Wednesday, August 30, 2006

dreft and baby-friendly detergents

I'm on my second load of washing baby stuff - clothing, receiving blankets, wash cloths, and such - today. Previously, I had washed two or three loads of baby stuff. Yes, yes, I am working hard on my heavy teaching day (I taught 2 50-minute classes earlier today, and I teach a 3-hour class tonight); must do what I can when I can muster the energy.

I know Dreft isn't the only baby-friendly detergent. In fact, any detergent that is fragrance-free and bleach-free should be fine. Interestingly, Dreft is not fragrance-free. I went ahead and purchased a smaller container of Dreft. Turns out I don't like the smell of the Dreft at all. So, once that is finished, I'll use something different.

Any suggestions?

I don't want to use merely whatever Troy and I use, because I can have sensitive skin. And, I come from a family with persons who have sensitive skin. There's a chance, then, that baby will be sensitive to any harsh elements in the detergent.

Can you believe I've air-dried or line-dried all the baby stuff I've washed thus far? I want everything to last as long as possible and be in decent condition and color too. I'm sure many of you are thinking that once the baby is actually here, I'll be too busy and tired to do line-drying anymore. Perhaps you're right. We'll see when the time comes.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

naps are wonderful!

Troy and I woke up around 9:30 this morning. He got ready to teach, while I took care of paperwork and household stuff. Then, he went off to teach, while I was doing miscellaneous work and waiting for a friend to come over. Turns out this friend didn't sleep much last night, a frequent occurrence when one has a little child. So, I just did little things here and there, not knowing exactly when she would be coming for a visit. Ended up curling up on the bed for a nap and I just woke up. The nap was a good idea. Whoo hoo!

Friday, August 25, 2006

i survived my first day of teaching

so, i walk in to my classes, 37 weeks and 1 day pregnant. i'm sure students were wondering whether i was really going to be their instructor. let me back up a bit . . .

i headed out the door before ten this morning, the good teacher i am. i went to the library to make sure copies of what we're doing in the first two weeks of class are on reserve. i'm making the students find their textbooks on their own this semester; in other words, they likely can't simply buy them from the school book store.

anyways, the walk from the parking lot to the library isn't all that long, but for a pregnant woman walking in the heat and humidity, it is! I believe the temps. were already in the 90s this morning. by the time i got to the classroom building where i teach, i got this irritating ear thing. it felt like a person who has water stuck in his or her ear after swimming. it would come and go while i was teaching. that was what was most annoying with my first day teaching. my ear has done that one other time while i've been pregnant. i've concluded that the heat and humidity irritated my inner left ear. once i got home, the problem went away.

got home. i'm tired. but, i'm okay. . .

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A visit with my primary ob-gyn, Dr. Garza-Montalvo

Today, at 37 weeks, my doctor's visit was with my primary ob-gyn - Dr. Ayda Garza-Montalvo. I do like her very much, and I was happy to see her. Those of you who have been following along in my pregnancy know that I've been rotating doctors throughout my second trimester and part of my third trimester, since there is no guarantee of who will deliver me.

Some of the highlights of our meeting are as follows:
  • While putting the doppler on my belly and listening for the baby's heartbeat, Dr. Garza-Montalvo asked whether I was still feeling baby move. It is as if baby was moving on cue. As Dr. Garza-Montalvo asked me that question, she noticed that baby was moving as she was speaking. Good baby!
  • Dr. Garza-Montalvo said we'll probably have a petite child. Petite, in the correct usage of the term, means short (not thin or small). That's not too surprising, considering the fact that Troy is not tall for a guy and I am not tall for a gal.
  • She said she would let me go all the way to my due date, but she won't let me go much past that. We may talk about induction if she stays past my due date.
  • Told Dr. Garza-Montalvo about my insanely itchy body, especially when I am trying to sleep. I already knew about using nutrient-rich lotion. But, another suggestion she made, which I had forgotten, was to take Benadryl. Benadryl is safe for the baby. Take it I shall, tonight! . . . In fact, I just took a few moments to pop a Benadryl pill.
  • From now on, my visits are weekly. And, Dr. Garza-Montalvo wants to see me again next week. Yay! Not that the other doctors are unpleasant, but I like staying with her whenever possible.

What I had to do before I saw my ob-gyn today

I'm waiting in the waiting room at Edinburg Women's Center. A nurse calls me back to get my weight and blood pressure, after which, I assume I'd return to the waiting room some more before seeing the doctor. Well, get my weight and blood pressure they did. But, they wanted more!

The gal waiting on me asked me to pee in a cup and to take a cotton swab (a stick with a cotton swab on one end only) and wipe or rub the edge of my vagina and then wipe around my rectum. Okay, no one told me why I had to pee in a cup. And, no one told me I would be tested for the Group B strep infection today (let alone how they were going to acquire a sample). I thought that was completely gross and unsanitary to first wipe my vagina with a cotton swab, only to turn around and wipe my rectum, too. Eewwwwwwwwwwwwww! That seemed so unclean that I repeated the instructions just to make sure I had heard correctly. I wasn't mistaken. There we are.

what to pack for the hospital

I got the following hospital packing list from pampers.com.
I promised Christine Poston I would pack my hospital bag tonight, and I have started! I've been looking at another list, besides the pampers listings. I shall finish packing my hospital bag very soon (not tonight, I must confess).

I'm tired and I want to be able to sleep

For the last four to five days or so, I have had little luck sleeping at night. I'm wide awake and my entire body itches. Talk about annoying. In the last couple of nights, I've been putting lotion on to make sure I'm moisturized. Still wide awake and itchy. Uggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhh. At least I finally fell asleep around four this morning or shortly thereafter, and though I woke up now and again, I slept pretty deeply until close to nine-thirty (when the alarm clock Troy set went off).

Classes start today. Thankfully, unlike poor Troy, I don't teach today. I can do some teaching preparation and clutter-clearing. Tomorrow though, my teaching begins.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

our level-3 sonogram

Who does she look more like?
That big scary, thick looking thing is her umbilical cord.

My primary ob-gyn wanted me to do a biophysical sonogram, a non-stress test, and a level-3 sonogram. Given that she was the one who asked for all these things to be done, insurance paid their part for the services. We took care of the biophysical sonogram and the level-3 sonogram last week.

Today, hubby and I went to the maternal fetal medicine specialist for our level-3 sonogram. All in all, I must say the experience was very satisfying. She gave us the most detailed information we've received thus far, since any concern was raised. Prior to today, the most information we got was "discrepancy," "proportion," and something about the head not be in proportion to the body. We got very little information otherwise. A sonographer, Dottie, conducted the sonogram at first, and awhile later, the doctor took over.

Some of the highlights of what the doctor told us are as follows:
  • her head is approximately in the 90% of the average of babies at this age of gestation.
  • her body is 50-60% of babies at this gestational age, which, she thinks is fine, even though her head is a bit bigger.
  • she's still head down.
  • we're still having a girl.
  • she's approximately 6 lbs. and 5 oz. (the doctore told us that the baby's weight estimate is determined, in large part, by looking at the baby's abdomen; her weight is right on track, in terms of where it should be.
  • my cervix is still closed (so, no immediate signs that baby's entering the world!).
We got to see a lot of details of the little one. For instance, we could see both of the blood vessels, vein and artery, going in and out of the umbilical cord. We could see her practicing techniques she'll have to employ when she takes her first breath upon entering the world. We took a look at her cerebellum. We got to see her various organs. And, we saw her beautiful and cute little face. The umbilical cord was competing for camera attention.

Doesn't her nose look like Pinochio's nose here?
Must be the angle from which the picture's taken.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I believe that baby has, indeed, dropped

I've noticed that I'm having an easier time breathing these days. Maybe the comments people have been making, about baby having dropped some, are correct. Tonight, when my husband and I were singing and playing music, I noticed that I had an easier time taking breaths, and I didn't have to take breaths quite as frequently. That is not to say I can take the sort of deep breaths I could pre-pregnancy, but, breathing is easier.

The baby dropping is merely one of many signs of my body preparing the baby for birth! I'm still convinced that the little one will come sooner than the docs think. The due date is September 14, and first-time moms tend to carry, on average, a week after their due date. I'm no expert, but, I conjecture that she'll come on or before the due date. We shall see!

itchiness everywhere!

in the last few days, i've been itchy all over my body, not just my belly. don't know what's going on with me. i put on lotion when i remember to do so, which is approximately every two to three days. i've been so itchy, i've scratched the skin bare in some places, such as my arms and feet. yikes! must stop scratching. must use lotion more.

Comforting a pregnant woman

I've learned a very important lesson that doesn't just apply when speaking with someone who is pregnant but other life situations, too. When a person pours out her concerns or his concerns, a very inappropriate response is: "It will be okay." I'm not sure why people offer that sort of response, because oftentimes when people are in a pinch, that is the very last thing they want to hear. Perhaps the recipient of the news or the listener feels uncomfortable or awkward and that's all the person can think to say. But, wait! This isn't about the listener; it's about how the listener can lend a sympathetic ear. How about saying something like, "I'm sorry you're going through what you are."

Well, anyways, the mistake I made today was when a person very close to me shared her concerns about her munchkin being breeched. I told her that she still had time for the baby to turn the right way. That didn't comfort her at all; in fact, I made her feel as if her concerns weren't valued or validated. Since the goal of my dialogue with her was to comfort her and to support her, I apologized for making her feel that way and affirmed that I understand her sense of urgency. The conversation ended well, and I told her I'd pray for her.

Does the plug come out entirely before the water breaks?

I don't mean to be crude or disgusting, but . . . I'm learning more details of what happens to a woman's body as she prepares for the big L&D day (labor and delivery day). At the birthing class my husband and I attended two Saturdays ago, at the hospital, one thing that was mentioned, that caught my attention, is that the mucous plug that holds the baby and the amniotic fluid securely in the uterus will begin to come out gradually as the body prepares to deliver the baby. My question is, does the plug, given that it comes out slowly and gradually, come out entirely before the water (sac) breaks?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

THE optimal sleeping position while pregnant

I just got this tip from Pregnancy Weekly
I'm sure the tip is meant to be helpful, but I find it rather amuzing, especially considering the fact that sleeping in general can be hard to come by while pregnant, sleeping positions aside.

To be as comfortable as possible and get the most sleep while you're pregnant, avoid sleeping on your belly or on your back. Sleeping on your belly will put pressure on the baby and may lead to complications down the road. Sleeping on your back puts significant pressure on your lower back and possibly on your intestines as well.

The ideal position for sleeping is on your side (ideally on the left), with the top leg crossed over the bottom leg, and a pillow between them. This position encourages the flow of blood and nutrients to the placenta, while minimizing the amount of pressure on your lower back. This position may feel a little uncomfortable the first few nights, but you should eventually get used to it and hopefully discover that you experience a deeper, more satisfying sleep.

regular eye check-up completed today.

prior to today, i haven't seen the eye doctor in . . . oh, at least seven years. our eye insurance is about to run out, so both my hubby and i have gone for our examinations. well, troy already had his eyes checked, roughly two weeks ago. mine was today.

i dislike going to the eye doctor almost as much as going to the dentist. well, actually, going to the dentist is absolutely dreadful to me. anyways, i wasn't looking forward to the appointment today. i'm a bit of a two year old in attitude about doing these things, minus the temper tantrums.

to my surprise, the visit was quite pleasant, even positive. i brought my old eye glasses, purchased the last time i went to the eye doctor, some seven years ago. that was a good move, because they could do a reading on the prescription and start with that, instead of starting from scratch. i've had astigmatism and nearsightedness.

my left eye can see better than my right eye still. great news . . . the astigmatism is gone in my left eye and it is nearly gone in my right eye. all that's left is the nearsightedness. and, the nearsightedness has not gotten worse.

the gals at the office, even the eye doctor, joked that perhaps pregnancy and having a baby helped. in all seriousness, i've probably been eating more nutritiously. i read a poster while at the doctor's office about how much nutrition can affect a person's vision!

must continue to eat well, must continue to eat well, must continue to eat well.

praise the Lord for the good news on my eyesight!

decided to keep my frames and just update my lenses. okay, that's all. bye.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

3 kinds of sonograms about which I learned

I was doing some research and prodding, and from that, I learned about three different sonograms:
  1. ob-complete: I can't remember if that's the exact name. That's the sort of sonogram that's typically done. Anyone who gets a sonogram usually gets this sort.
  2. biophysical sonogram: This type of sonogram is more detailed than the former. It offers more information.
  3. level 3 sonogram: This sort of sonogram is the most detailed of sonograms. From what I can tell, this is also known as the 3-D or 4-D sonogram. This is highly coveted by new parents, because people want to see what their little ones look like before they join the world. Insurance, however, doesn't cover this for curiosity purposes. I hear that paying for one of these out of pocket costs around $200.

Baby's heartbeat

A non-stress test was performed on me today, recording the baby's heartbeat and any contractions, for some forty-five minutes. Her heartbeat ranged from 117 beats per minute (bpm) to 157 bpm. i noticed that most of the time, her heartbeat stayed between 123 and 136.

biophysical sonogram

I had a biophysical sonogram done today. Of interest: the sonographer gave us a clear picture of one of her feet! And, she has hair on her head. My mom said that typically Asian babies are born with hair. Interesting, I didn't know that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

today's sonogram

i'm 35 weeks and 5 days today. had a sonogram. according to the sonographer, baby's 5 pounds and 15 ounces. we also confirmed that baby's a girl. got only one picture from the sonographer, the one showing her gender.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

childbirth class and breastfeeding class

troy and i went to rio grande regional hospital (where i will be delivering) today for 2 classes: childbirth class and breastfeeding class. childbirth class was from 9 am to 1 pm. breastfeeding class was from 2 to 4 pm.

to be honest, most of the information presented in either class was not new information to me. i had already read about it or someone had already told me the stuff. each person teaching the classes, though, were very nice and very excited about the topic they were teaching, which is a good thing. the birthing class was completely full. interesting being in a room full of pregnant women (and their significant others). enjoyed the tour of the hospital, too. the birth and delivery room looks swanky! and, i learned that contrary to what my ob-gyn said, not one but two persons are allowed in the room with me during delivery. yay!!!

okay, i'm tired and don't feel like writing anymore. bye.

Friday, August 11, 2006

we picked out our crib today!!

This afternoon, Troy and I went to a local store, Pink & Blue, and picked out our convertible crib. They are running some promotions, one including getting chest of drawers/changing table for a little extra, with the purchase of one of the Generation Next cribs. We opted for that promotion.

People from the store will deliver the convertible crib, conversion pieces necessary for converting the crib into an adult bed, and the chest of drawers/changing table Wednesday of next week. They will also assemble the crib for us. Yay! That will make the impending arrival of our little one even more real, I am sure.

If you want to see a picture of our convertible crib, click on the following website:

Baby's Dream Furniture
  • Once you're there, under product catalog, click "Generation Next."
  • On the Generation Next page, click on "amber," which is the color we chose.
  • On the image, showing the convertible crib we picked, on the far right is a picture of the 3 drawer chest/changing table we chose.

grandparents coming to see the little one!

I'm 35 weeks and 1 day today. My due date is: September 14, 2006, two days before my birthday.

My mother-in-law (I don't like the title "mother-in-law" because it has so many negative stigmas attached to it, and I love Troy's parents!) bought her plane tickets yesterday. She's coming on my birthday and staying just over a week. I'm so excited.

My parents are still hatching out their plan. Whatever the case, they, too, will be coming to see our little one. Can't wait!

Our little one will be Troy's parents' second grandchild and my parents' first grandchild. However, approximately a week later, my parents will have a second grandchild join the world, in California. Yay sister and brother-in-law!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

All cavities are filled now

Just got back from a not-so-fun visit to the dentist. Had two cavities filled this morning, on the right side, both molars. Both had fillings on them already, but apparently no small amounts of cavities formed underneath them somehow.

Wasn't a very good patient, I guess. Dr. Drefke put this thing in my mouth to keep it open. I asked him to remove it because I didn't have any control with that thing in there and I couldn't swallow. He took it out but asked me to keep my mouth open. Didn't know I had to keep my mouth open even when he wasn't actively working on my teeth! Anyways, an hour and a half later, I've survived a second appointment in a week to put in fillings.

All five cavities are filled. Gingivits is gone. And, I'm being super careful and conscientious of how I floss. I'm trying to be careful of how I brush, too.

One more not-so-fun appointment, with the eye doctor, next week; and the yucky appointments are done for now!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Doctors appointments galore

Trying to get a bunch of appointments in general and doctors appointments out of the way, especially before the baby comes. Check out all the doctors appointments we've had recently or are up and coming:
  • July 18 - dentist: regular checkup for both of us.
  • July 20 - ob-gyn appointment: regular baby-in-utero checkup (heartbeat check and uterus size check).
  • August 1 - dentist appointment for me: fill three cavities.
  • August 4 - Troy's eye doctor appointment: regular check-up.
  • August 8 - ob-gyn appointment: regular baby-in-utero checkup.
  • August 10 - dentist appointment for me: fill two more cavities.
  • August 12 - Lamaze class and breastfeeding class.
  • August 13 - baby shower our church is throwing for us.
  • August 15 - sonogram.
  • August 15 - my eye doctor appointment: regular check-up.
  • August 22 - ob-gyn appointment: regular check-up.

Good sleep doesn't come easily anymore

These days I sleep really lightly for most of the night. Deep REM sleep doesn't come until morning, which stinks. Right as I am getting deep sleep, it's time to wake! Oh well, better some sleep over no sleep, which is what I am headed for once baby joins us in the world.

the unquenchable thirst

These days, I can't seem to drink enough. The problem continues into night-time. At night, I put a cup of water near our bed. The cup holds 16 to 20 oz. Easily, I drink one and a half cups of water overnight. Every time I wake, sometimes in a hour to an hour and a half, I have to pee and I am parched. So, I go to the bathroom, and then, I go to drink some water. Do other pregnant women experience such continual thirst?

Calf muscle spasms from Hades

For several days in a row now, I have been experiencing serious calf muscle spasms in the early morning hours. Stinker! Having a banana a day hasn't kicked the problem. Was hoping a potassium deficiency was the issue and I could solve that problem by eating bananas. Maybe, I'm too close to my due date for any rights to comfort.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

doctor's visit today (well, tuesday, to be more exact)

Highlights of doctor's visit:
  • got to see my primary 0b-gyn, for the first time in months (i've been rotating through the team of doctors, since there's no guarantee who will be delivering my baby).
  • lost a pound since my last appointment two and a half weeks ago.
  • measurement (of the uterus) is where it should be.
  • baby's heartbeat is quite strong.
  • doctor said baby is strong (baby responded to doctor feeling my uterus) and active (she wasn't at all still during the visit).
  • scheduled my next and last sonogram, which is on tuesday of next week.
  • after the next doctor's appointment, which is two weeks from now, the following appointments will be weekly.
  • asked doc lots of questions i have concerning birth and delivery.
  • she's still head down; yay!

bummed out but then rescued by manda-manders

i was feeling pretty bummed, sad, and overwhelmed yesterday (monday, that is). a variety of factors played into these feelings, including the fact that on thursday, i will be 35 weeks pregnant. where did the time go? and, i resume teaching, part-time, in two weeks. so much to do and so little time. the possibility and reality of getting our home ready, on my own, was too overwhelming. i deeply wanted someone to help me make the greater changes. i knew the three bedrooms need rearranging, but i had some problems visualizing exactly how those changes would take place.

to make a super long story shorter, manda came over late afternoon. her initial suggestion was to go to the mall and old navy. but, once she was here, she said another option was to rearrange the master bedroom, to accommodate a pack 'n play. just about everything in that room got moved; yahoo! how? by the great and strong manda. she lifted my spirits quite quickly, with her ideas, suggestions, and energy. now, thanks largely to manda's help, one room is ready. one down, two to go. thanks for all your help manders!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

a pregnant woman's brain at work

Yesterday, hubby and I had two doctor's appointments, one with a pediatrician and one with an eye doctor (an eye appointment for Troy, so he can get corrective lenses). The appointment to speak with a pediatrician was at 9:45 AM. We rushed to get to the appointment, and once we were "nearly there," I realized that I had dictated to Troy directions to the eye doctor, not the pediatrician. Furthermore, I forgot to bring directions to the pediatrician's office! Luckily, I found helpful information in a phone book, and we eventually got to where we were trying to go.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

trying to be positive despite infections

This posting definitely isn't to my glory and anything resembling that. But, this is to inform those who are pregnant for the first time. I've had a bit of trouble being positive this week, and part of the problem is that I am overwhelmed by the fact that our little one could come anywhere in a month to two months. We're not anywhere near ready for her to come, just yet.

The following are still on the list of things left to do:
  • make sure the infant car seat and base are properly installed.
  • find a pediatrician.
  • finish getting my teeth repaired (i had 3 fillings done yesterday, and i have 2 more to do next week).
  • attend a lamaze class and breastfeeding class.
  • get troy to the eye doctor.
  • find out whether i should cobra insurance in september or sign up under troy's insurance (whatever the case, i want the same benefits as i have now!).
  • finish dating pictures.
  • get the baby room ready.
  • read as much of "the baby whisperer" as possible.
  • read more about breastfeeding.
  • get syllabi ready for the fall classes i'm teaching.
  • participate in a baby shower the church is throwing for us.
  • write 'thank you' notes for gifts from that baby shower.
Yikes! I have much to do and so little time.

On top of all that, I got two infections within two weeks time. First, I got gardnerella, a bacterial infection. No one is really sure how that infection comes about, but I know at least one other pregnant person who got that infection, too. The women's clinic prescribed antibiotics to me to treat that infection. Not long after I finished that prescription, I got a yeast infection, which I still have. I got a prescription to treat that, which I intend on using tonight.

I can't let infections and a list of things to do bother me! We're getting ready for a little life to join the world, a little life that has been residing in my womb and a little life that is a product of us. How exciting that is. Much joy and celebration are to be had over such great tidings.