Jan 28, 2007

Weekend wrap up

The best news of the week is that on Friday the plumbing work began, and Saturday, our plumbing was finally fixed completely. It was a fiasco but we're happy to report that its over. Mike's parents had a lovely baby shower for us on Saturday and we spent Saturday night recovering from the week and putting together the Bugaboo Gecko Stroller that we got at the last baby shower...what a cool stroller...but what a lot of pieces! Yikes! I don't think I will ever figure out how to fold it up!

So now we are 37 weeks along and only a few short weeks from the baby's due date and its interesting to look back on this blog/journal at some of the things I said we were thinking about and to see how my perspective has already changed...For example, I mentioned in a previous post that one of the things we have been thinking about is a "lying-in period" of two weeks with no visitors. Its still an intriguing idea, but now that we are getting closer to the baby's birth I feel nervous about committing to something that might potentially feel very isolating for a social person like me. So, while I think we will try to use the first two weeks (while Mike is home from work) as family bonding time (no household chores or entertaining only baby and eachother care) and will limit visitors in that first week to our immediate family (parents and siblings) members, I am also becoming more open to changing my mind about it all if I need or want to. I know we will need and want help but I also feel nervous that I might get overwhelmed by people trying to help, so its hard to know what the right balance is and how to plan for it...I guess I wont know really til the baby arrives! Perhaps we will take our parents and siblings up on their offers to come over for brief visits to help us with meal preparation, chores and extra laundry during that time, then hire a post-partum doula to come help me one or two days a week after Mike goes back to work...who knows!

Jan 25, 2007

I guess we have been nesting...the plumbing fiasco finally got me going I guess and I snapped and madly started purging and organizing. I touch-up painted the third floor steps and made a huge goodwill/giveaway pile, then I listed a ton of stuff on craigslist and cleaned up the house and organized the birth kit gear and the starter baby clothes. Last night with the help of Mike's brothers we got a new "loaner" couch from a designer friend who needs to store a leather sofa for about 6 months. Its a nice piece and it gives us some time to get rid of the uncomfortable daybed (selling it on craigs list) and really look around for a new couch without having to live with a huge empty space. We also visited the old loft we used to live in, and got a cart that we are trying to make into a changing table. This morning we interviewed a pediatrician and at noon the cloth diaper guy comes to deliver the first load of diapers and show me what to do. Tonight me and baby mcdunn are going to the orchestra with my mom while Mike gets some down time to putter at the house (he isnt feeling good or sleeping well poor guy). Tomorrow is (hopefully the beginnning of the plumbing work project, and Saturday is the 2nd baby shower (Mike's side) so I am sure I will be organizing all that stuff on Sunday. Next week I have a cleaning woman coming to help get the house cleaned up...Whew! reviewing that list makes me tired... yes... I would say that I am nesting!!!

I am trying to get this stuff done now so that next week I can begin to turn inwards and calm myself in preparation for the birth and baby....I can already feel that I am ready to pull in and be a little more reclusive which is exactly what is supposed to happen at this stage in the game.

One of my midwives was in Morocco last week to do a birth and she is keeping a blog -- and reading about her experience there has also made me realize that once this week is over and the plumbing thing is handled, I do indeed need to calm down and get a bit more centered, and so does Mike.
So, next week in addition to having someone else clean the house, I am getting a prenatal massage and getting my hair done...having lunch with a girlfriend I havent seen in a while...and mostly I will try to relish in not being sick anymore and in being grateful and appreciative for this magical time of my life when I am on the brink of this passage into motherhood. Next week is all about easy girly treaty stuff that will make me feel pretty and calmer and a bit quieter.

Jan 22, 2007

Less than a month to D-Day!

Baby & Pregnancy update:
So, I am 36 weeks along...our baby is around 20.7 long and weighs about six pounds and according to my Obstetrician, the baby is now considered full term. My estimated due date is February 18th...but since most first babies are born later than the due date, I am trying not to get too anxious just yet, because it could be more than a month away still...I mean I might go to 42 weeks...who knows! But if I am anything like my mom, I may go into labor earlier than my due date...She went about 10 days early with both my brother and I...

Had a prenatal appt. with the "backup OB" this morning, and she was very very pleased. She measured my belly, listened to the heartbeat, looked at my protein and blood pressure, and said I was right on track. The baby is exactly the size that they should be at this point in the pregnancy, and the heartbeat is strong and normal. The baby is in a great position (head down, back and bottom easily felt at the top of my uterus). Hooray! I confess that I was somewhat worried about having a breech baby (which would mean a hospital birth would be mandated) so I have been doing a lot to try and help the baby stay well positioned -- I used the Spinning Babies theory of proper pregnancy posture, and since week 29 I have been getting chiropractic care from Jeanne Ohm, who specializes in pregnancy chiropractic care and the Webster technique....and it seems its all helped!

We also discussed postpartum care, my flu, and last minute emergency what-if's, and then she gave me the thumbs up for the home birth...Hooray! I am excited! And, tomorrow the midwives come for the 36 week home visit. They will check out the house, make sure I have all the supplies ready and we'll review everything for the birth. Since I also asked my mother to attend the birth, she will also attend the home visit so that she has more of a chance to get to know the midwives and to talk with Mike about how to provide support and divide the work during labor and delivery.

Other Life-Events Update
Well, the best of the BEST happened last week when our Sewer Curb trap broke, spewing raw sewage all over our basement floor. Fun Fun Fun. We are now waiting for the curb trap to be repaired, which is a very expensive (thousands of dollars) and in-depth job (involves waiting on the power company, sure-ing up a telephone pole, digging out the sidewalk eight feet down, etc..). Apparently this only happens about once every hundred years, and it happened on our watch. While we feel thankful that at least it happened last week and not three weeks from now, it is A BIT inconvenient to have no plumbing when you are 8 months pregnant. Until the trap is replaced, we have no plumbing in our house....so this week we are shacked up at my parents' condo while we await the utility company and plumbers. Ah how I LOVE old houses...Just LOVE them.

Otherwise, we are doing okay. I have had a nasty cold for the last three weeks but my doctor insists it is something I will eventually get over and its nothing to worry about. Mike had a great ski weekend out in Colorado last week with his buddies Bret and Steve, and I am looking forward to the second baby shower which is this coming weekend - I admit that while I find myself very uncomfortable at the thought of showers, especially when its time to open gifts, it is really neat to get to see all the women in your community and family and have them gathered to help mark the passage into motherhood. And that is the part that I am looking most forward to for this weekend.

And, as for stuff, we really are pretty set, and I cant imagine how we could even be potentially getting more at this upcoming shower -- just last week, in fact, we got a free infant car seat (the best rated one) from our friends whose son just outgrew his, and we've got all the cloth diapers and newborn clothing needed for the first few weeks.

Jan 11, 2007

Mummers madness and why I will not be using Puffs Plus with Lotion or anything else with wierd chemicals on my baby

That's Mike with our adorable niece Maggie. They were jamming out to the mummers last Saturday, and enjoying the 70 degree weather! We had a great day.

And then like everyone who enjoyed too much mummering and unseasonably hot weather in January I got really really sick with a horrid cold. For three days I was down and out and barely coherent. And that brings me to the so-called miracle tissue...Puffs Plus with Lotion...turns out its not such a miracle tissue...its a nasty chemical laced piece of paper. After three or four boxes of puffs Plus with Lotion, and three days of constant nose blowing, I noticed that my face was unusually red and rashy. And then, on Wednesday night, I noticed that I was getting hives all around my face to the point where I had a red beard and mustache! Now when you are 8 months pregnant and feeling like a bloated cow, the last thing you really want is to be even more unattractive with a rashy red mustache. I was not happy. Ostensibly the rash was from something embedded in the tissues, because they were the only thing constantly touching my face for three days straight...I mean, I knew I was allergic to things with fragrance, but gee whiz, this was unreal. Thankfully a bit of aloe vera cooled down the rash and by this morning it wasn't quite a severe looking.

My tissue run-in was a good reminder that this new baby might also have sensitive skin...so any lotions, shampoos, disposable wipes or travel disposable diapers we use on the new baby are just going to have to be of a fragrance free nature.
Since we're planning on cloth diapering the new kid - for both environmental and budgetary reasons - I am not too worried about diaper chemicals, but as for the other stuff, I guess we'll probably have to look into everything and make sure that all of our washes/soaps/etc are fragrance free. Ah, a new challenge...just when I thought I was done worrying about the "stuff"...
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Jan 8, 2007

Some pregnancy favorites

Freshbaby is a great resource that supports healthy eating habits for kids. They even have a new podcast and blog

- I love these podcasts they are funny and it is fun to listen to a bunch of pregnant women talk about the issues of immediate concern to them.

Mothering Magazine
: This website has it all. I often check out the forums (which are very active) for good info and shared stories from moms who are into natural childbirth and other crunchy things like cloth diapering and whatnot.

Green Mountain Diapers: The ultimate resource for cloth diapering

Babble: An online magazine for parents by the editors of nerve.com

Labour of Love: Another interesting online parenting magazine

Families for Natural Living Philadelphia: A great online community of local folks and families interested in environmental issues and who support attachment parenting principles.

Baby Body Birth: The awesome birth class we took.

Jan 6, 2007


Who is this adorable little man? This is our new friend Jay Heiny-Robbie, who came to visit this week with his parents, Matt & Jen. We met them when we all lived in Charlottesville - they still live there, but will probably be relocating to Northern parts before too long. We miss them dearly but had a wonderful visit! And Baby Jay is just awesome. What a cutie pie! He's just 12 weeks old and already a good traveler and houseguest.
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The pregnant crew


So we spent LAST New Year's Eve (ringing in 2006) with two couples -- Laurie & Drew and Emily & Christopher -- and guess what...this New Year's, all three of us are pregnant and expecting babies! I am expecting in February and Emily and Laurie are both expecting in May. Must have been something in that creme brulee last year...
That's Laurie to the far left, then me, then Emily.
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Jan 2, 2007

Happy New Year!

So the New Year's was lovely but exhausting. We had a small open house where some friends and some family stopped in to say hello, and then we went to a lovely five course dinner at friends' of my parents who had a terrific roof deck view of the fireworks! The Jan 1 Philadelphia Mummers Parade was postponed due to rain, and is now happening next Saturday. Thank goodness because I was pooped from NY Eve and now I can actually look forward t it.

So, the coming highlights of this/next week:
1) Our friends, Matt & Jen, from Charlottesville are coming through town today with their new baby Jay.
2) mike has off today thanks to Gerald Ford
3) Mummers Parade on Saturday
4) Eagles playoff game on Sunday
5) Ohio State in National Championship Game on Monday

January 2007 baby and pregnancy update:
At 33 weeks and a few days, I am getting very big. Last night, we unpacked inventoried and put away some of the tiny baby clothes and watched as the baby did a Riverdance of sorts on the side of my belly when I got in bed. As we were watching the performance, Mike said "I know they will be stinky and smelly at times, but gee, won't it be so fun to have this tiny little baby in our bed with us?". We both smiled and I agreed. It will be neat to actually get to know this child after all this time speculating about him or her.

As for the basic stuff, we are really doing fine and have a surprising amount of stuff already. We have lots of infant clothes, and we already got the bugaboo stroller and this cool highchair called the TrippTrapp, thanks to our generous parents. We even have an exersaucer and baby bouncy seat thanks to my friend Cindy who keeps handing me the brand new stuff from her last baby, Conor. But we still need to get a few basic things:
1) The carseat
2) The changing table and pad (we'll probably go to Ikea)
3) The crib mattress and some sheets
4) The little stuff -- washcloths, diaper pins, stuff like that
5) A breast pump (since I plan to go back to work part-time, I want to be sure we're set up to continue breastfeeding during that time, I also want others to be able to watch and feed the baby if need be)

We are trying to get lots done in the house and in life so that we can really turn our attention to Baby McD when he or she arrives. Mike is taking a ski trip to Colorado, I am booking myself for lots of concerts and dinners with friends so that we maximize the last few weeks pre-baby.