October 2009

This week marks the start of the 3rd trimester, and Tuesday was the 3 month mark until my due date! Tim said I don’t look like a poser any more at our birthing class (i.e. I am getting big!) and I think I have about 2 weeks before I need help tying my shoes. I think that is just an excuse to look for new shoes without shoestrings. I also did a gestational diabetes test this week on Monday. Basically that entailed drinking something that would cause my blood sugar to spike, then taking blood an hour later to make sure it went back down. A lot of people complain the drink is nasty, but to me it tasted like Fanta. Which made me wonder what Fanta does to your blood sugar level. They haven’t called with any results yet, which I am taking as a good thing. The baby is still super active, and I wonder during meetings if my heaving belly is distracting to anyone besides me?

On the slightly bad side, I am worried about a reoccurrence of the first trimester gagfest. Just generally feeling yucky, and having to run to the bathroom while rinsing dishes for the dishwasher (chores make me queasy!), I hope this is temporary. On the one hand, it might help me avoid surpassing Tim’s weight – he’s lost 6 lbs in the past 6 weeks! I think it might have to do with his Ironman training… But still, I have put on at least that in the past 6 weeks and our weight chart is looking like the beginnings of an “X”. On the other hand, I was really liking the energy & great feelings I enjoyed these past two months or so. In any case, it can’t be as bad as the summer since the temps have cooled, and long pants and sweaters are the norm now. Well, maybe not the norm, but I can get away with it if the sun is down 🙂

This is the last official week of my second trimester. Fall is here, bringing deep blue skies and cooler temperatures. The back-bending work of our landscaping project is over. People smile at pregnant ladies, and I am loving the attention. In all, life is good and I am looking forward to the weekend!

This week in pregnancy land…
The vivid dreams continue. Before there were lots of murdering dreams, where I was killing people! A friend suggested I was raring my mamma-bear instinct to protect my young. Luckily I haven’t had one of those in a while. This week I had at least two vivid dreams. During one, I gave birth to a baby boy and was so tired after delivery that I was unable to respond when they asked for the name. Tim provided a name, one I did not approve of! Ugh! During the other I was taken away to procreate for an extreme religious sect. No thank you!

My brain is shrinking. Yesterday, I was rushing out the door to work. I put on my coat, stuffed my bag with all the things I need for our Bradley class, grabbed a coupon for dinner, went out the door and locked it. Driving down the freeway on the way to work, I realized, “Hey, where’s my coat?” I did not have it. I wasn’t wearing it. I spent the day wondering where it was until I got home and found it discarded on a chair. I was just glad it wasn’t my pants.

The poison ivy comes, goes and… comes back!??! I noticed some red bumps coming up on the new skin that replaced the blisters. Then more bumps. Then itching. Then bumps and itching where I never had p. ivy. Oh, no! Did I get into it again? A few nights waking up and reaching for the Gold Bond and I finally went to the doctor. His diagnosis: Systemic Dermatitis. Not the original p. ivy but just my body attacking my skin randomly. Nothing a course of steroids wouldn’t clear up. “But we can’t give you that.” I ended up with a steroid cream that won’t harm the baby. Last night I still needed a dose of the menthol laden Gold Bond to get back to sleep, but I am optimistic for the nights to come.

On a happy note, yesterday while I sat in the doctor’s office waiting for my prescription, I was leaning back on the paper covered bed marveling at my belly in which little blueberry was apparently playing racquetball. Then I saw a little lump push out on the right side, then the left side. I could see the baby moving from the outside! Pretty exciting! Later in the day, as we were sitting in birthing class, I told Tim to watch. Again, the movement was totally obvious from the outside. Guess the little one is getting bigger & stronger. 🙂

The magazines all call it a “babymoon” – a last trip just the two of us before the baby comes and effectively takes over our life. Well, we spent last weekend in New York, for what I suppose was our babymoon. We had been meaning to go, and October in New York sounded wonderful at the time we booked the tickets (105 in July in Austin!). And it was.

On the baby front, this trip was exciting to me because it was the first time complete strangers were acknowledging I was pregnant. First a cleaner guy in the bathroom at the Rockefeller Center asked if I was pregnant and stepped aside after he had announced the bathroom closed (and after receiving what I guess must have been either an extremely pitiful face or else hardening death stare). People were getting up to give me their seat on the subway. A harsh and bitching classic New Yorker woman offered to let me in line in front of her for the bathroom (“You’re pregnant. Do you need to go in front of me?” I didn’t dare accept!). And finally, my friend Megan commented that everyone was looking at my belly and smiling. I was completely oblivious of this and didn’t notice, but apparently am looking pretty rotund these days.

We got in Friday noon and took a bus to Times Square. Tim carried my bags as we strolled from 42nd street to 11th where we checked into our hotel. Funny how 2 miles doesn’t seem like an inappropriate distance to walk when on vacation. We likened it to walking from our house to the capital in Austin (46th to 12th), which we would never do! We met up with Tim’s bro TJ and his girlfriend for siteseeing around ground zero, Battery Park and Wall Street, then enjoyed a fresh pasta meal followed by cannolis in Little Italy. That night Tim and I made it to the top of the Rock to see the city at night from the grand height of 70 stories! Here’s where I’ll break in and say that after Shanghai (and Taipei, and Beijing) New York did not impress on the hugeness scale. I’m sure it trumps in culture and the arts and American history, but as Tim put it “it looks so small!” The only place that came close to the dense population rush you get in Shanghai was Chinatown at noon on the mid-Autumn festival. We introduced TJ & Megan to dimsum after fighting the Chinatown crowds (watch! bag! Louis Vitton!) then headed to Grand Central Station, MOMA and banana pudding samples at a cupcake shop with a line around the corner. That night we met up with our friends from Shanghai, Megan & Adam, who had moved to the city. We got pizza at Keste and frozen yogurt at Pinkberry before going to an Improv show where apparently all the great comedians come from. This was a late night for me! We were up for soul food brunch in the morning and a perfect fall day to walk around Harlem and then a Brooklyn street fair. I was cajoled into walking across the Brooklyn bridge, then rewarded with a foot massage at one of the ubiquitous “Best Foot & Back Rub” places near M&A’s. After turning down one parlor that was advertising with a video of what appeared to be a frontal lower abdomen and upper thigh massage delivered to a young man by a young woman, we ended up at a place run by Chinese and charging the 1 rmb to $1 markup, and got one of the most relaxing foot massages I had had for those tired dogs. Delicious vegetarian Indian dinner at Channai, and we were back for a relatively early night. We were leaving the next day, but not until we had enjoyed bagels, cream cheese and lox (baked salmon for me) at Tal Bagels, and had a stroll around the Guggenheim and Central Park. We picked up more bagels for the flight home, and headed out. It was a great weekend, and babymoon!

One thing I do want to share is the horribly embarrassing and hilarious event that marked the beginning of my pregnancy brain. We were told mothers lose 7% of brain mass during pregnancy. Here’s proof: Tim and I brought wedding gifts for Megan and Adam to New York (we had missed their Independence Day wedding in Omaha, NE earlier this summer due to my inability to get out of bed without puking). Part of that gift was a cookbook from the same author of a blog Megan had introduced me to (101cookbooks.com). I thought this was perfect. When we got to their apartment (before the gift giving), Megan made a comment about a delicious soup she had made from the natural cookbook (the book is called Super Natural Cooking). The association didn’t hit me until I was up at 2am, telling Tim – Oh no! I already bought them this book! In the end it was a laugh, as they unwrapped the book for the second time. I’ll take a pregnancy brain card for that move.

Tim missed this wedding due to the aforementioned poison ivy outbreak. Luckily, this dress covered most of mine! My date here is my good friend, Anne Marie. I am 22.5 weeks in this picture.

Tim and I might have come up with a name for our baby! How does Ivy sound? P. Ivy specifically?

It would be in homage to the horrible case of poison ivy we both contracted somewhere a few weekends ago. That ‘somewhere’ was probably our yard, but we aren’t sure. Tim’s case was debilitating, went systemic and was described by the doctor as “the worst case she had ever seen”. Well, a mighty dose of Prednisone took care of that in a couple days (just in time for our New York trip!). Mine started small just to the right of my navel (poor baby!) and spread to cover the whole right side of my belly and hip, both forearms, left hand, right thigh and left calf. Seriously, where is this stuff!??! I could not take steroids, and reminded Tim of this often. BB got a lot of love in this time, rubbing creams on my belly, scrubbing with Zanfel or Burt’s Bee’s poison ivy soap.

Luckily, we are both back to (almost) normal and can resume work in our yard. Everything is gone now, we pulled it all out, so hopefully we can avoid the p. ivy in the future!