Monday, August 31, 2009

Babymoon

Ken and I took a overnight this weekend to go spend some "us" time before the baby gets here at one of our favorite local getaways, the Salish Lodge & Spa. It sits right above the majestic Snoqualmie Falls. There was a bottle of sparkling cider, a little teddy bear and a wedge pillow for my gigantic belly waiting for us in the room. We each got a massage prior to going out for dinner and we ordered dessert from room service. It was a lovely way to officially bid farewell to our days as a duo. And likely the last time in a long while that we'll feel so free to indulge. A small plug: As someone who has difficulty sleeping in any bed but her own, I have to say the Salish beds are absolutely fantastic. Highly recommended and just wonderful. We sang a few Beatles songs to the Wetus before we went to sleep and it really seemed to respond. I guess that means I'm going to have to brush up on those songs. Sunday morning we had a delicious breakfast in their dining room, especially the pancakes. But I advise against ordering the 7-course country breakfast--we did that on our first visit in 2003--while tasty, that's just way too much food.

Monday, August 24, 2009

35 weeks

I can't even believe this is me. Anyway, here we are exactly 4 weeks away from the scheduled c-section and Ken & I are both trying to get ready and read up on parenting, while savoring our free time watching TV, going to movies and staring off into space for minutes at a time (me) / practicing the Theremin (Ken). Sleep, which we've been encouraged to get as much as possible of, is a welcome respite but like clockwork gets interrupted every 2 hours by my intense need to pee. This has strangely prepared me for the feeling of being roused multiple times at night and still being able to function somewhat during the day. It's also turned me into (gasp) a morning person. During the hot, hot weather here in Seattle a few weeks ago, I began to get swelling in my feet & ankles. With the cooling temps, that has eased a little but even now, I look down and see balloon-like shapes that are actually my feet. This occurs after sitting too long or tucking my legs under me. There are now only 3 pairs of shoes in my collection that fit me, 2 of which being flip flops. Speaking of heat, since I run a bit hot these days (as most pregnant women do), I find myself wanting ice in every single drink I have. This is a 180 from what I preferred as a non-pregnant lady. And with that, my fascination and longing for straws is also on the rise. With the shrinking area my stomach is allowed to expand to, sometimes I wish I could just drink all my nutrients. I can suck down multiple tall glasses of ice water and lemonade in a matter of seconds. But I'm not down with those Ensure shakes since I don't think that's real nutrition. I guess I just need to be less lazy. The vicious cycle of not being very active and then not having very much energy leads me through days of going from one sitting activity to another. While it is comforting to sit, there are times when I harken back to more active times, when I could be on my feet for hours and get a lot of things done. Yesterday was a surprising exception when we picnicked and strolled with the Testas in a well-kept secret gem of a park called Kubota Gardens, located in Rainer Valley. This garden was the masterwork of a Japanese-American gardener who designed the landscapes of Seattle University campus and the Japanese Garden at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. The family donated this garden to the city of Seattle recently and now it's a lovely park that everyone can enjoy. There was no admission fee and the winding trails and many bridges over the waterways made it a fascinating place to explore. Also having the Japanese-American historical aspect was intriguing to me as well. Evidently neighbors and friends of the Kubotas helped hang onto the land while the family was interned during World War II. That was the one thing I found the most amazing is that the family had not lost ownership/control over the vast property while so many others had been forced to liquidate. It's a lovely place visit and a tribute to the better part of human nature. Braxton-Hicks contractions & round ligament pain have been on the rise lately. I counter it by sitting on my exercise ball or stretch my lower half by leaning onto something stable and sticking my butt out. Looks downright stupid but feels so good. Wetus is has been "on the move" and seems to like when Daddy talks & sings. Have not consumed any more Dr. Pepper but I'm thinking of getting something chocolate here in a moment since my eyelids are getting very heavy and I could use a pick me up.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Seattle Baby Shower

This past weekend, Amy & Karen threw a Seattle-area baby shower for me and the Wetus at Russell's, a restaurant/reception destination in a converted and charming barn in Bothell. Chef Russell prepared a wonderful, simple summer luncheon menu and the gals attended to details that made the afternoon relaxing and personal. One of the games that stood out as a favorite was where we had to draw a picture of the baby with a crayon while the paper was on top of our head. Made for some great pictures. Mom and Cindy came up for the festivities and many ladies came who I have not seen in a while. It was an honor to have everyone there and the Wetus will certainly not want for anything after this. Check out the extensive slide show for some great shots by Cindy and Mom.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Family/Portland Baby Shower

Over the weekend, we journeyed down to Portland for the family shower thrown by Angela & Mother. They did a fantastic job and all the food, decorations & details were wonderful. We had a great group--mostly family but also some friends from the Portland/Vancouver area. We feel so grateful to have such enthusiastic support for our pending arrival and based on what we received, this kid is going to want for nothing.


Pics by Cindy, Sue & Lori.

Monday, August 10, 2009

33 weeks

Here we are at 33 weeks. It was a hard earned 33 weeks. We've traveled, put the nursery together, taken classes and endured some wild weather. Today we had an ultrasound and they confirmed that my placenta previa has still not moved nor is it likely to. My doctor made the call that we are going to do a planned cesarean and most likely it will happen on Monday, September 21st. Being that this possibility has been talked about for months now, I am not feeling upset about the c-section itself. We even took a class a few weekends ago that focuses on c-sections so we feel "informed." But it is a shock that we have a date. Where before it was sort of nebulous and spontaneous, now it seems very scientific and exacting. I think it's also that we realize we have no more than 6 weeks to get stuff done, arranged and organized. But honestly one thing that is sad to me is that we aren't going to get to have the experience with the doula that I had hoped. But I'm really curious to know what her thoughts are about c-sections and making them an experience that feels connective and magical despite all the medicine & science. I hope to discuss that with her very soon. But today was special in that they brought out the 3D Ultrasound paddle so we got a good look at the Wetus who has chubby cheeks, a seemingly Japanese/Sakai nose and evidently a long femur bone which means this kid could be tall. Clearly not from me. But Wetus is measuring healthy and things are looking good. When I pat my belly it makes the noise like when you pat a melon. In fact that's what they say the baby is the size of now.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Wetus Chat

Dear Wetus:

Yesterday we shared a special moment when I introduced you to the wonders of caffeine and high fructose corn syrup in the form of a Dr. Pepper. I know it was a new experience given how little I consume soda and haven't consumed coffee or tea at all during the pregnancy. It's just that with 7+ weeks to go, it takes so much more energy and effort to move my big self around. I was at work, exhausted and it was only 3pm so I had to do something. Hopefully that little jolt was a highlight of the in utero experience and you'll think fondly back on it. You see, I'm managing a big project at work which is due right before you're supposed to be born. I've been telling my co-workers the project baby has to be born before the Wetus baby. (Any help from your end with keeping the birth order as intended is appreciated, by the way.)

Just in the last few weeks, I've seen "big" changes in myself. The swelling of my feet is directly correlated to how hot it is outside which went big time in those 90/100 degree temps a few weeks ago. Until then, I had felt so smug because I hadn't experienced any swelling that most pregnant women complain about--but I celebrated too soon. In addition, I thought I could be one of those lucky ladies who don't get stretch marks but just realized the other day, I didn't win the lottery on that one either. And last but not least, for the life of me, I NEVER thought I'd drink milk again--or in this case utterly crave the smooth creamy texture and taste of it. But indeed this formerly lactose-intolerant gal gets 2 pints of milk at lunch (like I'm back in grade school) and gulps them down with vigor. Look at these amazing changes you've inspired.

Now I don't want this to sound like an excerpt from that shallow, self-indulgent, ridiculous book, The Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy. None of these issues are a big deal in the scheme of things. The fact that you are getting bigger, stronger--I can tell by the power behind those kicks--and receiving the nutrients you need is really all that matters (at least that's what I keep telling myself).

We're looking forward to seeing you on the ultrasound again Monday and your Dad & I continue to read books and take a litany of classes. It's funny, the more we learn, the more it seems we really don't know what we've gotten ourselves into. Ah well, we promise to get fully up to speed in 7 weeks--don't you worry.

Much love,
Momma