Sunday, March 29, 2009

I've got my orange crush.

I hate orange soda. There aren't many food type things I have aversions to - liver, lamb, lassi (not sure why they all start with L?) - but orange soda is at the top of my list. I think it stems from having gotten violently ill in someone's van as a child after having had an orange soda from Jack in the Box.

(The details I've retained about this story versus the ones I've lost fascinate me. Who's van was I in? Randi's parents, maybe? I'm pretty sure my parents weren't there, and I think that's part of the trauma of the story for me. But why do I remember Jack in the Box and not who I was actually with?)

I put aside my aversion yesterday morning and headed to the Kaiser lab to chug 50 grams of flat orange soda flavored glucose drink. This is a standard pregnancy test at about 28 weeks, and is intended to diagnose possible gestational diabetes. The nice lady at the lab gave me my bottle of "Glucola" and a straw and told me I had seven minutes to drink it down. When I returned the empty bottle (I recommend not reading the ingredients or the probable side effects while trying to get the stuff down), she told me to return an hour later for my blood draw. The whole experience wasn't as bad as I expected. I had a little bit of queasiness while waiting, and make sure I ate as soon as possible after my blood draw. Later in the afternoon, I realized my heart was racing and my hands were shaking, but a piece of toast solved that. And, happily, I passed the test. They wanted my blood sugar to be under 139, and I came in at 117. Yay me.

There's apparently some debate about when the third trimester starts. Half my resources say last week, the rest say this week. I opted for last week, but if anyone prefers the other measurement, rest assured that I am now thoroughly, solidly in my third trimester. This week, the froglet (or Og, as my mom has started calling him), is up to about 2.5 pounds and doubled in weight in the last month. His little brain has been smooth until now, but is started to develop the grooves that make it look like a normal brain. Cool. Morgan periodically will announce that he wants a smart baby, and turn up the Mozart, so hopefully those grooves are getting bits of classical music tucked into them, along with all the pop crap I tend to expose Og to.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Yesterday was bookended by therapy appointments for my aching hands. In the morning, I had a physical therapy appointment at Kaiser. I knew that multiple PT appointments wouldn't really serve a purpose, and the therapist agreed. Since my carpal tunnel is pregnancy induced, the only cure is giving birth. I just wanted some tips on coping with flare-ups as they occurred, and some exercizes to try and prevent them. Which I got. Neat.

In the evening, I had an appointment with our friend Kathleen for a massage. Morgan and Kathleen worked together when Morgan and I first met, and when she left HR and started her massage therapy career, Morgan helped design her logo and build her original website. She repaid with him massages for both of us. I still think I won in that situation...

Anyway, Kathleen specializes in prenatal massage now, so I've been angling for an appointment for a while. Morgan came with me to the appointment, to see Kathleen and to drive me home, since I hate driving at night. I thought. Once there, he mentioned that he would like for Kathleen to show him some techniques that he could try at home to help with my hands and back. After checking with me, Kathleen invited him to actually help her with the massage, showing him particular spots that have been or would be bothering me and how to address them. So basically I ended up getting a four-handed massage. Best thing ever. My back actually feels slightly bruised this morning because of all the knots they unearthed and released, and I think I have slightly more mobility in my wrists than I have for a while. I rate the massage much higher than the physical therapy.

Kathleen also teaches infant massage classes, which we will definitely be taking, and her husband Bill teaches baby sign language classes (based on ASL, Virginia!) which we're also looking into. All and all, a wonderful friend to have as a resource right about now!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Milestone

I'm officially in my third trimester this week! Gulp.

The froglet is about 15 inches long and weighs close to two pounds this week. Of course, at the family gathering I attended this afternoon, I got to hear about my uncle, who was apparently 12 pounds and 24 inches long at birth. Good lord. No thank you. Froglet, you can keep growing your brains and developing your lungs and all that stuff, but if you can stop growing at around 19-20 inches and 7-8 pounds, I would be very grateful. Okay?

In other news, I spoke too soon about the wrist braces easing my carpal tunnel pain. After a couple really uncomfortable nights, I ordered a pair of nighttime splints - they go from my fingertips to almost my elbows. They haven't arrived yet, but I hope they are more comfortable than they sound. I sent a plea to my OB for a referral to a physical therapist or some sort of complimentary care something; he just suggested that I try vitamin B6. After I dried my tears of frustration (this was after a practically sleepless night), I fired off an email to my regular doctor with the same request. Haven't heard back from her yet. But in the meantime, I have an appointment with Kathleen, a friend of ours who is a massage therapist specializing in pre and post natal massage. Yay. She assures me that carpal tunnel is very common and that massage will definitely help.

I'm all about the pampering this week. In addition to my massage scheduled on Thursday, Jill and I spent yesterday at the Aveda Institute in San Francisco for facials and highlights. My aesthetician was great; once I told her I was pregnant, she made sure to avoid any questionable pressure points (since the facial included hand, foot and shoulder massages) and got a blanket for me to roll under my knees so I wouldn't stress out my back. She also rested her hands on my belly for a minute mid-facial, to say hello to the baby. Since the froglet kicked up a storm when she lifted her hands, I'm guessing he was saying hi back. He's friendly that way.

Friday, March 20, 2009


That's the likelihood the froglet will have brown/blue/green eyes, according to this tool.

I can't wait to take the bean to the Tech when he's old enough.

Happy First Day of Spring

Here's a funny sort of milestone: the froglet is due on the last day of spring (June 20th). Only one more season until he's here.

And on a completely unrelated note, I wonder what it sounds like to him when my stomach rumbles? I usually don't let myself get hungry enough to growl, but this morning, I was starving. The bug was kicking up a storm afterwards - guess its loud...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Why are froglets tired?

Actual search term used to find my blog. I love Google Analytics.

The froglet is tired because he is growing at a prodigious rate. He's up to about two pounds this week! His spine is also getting stronger, he's starting to "breathe," and he is napping on and off all day. (This is one of my pet peeves - my books tell me this about week 26 - but what was he doing before this? Staying awake all the time like a little tweaker? Sleeping all the time? Hovering in a state of partial consciousness? Its very strange.) I'm also getting to feel just how squirmy he is, as he gradually runs out of room. When I first started feeling him, it was usually just when I was lying on my back. Not its pretty consistent throughout the day, which is nice, especially when I'm having a bad day. I remember, "Ah yes, this is what's important."

And why is the froglet's mother tired? A crazy busy weekend which included no less than five social events, three of them with people I haven't seen in a while. Great fun, but exhausting. And in the middle of all that, Morgan and I took a quick trip to Alameda to pick up a used baby swing. I'm very excited about this. Its this one, except we paid $45.00 for it. Its the first major baby item we've purchased, and it makes me very happy.

What else? I've mostly solved the nighttime carpal tunnel issues by wearing a pair of wrist braces to bed. I started some time last week, and have woken up once or twice with numb hands, but that's a step up from multiple times every night. Apparently this affects about 28% of pregnant women - yet, everyone I've talked to about it is absolutely baffled. I'm getting all the fun pregnancy symptoms - nosebleeds, numb hands... I shouldn't complain, though. This pregnancy is going amazingly smoothly, for which I am very grateful.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lucky Day

Friday the 13th always makes me think of my friend Lauren. Lauren, despite some pretty compelling negative personal connotations with the day, decided to reclaim Friday the 13th as a day of creativity and creation. (Google it if you want a history lesson on the significance of both Friday - named after the goddess Freya/Frigga - and the number 13 to pre-Christian cultures.) I distinctly remember sitting on the floor of Lauren's living room about 11 years ago, having a craft night to celebrate the 13th. So it is particularly fitting that I received a package from Lauren this week. I'd been keeping an eye out for it for a few weeks, since Lauren told me a while ago she was putting something in the mail for me, so I think its particularly fortunate that, despite a mixup on the mailing label with our address (I might have inverted numbers when giving Lauren our address - oops!), the post office still managed to get the package to my door. See? Good luck.

The package was a hand crocheted baby blanket, in blue, green and white. The card attached explained that her mother had a tradition of always crocheting a blanket for new babies, and that Lauren was carrying on that tradition. Lauren and I haven't lived in the same city in about 10 years, and our communications have been pretty spotty until recently (thanks, Facebook!), so I am honored/ awed/ grateful that she felt the froglet and I were worthy of this tradition. Lauren's mom Ronni was one of the funniest, warmest people I have ever met; when Lauren told me that she knew Ronni would have wanted to make a blanket for me, so it make Lauren happy to do it, well, I cried.

Yep, another sappy post. (Nice contrast from my mean mom post though, right?) Since I've become pregnant, I have been amazed at the generosity that people have poured out for me and Morgan and our bean. I know I haven't mentioned all the gifts we've received here, nor have I mentioned the sweet phone calls and emails and Facebook messages I've gotten from people ranging from family to life long friends to friends I haven't seen since high school. But I am so grateful for the outpouring of love/ support/ advice/ blankets/ towels/ toys/ t-shirts/ everything that we're continuing to receive that, honestly, I'm a little speechless at times. Thank you, everyone.

Happy Friday the 13th. Go out and create something amazing today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Nothing in Life is Free

I just watched a three or four year old girl have a complete meltdown in Starbucks because her dad wouldn't buy her a pastry. Screaming, sobbing, stomping her feet. What did Dad do? Pulled her into his lap and gave her hugs and kisses.

I am going to be a mean mom.*

For the last three and a half years, we've practiced a version of something called Nothing in Life is Free with Pace. In its broadest sense, NILIF is about reducing manipulative behavior in dogs and reinforcing a dog's (submissive) role in your relationship. We use it more to convince Pace the world isn't going to kill him. Basically, we ignore the bad behavior. We've taught Pace a few tricks and praise him to high heaven when he performs them. But when he's shaking/drooling/freaking out in general, we ignore him. We don't comfort him, we don't praise him. If need be, we'll put him out in the back yard to prevent Lake Pace from forming in our living room. We aren't punishing him for his "bad" behavior; we just aren't acknowledging it. The dog eventually realizes that "bad" behavior doesn't get results, and stops those behaviors. Its working pretty well, too.

What, you think its mean to apply dog training methods to a kid? Obviously I'm not talking about infants here, but that three year old at Starbucks? I would have ignored her.

*I'm pretty sure my mom, whether she did it consciously or not, practiced something like this with me. I don't think she was mean, so I'm not really too concerned about it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Me and the grannies

I attended my first "aquathenics" class last night - water aerobics, basically. The class is through the city's Parks & Rec department, so I wasn't really sure what to expect, but based on the one water aerobics class I took when I still belonged to a gym with a pool, I was picturing older, heavier women. While the class was all female, I was impressed with the range of women there. Some definitely fit the image I had in my head, but there were women my age, as well as an obvious range of fitness levels. There was also the woman who looked a little bit like Jane Fonda's character in 9 to 5, who did the whole class in full makeup.

It was amazing being in the water. Almost all the awkwardness I've been developing was gone (ok, I had difficultly with the move where I brought my knee diagonally across my body), and I actually felt like I was getting a good workout without getting super winded or overheated. And I'm actually a little sore this morning.

In addition to the joy of feeling weightless for a little while and the satisfaction of getting a good workout that doesn't kill me, there are actual benefits to spending time in the pool. I've read in several places that swimming can help reduce swelling, which I'm starting to experience.* I also recently read about a study where the majority of women who participated in water aerobics during their pregnancy opted for less pain medication/epidurals during pregnancy. Since I'm hoping for a drug free childbirth, I'm taking this to heart.

So, we're up to week 25. The froglet is approximately 1.5 pounds and is about 13 inches long. I'm feeling him everyday now; initially I could only feel him when I was lying down, but now I'm getting little jabs throughout the day.

I had a doctor appointment yesterday and was told that the boy is riding a little higher than might be expected at this point. I asked if that might explain why I get completely winded walking up a flight of stairs (my office is on the second floor); he said that was probably an indicator that it might be time to slow down. I assured him that I take the stairs very slowly. I also asked him about my numb hands. At first I was only getting this when I was asleep, but lately its crept into the mornings as well. Annoying, especially since I associate numb hands with the onset of a migraine. He confirmed what I had determined on my own, that its related to carpal tunnel and is incredibly common during pregnancy.* He suggested wearing wrist splints if it started really bothering me. Hmph. He also added a test for anemia to my next set of blood work when I asked about the sudden severe fatigue and bouts of dizziness I've been getting, although he did remind my that my early pregnancy blood work showed no signs of anemia and that these things could just be a sign that, yep, its time for me to slow down. Really, how much slower can I go? I'm slow!

* One of the sets of reasonings I've read for pregnancy induced carpal tunnel numbness, specifically at night, is that during the day, all the extra fluid in one's body sinks to the feet, but during the night, gravity redistributes fluid throughout the body, thus blocking the wrists and causing the numbness. That whole reducing swelling thing I was talking about? Last night, after having spent an hour in the pool, I didn't wake up with numb hands until about 5am (not to say I didn't wake up before then!). Normally, they wake me up every few hours starting at around 1am. Win!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Upside Down

One of my many pregnancy related email newsletters mentioned this week that about now, our froglet is developing a sense of balance and is even starting to be able to tell when he's upside down. ("So his inner ear is developing," said Morgan. Fine, be logical.)

Must be why, when I rolled from my left side to my right side this morning, I got a series of jabs in my right side. Sorry, bean. Didn't mean to drop you on your head.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


For the first time, I feel really tired of being pregnant. Last night, I fell asleep on the sofa watching a movie (Perfume: Story of a Murderer - I can't really offer an opinion on it since I only caught bits and pieces of it, but those bits and pieces were very confusing). I woke up repeatedly because I was cold and wanted to reach for a blanket on the other part of the sofa, and because I had to pee, and because my hips hurt. But sitting up, and getting up from the sofa, was too difficult to consider. When I finally went to bed, it was more of the same - I couldn't get comfortable, and I knew that no matter how quickly I fell asleep, I'd still be up a couple times during the night to go to the bathroom.

This morning I spent some time cleaning the kitchen, and then tried to hang a painting that had fallen off the wall a while ago. Hanging anything in our house is cumbersome; we have very old plaster walls that crumble if you try to place nails in them, so we have to use the picture rail molding that lines the top of the walls. This particular painting is the bottom corner of a quadtych, so not only does it has to hang by wires from the ceiling, it also has to line up with the canvases next to and above it. I'm not entirely sure how I managed to hang it perfectly last year, but today I was clearly not up to it. After I had a complete meltdown when I realized my wires were about two inches too short, Morgan kindly came and helped me down off the chair I was balanced on and put me to bed for a little while. We decided that the painting would go unhung for a while longer.

I'm a few weeks from my third trimester, and by all accounts things just get harder then. I guess I'm just getting a taste of it this week. But last night (during one of the longest uninterrupted stretches of sleep I can remember - four hours!) I dreamed that our boy was here already. It was all wrong; I was totally unprepared. I had to go places, but didn't have the carseat set up yet (in real life, we don't have a carseat yet). And once I got it out of the box and into the car, a friend on mine from high school (who I haven't seen since in 16 years) told me that I had strapped him in all wrong. My dreams have kind of been all over the place during my pregnancy, but this one was distressing and reminded me that no matter how tired I might be of being pregnant, I have a ways to go. Its a good thing. Even if I am tired.