joe was not going to be her safe haven this time. I can no longer lift 50 pounds of Indi into the tub, so while she thought hiding out with Joe in his office would be a surefire way to avoid spa day, in the end her safe harbor turned into her enemy as he was the one to actually put her into the tub. Poor Indi. She tried so hard.