Saturday, January 30, 2010

Circumcision is for weiners!

I found the best blogger that shares my views on circumcision. Babies are born perfect and foreskin is not a birth defect.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

38 Weeks Pregnant

15 days to go, but who's counting? ME!!! I went to the doctor again today hoping he would give me some insight or speculation, but noooooo. He is unwilling to attempt predicting the future. Just waiting it out the good 'ol fashion way....

I'm feeling melancholy or just plain sad. My only grandparent left, Mama Ellen is in the hospital right now with a slew of health problems. I hope she hangs on and waits for me to bring her first great grandchild to meet her in Alabama. I really, really, really want her to see and hold our little angel. I'm going to wait until he's born to book a flight, but you can bet that is at the top of my list of priorities. I know this is the cycle of life, and I am trying to focus on all the positive.

Prenatal yoga is my favorite way to spend time lately. Last week I started my own prenatal yoga challenge. My goal is to go to yoga every day for two weeks. As of today, I've been to nine yoga classes in the past nine days in a row. When I began this conquest, I truly believed that the baby was already dropping and I'd have the baby at the end of the 14 days. But now I'm surrendering to the fact that I may indeed be the first woman to remain pregnant forever and ever. Even though scientific research shows that it is impossible, I may be the first person to break this record.

But hey, I guess no news is good news. And my yoga adventure has turned out to be amazing for unexpected reasons. At the beginning of my yoga stint, Los Angeles turned into a waterfall. The wind was blowing so hard that it blew our potted palm trees over and our rooftop deck turned into a swimming pool. It was pouring down faster than it could drain out. So it was off to the indoors I went for my workouts. As much as I've loved my beachside walks in the sunshine, the rain against the windows of the yoga studio has been incredibly peaceful.

The poses of yoga have also made it easier to breathe and relax. Since I can't get comfortable enough to sleep more than a wink at night, I may as well get a little R&R in during the day, right! Many of my teachers double as doulas and have given me all sorts of fantastic advice about birthing positions that they have found to be useful and various techniques to relieve pain. It is also fun to hang out with all the other pregnant gals. I have met some really genuine people going through exactly the same things as me. It's nice to know that all the other pregnant women are going through the same things I am.

In preparation for the baby, we celebrated Marc's 40th birthday a few weeks early. That might sound a bit strange, but the baby is due Feb. 11 and Marc's birthday is Feb. 15. I'm becoming more exhausted by the minute and didn't want to risk missing Marc's birthday if I was in labor on his special day. So with the advice of some of his guy friends and my dad, I gave him a grill with all the accessories for our rooftop deck. I'm not sure if he likes it yet because with all the rain he hasn't gotten out to set it up. Grills are out of my league and I don't know much about them, but I put a lot of time and effort into getting him something useful. He keeps saying that he hopes our friends will still come by once we have the baby, and cooking out on the grill is a great way to bring people together.

As part of the birthday celebration, Marc wanted to go see Avatar in 3-D. So that's what we did. The previews didn't interest me and I wasn't interested in spending three hours of my time watching a cartoony-looking flick, but low and behold, it was AWESOME! Avatar is now one of my favorite movies. I loved the graphics, the love story, and the beautiful message. James Cameron blew me away with this blockbuster hit and I'm so glad Marc really wanted to see it.

At 35 1/2 weeks pregnant, I got a gig posing for a photographer's book of pregnancy portraits. Rachel Jiraffi is composing a book that is a step by step guide on how to take professional looking pregnancy portraits at home on a budget. She's an incredible photographer and was really enjoyable to work with. Here are a couple of the pictures for her book that will probably be out next year.
As much as I'm tired of being pregnant, things are going really well. I'm counting my blessings every day that I am hanging in there. Yes, I have my weak moments, but that is to be expected. And believe it or not, I still think the first trimester is the hardest. Even though I'm counting the days, I don't feel as emotional as I did in the beginning. I'd rather have chronic back pain, the inability to sleep, and nothing to wear rather than feel the need to cry all the time.

So bring on the baby and the sleep deprivation. I'm ready!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We're getting closer!!!!

Our baby boy is scheduled to arrive in less than a month and we are getting soooo excited! Along with the excitement, I am also getting a little bit nervous and scared. I know I will be ok because so many women have given birth, but I am still slightly anxious about what my own birthing experience will be like. The fact that I am terrified of hospitals doesn't help, but Cedars is a very nice place and I need to have faith that I am in good hands.

Even though Cedars-Sinai is considered one of the best labor and delivery hospitals in the nation, I am bothered by the number of women who get cesareans there. About 20 babies are born there a day, and they typically want to speed up the birth with pitocin if the labor isn't progressing fast enough. I would be so much more comfortable at a birthing center with the presence of a doula to coach me through a natural, drug-free childbirth. But we have this really amazing insurance that covers 100% of everything at Cedars, so it makes it difficult for me to state my case that I don't want the best of the best doctors at my fingertips. I mean, how do you argue that. I just choose not to argue because I am too emotional...hence why I will be having a baby there.

So in order to make myself feel better about giving birth in a hospital, I have been preparing myself in every way. I am hoping that if I go into labor with this mindset that I can do it, that I really can give birth in an epidural-happy environment without an epidural. I wrote out a detailed birthplan that lists all of my expectations in every stage of labor. It also says basic things like do not to offer me drugs unless I ask first. I've also spoken extensively with Marc about how important his voice is to the whole experience. He knows what I want and it will be up to him to stand up for me. To me, this is the most crucial element of our success, because when an exhausted gal is feeling all kinds of pain and a doctor makes a suggestion, I have a feeling that you end up telling the doctor to do what he feels is the best for me. But I think they lean towards doing what's best for them by speeding up the labor so they can go home.

And quite frankly, how do I expect anyone to understand why my birth plan looks the way it does? After all these years of medical research and advanced pain relief, what kind of crazy person would decline such wonderful bliss? Oh wait, that's right. ME. But why, you may ask.

There are tons of reasons why I view birth as a natural process rather than a medical procedure, but here are a few. Once your body is introduced to the synthetic hormones such as oxytocin, your body stops producing these hormones naturally. I'd like to take every step possible to prevent or reduce post-pardum depression. I realize that I am already a sensitive and emotional person and would like to do anything possible to minimize the stress of sleep deprivation and hormonal insanity.

Then once the baby is born, many moms say the challenge of breastfeeding is extremely tough. When you take the drugs, your baby is born on those same drugs and may be too out of it to want to eat. When they are born alert, they usually go straight for the boob to have their first meal. I plan on solely breastfeeding for the first six months if all goes well and everything is normal. So I really don't want to make the feeding process harder than it already is.

I also don't want to deal with the constipation after an epidural. Yes, an epidural slows down all bodily processes including labor. Ugh, with everything else going on do I really want to have trouble going to the bathroom. Yuck! No thank you if I can help it. But I'm also allergic to lidocaine, a local anesthetic in the same class as epidural. And lidocaine makes me really sick and gives me seizures, so I am deterred from all of that stuff. Not to mention my hatred for needles.

Ok, so enough of that. I could go on and on why my plan is the way it is. But ultimately if there is a complication, I will be in a hospital full of medicine and doctors ready to inject and cut me. And I guess that is supposed to give me comfort. At least I wouldn't have to be transported from the birthing center to hospital if there is a problem. And I realize that plans are made to be broken.

This past weekend was a 3-day weekend and Marc and I spent some quality time preparing for the baby. His room is about to look really fantastic. We got rid of the extra desk in that room and finally all of the furniture matches. The white furniture looks so sharp and clean in there against the bamboo floors and blue walls.

I think I've finally determined that there are two themes of his room to compliment both Marc and me. The themes are animals and sports. With all the yankees gear, it is a perfect place for all of the boys, including Marc and the big boys. And then of course the animal theme is a reflection of me. With matching white crown molding and furniture, I am thinking about putting up a white decal of an animal on the wall to brighten it up a bit more. I have a new infatuation with giraffe's after we got to feed the giraffes in Florida. They are the sweetest animals, and I love the way they roll their tongue out to get some food. And I found a really cute white decal of a giraffe that I think would look great on the wall.

This doesn't sound like me at all, but I can't wait to go to the doctor tomorrow. I am hoping he will have an idea of when the baby might decide to make an appearance. This is probably wishful thinking, but it would be so cool if he told me he thought the baby might come a little before the due date. I realize that probably won't happen. They don't like to guesstimate because it really isn't practical for them to predict the future incorrectly. I'm just getting very excited to meet our sweet, baby boy.

This past weekend I felt well and was able to get a lot done, but the weekend before I felt terrible. I had braxton hicks all weekend and felt dizzy and extra crappy on top of all the normal discomforts. Since then I've had sporadic false labor, but not quite as extreme. Maybe I was just dehydrated, but I'm really not sure why I felt like that. To put it in perspective, I actually sat on the couch and asked Marc to bring me a few things. I never do that. I don't play the pity game that I need this and that. Normally I figure if I need something I will get it for myself. So, for me to sit there and ask him to get me a glass of water is very unusual for me.

I can tell the baby is getting bigger every day. He feels so long in my torso that I worry he is going to get stuck in a bad position. I'm pretty sure his little foot was caught on the outside of my rib yesterday. It was sticking out so abnormally far that I was worried it wouldn't go back where it was supposed to be. But alas, the mysterious foot returned back to a place that was more likely to smush my small intestines than break a rib. Thank you little boy for helping your mommy get through this last month without breaking my bones!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy New Year!!!

Marc and I had a white Christmas in Dallas, and an even whiter New Year's in Mammoth. We definitely maximized our last holiday experience before we become parents. It was truly wonderful to relax and spend time with family and friends.

While we were in Dallas, we had a little baby shower brunch at my friend Christina's restaurant, Terrilli's. It was a small group of special friends that I've known since high school. Here is a picture of my brothers and me at the dinner table.

Marc flew home from the freezing cold of Dallas a couple days earlier than me. I thought he would be bored if he stayed as long as I wanted to. Especially because I wouldn't be taking him out on the town. All I want to do at night is go to bed, and I didn't know how he would entertain himself while everyone was sleeping. Fortunately, my brothers took him out to a bar in Lewisville one night. Ugh, a smoky bar so didn't sound like fun to me. Marc said I probably would have puked within 5 seconds of walking in. Male bonding was probably good for the boys and I think they had a good time getting to know each other a bit more. The stories of their silly shenanigans never gets old!

On the day that I flew back to LA, Marc scooped me up from LAX and brought me straight home to repack my suitcase for Mammoth. Quickly and diligently I took a few things out of my suitcase and added a few items I thought I would need for the mountains. Marc was expecting it to take me a while to repack, but I was going from one snowy environment to another. It's not like I have very many clothes that fit or I needed to pack snowboard gear. I showered and was ready to go in less than an hour.

The reason this is most impressive is because I travelled for a total of 10 hours that day. On my flight from Dallas to LA, I had a stop in El Paso. And then I rode in the car for the 5+ hours to Mammoth with Marc, David, and Boogars. This is not an easy feat for a pregnant gal in her last trimester. The issues I have are the needs to stretch, get my blood flowing, and pee all the time. Good thing I'm not a prima donna and don't mind popping a squat beside the car in the mountains. Seriously, I would much rather be able to go exactly when I want to, rather than having to search for a dirty gas station where I have to wait in some ghetto line of white trash where I'm afraid to touch anything. Depending on how you look it, I'm either a super cool go-with-the-flow chic or maybe I'm secretly a mountain woman getting back to my roots. As long as I'm not peeing in my pants, I am happy. And believe me, I don't take it for granted that I'm wearing clean pantalones.

Yeah, I probably shouldn't be so open about it, but if I laugh too hard I might pee in my pants a little. Or a lot. Depending on the exact moment and if the baby is sitting on my bladder. Or if I recently drank a cup of water, I'm doomed. Ok, so fine, sneezing is also a problem. Yes, that is why I'm squeezing my legs together. I'm nervous about having an accident. All right, so maybe it also happens once in a while if I'm just sitting there. But I can't help it and am doing everything to prevent the worst. So if you will excuse me for a quick second, I'm gonna' run to the bathroom before I have a chuckle....

It was so great to see my little kitty when I returned home from Dallas. I could tell he missed me terribly, and he let me pet him for a solid 5 hours during the drive to Mammoth and was ecstatic to receive all the attention. I just loved having him next to me during the entire car ride. I never knew I could love an orange kitty so much, but of course I do!

Mammoth was a very chill trip for me. I was exhausted when we arrived and just wanted to sleep. I would stay up late with our buddies and play cards at night and get up early to eat breakfast with everyone in the mornings. But as soon as everyone left to ride the mountain, I went right back to sleep for several hours every day. It worked out perfect because I was able to catch up on rest and enjoy visiting with all of our packed condo full of friends. I thought I would feel lonely by myself during the day, but that certainly wasn't the case. I was too wiped out to feel left out of snowboarding. It worked out perfectly to stay home and nap with Boogars.

This is me with our fabulous friends in Mammoth at 34 weeks pregnant.

It was a spectacular way to ring in 2010....The best year ever!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Picture Update

MERRY CHRISTMAS! 33 1/2 Weeks Pregnant

32 1/2 Weeks Pregnant