Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thirty One Weeks

This week, your baby measures over 16 inches long. He weighs about 3.3 pounds (try carrying four navel oranges) and is heading into a growth spurt. He can turn his head from side to side, and his arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as needed fat accumulates underneath his skin. He's probably moving a lot, too, so you may have trouble sleeping because your baby's kicks and somersaults keep you up. Take comfort: All this moving is a sign that your baby is active and healthy.

We’re in the final count down… 9 weeks to go. Exactly 63 days left before we get to meet our little baby boy. I’ve said from the beginning that I think he’ll come early, but who knows! He’s consistently measured bigger on each ultrasound, 10-15 days a head of schedule. And I think my docs are on the cautious side and wouldn’t want to risk the complications of me trying to deliver a 9-10 lb baby! We may get another ultrasound in the next week or two to really get a track on the baby’s weight. At my last OB visit, last Friday, Suzanne the NP, said I’m still measuring “big” and that I just had a pretty big growth spurt. She said we’ll talk about our options once we get closer to D-day. I’m assuming she’s hinting at induction, but we’ll see.

My BP was fine at this last appointment and I’ve gained another two pounds. The heart rate was in the 130’s and Suzanne’s pretty sure that he was in the breach position. Again, that’s another conversation we’ll have once we get closer to D-day. Possible c-section?!? Let’s not think about that just yet.

We also talked about when I could leave for maternity leave/short term disability. In NJ, moms get 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after to collect short term disability. I’ve officially given notice to my job that my last day of work will be March 6. That’ll give me a few weeks to get things in order for the baby and most importantly rest when I can! I’ve found it increasingly difficult to just get up out of bed each morning. And the whole showering, drying the hair, getting dressed, make up takes so much out of me that I’m ready to call it a day when I get into the office! You should have seen me trying to get my pantyhose on this morning – it was hysterical. I was making all sorts of noises! I think that’ll be the last time I’m going to do that for a while – totally not worth it.

We will be seeing Dr. Crane at our next appointment on January 30. It’ll be the first time I’m actually seeing him. I’ve called him a few times for various reasons. He seems nice and I wanted to be sure I saw him before I went into labor since he’d be one of the docs that could possibly deliver the baby.

We’re getting more and more excited as time passes – I think I’m ready for the baby to be here already! We still have to set up the nursery, I know – I didn’t make my Jan 1 deadline. In fact I’m way past it, but it will get done! Frank has purchased the paint and he’s anxious to get it done too.

Twinkle Toes Ozzie

We have been battling a reoccurring sore paw with Ozzie since his surgery in July. Not sure if you all remember the drama we went through with his cancer and surgery. His “lucky” foot as we call it now, minus two toes, was healing fine and all of the sudden he isn’t using it at all! He may as well be a three legged dog! We took him to see Dr. Fry at Garden State Vet Specialists and she said she couldn’t find the source of the pain either. So we’re trying rimadyl, an anti-inflammatory, for a while to see if that helps.

So on top of his sore lucky foot, Ozzie broke a nail on his good foot! Straight in half and his quick was showing, but not bleeding. The nail was hanging there like a loose tooth. I didn't want to pull it off. I was worried about pain and bleeding so Frank took him into the vet.

Ozzie is notorious for not liking people touching his feet. Frank said he put up a huge fight. At one point Ozzie was so nervous he lost his bowels all over the table! Poor Ozz… Poor Frank! Frank definitely gets the Gold Star Daddy Award for comforting Ozzie through that ordeal.

The vet took the nail off, stopped the bleeding and now he has to wear a bandage for 10-12 days and be on antibiotics! $220 later – his nail should be fine!

So, he's not even using his lucky foot and he's hopping around on this bandaged foot poor guy! He looks so pathetic. I sat with him last night and made sure he was comfy with extra pillows – he just loves lounging on mounds of fluffy pillows.

Just another trial and tribulation of parenthood. I’m sure we’ll have more once our little guy arrives. But instead of bandaged paws, maybe we’ll have stitches, or fevers, or casts…

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Baby Shower Photos

Here's a pic of the presents we brought home from our first shower. Ozzie is dutifully guarding all the baby gear.

How could I not put this cute blue gingham bow on our boy!

Here Ozzie is enjoying a lick of icing from the baby shower cake. I think he likes icing as much as his daddy does!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Lamaze 101

You know how Lamaze classes are usually very relaxing and the couples are very focused on learning breathing techniques. And you know how people get really into it and are concentrating?

Well, my experience was none of the above. If you know my dear husband at all, you know he’s not the quiet type; he always cracks jokes and doesn’t necessarily pay attention.

So here we are in a room full of 20 very pregnant women and their coaches, sprawled out on mats with pillows strewn about. Everyone is trying to focus on learning the new breathing techniques and listening to the teacher. I start to hear whistling right in my ear coming from my coach. Then my hair starts flying around, Frank really getting into his breathing. And Frank’s gentle caresses on my tummy start to feel a little less gentle, and I instantly become more ticklish. I immediately start laughing the uncontrollable, hysterical type of laughing accompanied by tears streaming down my face. I was so embarrassed, but I couldn’t help it. I’ve noticed that throughout this pregnancy, I have had the uncanny ability to laugh hysterically at things that I would normally just brush off and now, at in appropriate times.

This one was a doozy and Frank was getting a HUGE kick out of it. Good thing we only practiced breathing for a few minutes, otherwise I would have had to excuse myself from the room.

I’m so thankful the class wasn’t 100% about Lamaze. We also covered birth from start to finish, pain medication options and what a new born may look like – what’s normal and not to freak out if you see something you’re not expecting.

Over all, I’m glad we did it. I can’t say that I learned a great deal, but it was a memorable experience.

I have signed up for a breastfeeding class for later this month. Just the mom’s this time! I hope I get the same instructor. She was great – very funny and kept us laughing the entire time. So maybe I won’t feel as bad this time if I break out into another round of hysterics – just as long as instructor was initiating the jokes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thirty Weeks

Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

This week has seemed to fly by. I have another doc apt tomorrow with Suzanne, the NP in the office. I’m sure all is well – I feel the baby a lot. He gets the hic-ups all the time and yesterday he must have been facing head up cause every time he hic-upped my tummy moved in the same spot!

We’re also taking Ozzie into see his specialist tomorrow, he is not putting any pressure on his “lucky” foot. Even when he sits down he pathetically holds it up so it doesn’t even touch the ground. Something must be bothering him, so we’re off to see Dr. Fry at Garden State Veterinary Specialists on Friday. Ozzie actually really likes Dr. Fry and I think the feeling is mutual. She’s really great and hopefully she’ll help him get back to his normal, jumping, running self again.

We have a busy weekend. After the doc appointments tomorrow we go to our first Lamaze/Child Birth Prep class. We’re taking an accelerated two day course. We go tomorrow night and then all day on Saturday. It worked out with Frank’s schedule so he didn’t have to take any time off work and we’re taking it at our local hospital, JFK. It’s not where I’ll be delivering, but I figure, the information will be just as useful without the 45 minute drive each way.

I’m so curious what we’re going to learn and what the class will be like. I remember seeing Lamaze classes in movies and on TV with the couple on the floor with pillows doing all sorts of breathing. Wonder if it’s like that? Don’t get me wrong, I fully believe in pain management and plan to get my epidural as soon as they will give it to me. I thought I was good at handling pain with as many broken bones as I’ve had, but having gallstones brought me to a whole different level of pain. I’d like to learn some positive ways to work through the pain rather than resorting to my usual, “*&#$%@! #*$&#@” I have a mouth like a sailor if I’m in serious pain. God help Frank and our nurses for that matter!

We’re taking this class just to be a bit more prepared for the actual process. My dear husband has more experience with child birth than I do! He’s delivered three babies! He is a police officer in a small town and there is a woman there that would rather deliver her babies at home than go to the hospital. And when things become too much for the husband, she calls the police. Frank has dutifully delivered a set of twins and then a few years later another healthy baby. With this particular woman, Frank said the babies just “fell out” and I keep telling him there’s usually a lot more that goes into actually delivering the baby. I’m interested in seeing how much information he offers in the class or if he plays dumb like most husbands. Maybe we’ll both learn something we can take with us to the delivery.

We’re in the 10 week count down! We’ve got lots to do and we’re kicking it into high gear to get it done. My goal is to have everything ready by 34 weeks – that’s in one month. I have a feeling this little guy is going to come early, but I could totally eat my words and he’ll be two weeks late! Imagine that! Oh boy…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Showered With Love

I had my first “official” baby shower on Sunday. It was not a surprise. I think surprising a 7 ½ month pregnant woman is the last thing you want to do! Plus I wanted to be prepared and look my best because God knows I’ve been forgoing a lot of my regular beauty routines to save my dwindling energy.

The shower was so great and everything was perfect. My mother in law, Theresa Mazzarella and her daughter, Kristen co-hosted the shower. We had a lovely sit down lunch at Lucas restaurant in Edison. All of my husband’s family came, a few friends and coworkers of mine and the “Women of Winfield” – the women and wives of the people who work with Frank. We had about 50 people in all and we had a great time.

Each table was decorated with shiny blue confetti and a small balloon bouquet surrounded by four story books. “Story books” was the theme and each guest brought their favorite book to put in a “story book wishing well.”

Each guest received a bag of chocolate marshmallow bark, homemade by Kristen, to take home along with a scratch off game to get the party started. This was a special baby shower scratch off game where you had to match the three items and we had several winners.

It was so nice to see everyone and I am still astounded by everyone’s generosity. We had many, many presents to get through and we had an assembly line of sorts. Kristen enlisted the help of my friends Jen and Leeanne along with Ali, a long time friend of the family. Kristen and Ali would open the card and semi unwrap each gift. I had a chair next to me to place the gifts so I wouldn’t have to bend. Jen dutifully kept a log of who gave me what. The guests were playing Baby Shower Bingo, so I had to be sure I loudly announced what I was opening. I heard lots of “BINGOS” and the winner got to choose a prize out of a basket. Leeanne was our muscle who picked up each opened gift and carted it back to the pile.

We received some really nice gifts – most from our registry, which is exactly what we needed. Being first time parents, we are starting from scratch. So everything from the high chair to the baby bath tub to the adorable little outfits – we are extremely grateful.

Frank’s Aunt Lena made us homemade flannel receiving blankets – one with a puppy dog pattern with pugs on it! We also received a beautiful hand made afghan from Colleen, the daughter of one of Frank’s colleagues. The afghan had a matching pillow and ducky! Colleen also made us a beautiful blue sweater with matching booties - just adorable. She has her own business I think, making these gorgeous creations! The blanket and sweater came with personalized tags and washing instructions. I’ll get her contact info and post it.

It was an amazing and humbling experience to have so many people who cared so much about us and our little one-to-be. Special thanks to Kristen and Mom Mazz for doing such an outstanding job. Making sure every detail was covered and everyone had a splendid time.

It took two SUV’s to get everything home and thanks to Frank for being a trouper and carrying everything in. We now have a HUGE pile of gifts to sort through and I have many, many thank yous to write.

We’re getting down to the wire – about 10 weeks to go before little Mazz’s arrival. We have one more shower, for my step-dad’s side of the family on February 7. My mom and sister-in-law Chrisi have been keeping busy and I’m excited to see what they have planned! It will be nice to celebrate with all of my south Jersey and Virginia family and friends.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Twenty Nine Weeks

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

We saw the gastroenterologist yesterday. He confirmed everything we had thought – stay on the low fat diet, we can’t do anything about the gallstones now, wait until after the baby’s born and see if you return to normal. He did give me a prescription that will help if I have another attack. So far, I had one minor one this week, but nothing like the one that sent me to the ER. I’ve been doing really well with my eating and am hopeful I’ll return to normal once the baby comes.

Frank and I de-christmassed the house this week and are getting ready for the mass explosion of gifts at the first shower this Sunday. It’s so funny, I have friends who are invited to the shower, but they haven’t mentioned a word to me about it. I think they think it’s a surprise. So, I’ll just play along until I see them on Sunday. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m one of those people who loves baby showers! I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures.

Feeling okay this week. Definitely more tired. I'm usually asleep by 9 p.m. each night. And it’s way harder to get up or roll over in bed now. Like my stomach muscles don’t even exist! As we entered the third trimester, Dr. Purdue suggested we start keeping track of our baby’s movements. She calls them “kick counts.” I should feel the baby move 10 times in an hour and often he does twice that! I have been making a conscious effort to lie on my side, usually after a meal, and feel the baby start moving. It’s the neatest thing. Sometimes I can even see him kicking from the outside! He has also been getting the hiccups, which is just adorable.

I now start seeing my OB every other week. So I have another appointment next Friday. My job has been so great with flex hours and doctor’s appointments.

We’re expecting some snow tomorrow, 3 to 6 inches. I’ll head out in the morning for a mani/pedi and then back to the house to clean. I have an increased desire to clean my house and get things ready for the baby, I’m just waiting for the increased energy. When does that nesting thing start again? I’m waiting… not so patiently…

Hastings says "hi" He likes his new box, it's a little small, but I think it suits him.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Ozzie - assuming the position - on mommy at all times, when ever physically possible. I like to think he's already bonding with the new baby!

In his other favorite spot - under the tree.

Twenty Eight Weeks

By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

I wanted to wait to post my weekly update until after my monthly doc apt.

We saw Dr. Purdue on Friday and she said everything looks normal and the baby must be growing because she found his heart rate on the first try. I gained another three pounds, doc is happy with that. My blood pressure is a respectable 120/80 and I didn’t get the heart rate this time, but we all heard it and it sounded wonderful.

We talked a bit about my gallstones and Dr. Purdue will be interested in hearing what the GI specialist says. We all agreed that we’re not going to do anything surgical until after the baby’s born. I’ve actually been feeling better since I’ve reduced my fat intake and really watched what I’ve been eating. It was a huge challenge over the holidays – but I was really afraid of having another attack – so I laid off the fattening foods. Maybe this is a kick start to a healthier lifestyle? We’ll see after the baby’s born. If I get any more attacks – this puppy’s coming out pronto!

I got my rogham shot, right in my rear end. This is the shot that protects me if our little guy is born with a + blood type, since I’m A- and Frank’s O+. I can’t remember the last time I had a shot in my bottom. I didn’t even know how to stand, but the nurse practitioner was really nice. It really wasn’t a big deal. I was a little sore, but forgot about it before we left the office.

Not sure if I mentioned it, but I passed my 1 hour glucose test with flying colors! I kind of surprised myself. I thought for sure with my mom’s history of gestational diabetes, and my weight, I’d be stricken, but NO! Instead, it’s my gallbladder that’s calling the shots this pregnancy.

I’ve entered the dreaded third trimester. I’ve noticed I’m much more uncomfortable and am sleeping a lot more. I was in bed on New Year’s Eve at 9 p.m. and couldn’t be happier! I’ve also noticed that my appetite has finally increased, and I have the “I want it NOW” kind of hunger, but I can only eat small meals. I’m still having bouts of carpal tunnel pain/numbness and bending down to pick things up off the floor has become a huge pain. Ozzie’s really good about taking all his toys out of his toy box and throwing them around the living room. I end up shuffling them with my feet into one huge pile and picking them all up at one time.

Over all Frank and I are really excited about our new addition and we’re in count down mode – 80 days to go! We have lots to do in the next couple of weeks – painting, assembling, washing… We are very thankful to have help from our close friends and family. We may be taking them up on their offers to help just so we can get everything done in time. How about a painting party? Beer and pizza go a long way!