Wednesday, May 23, 2012

31 Weeks

The time is drawing near, I can now count the weeks until our due date on my fingers!  Am I ready to be a mom? Nope.  Am I getting nervous for labor and all that? Not really.  Anxiety only makes labor worse so I just won't let myself go there. 

I had my appointment with Sue yesterday and it went well.  I'm still gaining too fast, but she's not very worried about it if I'm making the effort to eat well and be active.  I could be doing better on both fronts... now that concerts and everything are over that will help me get back on track.  When I'm pulled in too many directions the first thing to go is my exercise regimen, second is meal planning.  Work will be done soon (sooner than I would've liked but oh well) so that will help too.  Overall, my iron is a little low so I need to bump up the iron in my diet, otherwise everything else is looking good.  I'm measuring 1.5cm big (which translates to 1.5 weeks ahead), which is pretty consistent with the last couple of measurements so she's not worried about it and it's not a big deal unless it's 3cm+ more.  Monday was a rough day.  I felt generally crappy all day, breakfast came right back up (which is extremely strange for me, considering I made it all the way thru my first trimester and the 10 years prior without throwing up), and all I wanted to do was stay in bed.  I didn't feel actually sick with body aches and everything, but just low enough that I knew I had to take it easy.  I have been fine since, so maybe it was just the stress from the previous week being so crazy.  I always knew that stress made me sick, so apparently that plus pregnancy makes for a bad combo.  Surprised that it didn't happen this way before considering everything that's happened, but maybe I'm more delicate in the 3rd trimester than I was in the 2nd.

Amelia is head-down and squirmy!  Her new favorite thing to do is stick her little butt out right above my belly button.  She does this every few hours during the day and it's pretty funny.  I'm feeling all of the kicks on the right side, so Sue confirmed that her back is along my left side for now.  Very strong heartbeat and very active, so that's all good.  I've been having some Braxton Hicks contractions, which really just feels like I suddenly have more room to breathe.  It's a wonderful feeling, actually!  She's not showing any signs of coming early yet so hopefully it all stays this way for a while.

I'm really hoping the job that B has lined up pulls through.  No reason why it shouldn't, but I'm always nervous about this stuff before it actually gets going.  He needs to put some real effort into getting up and about more so that he can keep up with the new job without pushing himself too hard.  I should be able to get unemployment for a while so that will help. 

I got a new diaper in the mail today!  It's a bit ridiculous how excited I get about new diapers.  Not sure if I've talked about it before, but we'll be using cloth diapers!  There are still plenty of naysayers (often the same people that say maybe I can't breastfeed, and most of them don't have kids... what??) but I'm gung-ho on this.  The initial investment is higher, but in the long run they'll save us THOUSANDS and we can reuse them for future kids and/or sell them.  Try doing that with a disposable. :P  Plus, customized fit and absorbancy, complete control over the chemicals that come in contact with her little bum, and look at how freaking CUTE that print is!  I've decided to go with Softbums because they can be used with a pocket or not, since the insert snaps in, and I didn't want to have to wash the whole diaper every time like you do with pockets or all-in-ones but didn't want the hassle of messing with prefolds (yet... I may experiment with that down the road, we'll see).  I've got a good starting stash of these now, in lavender, mint green, and brown plus this "Miss Kitty."  I've registered for white and two different blues and B wants a bright green one, so I'll pick one of those up at some point too.  I've been getting myself about one a month to build up the stash before she gets here without putting too much stress on the budget.  They don't often have prints, mostly it's just the solids, but when I saw this one I couldn't resist!  It was on sale too, with free shipping! :)  These aren't the cheapest brand but they got great reviews on Padded Tush Stats and I'm even more in love with them now that I have some.  I can even use different inserts with them if I want to, I just like theirs because they come in different sizes and the huge ones fold over for more absorbancy but still dry quickly.  Next thing I need to figure out is a clothesline.  Specifically, where I want to put it...  I'm pretty sure I can get one at Ace for pretty cheap.

We've got about a month left on our online fundraisers at indiegogo and giveforward and it may be time to start looking at bankruptcy attorneys even though all the final bills aren't in yet, at least to get a consultation.  I'm pretty sure we'll need those funds either for filing his bankruptcy or to offset the fact that I'm losing a month of paychecks before Amelia is even born, and I'm unsure about going back to work afterwards or not.  I'm putting off that decision until she's here and she and I have a good rhythm set.  That also depends on what B will be making, and we can't know that until he's been there for a little while.  I'm trying not to worry about it, I know things will work out one way or another. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

30 Weeks

Big progress this week!  Sunday we received the check from the church fundraiser and it was something like twice what we were expecting!  How incredibly humbling and exciting that we can finally take care of the little niggling bills that have fallen behind.  The propane bill is taken care of and I requested another fill-up so we'll take care of that bill also then be set for the summer.  My bill from my first doctor visit to confirm pregnancy has been paid off finally (for some reason, my Medicaid didn't backtrack that far so I owed for that appointment), I'm signed up for the birth class at the hospital, and we went to Target for some toy storage!  Then on Tuesday we spent the whole day cleaning up the office, setting up the cube shelves, and moving the dresser out of the bedroom and into the office so now we have a half-nursery corner with the dresser/changing table and toy storage drawers/shelves, which then opened up enough space in the bedroom for me to go through my summery clothes finally and find what I had that could still work for the summer.  That was one heck of a day but I was so relieved to get all that done!  Nesting must have hit me full-force or something.  Bedroom is next on the list, then possibly trying to sell the big armchair in the living room to make space for the baby furniture that's starting to come in!  It's getting exciting!

I'm feeling about the same as last week.  Good thing I have a belly support belt now, it's helpful if I wear it for a couple hours a day to give my back a rest.  I ordered a nursing bra online, but it doesn't fit and I can't return it, so I figure I'll try it on again a couple months into breastfeeding in case the "girls" shrink down a little, and if not I'll try to sell it.  It has the tags on and everything still.  This is why I hate ordering clothes online.   I ordered a nursing-friendly maternity shirt at the same time, and it's huge!  I don't mind the way it drapes, but the neckline is super wide so the shoulders don't stay up.  Mom and I figured out that if we attach a ribbon at the shoulder seams I can tie it behind my neck and that should help.  Hemming the shoulders up would have been a nightmare. 

There is news on the job/maternity leave front, but I'm not sure how public I should be about it yet.  For now, let's just say we got my maternity leave worked out.  Details later.  But, B contacted his new future boss and they'll get everything set up so he can start working around June 1st, which will be great!  He got his last drain tube out on Monday at his appointment and needs to check back in a month, but Dr. G is pretty confident that we're done with all the surgeries!  Good thing too, it's about time we were able to focus on Amelia's arrival!

I was able to make my appointment next week with my midwife Sue instead of Dr. B, which is fine by me!  Sue is far more helpful.  I don't need to drive an hour each way to get 20 seconds of "oh don't worry about that" and "everything looks fine" every time.  I'm definitely finding a different doctor next time. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

29 Weeks

Oy, my hair needs some serious help.  I'm thinking I'll let it grow out so it's easier to tie back like I had it when I was working at the store, but the bangs will take a long time to get there and the rest could use a reshaping.  And highlight touch-ups before my maternity shoot.  It all seems like wishful thinking at this point!

So.  I'm feeling about the same as I have been, just feeling the sleepiness creep up on me more and more.  Amelia is still very active, and I can tell she's still vertical but can't tell which end is which.  I think I'll make an appointment with Sue, my midwife, for next week now that she's back from surgery so we can get things going there.  Maybe I can do most of my laboring at home then get in the car, but I want to know how much she's willing to help before I go up to the hospital so we can get some sort of game plan set up there.  Since Dr. B cares so little for birth plans, I'll just need to stick with Sue for that part.  I also need to quit procrastinating and get signed up for the hospital birth class before it fills up.  I've been putting it off because I don't want to write the check for it yet, but now that we're on food stamps it should be fine after this next paycheck.

Still nothing from the church fundraiser yet.  The foundation is certainly taking its sweet time getting everything processed... I've promised the gas company payment from that and haven't been able to pay them yet.  I had no idea it would take so long.  I asked my boss today about how he wants to handle my maternity leave and what my concerns were, and he said he hadn't thought about it at all yet.  Hopefully he'll think on it now so we can come up with something.  Mom had an idea yesterday that I could work some extra days now so that I don't miss as many full paychecks when I'm off, but I'm not sure he'll go for that.  It's not like I can schedule when I go into labor (well, I could, but it's completely unnecessary!) or how long it takes to recover.  Frankly, I'd love nothing more than to stay home with my baby girl and write and garden, but that may not be in the cards.

The good news is that B has a job lined up for when he can go back to work!  He'll be on the contractor crew for all the window and door installations for Lowe's in Rapid City!  This means some travel, but we think he'll be able to carpool to the sites most of the time (and might have to until he gets his own vehicle, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it) and hotels and such are covered.  No benefits of course, but what job around here has any?  He'll be working with some guys he knows from his old job so they know what he's been through and will work with him as far as his physical capabilities are concerned until he gets back in shape and completely healed up.  We're not sure what kind of hours or schedule it will end up being until he's been there for a while, but maybe it'll be good enough to afford me some sort of maternity leave longer than 2 weeks.  That would be nice.  It won't take much to get us there actually, since we've been surviving solely on my paychecks and some direct donations, and both online fundraisers will run out in July and distribute their funds then.  Maybe we'll be okay after all. 

No word yet on the hospital's financial aid.  Maybe they're folding this last batch of bills in with that or something.  No bills from this hospital or ambulance since the first ones, so we have no idea how much he actually owes yet.  Not that we could pay it anyway, but it would be nice to know at least.  I think my nesting instinct is going to include the hospital bills too... it would be very nice to get all that sorted out long before Amelia comes.

Well, I guess I've rambled enough for one day.  Only 11 weeks left... EEK!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

28 Weeks

Well, here we all are!  Family pic at 28 weeks!  I was practicing wrapping my new Moby (thanks Bubble!!!) and showed B how the baby will fit in there using the American Girl doll I saved my allowance for months to buy when I was 7 (I was always ridiculously proud of that doll for some reason).  I'll be spending a lot of time in that dress this summer too, even though it's not technically a maternity dress.  It'll work until my belly is absolutely huge. :)

Yesterday was my 28 week appointment with Dr. B.  According to their scale, I only gained 5lbs in the last month, which is still too much but she said 3 when she was talking to me (not sure why, but I wasn't about to correct her!).  At least I managed to slow the gain down by half.  Everything's looking good, Amelia's heart rate was nice and strong, and she's such a wiggleworm that it's a little strange when she's not moving around in there.  I brought my birth plan to discuss with her, but she basically dismissed most of it saying "well, just keep and open mind and stay flexible, nothing goes according to plan." I don't like how she's still dismissing most things I say, but oh well.  It'll go how it goes and it's up to me to prepare anyway.  She doesn't think it's necessary to get a hotel room for labor, but unfortunately there are no tubs at the hospital. :( She thinks we'll have plenty of time to get to the hospital when the contractions are close enough since first labors typically take forever. So, I guess I'll be laboring at home, or possibly at Mom's house since they have a much nicer tub than mine, and trying not to panic in the car for the hour drive when contractions are 3-5 minutes apart.  It's mandatory to get an IV also... that doesn't make me happy either since it'll get in the way of movement, so I guess I'll just wait as long as possible before going in and not worry about the drive.  Hopefully my midwife can help with laboring so I don't freak out too much.

B came home from the hospital on Monday.  He's feeling much better this time around now that all the infection is out of there.  The chest tube has to stay in until the abscess cavity closes up completely and there's no chance of the infection building back up.  It's a big tube, but luckily it's in a better spot on his back than the other tubes were so it doesn't hurt him as much.  He's anxious to be back to normal and is helping around at home as much as he can.  We did manage to get him back up to his starting weight but now he needs to build his muscles back up.  He's been sleeping heavily at night, which is a good thing for his healing, but he's feeling good enough during the day to skip pain meds.  That was very much not the case the first 2 times he came home from the hospital.

As far as I know, the hospital is still working on approving our financial aid.  I haven't heard anything from them lately about it but now they're probably working on adding the most recent surgery and hospitalization.  There's been wonderful progress on indiegogo and giveforward as well as some direct donations so THANK YOU EVERYONE who has helped us out!  I can't stress enough, without your help we would have no hope of staying afloat!  The church benefit is done now so we're waiting for the check with matching funds from the foundation.  I have no idea how much that ended up being, but hopefully that can help us take care of some bills at least.  Once B can go back to work we'll need another vehicle too, so I'm keeping my eye out for a little pickup for $1500 or less.  Might be a futile effort there, but it's worth looking, right?  We'll probably have to get a few of his paychecks under our belts first so transportation to work will be interesting for a while if we're working on the same days, but we'll figure it out. 

I got my rep display kit yesterday and my first Park Lane paycheck today!  I'm so excited!  Now I just need some parties scheduled people!  Hostess bonuses are ridiculous! ;)

Feeling good this week, but tired.  Starting to feel the crunch until Amelia Belle's arrival.  Now that B's feeling better maybe we can start really getting the house ready!