Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Introducing Our Baby GIRL!!!


Brandy: Orlaith Mughain Markey (pronounced Orla Moon) was born on Friday, December 18th @ 4:30 PM. She weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long. We didn't get the home birth we were planning, but everything turned out for the best. After laboring at home without pain medication for 28 hours, I was only 3 cm dilated. At that point I decided to go to the hospital as my body was refusing to progress the way it needed to. With an epidural and TONS of Pitocin, they were able to get me to progress, and after 42 hours of labor Orlaith finally made her debut into the world. We came home Sunday evening, which was also my birthday. What a great present! Mommyhood has been wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

40 Week Checkup

Brandy: Last night I had an acupressure massage to try and see if we could get anything started. So far, the answer is no. My massage therapist said it could take up to 24 hours for things to start happening IF it was going to work. We'll see...
We went to see Dinah this morning. Sadly, there is nothing new to report. Dinah did not do a pelvic exam this week since I had nothing new going on in the way of signs. If we make it to our 41 week appointment on Monday morning, then we will definitely have an exam then. Other than that, my blood pressure was good, and Baby Markey is doing well (although back in the posterior position as of last night). My fundal height is 36cm. I have been instructed to sit on a yoga ball all day, do pelvic tilts and a form of child's pose in order to encourage the baby to turn back to an anterior position. Dinah asked me if I had been reading up on ways to encourage labor. I told her yes, which is the truth. She said that those things do work but only if your body is on the verge of going into labor anyway. I have decided to give up on trying to hurry this baby up. It will come when it is good and ready. It takes too much time and energy to try and rush things along. Do I still wish Baby Markey would hurry up? Yes. Am I going to let myself go crazy over something I can't control? No.
So if you can help it, try and refrain from asking me if there is any news or progress with the baby. I promise I will blog about it if anything happens! And I will definitely let everyone know when the baby is here. I know everyone is just thinking of me, and wants to let me know that. I DO appreciate the kind thoughts. It is just really hard for me to stay in a state of patience if I am constantly telling someone, "There is no progress" or "There is no baby yet". Help me be patient!! I really need the moral support right now. I have a feeling if I give up on trying to hurry things along and just bask in the last few hours or days when I have Baby Markey all to myself and don't have to share, that we might just see a baby sometime soon! I give in - officially!


Monday, December 14, 2009

An AMAZING Win!

Brandy: I stopped entering blogger giveaways a few weeks ago in preparation for Baby Markey's arrival. I know I will not be checking email on a regular basis, which has to be done to claim a prize. I thought everything I had entered was already over, but I was wrong. I received a text message from a fellow blogger and friend (Teresha over at Marlie and Me) yesterday morning telling me I had one a fabulous prize! I logged on to my computer and sure enough, I had! I won a Dyson DC-16 Animal handheld vacuum cleaner!

This win came from a blog called Natural Mommie http://www.naturalmommie.com/2009/12/dyson-winner.html


Thanks Natural Mommie! This was a wonderful surprise!



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

39 Week Checkup

Brandy: Brian and I went to our 39 week appointment with Dinah this morning. My blood pressure was a little elevated, so we tested my urine and there was no protein (which is good). I have officially gained 40 pounds with this pregnancy. They recommend 25-35 pounds of weight gain, but my body did what it wanted to. I did not eat junk food the entire time. I ate healthy for the most part, but I did indulge in some yummy treats from time to time. I guess I will just have to work hard to get rid of the extra pounds once the baby is out! So back to the appointment... My fundal height is 35 cm, which indicates that my uterus has dropped down into the pelvis (since it is shorter than last week). Baby Markey has switched from the ROA position to the LOA position (the back is now on the left side of my abdomen), which is better for delivery. Last Thursday and Friday i was having some bloody show, but by Saturday it had stopped. So, Dinah offered to do an internal exam today so we could see what was going on. I am 70% effaced and 1 fingertip dilated. 1 fingertip? Is that 1 cm? I looked in one of my pregnancy books that has a dilation chart, and my fingertip more than covers the 1 cm circle. Dinah's hands are smaller, so I guess it is around 1 cm...? I am not totally sure. Either way, a little is happening, but not a lot. The exam is nice to know, but doesn't really tell me when we will go into labor. I guess we just wait and see... which is SO HARD!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

38 Week Checkup

Brandy: I had my weekly checkup with Dinah this afternoon. Joyce, another midwife who is shadowing Dinah, sat in on our appointment. If she is available when I go in labor, she will be Dinah's assistant. She is super sweet! We talked about the Braxton Hicks contractions I have been having, as well as the cramping that feels like period cramps. All are good signs!! I also lost another piece of my mucus plug yesterday morning. This one was bigger than the first. My blood pressure was good today, so no pee test. My fundal height was 38cm, and Baby Markey finally decided to get into the ROA position!!! This is Right Occiput Anterior, which means the baby's back is on the right side of my belly, the occiput (correct part of the head) is presenting first and the baby is anterior facing. This means no more posterior! Hopefully the baby will stay in this position so I don't have to deal with back labor. And more good news, Baby Markey's head has now dropped down into my pelvis, and they said my pelvic bone is "nice and low". Dinah doesn't do pelvic exams until week 40 or 41, so I don't know anything about effacement or dilation. My body is definitely doing what it is supposed to do though, which makes me happy. I started taking evening primrose oil today. It does not induce labor, but instead acts as a prostaglandin to help soften the cervix. Also, tomorrow night is a full moon, and we all know what that means... People say that there is an increase in births on nights with full moons!! So tomorrow night calls for a good, long walk and some spicy Thai food with my hubby! We'll see if anything happens...


Friday, November 27, 2009

Tuh-Duh... Nursery Pics!

Brandy: Well, I finally got the last few things put up on Baby Markey's nursery walls today. I had to put up 3 pictures, wall mount the video baby monitor and hang the wooden letters that spell out Baby Markey's first name. The wooden letters are hung above the crib, so that wall is conveniently left out of any pictures I am posting! The framed photographs are pictures that Brian and I took on our honeymoon in Thailand. They fit perfectly with the theme of the nursery... elephants, bamboo and Buddha! So here is the nursery... Enjoy!

Wall Art and Clothes Hamper

Glider/ Nursing Corner

Dresser/Hutch/Changing Table

Diaper Stacker and Wall Art

Wall Art and Wall Hooks

Mobile

Green Elephant Bedding

Rug

Crib/ Bedding/ Mobile


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Maternity Pictures and Weekly Checkup

Brandy: On Sunday, Brian and I had some maternity photos taken. I mentioned previously that we were going for something different... Well I think we achieved that! Our photographer is really amazing. She is very artistic and creative, and was wonderful to work with. http://www.sharonneelbagley.com/ First we shot at several outdoor locations downtown. After that we headed back to her home/studio for the "painted portraits". We went through a process were we were sprayed with water and had powdered paint thrown on us. You can see the results below! Sharon got the idea from the Holi Festival in India. There is a whole series of these pictures on her website under the color link. Here are just a few of our pictures... We will be getting more as they are edited, and I will post those later.



This morning we went into Dinah's office for our weekly checkup. I told her about what was going on with me. There is nothing really to complain about... just a few signs that things are moving along. I have been having a lot of cramps accompanied by lower back pain. Since Baby Markey is posterior, this makes total sense. I have also been having pain in my pelvic bone. Last Thursday I am pretty sure that I lost a small piece of my mucus plug. Dinah was really excited about that one! Sorry if that's TMI for some of you... At the moment these are not signs that birth will be happening immediately, BUT they are signs that my body is getting ready and preparing, which is nice to know. The first time Dinah took my blood pressure, the second number was slightly high. I had to get test my urine for protein, which was normal. She took my blood pressure again with another cuff, and this time both numbers were normal. Next, Dinah checked out Baby Markey. My fundal height is 36.5 cm, and the heart rate was in the high 160's. Baby Markey is still head down, but not engaged at this point. Also, Baby Markey is currently lying in a posterior position. This is not much of a concern at this point since the head is not engaged yet. I have been sitting/moving on the birth ball every night in order to encourage the baby to face the right way. Dinah said anything to move my hips was good for this. Lastly, we got the results of my strep B test, and it was positive. This does not mean I have a disease or illness. This is simply a bacteria that is present in a lot of women. On very rare occasions it can cause in infection in the baby if left untreated. Dinah waits until I am in active labor. She then gives me medication through an IV for 15 minutes. The process is repeated every 4 hours until the baby is here. She does not leave the IV in or even a HEP lock. This is fine with me because I don't want anything stuck in my arm for a long period of time. Bottom line, it is nothing to be concerned with. We just have to take an extra step once labor starts.


Friday, November 20, 2009

A Moment of Laughter

Brandy: We had a birth class last night. At one point, I was sitting back on a couch, with my feet up on a birth ball in front of me. Baby Markey was having a serious party in my belly, and Brian and I were watching all of the movement. I looked up and there were 2 couples across the room watching as well. There were 4 other sets of eyes on my belly, just watching. It was pretty funny. I did not realize that anyone else was watching us, or could even see the movement from that far away for that matter! I guess the party was more fun than I thought! Once everyone realized that I saw them looking we all started laughing. It was a little distraction to class, but definitely a classic moment.

Our last birthing class is tonight. We are wrapping up a few topics, and there will be a couple and their new baby visiting class to tell us about their birthing experience. I can't believe that 8 weeks of these classes is already coming to an end. Monday we are full term at 37 weeks. Time has flown by. Is Baby Markey really going to be here and in my arms sometime in the next 5 weeks? Really? It seems so real and so surreal at the same time...


Thursday, November 19, 2009

ERGObaby Carrier Giveaway

Brandy: There is an awesome giveaway going on I wanted to tell you all about! My Wee View is giving away a hands free system from ERGObaby http://http://myweeview.com/2009/11/ergobaby-carrier-backpack-and-front-pouch-200/?cp=3#comment-137985. This includes an ERGObaby carrier, backpack and front pouch. I have been dying to get my hands on one of these carriers. They are totally fabulous! I hope I can win it!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Name Game

Brandy: So, I posted a while back that I would reveal the number of letters in Baby Markey's first and middle name. Today is the day for the big reveal!

Baby Markey's first name has 7 letters.

Baby Markey's middle name also has 7 letters.

So, whether you think it is a boy or a girl, take your best guess at the name! Leave your guess as a comment. Good Luck!


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Are you there sleep? It's me, Brandy.

Brandy: So after I wrote about my lack of sleep yesterday, I thought I would be set last night. I had a new list of things to try thanks to my midwife. I actually fell asleep (more like passed out) in about 5 minutes last night! Then it happened... The alarm to my house went off in the middle of the night AND I was home alone. Brian was out of town for work. I was FREAKED. I called Brian and made him stay on the phone while I walked the house to check every door and window. Luckily, my trusty attack cat Cal was close on my heels, escorting me on my mission. Everything was locked up tight. There was no sign that anyone was trying (or had tried) to break in. I reset the alarm and tried to go back to sleep, but guess what? I was too freaked out to sleep. So I lay in bed with the kitties snuggling near, and listened intently to every little sound in the house. Before I knew it, it was time to get up and go to work. Really? Already? So, I am here at work, even more tired than yesterday. I actually had caffeine this morning, which I usually avoid for Baby Markey. I hope no one expects me to be productive today.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Update on Weekend and 36 Week Check-Up

Brandy: So we had a very busy weekend. The painters were at our house all day Saturday, and for a couple of hours on Sunday morning. The good news is it is all finished and we love the new look and feel of our home. Saturday Brian and I ran errands all day and got the rest of the items from the baby registry that we thought we would need sooner rather than later. Sunday we spent all day putting the house back together from the painters, and also organizing the new baby items we purchased. We got it all done, but I was SO exhausted by the end of the day. I tried to go to bed early only to lay there for over 2 1/2 hours. This has been a new trend that has developed in the last week, and I am liking it at all. I have been really lucky so far in this pregnancy, and I have been sleeping really well... until now. Let's just say I am holding my eyelids open with toothpicks today.

I had an appointment with Dinah this morning. I am 36 weeks today! I can't believe that my baby will be considered full term in just one more week. We talked all about the birth, and how things would go. She also gave me some suggestions to help me sleep since my relaxation techniques were not doing the trick any more... shower, chamomile tea and I was told I can even take Benadryl or Tylenol PM. I was surprised at the medication part, but Benadryl is safe, and apparently the medication in Tylenol PM that makes you sleepy is the same stuff as they use in Benadryl. Good to know, and I will only use medication as a last resort. My blood pressure was back down this week, so no worries there. Dinah was pressing all over my belly to try and get a good feeling for how Baby Markey was laying, so the baby's heartbeat was going crazy at 170 (from the stimulation) when she initially found it. It settled down to 163 within a few seconds. My fundal height is 34 cm. Basically all is well! We are getting so excited to meet this baby. Surprisingly, I am really not nervous... just happy and excited to start the next phase of our lives.

Oh, and I won another giveaway. This time it was from Sage and Saavy. I won the "I Cherish Planet Earth" giveaway. It includes a book called "A Love Letter to Our Planet" and a matching game for when the baby gets older. Yay!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Our Thursday Evening

Brandy: Last night our doula came by the house to help us out with our birth plan and figuring out all of the details surrounding the birth. Our midwife does not do an official birth plan, but instead has us answer 10 questions about the kind of birth we want to have. She says pretty much anything we want, we can have, since we are not going to be in a hospital. So, back to the doula... What we concentrated on was creating a super short birth plan in the case we do need to go to the hospital for any reason. She said our best bet was to have a 1 page plan, with 5 or 6 requests in bullet form. She said if you go in with a list of 5 or 6 things, you are likely to get all of them. If you go in with a list of 20 things, you are going to get 5 or 6 of them, but you are not going to get to choose which items you get. I would rather pick the top 5 or 6 that are most important to me, and hopefully get all of them. So that is what we are doing... just in case. I have no expectation that I will be anywhere near a hospital, but what does it hurt to be prepared? If I go through the trouble of preparing it, I will never need it. Right?

We also had birthing class last night. Class was cancelled last week, so we had class 6 last night. We learned about interventions, medications and C-sections. We were told to go through the BRAN process if an intervention was suggested. B - What are the benefits? R - What are the risks? A - What are the alternatives? N - What if we do nothing? Then ask everyone to leave the room so you can discuss it and decide. We also talked about ways to bring on labor in more natural forms so you don't have to have the more serious interventions/ induction methods. These include power walking, spicy foods, sex (the prostoglandins and oxytocin help soften the cervix and bring on contractions) and acupressure points. To make up for the missed class last week, we have class Thursday (#7) and Friday (#8) next week. And that's it... we are done with birthing class. I can't believe that it is almost over. Time flies!


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Under the Weather

Brandy: I almost made it through my pregnancy without getting sick... almost. Saturday evening I started feeling a nasty cold coming on, and by Sunday morning I felt miserable. I tend to have sinus issues, so I wanted to be super careful that this did not turn into a sinus infection. I have been trying my hardest not to get to the point where I will need to go to the doctor and go through a round of antibiotics. So this is what I did... set up a humidifier next to my bed, soaking daily in Breathe Easy bath salts from Central Market (eucalyptus, menthol and peppermint), saline nasal spray, 1000 mg of extra vitamin C (on top of what is in my prenatal vitamin - with midwife approval), hot liquids, zinc cough drops and Sudafed (again with midwife approval). I wasn't too thrilled about the Sudafed, but I figure that it is better than taking antibiotics for a week and a half. I didn't take a dose until last night (and only half a dose), after 2 1/2 days of not getting any better. Finally, I am feeling a little better today. I can actually breathe! You have to get original Sudafed (make sure there is nothing else in it) from behind the pharmacy counter, and you only want to use this with approval from your midwife or OB. I am pleased to say that I think this finally put me back on track towards getting healthy, along with everything else I have been doing. I stayed at home the past two days, and I am staying home tomorrow as well. I have been working from my home on my laptop to avoid all of the nasty office germs until my immune system boosts back up. I should be ready to go back on Thursday. I am ready to be done with this!


Friday, November 6, 2009

ANOTHER win and a new project...

Brandy: I just got an email that I won another giveaway from Minnesota Mama's Must Haves! That is the 4th one this week! We won the Baby Signs: Complete Starter Kit! How exciting!

We have a new project starting next weekend. We are getting the rest of the interior of our house painted. It will be 3 rooms, 2 bathrooms and the hallway. This will finally be all of the painting (inside and out) in the entire house. We are using a Zero VOC/low odor paint. It is the same stuff we used in the nursery (Harmony from Sherwin Williams), and it worked out great. I just want to get this done ASAP so that we don't have any more projects lingering after the baby arrives! Wish us luck!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

2 More Wins - That's 3 this week!

Brandy: I was super happy when I checked my email this morning because I had notice that I had won two giveaways! The funny thing is that this is the 3rd win this week and they are all from Minnesota Mama's Must Haves! http://www.minnesotamamasmusthaves.com/
The first win today was a pair of Stay with me Socks. They have a special Velcro feature which helps keep them on baby's feet, and it keeps the pair together in the wash. http://www.minnesotamamasmusthaves.com/2009/10/baby-shower-bash-giveaway-25-stay-with.html
The second win was a big one! I won a $50 gift certificate for anything that I want from the Sprout Baby website! http://store.sproutbaby.com/category_s/2.htm
I think I mentioned in my post on Monday that I had a bit of a dry spell with wins. I am happy to say that the dry spell is over!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Car Seat Inspection and Safety Recommendations

Brandy: I went this morning to the police station on Hall Street to get my car seat inspected. Brian could not make this appointment, so he is going separately... hopefully in the next week. The ladies that did the inspection were very nice, Luckily, our Honda has center LATCH which made me very happy. We had the car seat base installed in the center LATCH position. I knew before I went that it was too loose, but I did not know how to make it tighter. It was as easy as pulling on a strap. She put her weight on the base, and pulled the strap so that it was in there nice and tight. It is not supposed to move more than an inch from side to side (up and down movement is okay). Then comes the discussion we had about "after market accessories". The bottom line is read your car seat manual to see if there are any of these accessories that were safety tested with the car seat. If not, don't use them. We had purchased extra squishy body/head support padding to replace the pads that came in the car seat. We were told these put too much space between the baby and the seat and could lead to serious injury. I am going to put the original pads back in and use the other support pads in the stroller or something. The officers told me that the only thing I could do to help support babies head in a safe manner was to roll up a receiving blanket and place one on each side of babies head. This can help a newborn head from flopping around. We also had car seat strap covers that we had added on because they were softer than the ones that came on the car seat. We were advised that these are okay later (when baby gets bigger), but they prevent the center clasp from going in the center of the baby's chest when they are itty bitty. Once they do not get in the way anymore, then we can use them. We also had one of those mirrors so you can see the baby from the front seat. We were told to take it down because if it came loose during an accident it could injure the baby. Since we have an SUV, we were also advised to get a cargo net to place over any objects in the very rear of the vehicle. These can become projectiles during an accident. The officers said they have seen babies injured or killed due to flying objects in the vehicle. So, I am taking everything they advised to heart. I just wish that I had known about this information PRIOR to getting a bunch of accessories that could kill my child. Why do they even sell these things if they can hurt my baby? And why are they brands called Safety 1st? This is just a tad bit misleading! Can you sense the sarcasm in my words? And why do stories (like Babies R Us) have these things on their "checklist" of things to register for? Oh wait, money! Forget about the safety of children when money is involved! There is nothing like suckering a first time parent into buying things that can injure or kill their baby!


Monday, November 2, 2009

Appointment Update and Giveaway Win

Brandy: Friday we had a prenatal appointment with Dinah. I was 33 1/2 weeks, and my fundal height was 33 cm. Baby's heartbeat was good. My blood pressure was a tiny bit high so I had to go pee on a stick to make sure I did not have any protein in my urine. I didn't, so all was well!

I had a bit of a dry spell, but I finally won a giveaway! I won 3 CD's from Minnesota Mama's Must Haves. They are from the My Baby Loves series... I won Madonna, Michael Jackson and the 80's. They take popular songs and turn them into lullabies! I can't wait to hear what they sound like!

I have maternity pictures coming up this month. I am using a local photographic artist and she does some amazing work. Check out http://www.sharonneelbagley.com/ I don't want to give anything away, but I am pretty sure you haven't seen any maternity photos like the ones we are planning! I can't wait to see how they turn out!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Place Your Bets!

Brandy: I have set up a game website which will allow you to make your best guess on Baby Markey's birth stats... gender, date of birth, time of birth, weight and length! Once Baby Markey has arrived, I will input the actual birth stats, and the website calculates a winner based off of a point system. So, place your bets and let's see who will win! http://www.expectnet.com/logingame.php?game_name=BrandyMarkey

I have also added a Link on the bottom of the right column, which will direct you to the game page as well. Good Luck!


Email Please

Brandy: I am trying to get prepared for when the baby comes, and part of this will involve creating an email distribution list to let everyone know when Baby Markey has arrived. If you want to be notified via email, please leave a comment with your email address. It is a good idea to leave it in the following format so that it isn't picked up by programs scanning for email addresses so they can send you tons of junk mail. myemailaddress[at]gmail[dot]com
If you do not feel comfortable leaving your email address in a comment, then shoot me an email with your information. You can look under my blog profile and find my email address there. I have never gotten any weird messages from leaving my email address in a comment on a blog, but I am giving you an alternative just in case.
I will eventually post an entry on the blog announcing Baby Markey to the world, but that might take a while! I will also eventually post something on Facebook, which will also take a while. You also need to be my friend in order to see it! Giving up your email is the one and only way you will find out super soon when Baby Markey has made his/her grand entrance into the world.
Also, stay tuned to my blog because there will be some upcoming posts that will allow you to guess on some important "top secret" information! I will be posting the number of letters in Baby Markeys first and middle name so that you can make a comment with your best guess! I will also post a link to a website where you can guess on all of Baby Markey's birth information - date, time, sex, weight and length.
So, there are lots of exciting things coming up as Baby Markey's due date gets closer and closer. I am so excited and can hardly wait!


Monday, October 26, 2009

33 Weeks - 7 Weeks Left - 82.5% Cooked!

Brandy: Today marks the beginning of Week 33. It is really hard to believe that I only have 49 days to go! Baby Markey's nursery is pretty much done. I have washed and put away clothes, blankets, towels... pretty much everything! Our car seat bases are installed and we have an appointment to get them checked on 11/4. I am also about to make an appointment for us to attend an infant CPR class. I am child and adult CPR and AED certified, but not infant. We are halfway through our 8 week course of Bradley classes. Thursday will be class 5. We are all the way up to 2nd stage labor! So Thursday I get to learn about pushing the baby out, which is probably the only part I am truly nervous about. I am not nervous about the pain or the lack of pain medication as most people assume. The #1 thing that has me nervous is the thought of tearing. I will just leave it at that... no elaboration really needed!


I have been feeling pretty good for this stage of pregnancy. The exhaustion has slowly started to creep back into my life. I have good days, and then there are the days where crawling under my desk for a quick nap sounds SO GOOD. I will not try it though for fear that my infamous snoring will give my whereabouts away! In the past week, I have started waking up even more often than usual to pee in the middle of the night. I also drop things all the time, which is getting annoying because bending over to pick them up is getting increasingly harder! I continue to go to prenatal yoga every Saturday morning. That is "my time" and I relish it. I have started going to the chiropractor every week now instead of every 2 weeks. The baby is growing so quickly now that my body gets out of whack faster. Dr Durkee helps keep everything in check, and I truly heart her for that. My back has not been an issue at all since I have been seeing her on a regular basis. I would recommend seeing a chiropractor to any pregnant woman in a heartbeat. I feel like it is some little known secret, and I am happy to pass it along. Seriously, go try it out! Just find someone who is well versed in practicing on the pregnant body. So with all of that said, I feel like I have very little to complain about physically. Most of the things going on with me are very typical, and I honestly expected them. They pretty much come with the territory, and I know things could be so much worse. I am happy to be pregnant, and I love my Baby Bump!


Baby Markey has been getting the hiccups almost every night lately. They usually last about 2-3 minutes and then stop just as suddenly as they started. This week the baby should be about 4 1/2 pounds and 19 1/2 inches long. At this point, it is just an average because all babies grow differently at this stage. Baby Markey should be putting on about a 1/2 pound each week now (give or take a little). This will slow down and possibly stop in the last few weeks of pregnancy as the baby runs out of room! We had a 3D/4D sonogram this morning. I will say that the pictures we got at 29 weeks were a lot better. At this point, there is not much room in there and it is much more difficult to get a good shot of the baby. If you are planning a 3D/4D sonogram, definitely try and get it done between 28 and 30 weeks. I am including a couple of pictures from this morning. You can see the difference for yourself if you go back and look at the pictures I posted at 29 weeks. In all of these Baby Markey is either sucking on its thumb or fist. And I noticed that it happens to be the left thumb/fist. Does this mean I am going to have a lefty? Anyone have any feedback on being left or right handed based on the thumb babies favor? It was totally cute to see this in live motion! It is good to know that the baby likes its thumb since we are not using a pacifier! I asked the technician if she could tell if the baby had hair. The answer is yes BUT it could be lanugo that has not shed yet. Hmmm... I guess I will just have to wait and see. Darnit! Waiting is SO HARD!







Monday, October 19, 2009

A Weekend of Organization

Brandy: This weekend was a long, busy one! Friday night we went to the state fair with a friend and his two daughters. It was fun, and I got in a lot of walking! Saturday morning I went to prenatal yoga, and then snuck in a nap when I got home. The rest of the day consisted of organizing everything from our shower last weekend. Brian put together the stroller too. We also hung pictures in the nursery and got the window valances up. Sunday we took a little shopping trip to get some of the things I wanted to help finish up the nursery. We also got the other car seat base for Brian's car. Babies R Us has some really good 15% off coupons going on now through the end of the month. While we were out we ate lunch on the patio at Chuy's. It was such a beautiful day! Once we got home, we got busy with the nursery again. I started doing Baby Markey's laundry and getting things put away. I got everything except for the clothes done (slings, towels, blankets, sheets, waterproof pads, changing pad covers, etc...) We also installed both of the car seat bases, the car mirror and the window shade. Now we just need to get the car seats inspected!! Did you know that 80% of car seats are installed incorrectly? SCARY!
Besides all of the nursery work this weekend, we also touched up screw holes and paint on 3 different areas of our ceiling from light fixtures changes. We have been procrastinating forever on that one! I am SO glad it is finally done.
We only have a few things left to do to get finished with the nursery. I still need to wash all of Baby Markey's clothes. They are separated by size and all of the tags/packaging has been removed. I am going to do one load each night this week and try and get it done by the weekend. I also have one more wall where I need to put up pictures. I am waiting on this wall until I get in Baby Markey's name in wooden wall letters. I want the name above the crib, but I am not sure it will fit there (since there are windows on both sides of the crib). So just to be safe, I left the pictures off of one wall in case I need to put those above the crib and put the name on the other wall for space reasons.
We still have a few items left on the registry that we need to get. We are working on those slowly, and waiting for sales and coupons. The big items we have left are the play yard, monitor, breast pump and bouncer. There are some small items too... All in time right? Easy enough if time isn't counting down! It will get done... it has to!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

31 1/2 Week Checkup

Brandy: We just came from our prenatal checkup. We had to go a bit early because our midwife is at a conference next week in California. She promised to come back with lots of new books and videos for her lending library! Baby Markey is doing fantastic and so am I. My blood pressure was good. The baby's heartbeat was in the high 140's, and my fundal height was 31.5 cm - right on the money! We started talking about Vitamin K and the eye ointment after birth. I don't think I want any of that, but I am going to read up on it a bit more just to be certain. Dinah also gave me a sheet about the strep B testing. I don't have a problem testing for that since it has nothing to do with any medication for me or the baby. We will do that test at our 36 week check up. I also found out that Dinah does not like to do pelvic exams starting at 36 weeks like most physicians. She said they are uncomfortable and don't really predict much. If Baby Markey still has not appeared by 41 weeks, she will check me then. Of course, there will be checks once I go into labor as well. That is about it for now.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Part Time

Brandy: I recently found out that my request to work part time (when I return to work after maternity leave) was approved! I will be going down to a 4 day work week. I will typically have Wednesdays off, unless there is a business need for me to switch my day off that week. It is imperative that I remain flexible so that I don't get my part time revoked. Having Wednesdays off will break up the work week, and the number of days in a row Baby Markey has to go to the sitter. I love that Baby Markey will only be at the sitter two days, then home with mommy, and then at the sitter for another 2 days before the weekend rolls around. Wednesday is a great day off... it is right in the middle of the week. Plus, I will not miss many (or none) of our company scheduled holidays since those typically fall on Mondays or Fridays. I am very excited about this!!! Things are falling into place. We are getting ready for you Baby Markey!


Monday, October 12, 2009

Shower, I mean Party Update from Saturday

Brandy: We had our Dallas shower on Saturday. It was a lot of fun. It started at two, and I think the last person finally left around 7:30. It was definitely more like a party, which is exactly what I wanted. I couldn't partake in the alcoholic beverages, but I am glad everyone else enjoyed them! It was fun to see everyone and to show off what we have done so far with the nursery. It is not done yet, which is why I have not posted any pictures. I am only going to show off the final product!

Today I am 31 weeks. I have 63 days left, or 9 weeks. I can't believe how quickly time is going by. I know I keep saying that, but it keeps on sneaking by me! I am SO determined to get everything we need for Baby Markey purchased, set up and organized. I don't want to be that person who goes into labor with bags and boxes of stuff stacked in the nursery. We went to Babies R Us yesterday armed with coupons and started to purchase items we did not receive at our showers. The first thing on my list was the car seat, so we can get the installation inspected. We still need two more bases (for Brian and our sitter), but at least we have one! Those that know me well, know I am more of a type A personality. Pair that with time flying by, and this nesting urge from all the hormones... well you get the idea! Let's just say I want everything done NOW, and I am not being patient about it.


Friday, October 9, 2009

Shower Tomorrow

Brandy: For those of you in the Big D, don't forget that tomorrow is the shower here. It is at my house, and starts at 2 pm. There will be food and drinks... just bring yourselves!


Bradley Class # 2

Brandy: Last night we had our second Bradley class. We started out practicing relaxation and pain relief techniques for back labor. This included pelvic tilts and back massage with a frozen water bottle (which I loved). We also practiced assisted squatting. I am used to squatting solo in prenatal yoga, so it took a minute to adjust to getting help with this. Apparently they don't want you squatting solo in labor for safety since you are out of sorts. After that we watched a birth video of a lady with a posterior positioned baby who had bad back labor. It was nice to see the techniques and positions she used to handle her pain. We also started talking about our birthing plan. Part of our homework this week is to create the first draft, and it needs to be complete by class #6. We ended the evening by practicing mental relaxation techniques. The women got to pick out a place that would relax us and write down a bunch of details for our hubbies to walk us through visually. I chose a Buddhist temple (Wat Phrathat) located on Doi Suthep Mountain that we visited in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was such a place of peace. It is an outdoor temple with beautiful golden accents and ornate pictures carved into wood. You don't wear shoes in temples, so we were walking around barefoot, feeling the cool ground beneath our feet. There were Buddhist monks chanting, and they dipped beautiful flowers into water to splash on people kneeling in front of them. The monks take care of many homeless animals. They lie leisurely around the temple, sweet and sleeping. You are surrounded by cool mountain air, beautiful flowers and greenery. You can see the city of Chiang Mai, tiny and distant, at the bottom of the mountain. It feels like another world. It definitely did it's job to help me visualize a peaceful place and go into a deeply relaxed state. Then just like that, class was over and it was time to head home. I really enjoy class. I feel like it is helping Brian and I to become closer as we prepare for the birth of our first child.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Our New Bedtime Routine

Brandy: Brian and I have a new routine at bedtime. He picks out a book from Baby Markey's collection and reads to my belly. This will help our little one recognize his voice. Then when this is done, he rubs lotion on my belly. I read that at this point in pregnancy, the baby can feel it when you rub/stroke your belly. They find it soothing. So both Baby Markey and I benefit from this!

Other updates: the nursery is painted and it looks great! I will post pics once it is all put together. I also had my first prenatal massage last night. It was great! I really don't know what I waited so long for. The lady I am using works in a medical spa, and has evening and weekend hours. It is $65 for an hour long massage, or you can pay $150 for three 1 hour sessions. Not too bad!


Monday, October 5, 2009

Week 30 Prenatal Visit

Brandy: I had my 30 week check up this morning. My glucose test for gestational diabetes was normal. My blood pressure was good. Baby Markey's heartbeat was strong, and my fundal height was 30 cm! Brian stayed home for today's appointment because we have painters at the house painting the nursery. I can't wait to get home and see what the nursery looks like! I plan on trying to get it somewhat put together this week since Saturday is the shower at our house (today is the final day to RSVP). I know people are going to want to peek in and see the progress. I am not sure how much will be done by then, but I will try! I have my first prenatal massage tonight. I can't wait!!!!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Bradley Classes

Brandy: Last night was our first Bradley class. We are going every Thursday night from 7 - 9:30 for 8 weeks. It was really fun. There are 8 couples in the class, and not one of them is delivering in a hospital. It is really nice to be in an environment where people understand our birthing choices. I don't pass judgement on the way that any of my friends or family chose to birth their children, so it is a little hurtful when people decide to pass judgement on me. I really don't know what they think it will solve. Maybe they think they are helping by expressing their opinions, but I do not think people realize how the things they say come across. That being said, I am very happy with our decision to birth Baby Markey outside of a hospital. Just a few facts for you... the cesarean rate in the US is a whopping 30% (give or take a little - it depends on where you look). This percentage is double the 15% recommended by the World Health Organization. The fun fact is that only 1 % of performed c-sections are considered a medical emergency. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of c-sections that are medically necessary. The point is that only a very small percentage (1% of the 30% of sections) are a true emergency. You do the math... Having a baby out of a hospital is not as dangerous as everyone assumes. Think of all of the diseases and germs in a hospital. How many times have you heard of someone getting an unrelated infection after being in a hospital? It happens quite a bit. We are conditioned as a society to rely on doctor's and modern medicine. How many times has our relied-on medical society had to retract certain practices, procedures or medicine because of negative results? What did women do before there was an OB on every corner? They had babies outside of hospitals, and their bodies did what they were supposed to do. They did not always have a hospital to turn to if something did not go smoothly, but I DO have that option. My midwife is absolutely wonderful. She will be monitoring me very closely. If there is any sign of something wrong with me or the baby, she will advise me to go to the hospital. And guess what??? I will go, very willingly... I am not so stuck on the idea of staying out of the hospital that I would even remotely jeopardize the health of my baby or myself. So to all of you who passed judgement on our birthing decision, even if you kept it to yourself, do you think there is any possibility that you are being closed-minded? Just some food for thought...
On to other things, I really cannot believe that October is already upon us and that we started our birthing classes already. Seriously, as of this upcoming Monday, I only have 10 weeks left! Time is flying by. I feel like there is so much more to do. I think once I get the nursery put together I will feel a little more at ease. I also need to wash everything and get it organized and put away. I am waiting to do all of the laundry until we have our second shower on the 10th.
We have someone coming by the house tomorrow morning at 11 to give us a quote to paint the nursery. Brian and I have tried to paint ourselves in the past, and the outcome is not pretty. Trust me, this way is much better for our well being... not to mention the quality of the job! As soon as I get the nursery together, I will make sure to post pictures. The end is nearing!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

I Need Help With Paint

Brandy: We are getting ready to paint the nursery really soon. Can anyone recommend a good low or zero VOC paint? I want something non-toxic and low odor. Thanks!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great News!

Brandy: I finally talked to the doctor today about the sonogram I had last Wednesday. He said at this point in pregnancy, my placenta is not going to move any closer towards my cervix. In fact, he said it will move further away!! This really is great news! I asked if he wanted to see me again about it, and he said NO! He is not concerned about it!!! Whew. I feel so much better! So it looks like I am out of the woods with this one.

Also, today is my 3 year anniversary. Happy Anniversary Brian! We have been together for a total of 9 years (married for 3), and we are both super excited to start the next phase of our lives together... the family phase!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Update: Houston Shower and 3D/4D Sonogram

Brandy: This weekend was super busy! Friday morning we left bright and early for Houston. We stopped 3 times on the way so I could stretch my legs and go to the bathroom. When we got in town, we drove by our old town home, and then headed straight to Lankford's for lunch. It is an awesome little dive, with breakfast, burgers, and daily lunch specials. Brian got a cheeseburger and fries. I got the lunch special - crispy beef tacos. It was great! If you watch Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, this place was featured there this season. We used to eat there all the time when we lived in Houston. After lunch, we stopped by my old office and said hello to everyone. That evening, we met my friend Chad at Mi Luna in Rice Village for tapas. Mi Luna is another of my faves. We ordered a platter of 8 different tapas and shared everything. Yummy! We stayed with friends out in Katy. That night Brian and David went out for a bit, but I turned in early! The next morning, David's wife, Greta, informed us that David had been throwing up. We assumed he drank too much, and laughed at him. Brian and I headed to Niko Nikos, probably my favorite Houston eatery of all time. We wanted to get lunch and we were also meeting some people who could not make it to our shower later in the afternoon. I fulfilled my craving with hummus, a gyro and a side of potatoes. Brian got the Souvlaki plate with rice, and was nice enough to give me his dolma! Funny enough, Guy Fierri had been here too! Niko Nikos will be featured on DDD on October 5th. I guess we have good taste in restaurants - Ha! We saw some great friends we had not seen in a while, and got some awesome gifts! After this, we headed back to David and Greta's to drop our stuff off and get ready for the shower. On the way, David emailed Brian that he thought he had the flu. Uh oh! We made the decision to pack up our stuff and just leave after the shower. Neither one of us wants to be sick, especially me because of the baby! When we got to their house, we found out their one year old daughter had started throwing up too. We were out of there! The shower was fabulous! It was at my friend Suesan's house. She, my mom, and my mom's friend Kitty did a fabulous job of getting everything together. It was wonderful to see everyone. We also got to meet two new additions, Henry and Eleni, who were born 3 days apart back in June. They were both so cute! The shower was marvelous. We got some great gifts. Everyone was so generous! After the shower was over, we stuffed the car, and headed back to Dallas. It was a very long day and I slept so well that night! The next day, Brian and I spent all day organizing gifts and putting everything together. We got it all done, which made me feel the day was worth all the hard work!


This morning we had our 3D/4D sonogram. It was so amazing to see what Baby Markey looks like. I think our little one is absolutely adorable! I love the little cheeks and the nose, which I am pretty sure is mine since Brian's is so pointy! Also, the lady that did the sonogram, runs the sonography school there. She said that Baby Markey's head is nice and low... So low that she doesn't think the placenta has anywhere to go but away from my cervix! Sounds good to me! We got still photos printed out, and 4D videos on disc. Enjoy!






Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sonogram Appointment

Brandy: Brian and I had our follow-up sonogram this morning. While we were in the waiting room, I noticed that Brian, who was dressed up for work, had on 2 different black dress shoes. Granted, they were similar in style, but they were most definitely 2 different shoes! This gave us both a pretty good laugh, as well as a few other people in the waiting room. So, the sonogram... First let's talk about the baby. Baby Markey is doing well... measuring 28 weeks and 5 days (I am 28 weeks and 2 days)... about 2 pounds 11 ounces... definitely the same sex as the last sonogram (more than certain this time!)... no calcification of the heart... good amount of fluid... everything with baby was perfect! Now, for the news on my placenta... it has not moved at all since my last sonogram. I asked the technician if it was low enough to warrant a c-section, but she said that the doctor would have to make that decision. There is still time for the placenta to move so they want me to come back for another sonogram. The doctor is supposed to call me in the next couple of days to discuss the position of the placenta, and when he wants me to come back in. The technician indicated it would probably be another 3-4 weeks. I really thought it would have moved, at least a little, by this time. I emailed my doula to update her, and she said not to worry. She said she has seen it move this late, and even at up to 36 weeks. Also, my midwife just called me to give me some encouraging words. She also said that she has seen a placenta move much later in pregnancy. She said she believes that mine will move, as they almost always do. She told me to visualize it moving. The power of positive thinking, right? I just want my chance... PLEASE no c-section! Here are 2 pictures of Baby Markey. The first is a straight on facial view. You can make out the eyes, nose, mouth and the hands are together in front of the chest. The second is a profile picture. Baby Markey's hands are in front of the face, and you can see the thighs and knees curled up to the left.







Monday, September 21, 2009

28 Week Checkup / Another Blog Win

Brandy: Today marks the start of my 3rd trimester. 28 weeks down and only 12 more to go! I am 70% of the way there! Wow, it seems like only yesterday that I handed Brian a gift bag FULL of pregnancy tests. I told him I had a surprise for him, that he would get part of it now and the other part later (9 months later to be exact!). He looked in the gift bag, and did NOT believe me. Apparently he thought I had some sort of magical power to make my pee turn the tests positive without really being pregnant... yea right! Anyway, fast forward to the present and there is no denying that I am indeed very preggo! I went this morning for my 28 week checkup and my glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. I had to fast from midnight until my first blood draw at 8:15 this morning. Then it was off to eat a good meal! I went to work for a bit, and then headed back to Dinah's for my normal appointment. She had to draw my blood a second time in order to compare before and after. Some people may not like this version of the test since it requires two needle sticks, but I am not scared of needles in the least. This was a great alternative to the standard glucose test where you have to drink some nasty orange stuff and then get your blood drawn an hour later. Okay, so back to my appointment... Everything is going great! My blood pressure was nice and low. The baby's heart beat was about 150 bpm. My fundal height is 29 cm. Dinah was able to tell the position of the baby by feeling my belly, and confirmed that position by the location of the heartbeat. And the verdict is... head down! I hope that the baby stays that way! Everything I read says that they usually lock into the head down position around 32 weeks, but I am hoping that my little one found his/her way early. I talked to Dinah about the flu shot (the normal flu, not swine flu). I really wanted her opinion. I have never gotten a flu shot before. I know they are recommended for pregnant women and parents of infants and small children. I am not big on "optional" vaccines, and really did not know what to do. After talking with Dinah, she really does not recommend one way or the other. What she did say is that the flu shot is one of the last vaccines around that still uses mercury in it's ingredient list. Even though the amount is trace, and supposedly harmless, that information was enough to make me decide to skip the shot. As for the swine flu vaccine, I would NEVER take that. It is way too new, and no one really knows the long term affects, let alone the affect on a pregnant woman and her baby!I have to start going to appointments with Dinah every 2 weeks now. Wow that happened fast!

I won another item from a blog giveaway. This one came from Natural Mommie http://www.naturalmommie.com/ and Kelly Green Way http://kellygreen-way.com/shop/body-skin/baby-kids/erbaviva-organic-baby-washbag-pouch.html. I won 20 unbleached muslin sachets for baby's bath time filled with lots of organic goodness - oatmeal, milk powder, lavender flowers and lavender and mandarin essential oils. I can't wait until our little one is here and I get to try these out!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Dallas Shower

Brandy: I just wanted to let all of my Dallas friends know that invitations for the shower went out on Wednesday. I got mine in the mail yesterday and it is adorable! The shower will be at our home, and hosted by friends Nicole and Melania. It is Saturday, October 10th at 2pm. Please RSVP to melaniaponce@hotmail.com by October 5th. I hope to see you all there!


Is there anybody out there?

Brandy: I know that there are people out there reading my blog, but you guys are so secretive about it! Are you out there? Make yourself known! You can sign up to receive my new posts 2 different ways.

1. Email - This option is located in the right column of the blog, under the header "Subscribe Via Email". It is really easy to sign up! Simply type in your email address and hit subscribe. A few seconds later, you will receive a confirmation email. Click on the link to confirm your subscription to Irish Baby Bump. There is no spam associated with this feature. The only thing you will receive is an email containing any new post(s) to my blog.

2. Become a Follower - This option is located in the left column of the blog, under the header "Followers". Simply click the "Follow" button, and fill in the applicable information. Choose to follow publicly. This option is great if you have a blogger or google account (both are free). When you log into your account, you can view any new posts that I have written.

Also, don't be shy about leaving comments about/on my blog posts. It is nice to know that someone out there is reading what I am writing! This is a blog, and you are supposed to leave your thoughts, comments, feedback, or anything else that you feel like. So, now you know how to make your self known. What are you waiting for?


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Britax Marathon CS Giveaway

Brandy: Jolly Mom http://www.jollymom.com/2009/09/britax-marathon-cs-car-seat-review.html and Britax http://www.britaxusa.com/ have paired up to offer a fabulous giveaway! They are offering a Britax Marathon CS, retail value $299.99 to one of Jolly Mom's readers. Just visit the link to Jolly Mom's blog, and follow the instructions to enter. The giveaway ends October 7th at 11:59 PM EST, so hurry and get your entry in! I have had really good luck with winning giveaways, but I have yet to win a high dollar item yet. I think I am due!

Go Graham Go www.gograhamgo.com is also giving away the same car seat as Jolly Mom - a Britax Marathon CS! Now you have double the chance to win if you enter on both blogs!


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

So Apparently I Snore Now...

Brandy: Brian has informed me that I have started to snore/whimper in my sleep every night now. Apparently on the inhale I snore, and on the exhale I let out some kind of whine/whimper? I am choosing not to believe it until I get some sort of proof. If it is true, we can just call this payback for all of the nights Brian has kept me up with his snoring. Truth be told, I have been a little stuffy lately. At least this is a side effect of pregnancy that is not bothering me. I have been sleeping pretty well for the most part. I do have to get up every 1-2 hours to pee, but I usually go right back to sleep.
Including the snoring, my pregnancy symptoms have been pretty textbook... heartburn/acid reflux, some lower back pain (that my chiropractor fixes/ I heart Dr Durkee), last week my ribs started hurting REALLY badly... apparently my belly has squished everything up enough that my ribs have started to push out and up...hmmm what else.... I have developed skin tags on my neck and along the area where my bra strap sits. I think that is about it. Isn't that enough? My ribs are the only thing that I can really complain about right now. They really hurt a lot!
Things are going really well. My little bun in the oven is super active! I keep warning Brian that this baby is going to have his energy level. If this is true, we are both in trouble! I swear that the baby throws parties in my belly. I wish I was invited...
I have some important dates coming up soon - Monday 9/21 is my 28 week prenatal appointment (3rd trimester already!) and glucose testing, Wednesday 9/23 is my follow up sonogram to re-check my placenta and the baby's heart, next weekend is our trip to Houston for my first shower and Monday 9/28 is our 3D sonogram! I can't wait to get a glimpse of what our little one looks like. We are getting it done at El Centro College. They have a sonography school, and they offer 3D sonograms for only $30! The price even includes a CD with pictures on it. Considering that most places charge $200-$300 for a 3D sono and you might not get a good picture, this is a fantastic deal! If you are in the Dallas area, it is definitely worth checking out! That is about it for now. I will be checking in a lot over the next couple of weeks to update you on all of the exciting things coming up!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Did you get your invitation yet?

Brandy: The invites for the Houston shower went out last week. Some people received them as early as Saturday, and some people still do not have them. It seems there is something fishy going on with the mail service in Houston right now. So, I am going to post a copy of the invite so you can have the information, and RSVP on time!






Thursday, September 10, 2009

3rd Pediatrician Interview & Houston Shower

Brandy: This morning Brian and I interviewed a 3rd pediatrician, Dr. Agrawal. I really like her! She is in a solo practice, has separate well and sick exam rooms, and was just overall a really pleasant person. Dr Agrawal was pretty in line with Dr Linderman (the 1st doctor I interviewed). I think I am giving her an edge though because of her background. She is Indian, and has a different outlook than most Western doctors. I think she brings to the table a different perspective, a certain open-mindedness you don't always see. She does not want to over prescribe antibiotics, and wants to give the body a chance to fend off the nasties before introducing drugs to the mix. I am totally okay with this, as it seems like antibiotics are totally over-prescribed these days. I don't want my baby to be immune to medication because it was handed out too readily. I think that Brian and I will make a decision soon, and I don't think I will need to interview any more doctors.


So, the Houston shower is on Saturday, September 26th from 3-5. Invitations have been mailed out, so keep keep an eye on your mail box! Please remember to RSVP by the 18th. You should be getting the hard copy of the invite in the mail any day. I can't wait to see everyone!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

97 Days Left!

Brandy: This weekend was a busy one. I was on vacation Friday, and Monday was a company holiday. So, I had a 4 day weekend to pack with activities. Thursday evening, we ran a few errands to look for items for the nursery. Friday morning, I saw a chiropractor for the first time. Her name is Dr. Durkee. She was recommended by a friend, and she is certified in several prenatal techniques. It is covered by insurance, which is a bonus! She basically adjusts me to help relieve pain, and to make sure everything is aligned properly so the baby has as much room as possible (which allows it to move into the proper position). I will be seeing her every two weeks until the end of my pregnancy, when it will increase to weekly visits. After that appointment, Brian and I interviewed another pediatrician. This doctor, Dr. Straughn, was really nice. The only thing I did not really like about him is that he does not give any leniency when it comes to vaccinations. He basically said if you want to spread them out, or skip them, you need to find another doctor. I don't know what I want to do yet, but I want to keep my options open. Plus, he is located in Medical City, which was kind of a pain. You have to pay for parking and the office does not validate. I have one more doctor to interview on Thursday morning. We will see how that one goes, and hopefully make a decision from there. So, back to our adventure... After we met with Dr. Straughn, Brian and I had lunch at Texadelphia. Yummy! We went and picked up his mom after that and headed up to Allen Outlets. I had way too much fun at the Carter's Outlet, while Brian walked his mom around to other stores so she would not see my purchases! I really LOVE Carter's. They have the cutest clothes, and if you sign up for their email list they send coupons ALL the time. On the way back from Allen, we stopped at Target, Costco and finally went to Dinner with Brian's mom. By the time we dropped her off and got home, it was almost 8. I had been running around all day, and my feet and ankles were showing it! My feet were swollen for the first time during pregnancy. I soaked in the bath for a while, and then propped my feet up in bed while I watched TV. By the next morning, they were back to normal. Saturday I took it pretty easy. In the morning I went to prenatal yoga, which I always look forward to. After that, Brian and I went grocery shopping. After that, I took a much needed nap! We stayed at home the rest of the day, cooked dinner, watched a documentary, and basically took it easy. Sunday we pretty much stayed home all day and took it easy too. Monday, I revved things back up, and tried to get some stuff accomplished before the holiday was over. Brian and I finally organized the guest room, and went through the closets of the nursery. They are now cleaned out and ready to be filled with Baby Markey's belongings! After that, one of our kitties started showing signs of a UTI, so we took her to the vet for antibiotics. She is very prone to UTI's and we wanted to nip it in the bud. Get better soon Pepper! Last night we cooked a new recipe for dinner - Rustic Lemon and Onion Chicken Breast with homemade Potatoes Au Gratin. It was really good! Needless to say, we did get a lot accomplished over the long weekend. I ordered the baby's bedding and matching nursery decorations. They should be delivered tomorrow. http://www.babysupermall.com/main/products/car/carc201bed4.html. To go with the elephant decor, I also ordered some prints of some pictures we took in Thailand to hang on the walls. We got a new light fixture for the nusery, and curtain rods for the window valances. I can't wait to put everything together!!! I still need to order the mattress. We decided to go organic, and Brian's mom has generously offered to purchase it for us! Thanks Joan!http://www.fawnandforest.com/designers/153/products/1924-naturepedic-seamless-organic-cotton-ultra-crib-mattress. Today was back to reality... I am ready for the weekend already!


Monday, August 31, 2009

Hiccups

Brandy: Saturday night I had one of those nights... one of those yucky nights where I wake up to pee for the 100th time, and then I am wide awake... I can't go back to sleep. Ugh! This particular night it was a bit worse than usual because Brian decided that he was going to snore... LOUDLY. I was awake for over 2 hours, tossing and turning, and wanting to smother my husband. Now, when I say smother, I don't mean to death... just enough to mute out the buzz saw noises coming from his face... that's all. The highlight of this middle of the night episode was that I felt hiccups coming from my belly region for the first time. It was really cute. My baby was hiccuping... and every few seconds my entire belly would bounce in unison. It only lasted for about a minute or so, but that rhythmic bounce was very recognizable. So cute!

Did I mention yet that heartburn SUCKS? I have acid reflux anyway, but now it is SO much WORSE.

Today marks the start of week 25. September is going to be very, very busy. I have a La Leche meeting, my normal checkup with Dinah, my follow up sonogram, interviews with 2 more pediatricians, my first appointment with a chiropractor, a friend's baby's 1st birthday party, and a weekend in Houston for my first baby shower! Not to mention that I have prenatal yoga every Saturday morning. Whew! I am just trying to get as much done now as possible, before I get tired again in the 3rd trimester. Plus, I know that the next 3 1/2 months are going to fly by!


Friday, August 28, 2009

First Pediatrician Interview

Brandy: I interviewed my first pediatrician today. Her name is Dr. Julie Linderman. She is in a group practice with three other female pediatricians over in Inwood Village. They have a nice set up. They reserve the waiting room for sick kids, always take the well kids straight back to an exam room, and they always use the same rooms for well exams/sick exams. They have a pretty good method to make sure the well kids are not exposed to sick kid germs. I have also been reading a lot on the topic of vaccinations. There is SO MUCH information out there, and it is quite confusing and contradictory. This doctor is open to whatever the parents decide. She is in favor of vaccinating, but supportive if the parents decide to wait or pass. She is also conservative with prescribing antibiotics, and is open to other forms of treatment when the situation fits. I like the fact that antibiotics will not be shoved down my child's throat at the slightest sign of illness. The doctor was very nice and open to answer all of the questions that I had. I go interview another doctor next Friday, and a 3rd doctor the following week. All were recommendations from friends or my midwife. This preparation is hard work, but definitely worth the time and effort. I want to make sure that my child has the best care possible from day one, and that the doctor's beliefs don't butt heads with our beliefs. I hope I am on the right track. So far, so good. Oh, I also have compiled a list of questions and discussion topics for the interviews. If anyone is interested in using them, let me know and I can email you. I know there are a couple of preggo friends out there that read my blog. I just compiled the list from various online resources and friends. Let me know if I can help!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Two More Giveaway Wins

Brandy: I have managed to win two more blog giveaways this week. The first win was a paddle boat bath toy from Playground for Parents and North Star Toys. North Star toys has been making non-toxic wooden toys since 1979! Here is a link to the toy I won: http://www.northstartoys.com/collections/all-collections/products/paddle-wheel-boat. I also won the item of my choice from My Wee View and Our Side of the Mountain (Etsy Store) http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5937578. I have chosen an outfit for the little one, although I will not be sharing which one for obvious reasons! You didn't think I would make it that easy for you to figure out the sex, did you?


Monday, August 24, 2009

24 Week Appointment

Brandy: I had my checkup with Dinah this morning. Everything is going well. The baby's heartbeat was good, and my fundal height is 25 cm. We go back in another 4 weeks, and I am doing my glucose testing then. All is well!

I had the weirdest thing happen on Saturday. I have somehow managed to turn our toilet seat a weird hazy purple color. I think it might have something to do with the pregnancy hormones. I can't think of any other reason. I used the toilet, jumped in the shower and when I got out I noticed the odd coloring of the toilet seat. I called Brian in to make sure I wasn't seeing things. The color is totally ingrained in the seat. It will not come off! Brian jumped online to search for causes, and surprisingly there are a small handful of posts where the same thing has happened to other pregnant women. I asked Dinah, and she has never heard of it before! It really is the weirdest thing...


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Belly Movin'

Brandy: In the past week, the baby has really started moving and grooving! I have been able to feel the baby since week 17, but now the kicks and punches are much more forceful. I can actually see my belly move and jump around! Brian has felt the baby several times, and now he has gotten to see my belly move too. I am totally enchanted by this new development. I like to lay in bed, expose my belly and just watch. There is a sweet little life in there, and I can't wait to meet him/her. I try to imagine what the baby will look like, and sometimes I even dream about it. Regardless of the sex, I have a feeling the baby might have red, curly hair. Brian's facial, arm and leg hair are red, and back in the day when he had hair on his head, it was super curly!!! I had red hair when I was little, and still have red highlights in it to this day. My grandmother had red hair her whole life. My half brother and his wife both have dark brown hair, and 2 out of their 3 kids came out with fiery red hair. So, I think the odds are in our favor for a red-headed baby. Only time will tell... 4 months of time to be exact!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Babies Galore!

Brandy: This was a pretty eventful weekend. Friday, while at work, I got an email that a friend had gone into labor. I was so excited for her! I didn't hear any news Friday night, so I went to bed. I got up early for prenatal yoga, which is at my midwife's office/birthing center. We had just started yoga class when Dinah, my midwife, walked through the front door with a couple. The woman was very obviously in labor. They hurried past us into one of the birthing rooms. A few minutes later, Dinah's assistant arrived and joined the laboring couple. Within moments, we began to hear screams coming from the back room. They were deep, heart wrenching screams of labor pain. The screams would come every few minutes, and I am quite sure my eyes bulged larger with each one. There were five of us in class, plus the instructor. She talked to us about how yoga can prepare you to concentrate and breathe through distractions when we go into labor. Yes, concentrate through the distractions... wait there was another scream. Wow, this is hard! I knew that right down the hall there was a woman and a man who were about to welcome a precious little life into the world. It made me stop and think how real everything was... that I would be welcoming a life into the world in just a few months. Could this be real? Another scream... yes, this is REAL. This pattern continues for the entire class. Towards the end of class, I could hear encouraging words coming from the back room. I think she is pushing! A few poses later, a tiny cry wafts down the hall to my ears. I turn to look at the lady next to me in excitement. We had both heard it! The new life was here, and I was trying to fight back tears of joy. It seems we were the only 2 people who had heard the tiny cry, since we were in the back closest to the birthing room. A few moments later, our instructor asked if that had been the baby crying? Yes it was! The entire yoga class beamed from ear to ear. Okay, now class is almost over. We just have some breathing exercises and resting position. As I lay on my left side with my eyes closed, the tiny cry emerged again. A couple of tears slid silently across my face. I did not know this couple, but I was so HAPPY for them. Just then, my baby started moving around inside my belly. I placed my hand on top of the movement and laid there smiling, eyes closed and watery. I was no longer scared of the pain... just knowing what comes at the end of it all will be worth it. As class was over, our instructor told us she was going to peek in on the birthing room to check if we could see the new arrival. Mother said yes! We all crept very quietly into the birthing room, where mom was wrapped in sheets on the bed, with a tiny little person laying on her chest. She pulled back the towel to reveal a tiny little back and head. She then pulled it back a little more to reveal a naked little baby butt! We all simultaneously said "Ahhhhh". Dinah picked the baby up , who we discovered was a boy, and brought him closer to us. He was perfect! We all said our congratulations to mom and dad, and left the room so they could enjoy their new son. This was by far the best yoga class EVER! Later that day, Brian and I were shopping when I got a call that my friend had indeed had her baby. I listened intently as she told me her birth story, amazed at her strength. She had succeeded in a natural birth. Wow, two in one day! I can do this too! Congratulations to the couple at the birthing center, and congratulations to Teresha and Damon. Welcome to the world little baby boy, and welcome to the world Marlie!


Friday, August 14, 2009

La Leche Meeting

Brandy: Last night I went to my first meeting of La Leche League. I had heard about them before, but Dinah (my midwife) urged me to start attending meetings now to help make breastfeeding more successful. I was a little nervous, because I did not know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a nice forum to discuss questions and concerns about breastfeeding. It was a room of moms and soon-to-be moms who were all there to support each other. My biggest concerns are having experienced women around to help get me successfully started, and how to continue to be successful once I have to go back to work. I think the work thing has me more stressed out than anything else. They gave me some good options and ideas to work with. It is nice to know I have people to ask questions who have already been through it. There were also two women at the meeting who had babies with Dinah. They also LOVE her! I think it is very important for me to surround myself with people who understand my decision to birth naturally and out of a hospital, as well as breastfeed my baby. I believe these are some of the greatest gifts I can give to my baby. I love this child so much already, and I would do anything for my baby. I can't wait for that love to grow once he/she is here.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Child Care Solution - DONE!

Brandy: So if you read my prior blogs on childcare, I have been waiting to see if I there will be a place open at the home day care (run by Chantell) our neighbor uses for their little girl. I found out yesterday that we are in! This is great, only a few children in her home (more attention/less germs), licensed with the state, no violations at inspections, she will pick up our child during the school year (after she drops her own daughter off at school across the street... Yay! This is a big load off my mind! I also set up backup childcare in case Chantell is sick or closed for the day. We are using another home day care near us... This is the lady named Elvira I mentioned in my previous post. I am dropping paperwork and registration checks off to both of them when I leave work today. I am happy that this is finally taken care of and that Chantell had a place for us!


Friday, August 7, 2009

Random Ramblings

Brandy: So life has been fun lately. Brian and I have been doing lots of things to prepare for the baby. Also, there has been a lot more movement. I consistently feel our little one throughout the day. I started writing down times, and it seems like the baby is moving and shaking every 3 1/2 to 4 hours. I have felt the movement from the outside as well, but Brian hasn't yet. He tried to a couple of times, but the baby got shy and he got bored waiting. It will happen soon enough! Monday will be 22 weeks. The baby will be around 1 pound, and nearly 11 inches long from crown to heel. It is kind of scary how quickly this pregnancy is flying by.

Other updates... well my prenatal yoga class used to be at a baby boutique near work every other Saturday. Starting tomorrow, they are moving class to my midwife's office every Saturday. I am super excited. I hope I get to meet some other women who are seeing Dinah as well.

This morning I woke up and for the first time felt like my baby bump looked really big. I know it will only get bigger... Up until now, it has been there, noticeable, but not the center of attention. I think now the race has begun for lots and lots of growth! I have started to notice that my bump is starting to get in the way ever so slightly. For instance, when I am laying down, it is hard to sit straight up. Instead, I have to roll to one side, and get up that way. It is also getting a bit more difficult to shave my legs. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining!!! I know I have it easy now compared to the end of pregnancy. It just happens to be what I am going through, and since I am sharing my experiences on this blog, you get to hear about it!

My belly button has not "popped" out yet, but I can tell it is getting larger. I kind if hope it does pop... I think it is cute when that happens! Plus, it will go back to normal after the baby is born anyway. I won't have an outie forever!

Don't forget that there are 2 baby showers coming up shortly! My Houston shower is Saturday, September 26th, and the Dallas shower is Saturday, October 10th. I can't wait to see everyone! It seems like FOREVER since I have made it to Houston! Well, that is about it for now. I think I have rambled on enough for one day... Happy Friday!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Study for New Moms: aka I Hate Wal-Mart

Brandy: Yesterday Brian and I took part in a paid study for first time moms. Two interviewers came to our house and asked us questions about baby items and our thoughts on registering. After that, we took a trip to a local Wal-Mart where we were supposed to register, while the interviewers waited at a nearby Starbucks for us to finish. We went in and the hellish nightmare began (more to come on my nightmare shortly). Can I just say for the record that I HATE Wal-Mart with a passion. I avoid it at all costs. I cannot even remember the last time I went in to a Wal-Mart prior to this. So why go? Because we had already registered at Babies-R-Us and Target and I wanted to participate in this study for the money! Wal-Mart was the only choice left on the list of approved stores for the study. We get paid $450 in total... just to register and talk about our experiences. We got $150 yesterday, and we get the other $300 after the final interview which is after the baby is here. So back to my nightmare... When we entered Wal-Mart, it was exactly opening time for the store. We headed straight to the computers set up in the customer service area to set up the registry, but they were not on. So we started to stand in the customer service line to ask about this, since there were no other associates around to help us. The line, by the way, was already about 15 people deep... UGH! While I stayed in line, Brian asked the greeter how we were supposed to start a registry, but there was a language barrier. A lady in line at customer service chimed in and told us that there is usually another computer in the jewelry area. So we headed that way, and on the way asked another associate where the computer in the jewelry area was (we didn't even see the jewelry area), and she said there wasn't one... we could only do the registry at customer service. So we headed back up to the front of the store to get back in line at customer service, only to discover that the line had multiplied. When we got there, the greeter looked at us oddly and started saying to go to jewelry. So Brian stayed in line and I went to jewelry, asked the associate that worked there, and there is NO computer in the jewelry section. So I head back to customer service AGAIN!!! This time an associate we had spoken to previously was walking by so we stopped her and asked for her help since we were still at the back of a very long line. She grabbed a manager for us. We told him our issues, and asked if he could please turn on the computers. He tried to turn on the computers, but it did not work. So he walked to the front of the line to ask the person who was actually working customer service. When he came back to us, he said the system was down, but we could do it online. So I asked if I could set up the registry using the Internet on my phone, and then get a "gun". He looked at me and said he didn't know what I was talking about. I asked him again... I need a scanner gun! The light went off, but he told us there were not set up for registries and they did not have the scanner guns. AAGGGHHH!!!! So after 25 minutes of utter insanity and no one in the freaking store knowing what was going on, we find out we cannot set up a registry there. Heck, even if someone came in to buy from a registry, there was no way to print it out and shop from the list. Stupid Wal-Mart! So we went to the designated Starbuck's to meet the interviewers and tell them what happened. After rehashing the whole story, we found another Wal-Mart online, called to verify that their registry system was working, and headed there. This time, when we walked in there were no computers in customer service, but the jewelry section was at the front of the store and there was a computer with a large sign above it reading "Gift Registry" and it was on. Finally! So I set up the registry and went to the jewelry counter for the scanner gun. I had to give up my license to get it, and I did not have to do that anywhere else. I guess they thought I would steal it. After learning how to use the gun, the associate told us she was going on lunch and if we were done before she got back we would have to find someone to give our license back. So, off we went to register. It was really disappointing. The infant section was very small, and there was not a good selection of products and brands to choose from. We tried to register for things we really need... onesies, gowns, sleepers... only to find that there was nothing to choose from in the unisex department. We looked at blankets, toys, walkers... all kinds of things but everything was stamped with a Disney character. This is great if you are decorating your nursery with Disney characters, but if not it was a little much! I literally could not find anything I liked without Disney on it. We did manage to find some bath toys, shampoo, lotion, cotton swabs, diapers, wipes and various other small items. I was pretty disappointed in the selection of large dollar items like car seats and strollers compared to Target and Babies-R-Us. When we were done, we headed back to jewelry. The original associate who helped us was not there, but someone else was. So we asked her for our license back and what needed to be done so we could print the registry. I did not know if she needed to do something with the scanner or if it transmitted via wireless internet? She had no clue either... surprise! Another associate was walking by so the lady in jewelry stopped her and asked her for help. She took the scanner and began pressing buttons, only to look up and say that she had no idea. She told us to wait there and she would go get help. She came back several minutes later, handed us the gun and told us to go to the photo department for help. So off we went... We asked the man working in photo, but he didn't know how to work the registry stuff. He did say there were some computers there we could look at. So we went over to those, and a lady came up to us (apparently this was who we were supposed to ask for help). She said she didn't really know about registry either but she would try to help us. We collectively decided to get on the computer just to see if the stuff happened to be there so we could print it out. Normally I would have just left, but I was required to take a print out to the interviewers. We found the registry and hit "print". It said printing 4 pages, which seemed like all of the items were there... only nothing printed. So she tried it again, and nothing printed. I tried the second computer, and again nothing printed. She called the guy in photo over and asked him to check if the printer was out of paper, but he did not have the key to unlock the box that contained the printer. He also told us the computer I was on didn't work. Of course there was no sign! So we decided to go to the computer in jewelry to try that one. We trekked back up there, and finally we were able to print out the registry. Two seconds later, the guy from photo came walking up to us with a crumpled, skewed printout that had been stuck in the printer. He handed it to us, and walked away. You could not read most of it, the paper was torn and it was a mess all of it's own. I could not get out of that store fast enough! We met back up with the interviewers and told our second story. We received our $150, and I was never so happy to be done with anything! Bottom line, we are registered for a few things at Wal-Mart, but I could care less if anyone ventures in that store to buy them. You can get the same items at Target or Babies-R-Us, and probably get a lot less hassle. If you do decide to venture to Wal-Mart, do so at your own risk. I, for one, will not be returning to that store anytime in the near future. In fact, I plan to avoid it at all costs!