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


Green Elephant Bedding


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. 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:// 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!
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.
The second win was a big one! I won a $50 gift certificate for anything that I want from the Sprout Baby website!
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 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!