Sunday, October 28, 2007

Week 24: Quick update

A view of the "Northern Hemisphere"

Been noticing some challenges lately, like the amount of the baby's activity. Almost every night when I lie down to read or send one last email before I drift off to sleep, the baby is kicking up (or waving up) a storm.

I end up spending half of the time staring down at the "northern hemisphere" of my belly, not wanting to miss any exciting movements.

The other day we watched a hand, or perhaps a foot, raise up my skin, drawing an arc a couple inches long as it swept across my abdomen. I wish so much that I could see through my skin to view all that's going on in there.

This week's photo.

Baby V's introduction to Air...

not the kind you breathe, rather the groovy electronica musical group. You can thank your Auntie Sarah and Uncle Matt for that, Baby. Those hip kids got your parents onto Air.

Joe was all excited today because he found these headphones this weekend in his cable/wire/outdated electronic device "graveyard" (which is really a plastic bin) in our basement. Who knew we had these?? Leave it to Joe. He could probably unearth a Beta VCR from some mysterious corner of the basement.

Now, we can share all kinds of music with you, Baby. We'll be careful though to keep it easy. I can imagine that your dad's hard-driving tempo mixes that he uses to catapult his heart rate up to near catastrophic levels might be a little intimidating for a little guy like you. We'll save that until you're like 3 months. For now, take it easy in there and keep practicing your swimming technique. It's probably more honed in 5 months of life than your poor dad's herculean efforts to streamline his stroke. Shhhh. That's just between you and me, though. :-)

Week 23: Quick update

Half way through week 23.

Joe snapped this photo of me Friday night before we went out to Mr. Wasabi's japanese restaurant to celebrate his birthday. It's a cute little restaurant right in our neighborhood.

Even though I can't indulge in sushi (raw fish variety) these days--and how I miss it!-- there are still a few rolls that come with cooked fish. For now, those will do just fine. But, don't think I'm not counting down the weeks until I get to order up my favorite spicy tuna roll, though!

Now you can really see how baby v. is growing! This is 15 pounds worth.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Trying to keep mind and body fit

I've been an avid yoga enthuasiast for a few years now. I love it. It centers me, keeps me flexible, strengthens and tones, and serves as a great metaphor for dealing with life in general. I put yoga on hold last spring as I was training for my half marathon and then just as I was about to get back into it, I found out that I was pregnant. I didn't feel like doing much of anything my first trimester but was itching to get back into it near 10 weeks. Fortunately, my yoga studio has a great pre-natal yoga instructor.

I signed up for an 8 week session in the beginning of September having no idea how much I would enjoy it. While I do occasionally miss a good vigorous yoga workout, I *LOVE* this class. Each class offers a different routine. We learn about different poses that can help alleviate pain and promote relaxation. It generally just makes me feel amazing. I plan to stick with this right up until I can't possibly move anymore. Well, I'm really hoping that I never reach that point. One girl in my class is 37 weeks already! So, that gives me lots of hope.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Week 22: Quick update

This is me at 22 weeks.

Baby shower

You know your life is about to change drastically when an EXER - SAUCER enters your home.

Two months ago, we didn't even know what an exer-saucer was. The "exer" part sounded interesting, sounds like something we like to do. But "saucer"? What, like outer space? Turns out, that might not be that far off. I have a feeling some of what we're about to experience in our first days of parenthood is going to feel rather foreign, like we're on another planet. But hey, the box does say "Triple Fun".

This was one of the many nice gifts that we received at the baby shower that was held for us last Saturday by our moms. Kudos on a wonderful party, Maureen and Sandy, and many many thanks for organizing everything to give us a very special day.

We had a lovely lunch at Provence Restaurant and then we returned to our house for cake, and then we returned to our house for cake, cookies, coffee and great conversation.

It was terrific to catch up with dear friends from Syracuse, as well as those who live in the Capital District. We were delighted to have my sister Sarah
and brother-in-law Matt who had traveled here from L.A. for Joe's marathon the weekend before last and the shower last weekend.

Go here to see more photos from the shower:

Second ultrasound at 20 weeks & visit

On Oct 4. we had our second ultrasound. I was filled with excitement about this one. Everything feels so real now. I think because I had begun to feel some movement in the weeks beforehand, which I was hoping to witness on the screen. I also couldn't wait to see how much the baby had grown from the "tadpole stage" it was in during the last ultrasound. While my abdomen has been expanding at the "typical rate"in the last two months, it seems like somehow it sped up once I hit a certain point. What is going on in there?? What does it look like?

For this ultrasound I followed the instructions to a tee. Last round, I wasn't aware that you had to consume a Great Lake prior to the test and I think it made things a little harder to see. And our being late to the first appointment did not endear the sonographer to us.

I jumped up on the table with great anticipation. A minute later I was entranced by the strange shapes and formations dancing their way across the screen in black and white. I was in heaven. There, we were watching our baby, as if through a window! I could have just stayed there for hours, mesmerized by each tiny organ and bone. We saw all the major organs--heart, liver, cerebrum, cerebellum, spleen, stomach--you name it. We took turns squeezing each others' hands in delight as we each identified all the tiny bones in the hands, feet and vertebrae. We exchanged smiles about 100 times. AGHGHGH. Little baby, V. There you are!!

Isn't this photo amazing? I still can't get over the fact that you can make out so much: eyelids, little nose, big forehead (thanks to mom), prominent jaw (gift from dad) and skinny little legs (also from dad). :-)

We had our regular monthly appointment after the ultrasound. Our midwife went over the results with us and said that everything looked as it should. Baby weighed 10 oz. Measurements were right on. Yay!

Are you dying to know if we found out is going to be a Miss or a Master? We decided to find out. I didn't think I could stand not knowing for another 1/2 of the pregnancy. It's a BOY!! Now, we begin the name debate. Well, at least we have lots of time left to work this out.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Progression through end of Sept.

Week 15

August 25, 2007

Week 16

September 2, 2007

Week 19

September 22, 2007

Week 20

September 30, 2007

Next week is the second ultrasound. Can't wait!

New friends of the family

Amidst all the excitement of a new addition to our family, I also wanted to report that we have two new additions to the household (not the family). These new friends are making our lives infinitely easier, and the timing couldn’t be better, considering that Baby V. will be here in a few months, along with all its dirty laundry.

For ages I have apparently grossly under-estimated the power of a new washer and dryer to change one’s life. We inherited a washer-dryer combo when we purchased the house three years ago. They weren’t much to look at. They were at least 30 years old, but hey, they worked.

For years Joe has patiently suggested that we consider purchasing something more efficient that also offers greater function, but I have been steadfast in my belief that we must eek every last bit of life out of these things--drive them into the ground. I showed no signs of compromise in three years. That was, until the washer’s spin cycle became so short, literally 3.5 minutes, that I’d have to re-run it three times before I could put the clothes in the dryer and not be concerned about starting a fire. I might as well have done the wash outside in a big metal tub! The dryer must have been in cahoots with the washer. In its last weeks the dryer took nearly an hour and a half to fully dry a load.

I had nightmares of passing my maternity leave in the basement, dodging spiders and centipedes, with a baby screaming in my ear, all so that I could re-run the spin cycle 15 times one load of baby clothes. By then, using the dryer would probably be as effective as putting the clothes in the toaster to dry them. Time to face the music, Liz: you need a new washer and dryer. You can’t handle all the extra baby laundry with your 19th century set-up.

Our new appliances are gems. Our clothes come out intact. The large capacity washer appears to use a fraction of the water. And the coolest thing—the dryer has a light inside!! This changes everything. And now we feel one step closer to being ready for Baby V.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

First Ultrasound

As we are just about to get our second ultrasound, it occurred to me that we’re woefully behind in getting up a little information about the first ultrasound. Well, better late than never.

Baby V was about 12 weeks in these photos. I think one of the most awe-inspiring things for me, anyway, was to see the baby’s heart beat. There on the black screen was this glowing, pulsating round-ish mass. At first, when the technician began the test, we couldn’t really identify anything on the screen aside from various shades of black, gray and white. Also, because we were late, she was not in a particularly endearing mood, so she didn’t do much explaining until we prodded her for some answers.

When we first saw the baby’s head—now mind you, we have absolutely no knowledge of how to interpret a 12 week ultrasound images—we each had the same reaction. An eye-brow raised expression and a minor concern over why our baby’s head resembled an alien’s more than our own. The eye sockets, or what we thought were the eye sockets—bore a close resemblance to large almond shaped eyes of the extra-terrestrial abductors described in Witley Striber’s book Communion. We later learned that there was no cause for alarm. This was a typical image for a fetus of that age. The dark areas on the head have more to do with areas of cartilage and bone that have not fused yet.

You’ll notice in our photo that Baby V. is hanging out upside-down as opposed to the customary on the back position. The technician was actually having some difficulties moving the baby into a position that would allow her to capture the best image. As a result, she spent a good 15 minutes chasing the baby all around my uterus, poking and prodding me from every direction. “Your baby is not cooperating very well,” she remarked with a hint of annoyance. We both smiled. Well, what else would you expect?