Saturday, March 21, 2009

the midwives taste good to spider

Spider loves the midwives. Sure, he barks when they are at the door, but he barks at everybody, except for Ross. Spider can hear his car a block away, he jumps up on the pillows by the window and pokes his head out between the curtains to watch Ross pull up and get out of his car. Then he looses his doggie mind, whining and barking and wriggling til I let him bolt out the door to (chase a cat, sniff and pee on a few things) run out to Ross. Somehow Spider does this with both his head and butt pointed at Ross, at least by the crucial last few feet. It's quite funny to watch.

So, midwives: Juli came this time. We get a visit every three weeks from the lovely ladies of Awakenings Birth Services. We talked about my labs: blood, urine, etc. They called after they got the urine results to tell me that my urine has/had an elevated level of the bacteria that can cause UTI's. And while I hadn't noticed any irritation (cause then I drink my weight in water and turn off the vibrator and the boy for a night/day), they educated me to the fact that during pregnancy, I might not feel the warning signs and end up with a full blown UTI. So, I've been taking cranberry pills along with my daily pre-natals.

As well, last visit, they suggested adding Omega-3's with fish oil — cause the little lady is growing a damn fine brain, and I can't likely eat enough fish or good cholesterol no matter how much low-mercury bites I take.

This week, Juli suggested starting the day and ending it with the cranberry pills.

The blood results: I'm O Positive, baby. But my iron is on the low side. The tincture/tea I'm drinking daily will help with that, but I'm gonna look for the right Iron supplement as well. Upon hearing that my iron is low, I recall that it's always been kinda low. Same with my mom.

Which brings me to veins and hemorrhaging. My mom nearly bled to death when she had my brother Spike (3rd kid) at home. But she also bled A LOT after I was born (1st kid). The midwife surmised that low iron can be associated with bleeding. AND with vericose veins. Which I don't want. Which my mom has. The nettle in my tea will also help prevent unhealthy veins.

This week: Pro-biotics. Vit C. Iron with something I can't remember right now.

My favorite thing said by the midwives: Jen, I know you're not clean and sober by a long shot, that's good. We might need to suggest that you drink some wine or whiskey if you get pre-labor contractions.

Yay! for my midwives.

after class beer and coffee

Ah, being a student again is fun!

On Tuesday, I got to class in the nick of time — I much prefer riding my bike to BART, then biking up the hill to class, but during the rains I got out of the habit and have been driving in from Richmond. Which is fine, because no traffic at noon. And I know the secret streets on which to park. And lifting my bike onto my shoulder still feels fine, but soon, well, not so good, especially as I huff and puff up the stairs with it.

So, drive in. Have a great class (City Planning department). Meet with a Masters student who did a big ol' study on Mama Buzz, get some inside info about how to maybe get off the waiting list and into school, which, yay! And then I called up Ross to tell him about my day. Surprise, he was on Telegraph having a beer. So I pulled up a stool, set down my coffee (which was a double, and I totally didn't need it all right then anyway) and ordered a Stella.

Victor came in, I shock my boobs at him. And I left to move my car after beer number 1. I chose against going back to my stool, because I just don't do beer number 2 these days. And it felt like, well, I wanted beer number 2.

Home again, home again. Homework. Hike. Tuesday rocked! (I still feel guilty, however, about the coffee. I forgot my travel mug and had to get a to go — AND a lid! I'm evil, surely.)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

nipples and boobs changing, oh my

Ross is happy to report that my left boob is still slightly bigger than my right. The nipples are in fact bigger and darker. And all is still "fun." I can report that for the first time in my life, my boobs affect my clothing. Some shirts don't fit right. Others finally fit they way they are supposed to. And when I wear a fuzzy/'50s sweater, I "really know how to fill it out." Quoting Ross, again.

These lovely barbells just came out of my nipples. I got one back in the days of Jeff: maybe 12 years ago. And the other, in year one of Mama Buzz: 6 years ago. Sheesh.

So, unpierced, they remain quite erect, though they seem to be able to relax a bit more.

As my nipples have grown (really, it's not THAT much!) the rings lost the extra space between the flesh and the "bell," — which made my rather excitable pair always kinda on. And more recently, kinda angry and on.

So, out the metal came.

Lots of time to enjoy the new look, and for the 35-year-old nips to do whatever they want to do in preparation for our female five-inch avocado/girl.

showing, but not really

Got my weekly not from Pregnancy Center, 18 weeks and the little lady is over 5inches long! If she had a penis it would be super visible. Any baby boy of mine would have already found it.

How your baby's growing:
Head to rump, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (about the length of a bell pepper) and he weighs almost 7 ounces. He's busy flexing his arms and legs — movements that you'll start noticing more and more in the weeks ahead. His blood vessels are visible through his thin skin, and his ears are now in their final position, although they're still standing out from his head a bit. A protective covering of myelin is beginning to form around his nerves, a process that will continue for a year after he's born. If you're having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place. If you're having a boy, his genitals are noticeable now, but he may hide them from you during an ultrasound."

And below is the stuff that my body should be doing.
  • well, I did get that dizzy spell
  • but sleeping on my back i still totally comfortable
  • tried to sleep on my belly last night, OUT
  • shortness of breath: jeeze, i can hardly talk when i hike up those hills anymore. but that's been going on since month-1 tho i am noticeably short(er) of breath each month, on those crazy hills.
  • hungry? why yes, gimme more of that second breakfast, please.

How your life is changing: Hungry? An increase in appetite is pretty common about now. Make it count by choosing meals and snacks that are rich in nutrients instead of empty calories (chips, French fries, candy, and other sweets). Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now as your appetite and waistline grow.

Your cardiovascular system is undergoing dramatic changes, and during this trimester your blood pressure will probably be lower than usual. Don't spring up too fast from a lying or sitting position or you might feel a little dizzy.

From now on, when you do lie down, it's best to lie on your side — or at least partly tilted to one side. (When you lie flat on your back, your uterus can compress a major vein, leading to decreased blood return to your heart.) Try placing a pillow behind you or under your hip or upper leg for comfort.

If you haven't already had a second-trimester ultrasound, you'll probably have one soon. This painless procedure helps your practitioner check how your baby's growing, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, determine whether the due date you're working with is accurate, and see how many babies you're carrying. During the exam, you might see your baby moving around or sucking his thumb. Bring your partner along, and be sure to ask for a printout for your baby's first photo album!

friday yoga, ah dizziness and euphoria

Yoga on Friday. Horray for bikram yoga, with it's 100+ degree rooms, no longer-free hand towels, stinky air and sticky carpet!

Really, though I do love it. And am so glad that I listen to my midwives (and my body!) and have continued to go. Of course, the hacking cough put a dent in the whole thing, but I'm back. And again, oof. Tough class.

Friday was the first time I got dizzy and couldn't kick it. For all of 10 minutes. I had enjoyed kicking my own ass during the standing series and was looking forward to getting to my alternative postures (I've always hated the damn neck and airway crushing standing separate leg head to knee.

Nowadays I get to do a fancy preggo version. But after a killer triangle I like to reward myself by sitting out a pose. At which time I daintily take my temperature (not usually because I think there's any kind of over-heating issue, but because it gives me a good reason to be down and out for a pose.) Then, I get up and do my version (photo above to the left, but with my front knee bent [harder than it sounds, ballance-wise] and with my hands clasped behind my back and pulled down straight behind my back/below my butt).

Friday, though, I kept trying to stand up, my face would get all red (not white, which is worse, or green, worse yet, jokes the teachers) and the dizzy would come. Down I'd go. I tired three times. Ah well, corpse pose called and I happily answers. The floor series went well. And I left all happy buzzing. So, I'll head back again for more serious sweating.

But I did wonder about the wisdom of afternoon coffee before yoga. OK. Skip the java before the hothouse yoga. Lesson learned!

Monday, March 9, 2009

some notes from my family

(Image: Ross is taking art to the LA Erotic Art Fair. He will be the only hetero artist there. He has asked me to "disappear" — humm, will having a pregnant assistant have a negative affect on his sales? I bet he busts out his leather pants and I'll make her he brings the leather vest along with.)

OK. I made it official today. Family responded.

From Tami:
"I hear you broke the news, so I can finally tell you how excited I am that you're having a baby girl!!! Congratulations, happy couple! Now you have to start a baby blog or something, so we can all know everything about pregnancy! ;-) xo, Tami"

He he he. You asked for it!

From my sis Mary:
"Names: How about Joss (Jen + Ross)
Ren (Ross + Jen), could spell it Wren"

Like joss whedon! yay! my dog and my kid can be named after kick ass characters. jeff would freak out. he he he. and ross knew a wonderful guy named wren from austin. he was talented and cute and popular with the ladies. and one year when ross went back to Austin wren was living with his boyfriend. "it just happened" said his friend.

From my mother, who you should know has named many animals "Baby:" Baby Goat, Baby Dog, Baby Girl Dog and so on. She also has 3.5 maltese dogs. The .5 is because one of them had a baby and she's not allowed to keep it.

"Talking about you: from Va to kids:

Hello human kids,

Today, Jen officially announced that she is pregnant and that they are expecting a girl. Now I am busy making a quilt. xo m

From: Mary Nasmyth
Sent: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 5:22 pm
Subject: Re: jen

Finally, you get to make a baby blanket for one of your own direct bloodline! And the last 10 years of looking at baby clothes will pay off!

Hooray Jen Junior?, Babiest Virginia? Teeney Tiny Virginia?

From Va to Mary:
Pretty cute names don't you think, let's see: Big Virginia, Little Virginia, Baby Virginia. Heck, I like Baby anything, let's suggest Baby Virginia and call her Baby. xo m
Yes, finally!

You know Jen, I do like the name Baby. Can you stand it if we are ridiculous and spend the next 5 months sending you baby names? xoxo m"

What my body IS doing

  • my pelvis feels different: tight and loose at the same time. forward motion feels tight, rounding motion feels loose.
  • my ears keep getting infected: the holes/stretches, but maybe that's cuz i rammed some new pretty posts in there that were a little too big. i felt all zingy that day though, so that was fun.
  • my nipples are getting bigger and browner!
  • my nipples are 100 % erect, all the time.
  • my nipples should really lose the barbells. (see above for erect and ear infection, things are connected).
  • i am loving the bullet feature right now.
  • the tiredness and thirst has all but gone away. the horniness is back.
  • ross is a lucky man. he agrees with me whenever i say this. ross is also a smart man.
  • i have more visible veins in my boobs and chest. ross reports that the one down the middle has been there since "the beginning."
  • nope, that was not the baby kicking, that was gas.

17 weeks, the turnip has bones!

From Baby Center
"How your baby's growing: Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop."

And then below is how my bod "should" be changing:
  • off balance? no
  • dry eyes? um, i'm blinking. as long as i blink, no.
  • seat belt adjustment: oh, yeah, makes sense, totally hadn't thought of that yet.
  • shorter shoes: makes me want to buy something that has a heal. cause i really don't wear anything with heels lately. maybe i should while i can!

Some of my pants are a bit tighter on the belly. so if i gorge myself on food (which is, as before, at every meal and sometime in between) things get a big snug.

And yeah, I should be avoiding trauma to the belly. This am I jumped on the bed to wake Ross up — some mornings I have more patience than others — and I kinda belly dropped on his knee. He said: "Umph. Oh. Oh my god."

I said: "Umph. Sorry. Oh shit, did we just kill the kid?"

Below: more about what my body should be doing.

How your life's changing: Starting to feel a bit off balance? As your belly grows, your center of gravity changes, so you may begin to occasionally feel a little unsteady on your feet. Try to avoid situations with a high risk of falling. Wear low-heeled shoes to reduce your risk of taking a tumble; trauma to your abdomen could be dangerous for you and your baby. You'll also want to be sure to buckle up when you're in a car — keep the lap portion of the seat belt under your belly, drawn snugly across your hips, and also use the shoulder harness, which should fit snugly between your breasts.

You may also notice your eyes becoming drier. Using over-the-counter lubricating drops may help. If your contact lenses become uncomfortable, try wearing them for shorter stretches of time. If you still have discomfort, switch to glasses until after you give birth.

An easy way to keep track of the nutrients you need "I made a simple chart of the basic food groups and posted it on the refrigerator. At the end of the day, I checked off what I had eaten. Then, for my bedtime snack, I tried to pick something that would fulfill whatever category was lacking — yogurt (or a bowl of ice cream!) if I needed more dairy, for example, or an orange if I needed more fruit." — Anonymous

no belly poses for my belly, which is kinda there now

I haven't been to yoga since I got that horrible hacking-up-of-chewables cough. I was down and out on the couch or in bed for only three days. But walking the dog, hiking up the stairs or even laughing at the millions of DVDs I watched in bed made the hacking return — for nearly three weeks. Oh, and talking on the phone was OUT, so I didn't make any money doing some of what I do during that time. And now yoga.

Til Friday. And Saturday. And Sunday. (To the right and above: Fish instead of Cobra)

Friday almost killed me. My legs and pelvis hurt just thinking about the class and as I got dressed for it, I thought, nah, just call and cancel the mebership "I'm pregnant, and yeah. See you six months. Or nine months." But I stuffed my boobs into my yoga tank and headed to class.

My arms felt like they were going to fall off. Jeeze. But my temperature was good. And by the end of class I felt pretty darn great. Good enough to go back the next two days too!

But it was challenging: in large part because I hadn't been to class in more that two weeks and I hadn't really been exercising. But, also, new poses! My belly might not be sticking out like Lan's, but doing the Cobra to Bow series does seem a bit like infanticide. So, now: new, horrible poses that make me curse myself for giving up push-ups and how am I supposed to build muscles in my neck anyway?

(to the left above): Locust, only not on the ground.) In the second alteration, I'm no longer on my front, forcing my arms under my belly, palms down under my pelvic area. Which makes new folks want to die. But really feels nice an open if you keep at it. Off the ground, I realized that, yes, pushups are in order.

And then there's Bridge (last image: to right) and Circle, not pictured. Circle is awesome, only my arms are not!

Tonight: push-ups. Tomorrow, back to yoga!