Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy baby

It may be rough getting up with the baby at 3 a.m., but it has its rewards.

Molly has been smiling a lot lately, especially in the middle of the night. Usually I see it right after she stops nursing, when she's lying on her side with her eyes closed, waiting for me to pick her up to pat her back. Sometimes she grins to herself with her lips closed. Sometimes she has a big open mouth grin. One time she even made a little "heh heh heh" sound that seemed like a laugh. I would love to know what private happy thoughts are racing through her brain.

We had a quiet weekend, just Daddy, Mommy and Molly. Our big event Saturday night was a trip to Wendy's for dinner. Molly slept through the whole thing. In fact, she did so well that we decided to extend the outing with a trip to Blockbuster. She was still sleeping when we got home. Success!!!

The next big challenge will be to keep her out through a feeding and a diaper change. I'm not exactly sure how that works. Where do I go to feed her? What if I'm in a store with no place to sit down? What if there's no diaper change station in the bathroom? I have a whole new level of respect for breastfeeding moms.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Growth spurt

At some point late in the night, as I was flipping through baby manuals to pass the time while nursing, I read that babies tend to go through a developmental growth spurt at 7 to 10 days old.

That might explain why my baby, who had settled into a nice routine for a few nights, is now cluster feeding (nursing constantly for hours on end) and totally unpredictable again. I think she's just super hungry because she's growing.

Yesterday Molly had her second visit to the doctor and everything looks great. She weighed in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, which is well past her birth weight. That means all that nursing is doing something!

Also, she smiled for the doctor and generally behaved like an angel. He seemed pretty happy with everything we're doing, except he said we need to be a little more vigilant about clipping her finger nails (apparently mommy's manicure didn't get them short enough) and he wasn't thrilled about using the little rocker chair, which we've been calling "the bucket," for entire nights of sleeping. He said things that hold her up at an angle like that can compress her belly and cause reflux. Man, this sleeping thing is hard. There are so many rules. Now we're trying again to get her to sleep on flat surfaces again. This afternoon she took a long nap in the Moses basket, which was great. She just had a long feeding and she's been sleeping for almost an hour (in the bucket, but who cares!) She's so cute!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


It's been a big second week of life for little Molly.

On Christmas Eve, she was awake and alert for longer than she's ever been before. Her eyes started opening wider and she looks at faces and smiles a lot.

Also, Monday we had our first mother-daughter manicure. I used a little nail file to smooth out her itty bitty fingernails.

We spent the evening connected by Web cam to Oma's family Christmas party.

Christmas morning we checked in with the Kirkwoods via video phone, then Grandma D showed up with Christmas ham and gifts.

Molly met her uncle Craig for the first time and spent almost the entire day asleep in the arms of her family.

Today Molly had her first recreational expedition out of the house -- a trip to Blockbuster and JoAnn Fabrics. She slept through the whole thing, but her mommy really enjoyed getting out of the house for the first time in a week.

Then, when we got home, her cord stump fell off. Yay! Looks like the sponge bath this morning was her last. Now she can get wet so we can give her baths in the little tub.

Also, another first today: Molly wore socks for the first time. She also wore her first pair of pants briefly before Daddy took them off. We all know how Daddy feels about pants!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Some Pictures from Today

Wonderful night!

Hi everybody! I'm back!

Molly had a great night last night. Jim and I got in bed around 10 p.m. Molly got me up for nursing and diaper around 11 p.m. and again around 2 a.m. Then I didn't hear a peep from her until after 6 a.m.! We nursed and diapered again and she went right back to sleep, and she's still sleeping now.

The nights have been getting better since Thursday, when I had a teensy breakdown. Molly had me up until 3 a.m. without more than a few minutes to doze at a time. She wanted to nurse constantly and she fussed whenever I laid her down in the bassinet attached to our bed. The only thing that finally got her to sleep was lying on my chest, as I reclined on pillows in bed. That's not exactly a very restful sleeping position for me and I was nervous about her rolling.

The next night we decided to make a more deliberate attempt to have her in bed with us (thank you Anna and David for talking us through that decision and for the support!!) She slept for four hours at one stretch. It was amazing. We figured out the side-lying nursing position, too, and Saturday night I woke up from a relatively deep sleep and was a little surprised to realize I was still nursing her. Pretty cool.

The drawback is that I don't sleep as well when Molly's in the bed. And the side-lying position is not as comfortable for me as other nursing positions. Plus, we were baffled as to why Molly would sleep in a Moses basket or her "cradle rocker seat" during the day but had to be next to us to sleep at night.

It turns out she doesn't have to be next to us at night -- we just weren't putting her in the right container. Last night she was sleeping soundly in her cradle rocker, so we decided to leave her there. Jim detached the bassinet from our bed and put the chair on the floor there instead. It worked like a charm. I did bring her into our bed between the two nighttime feedings -- she seemed like she needed to be snuggled -- but for most of the night she slept in her rocker and we got some much-needed, deep sleep.

Everything else is going great. Alan, Tessa, Lex and Eve brought us lunch yesterday and met Molly for the first time. Jim DJ'd a mini-rave dance party in our living room and Lex and Eve boogied down. What fun kids! Molly's going to have a great time with these guys once she's big enough to party.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

More Pictures

Below are a couple of pictures from David, Anna, and Lucy's visit. I've also added more pictures at the picture link on the right.

Bathing and Visitors

We gave Molly her first sponge bath last night. It was much less traumatic than I thought it would be. She screamed pretty good at the hospital when they gave us the demo. Anna has a couple of pictures of the process on her blog (see links at the right).

It was crazy to see the differences between Lucy and Molly. It is hard to imagine that she could possibly change that much in a matter of months. Makes me realize I better get started on the baby-proofing soon.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Pediatrician Visit

We took Molly to visit the pediatrician this afternoon. Boy, the things they do with those thermometers. She weighed in at 7lbs 8oz which is 5 oz heavier than her last weight at the hospital, so she's gaining her weight back (yay!). She's feeding like a champ, so it isn't really surprising. Julie and I being the analytical (or anal retentive) type, have charted all her feedings and diaper changes so we can make sure she's on schedule. I'm pleased to see we can be geeks even at parenting.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

We're Home

We got home from the hospital this afternoon and everyone is settling in nicely. Hopefully in the next day or two we can get the whole story of the delivery posted. In the mean time, try this link for more pictures of Molly.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Here are some pictures. Once we all get back from the hospital I'll post a bunch more to a gallery some place. But for now, here you go:

Monday, December 17, 2007

Molly Elizabeth Kirkwood

She's here! Molly Elizabeth was born at 11:41 pm on 12/16. She weighed in at 7 lbs 14 oz and is 21 inches long. Mom and baby are both doing fantastic. No time for more posts as I need to get back to the hospital. I'll have pictures and more details soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More waiting, thank goodness

Our ultrasound went great this afternoon!

Amniotic fluid was borderline low at our last ultrasound, so the midwives have been watching the baby carefully. If the fluid was low today, they were prepared to induce labor.

However, our little girl scored a 9.9 amniotic fluid index, which is well within the normal range. (She was 6.5 last week and anything 5 or below is risky). That means no need to induce!

In fact, there's no other testing on the horizon that we know of. We're finally back to a plain, old normal pregnancy. We have one week to our due date, and I still think she might hang on a little longer than that.

My Braxton Hicks contractions have gotten a little stronger and more frequent, and I'm just starting to get a little uncomfortable with all this weight to carry around ... just a little, no complaints! Still, I feel normal enough that I made it through a yoga class last night.

The snow's coming down pretty hard here right now, so we're hunkering down for an evening at home: hot cocoa, movies and maybe some baby room decorating. That's so much better than going to the hospital and inducing labor in a snow storm. Phew!!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Still waiting

No baby yet. She's kicking like she's ready to pop out the front, but still no signs of labor.
We'll keep the updates coming.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Bags are Packed

We got our car seats professionally installed this weekend by the excellent folks at the Westminster Police Department. They even took the time to go over all the details of making sure the baby is properly secured, and signs for when it is time to get a new seat and all that sort of thing. Plus we got to share some woodworking stories since he'd recently cut off the tip of his finger on a table saw. Julie also packed her bag for the hospital, so I think we've got all the most important things ready to go. I won't go so far as to say we're prepared.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

By request ...

Belly photos:

At our breastfeeding class last night we practiced with dolls -- how's that for an image. The lactation consultant encouraged us to practice more at home, perhaps with stuffed animals. Now where did that monkey go?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Big belly

It's getting much harder lately to bend down and pick things up. And today we had a laugh when I tried to get out of my big purple chair and couldn't quite do it. Baby's getting big!

I've spent the past several days assembling baby gear: swing, bouncy seat, bassinet, mobile, stroller frame, etc. It's funny that somewhere in the instructions for every single item there's a warning that says "ADULT ASSEMBLY REQUIRED." As opposed to...? What, the baby can't put this together herself? Silly people.

So we've officially made it to full term -- 37 weeks. I have only two weeks of work left, unless I decide I'm feeling good and I'm bored and I want to keep going. My midwife said labor usually starts so slowly that I would have time to drive myself home safely, even if contractions started at work. And my coworkers very eagerly made a plan for how they will get me and my car home or to the hospital on a moment's notice if I need it -- they're very excited about this. Still, I think it would be nice to have at least a day or two at home to get ready before the baby comes.

I think we've got a while to wait, though. The baby is head-down but she hasn't dropped yet and there are no other signs she's on the way. I have a feeling that she's not going to come out for a while, and I don't mind. I haven't nearly reached the point where I'm sick of being pregnant. In fact, I think I'm enjoying it more now than I was a couple months ago. It's so much fun to feel her move around in there!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Home again

We made it back safely from our trip to Rochester this afternoon. We have so many wonderful new baby things to play with from two showers that I don't know where to start.

I think focusing on assembling things and laundry and setting up the nursery is a good distraction, though. I had the first waves of real fear this weekend as the showers wrapped up. Those were the last big milestones before the baby's born. Next time we see everybody we'll probably have a baby!!!! It's too exciting and terrifying to handle rationally. I woke up in the middle of the night last night (as usual, potty calls) and couldn't fall back asleep because my pulse was racing.

Fortunately the hormonal rollercoaster didn't kick in until the end of the weekend. Tinkerbell did her first (in utero) Black Friday Holly Trolly shopping trip. We made it all the way until the end of the evening before we got tired. We also had lots of yummy Thanksgiving food and pie, followed by two wonderful showers, one with Jim's family and one with mine. I'm surprised by how relaxed I feel now that we have pretty much all the gear we need for the baby. It's a big relief.

So, only about three days until the baby is considered full term. Just three more weeks until I start my maternity leave from work, unless the baby comes sooner -- that suddenly seems very short. I'm trying not to freak out about that, and about all the change that is about to happen in our lives. Ahhhhh!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Baby laundry

I just did my first load of baby clothes yesterday. I'm sure this will feel like a chore at some point, but right now it's so much fun! It's probably the most fun I've ever had doing laundry. All those tiny socks and little outfits are so cute. And washing them makes it seem even more real that the baby is actually coming and will actually be wearing all these little things. Now they're clean and ready for her. :)

Monday, November 12, 2007


I just learned this week that babies can hiccup before they're born. That explains so much! Tinkerbell sometimes falls into a pattern of little punches that are sort of rhythmic and repeated in the same place. I counted more than 100 of them before I fell asleep the other night. Turns out these are hiccups. I feel bad for her now when she gets a hiccuping episode, but it's also neat because the little punching tells me where her head is.

We've had a busy week. My coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower Wednesday, which was really nice. Our last childbirth class was Thursday night. And our midwife appointments are now going to a weekly schedule so it seems as if we're constantly driving to the hospital.

By every measure the baby is healthy and happy. For a couple weeks she had a little extra blip in her heartbeat, but the doctors say that's perfectly normal and it will go away on its own (and when we heard her heart beat Friday Jim and I noticed that there didn't seem to be any extra beats).

We also had one borderline low measurement of amniotic fluid a couple weeks ago, but at a follow-up on Friday everything was back to normal again. I've been drinking crazy amounts of water to make sure it stays normal.

Another cool thing we learned is that the baby is already using her chest muscles to practice breathing, even though she gets all her oxygen from the umbilical cord until she's born. That's so amazing!

I'm feeling more relaxed the further we go toward the due date. Tinkerbell is now old enough that if she was born today she would certainly be able to survive on her own and probably wouldn't even need much medical help. By 37 weeks, around the end of November, she will be considered full term.

We've started to make plans for the big event -- making lists of things to pack for the hospital, figuring out how to install the car seat (why is that so hard!!???!!), rearranging all the toys and clothes in the nursery a million times, and generally trying to be patient.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monkey practice

I have the day off work today with nothing to do, so I finally watched that Happiest Baby on the Block DVD. It's amazing to watch all the crying babies settle down, open their eyes wide and be soothed.

The doctor demonstrates how to swaddle a baby. I decided to practice before I forget:

The monkey calmed down almost instantly!! I can't tell you how much quieter it is around here without that monkey shrieking. Good monkey.

Friday, November 2, 2007

48 Days!!! AHHHH! Everybody panic!!!!

Really, I'm ok now. 48 is an awfully small number of days. Even the most degenerate and ill-tempered of debt collectors will give you 60. You can't even talk about 48 in terms of months any more (without some rather absurd rounding up). Weeks. It is just a matter of weeks. 6 weeks. Oh man.

On the upside, my fear of the actual labor itself has nicely obscured the previously staggering thought of the decades of parenting waiting on the other side. So that's something. Childbirth class last night was all about interventions: we discussed epidurals, narcotics, pitocin, cesareans, etc. etc. and boy was it, well, unnerving.

On the lighter side, I've decided that I'll start playing more gypsy music for Julie to get those hip muscles and the pelvis loosened up. She's also got her list of early labor activities pretty well settled, so when the thrill ride starts up I shouldn't have to think too much. Now we just need to get our hospital bag packed, do a little hut-ing, hout-ing, and self-hypnosis, and keep our fingers crossed for no major snow storms between 37 and 42 weeks (yay global warming).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A stellar shower

Anna threw a spectacular baby shower for Tinkerbell Saturday.
The theme was "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," and everything from the ceiling decorations to the Starburst candies fit the theme.
Thank you to everybody who made the journey to Massachusetts!!!!

Hand-decorated bibs.

Lucy in her party dress.

Kim reads to the kids.

Lucy and Eve get to know each other.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Belly shots -- 31 weeks

Looking bigger...

especially when shot from below!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Headphones in my pants?

Yes, OK. It's weird.

At my appointment yesterday, the midwife felt my belly and discovered that the baby happened to be sitting vertically with her head under my ribs and her butt in my pelvis. This is the opposite of where we want her in nine weeks when she's due.

It's early, so this is not a problem. In fact, I think the alien spends most of her time lying horizontally or flipping all over the place. She's still got plenty of room to move around and it's not nearly time for her to settle head-down yet.

Still, the midwife said that if I want to try to get her in the head-down position, it doesn't hurt to lie on an incline with my hips about a foot higher than my shoulders for ten minutes at a time. And also she said I could try putting headphones on my belly and playing music in the spot where I want the baby's head to go -- aka, in my pants.

I've read that there is some evidence that the inclined position worked. The music? That just sounded silly.

But even silly ideas deserve a try, right? I made a lullaby mix for Tinkerbell already and I just happened to put it on my iPod today. So I figured, if I was going to lie on an incline for a while anyway, might as well play some tunes for the baby.

I don't know if she liked it, or if she could even hear it, but she rolled around for a while. Whether any of this will flip her, I have no idea. But even if it doesn't, maybe she'll get to know the lullaby mix so I can play it after she's born and it will calm her. Maybe. Maybe it's just a way to make pregnant women feel like they have something to do so the anticipation of the last few months doesn't drive them nuts!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Little alien

I've taken to calling Tinkerbell my little alien because of the way she moves around in my belly. You can see it clearly through my skin and it's not just little kicks anymore. Sometimes she rolls around slowly and you can see the lump move and my belly shift -- it really looks like she's trying to bust out. It's just like something on the X-files.

Her baby crazies have gotten very strong. Sometimes she punches my internal organs so hard that I have to catch my breath. She's still craziest at night, usually when I lie on my right side to go to sleep and again around 3 a.m., no matter what position I'm in. I just hug my belly and follow her around with my hands. I don't know exactly what I'm feeling, but it's definitely parts of a person. Occasionally it feels like I'm actually holding a tiny baby, which is so cool!!!

The alien kicked and wiggled all through our first childbirth class Thursday night. It made it kind of hard to concentrate... well, that and the fact that the first thing we did was get down on the floor with mats and pillows and learn a relaxation exercise. Our homework is to practice this exercise (aka Jim has to give me a massage) to condition me to be able to relax just from him stroking my face or my arms. Even if I don't use any of these techniques during labor, I'm sure enjoying the homework.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Contractions, the good kind

The midwife put her hands on my belly at my appointment yesterday and said "Oh, you're having a contraction."
I said, "I am?"
She put my hand on my belly and, as it faded, showed me the difference between feeling the baby (a firmness in just one spot) and a Braxton Hicks contraction (when the whole belly gets firm).
If that's what a contraction is, I think I've been having them for a while. I just assumed it was the baby pressing on me.
She said it's quite normal to be having Braxton Hicks, even this early. As long as they don't hurt there's nothing wrong.
Then again, it's not so early. Our "days left" counter is down in the 70s. Our childbirth classes start next week.
On a lighter note, I finally got myself a hair cut, which is doing a lot to offset the feeling that my clothes don't fit right and I'm hot and smelly and out of breath all the time. I noticed this week that when I sit at a desk I can feel my belly rest on my thighs. It's a good thing the baby moves so much to remind me there's a reason for this. Otherwise I think I would be freaking out.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Photos, finally!

Here's Tinkerbell at 27 weeks. Her head's on the bottom left, facing up.

And here are her little feet (kinda hard to see with the glare, but use your imagination).

Too bad she couldn't come out to play this weekend with her cousin Lucy. We had such a great time!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Third trimester

We hit the 28-week mark Thursday, meaning we're into the long, final stretch.

Sometime around the middle of last week my female coworkers told me that I finally, officially look really pregnant. It's not just the shirts anymore. I was biting into an apple when one of them wanted to know what I'd been eating this week that caused me to pop out so suddenly. I told them it doesn't feel sudden to me.

The baby's still very active, although her movements often feel slower and longer, like she's rolling around rather than just kicking. She tends to get really crazy in the middle of the night. During the day she's more gentle and I've gotten so used to it I that sometimes I realize she's moving and I'm not even paying attention. It's strange to think that in a few months I won't have a creature in my belly anymore.

I had a chat with my neighbor when I was out mowing the lawn yesterday. She said the moms in the neighborhood have a play group every Monday morning and I'm invited to come. Yay!!! Maybe I will be welcomed into the local mom tribe after all! Apparently there were four babies born around March/April this year in our neighborhood, plus a few born last fall, so Tinkerbell's going to have quite a gang of neighborhood kids to play with. The woman across the street is due in October, we think, and I'm sure there are others out there that we don't know about yet. What fun!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Still a girl

We just got back from a midwife appointment and another peek at the baby.

We had an ultrasound because, at our first ultrasound, the placenta was just a hair too close to the cervix, so they wanted to double check that it grew out of the way. It did. Everything looks great.

In the meantime we got to see the baby again and learn all kinds of interesting stats. Lets see how much I can remember.
  • One of the first things the ultrasound woman said was "still a girl." She actually showed us the white lines that are her little private parts.
  • Based on the measurements, they estimate she weighs 2 pounds, 6 ounces. That's bigger than the baby book/Web site say for 27 weeks (they say roughly 2 pounds), but the woman said that's healthy and normal.
  • We saw her feet and her hands. We have a print-out of the feet, which I will post soon. I think that was my favorite part of the scan. I want to kiss those little toes!
  • We saw her leg bones and arm bones. The woman measured her femur at about 2 inches, which seems pretty big to us. No wonder her kicks are so strong!
  • She was moving a lot all afternoon and she didn't stop during the ultrasound, so I could watch her move and feel it at the same time. It was interesting to realize that all she has to do is shift an arm or push her leg out a little and it feels to me like she's kicking a soccer ball. I didn't realize how big she is in there and how much space she takes up. I think I was imagining her floating around and swimming from side to side, but actually she's so big she's everywhere all at once.
  • Her heart rate was normal, around 136 beats per minute, and we watched her heart beat for a while.
  • We saw her face straight-on, which I think was a lot more interesting than the profile image they printed for us. You still had to use your imagination to guess what she'll actually look like, but it was amazing.
My stats were all good, too. I had to drink that orange-flavored sugar water Monday and have blood drawn to test for diabetes. I passed the test.

My iron levels are a little low -- which was true before I was pregnant, too -- so the nurse and the midwife both gave me suggestions of foods to eat with high iron, such as raisins, prunes, red meat, leafy green vegetables, molasses, etc.

We took this advice very seriously and headed straight to McDonald's for cheeseburgers on the way home. There's at least a little red meat in there, right?

Speaking of bad eating habits, you may have noticed that Jim has not gained any baby weight whatsoever. We figured out the other night that he exercises now about 14 hours a week, between karate and running. Meanwhile I've scaled back my exercise routine and I gain pregnancy weight just by eating normally so I haven't been eating outrageous quantities of food.
What does this mean? It means he's the one who's starving and wants to go to Kimball's for ice cream on a Wednesday night, and I'm the one who eats all this extra food just because it's there. So of course he's not gaining baby weight. I'm gaining "karate weight."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

26 weeks!

Tinkerbell is now 1.5 to 2 pounds. Her hearing is getting better and her eyes are finally opening. How cute!!

I've been wondering lately what she's thinking when she's kicking around in my belly (if anything). Sometimes the movements are so furious and fluttery that I wonder if she's playing or if she's frustrated. Is she uncomfortable and telling me to shift positions? Is she just enjoying the fact that she has arms and legs?

I like Anna's idea of giving the belly a little jiggle to play with her. I tried that last night when I woke up for the second time to her kicking. I though jiggling her around a little might soothe her back to sleep. I fell back asleep before she did, so I don't know if it worked.

The exciting news this week is that we got our first crib. I dragged Jim to the Babies R Us in Nashua so he could test strollers. I figured we could place our order for the crib I've been scoping out to get the waiting started -- the Babies R Us in Peabody told me it would take at least 2 to 3 weeks. Yet through some stroke of luck the Nashua store had it in stock. We tossed it in the truck and brought it home and I set it up the next day.

This has been very satisfying for my nesting instinct. I got to try out my dust ruffle -- it fits! And last night I made this sheet, which also fits. I have fabric for a second sheet and then it's time to do curtains. We still have more than three months to go. I'm afraid I'm going to run out of craft projects!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Week 25 photos

By popular demand, here's my quick attempt at a belly shot this morning.

Again, I swear it's much bigger in real life.

This week we spent a bunch of time cleaning out Jim's studio, packing away things, taking stuff to Goodwill and converting the room into a nursery.

Here's what we've done so far:

That's the new dresser from Ikea that I finished putting together last night.

Setting up the nursery is such a good excuse to play with baby clothes. I've rearranged things three times already, just to paw through everything and play with the snaps and look at the sizes. So cute!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Pregnancy is ...

... opening a package of maternity underpants and thinking, "Woa! Those are huge! It'll probably be a month or two if I fit into these, if ever!" . . . then trying them on and realizing they fit perfectly.

That was my fun pregnancy experience of the day. I'd be feeling a little depressed about it right now if I wasn't so darn comfortable in these new undies. Yay for maternity clothes!

Plus, I love having a big belly. I like walking around with it. I told Jim I wish he could take a turn with it once in a while, just because it's fun and it's not fair that he misses out.

Sleep has gotten a little more difficult lately, but it's not my belly making me uncomfortable. It's this rule that you're not supposed to lie flat on your back after a certain point in pregnancy because the uterus rests on a major vein and cuts off blood flow to you and the baby. I keep waking up on my back and quickly rolling over to make sure we can both still breath. I've been bringing all sorts of pillows into the bed more often lately to try to get comfortable. The body pillow is nice, but it hogs the covers.

I guess I'll just add it to the list of things I'm going to do after the baby's born: eat a turkey sub, paint the walls and lie on my back to sleep.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wiggly baby

We had a brief and uneventful midwife appointment Thursday. Baby's still healthy and exactly the size she's supposed to be.

Here's how I passed the time this week waiting for baby's arrival:

This is the first true quilt I've ever made. I've done pieced blankets before, but this actually has cotton batting and the quilt stitching on top. I made up the design myself.

I've been staring at it a lot since I finished.

Here's another view, on top of the crib dust ruffle I finished a couple weeks ago.

Now we just need to find the perfect crib to decorate with this stuff.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Baby kicks

Wow, that floating baby picture is kind of freaking me out. Is that really what she supposedly looks like in there?

If so, I think the baby in the graphic should be doing more karate. Tinkerbell is a kicker. Now that I know what it feels like, I feel her move all the time. She's awake and kicking every night as soon as I lie down in bed. She also tends to kick in the morning when I'm driving to work and in the afternoon after lunch. It's so bizarre to be sitting in my office having a normal office conversation and to feel little kicks inside my body that nobody else is aware of.

That's exactly what it feels like, too -- kicking. It's a thump, like being kicked from the inside. Sometimes it's also a weird feeling like dropping down a hill on a rollercoaster, which I imagine is Tinkerbell swimming around or rolling over. I never felt any of the little butterfly wings or bubbles that everybody describes. She went straight to karate.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


It may appear to some that we've gone back in time. It looks like I mucked up the baby ticker dates when I first set it up. The upside is that I got a wild new ticker that will hopefully work for everyone. Thanks for the link Tessa.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kicking Ass and Assigning Names

Just before bed on Saturday night, I got to feel two kicks from Tinkerbell (Oh, and I guess we're going with Tinkerbell for the fetal name, congratulations on your winning selection Mom!)! It was truly bizarre. At first they didn't register as they felt almost like Julie's heartbeat, which you sort of ignore most of the time. Then it sunk in that it was coming from her belly, and of course Julie was feeling it as well. I'm glad to see Tinkerbell is taking advantage of this down time to work on her shomen geri (front kick).

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Birth center tour

We went on a group tour last night of the birth center at our hospital. It looked pretty nice. I especially liked the labor and delivery rooms. They're big and have adjustable soft lighting and giant beds that convert into all different positions. They have a jacuzzi tub, too, although the nurse said it's not used very often. One of the husbands on the tour said that was a shame and asked if dads could use it. The nurse said, probably not.

Meanwhile, here's what I've been up to: Nesting! I'm making bedding for the crib in peachy colors.

Also, we've been pet sitting a dog for one of my co-workers and this weird little creature has been waking me up early in the morning. Yesterday he got me up at 4:30 a.m. and he just wanted to be held. It's a frightening vision of the future.

As long as our baby doesn't look like this, I think we'll be OK.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Belly Shot - 20 weeks

Here is the first belly shot. We'll try to keep them coming on a regular basis. Julie says this picture doesn't do justice to the size of the belly. It has just gotten to the point where it peeks out between her shorts and t-shirts.

We've gotten some good suggestions for fetal names so far. Keep 'em coming.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Additional Fetal Name Conditions

Having discussed this a bit amongst ourselves, we feel the name should be something pretty bizarre. Otherwise, we're worried it will stick and we won't be able to change it when she's born.

Fetal Name - Now accepting entries - NOT THE REAL NAME

Now that we know that we're having a girl, and that she has toes and arms and brain hemispheres, I feel kind of bad refering to her as "it" or "baby". While we choose her real name, we need something to call her. For example, Lex was Zig and Jeff's sister refers to their baby as Limo (originally Lima, due to the bean like shape, then changed to Limo when they found out it was a boy).

So, using the comments field, get your entries in now for what we should refer to her as. We'll pick something (or make something up) sometime next week.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

19 weeks

Our weekly check of the fruit bowl finds that the baby is about the size of "the length of a slice of watermelon."

What?!? What kind of measurement is that? says she's about the size of a small zucchini -- very appropriate, considering the mountains of zucchini that are coming out of our garden, but hard to visualize because none of ours are small. The big ones are the length of my forearm.

All of this is supposed to help us visualize 6 inches, which is how long the baby is now.

Why does it always have to be fruit and vegetables? Why not something a little more cuddly, like baby animals.

At 6 inches, our baby is now about the size of a baby bunny. It's bigger than a hamster and smaller than a guinea pig. Isn't that much more clear?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Oh, man

I was just reviewing the comments etc, when I looked up and noticed that stork moving along the time line at the top. It stopped my in my tracks. He's covering that distance pretty quick. Almost half way there (gulp).

Ultrasound photos

That's her head in the center toward the bottom. She's facing up, and you can kind of make out her forehead and nose and eyes and mouth and cheeks. I think she looks a little bit like my brother.

Here's a closer view:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's a girl!!

The ultrasound this afternoon went great. The baby looks perfectly healthy and she's a little girl!!!

We have blurry photos to post as soon as we can figure out a way to make them digital.

Yay for a healthy baby!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Secret's out!

I broke the news at work today. The response made me very happy. There was a lot of shrieking and grinning and hugging, which I somehow didn't expect. Everybody wanted to tell stories and share advice and talk about baby names. It was a crazy day.

Jim told his friends at work Friday, so that's it. No more secrets. Everybody can go ahead and tell everybody, and I don't have to remember not to tell certain stories in certain places. Phew!

Also, I don't have to hide my little belly anymore -- which fortunately nobody at work noticed.

I was feeling really pregnant last week so I dug out all the maternity clothes Anna is letting me borrow -- there's so much stuff!! Anna, thank you!!! Whatever I buy extra will go right in the bin and back to you, or whoever needs belly clothes next.

Jim was at karate Friday night, so I decided to take the baby and do pregnancy-related things, primarily browsing maternity stores at the mall. It made me realize how far I have to go until I actually look pregnant. Everyone in there had big bellies and all the clothes look like they're made for month 9. I felt like the clerks were looking at me with suspicion.

I made a great purchase, though. I got a Bella Band. It's a stretchy spandex loop that goes around your waist and lets you wear your regular pants unzipped without them falling down. I tried it on with my regular khakis, which still fit but so tight the buttons dig into my skin. The relief was kind of like undoing your pants after a big Thanksgiving meal, and then being able to walk around like that without anybody knowing. It was fantastic. If I think of it when Jim's around, I'll get a picture to post. It's about time for the first belly shot anyway.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Good test results

We just found out this afternoon that the quadruple test -- a blood test that screens for Down syndrome, spina bifida and a couple of other bad things -- came back "fine." Yay! That means no need for amniocentesis or any of that other unpleasant stuff. Just a healthy baby.

The next big milestones will be telling my boss (probably this week), the ultrasound (two weeks) and feeling the baby move (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

Every little step of the way I feel a little bit more relaxed and it becomes a little bit more real that this little person is coming to live with us in a few months.

I had a weird dream the other night that Jim figured out a way to take the baby out of my belly just to play with it, just for a little while, then he could put it back so it could finish growing. We had so much fun holding the baby, then I thought to myself this would be a good time to check to see if it's a boy or a girl. In the dream it was a girl.

I guess there's a 50-50 chance that the dream was accurate. In my waking moments, I still tend to think of it as a boy.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

16 weeks

The baby's at 16 weeks now, which is the size of an avocado -- a vivid image because I just held an avocado in my hand this past weekend for making guacamole. Mmmm, yummy baby.
The baby has started growing toenails and is generally looking more like a baby -- at least in the drawings -- and less like a seahorse. So cute!

Meanwhile, I've noticed the hormones haven't slowed down since I entered my second trimester. I was in a rare, confrontational mood at work today. I'm going to have to tell my co-workers about the baby soon before they do an intervention. I'm putting on weight, wearing frumpy clothes (even more so than usual) and hissing nasty comments behind people's backs. I'm not sure what they think.

I like my hormone-induced anger, though. Once in a while it's good to go totally insane. (Booah-ha-ha-ha!!!)

Monday, July 2, 2007

First knit gift

This is baby's first hand-knit gift. Jim's Grandma B. made this on a road trip to visit us a while back, and happened to have it waiting for us when we told her the great news ... that she's going to have another great grandchild.
It's such a cute outfit. I can't wait to put a little baby inside it.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Traveling baby

Greetings from Lima!

We're having a fantastic weekend sharing our great news with our extended families. It's such a relief to finally let the secret out ... and perhaps more importantly, to let our moms let the secret out. I think the phone trees have been ringing tonight.

For anybody who hasn't asked yet, yes we do plan to find out the sex of the baby. We have our first (and probably only) ultrasound scheduled for late July and if we can get a good look we definitely want to know if it's a boy or girl.

We haven't thought seriously about names yet, except to decide that if it's a boy the first name will be James, just like his father and grandfather and greatgrandfather.

I'm feeling great this week. We're at 15 weeks, which means the baby is 4 inches crown to rump, or about the size of a pear. Apparently the baby can now sense bright light, even though its eyes are shut, so if I put a flashlight on my belly it would wiggle away. That seems like an unnecessary stress for the little critter, so I'm not going to try it. But it's kind of neat to know it's possible.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I had a good visit with the midwife this afternoon.

We listened for the heart beat and she found it easily, just like last time. It's nice and strong. We also heard a bunch of thumping sounds, which she said was the sound of the baby kicking. It's funny that the baby's so active, yet I can't feel it. She said I won't be able to feel the kicks for at least another month.

All the blood tests from my last visit came back looking good. I found out I have B-positive blood, which I never knew before.

I go back in two weeks to have some blood drawn for screening tests. At the end of July we go in for the next check-up and our ultrasound. I can't even fathom how exciting that's going to be. Hopefully we'll find out if it's a boy or a girl and then we can get serious about picking names.

The one slightly troublesome aspect of this visit was when I stepped on the scale. I'm up about 7 pounds from my last visit just four weeks ago. The little info sheet they gave me today said I'm only supposed to have gained 2 or 3 pounds by now.

The midwife said she's not worried. She just warned me that she'd rather I didn't gain that much weight again between now and my next appointment.

I'm not really worried, either. I assume my body knows what it needs. It has given me the kick I need to get back to healthier eating, though. Now that vegetables don't nauseate me quite so much, I'm going to try to get back to my regular eating habits.

I was thinking about stopping at Taco Bell on the way home from the appointment to celebrate the first day of the second trimester. After hearing the baby kick, it made the pregnancy seem much more real and feeding the baby spicy chicken burritos didn't seem like such a good idea anymore. Instead I stopped at the grocery store and came out with grapes, low-fat cottage cheese, humus and a spaghetti squash. My little kicker need nutrients!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I think I'm coming out of the first trimester fog a little bit. Yay!!

I had enough energy yesterday to go to my regular step aerobics class after work. I haven't gone in at least four weeks, probably more like six. It's hard to even remember why I didn't go. I think I was just way too sleepy and the idea of jostling the baby around seemed icky.

It felt so good to be back, though. I kept everything really low so my heart rate wouldn't get too high and nothing would shake around too much. I want to do as much as I can now because in a few weeks I'm not supposed to lie on my belly or my back. That's going to be a bummer for yoga, not to mention the majority of ab exercises.

Two days until the next midwife appointment. I can't wait. I hope I get to hear the baby's heart beat again.

Friday, June 15, 2007

New pants

We're at 13 weeks now, which means this is the last week of the first trimester. Hooray!!!
The baby is about 3 inches long -- about the size of a lime or a jumbo shrimp. In theory a midwife could feel a bump of the uterus just above my pubic bone. I have all kinds of lumps in my belly region so I don't know that's what I'm feeling or not. I'll ask at my appointment next week.
I do know the baby is pushing all my other internal organs up and outward, which is why a lot of my work pants got so tight so quickly.
The pregnancy books all warn you not to buy new clothes at this stage because you're going to outgrow them quickly, so I've been avoiding it and just squeezing into my old pants. But I got so annoyed with being uncomfortable that Wednesday after yoga I went to the Kohl's right next door to stroll through the maternity clothes and see what's available for the transition. I ended up trying on a bunch of regular pants that are just a size or two bigger than what I usually wear and they were SO comfortable. I bought a bunch of them on clearance and it has totally changed my mood. Instead of feeling constricted and fat and afraid my coworkers will notice my belly, now I'm excited about my belly and I can't wait for it to get even bigger! The bigger pants hide it better, too, so I'm less self-conscious at work and I feel more like myself.
It certainly is hard to keep this secret. After our appointment with the midwife next Thursday we'll be officially done with the first trimester and, if everything still looks good in there, there will be no reason not to tell the whole world. Then we'll just be counting down until our baby gets here. I can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


It seems that I almost blurt out something about the pregnancy almost daily. Between the guys at working talking about their kids, Alan and Tessa and their kids, and we just found out that Jeff's sister is having a baby, it seems like child rearing is always being discussed. Fortunately since David and Anna just had Lucy I can frequently deflect stories onto them. But, we're almost to the end of the first trimester. By my calculations we should already be there, but that shows what my calculations are worth. Anyway, it will be good to be able to reveal the truth at long last.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

12 weeks

Baby's about the size of a lime. That's getting pretty big!
You'd think that sprouting an object in your body the size of a lime would show up somehow on the outside, but I still see nothing.
Though I've been feeling kind of puffy and thick around the waist for a few weeks now, I think it's mostly in my head -- my weight has stayed almost exactly the same since week 8, about three pounds more than what I weighed before pregnancy. I've been wearing pants with a looser waist because they're more comfortable, but generally I still fit into everything.
This morning, though, I put on a pair of the looser pants and they feel tight. Yikes! I'd like to blame the baby, but I think it has more to do with the huge dinner I had Tuesday night and all the Taco Bell I've been eating.
I can't wait until the baby starts really growing and I get to do some serious eating. That's one of the things I didn't know about pregnancy beforehand -- that the first trimester is so tricky in terms of weight. You're absolutely not supposed to lose weight, but you're also not really supposed to gain more than a few pounds. It's not until the second trimester that you get to eat 300 extra calories a day. If it weren't for the nausea, I'm pretty sure I'd already be eating for two.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Baby knitting

One of the first things I did when I found out we were pregnant was to start knitting.

My first project was this fluffy sweater on big needles. I finished most of it in a weekend, which was good because right around the end of that weekend was when major fatigue set in.

I knit a bright yellow sweater next (I'll post a photo when I finish sewing the seams) and now I'm working on a red sweater.

I also just finished a very cozy baby hat with wool I got at the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival (the festival that the baby, ahem, protested). It's lamb's wool, the first shearing from a sheep named Myrtle on a local farm in New Hampshire who apparently is very friendly and thinks she's a dog. It's very soft for wool, so when I spun it I knew I wanted to make something for the baby.

Here is it, beside some of the unspun fiber I have left over.

There are a lot of things I'd like to knit but I'm waiting until I know if the baby is a boy or a girl. It's not just a pink and blue thing -- I don't care if boys wear pink and girls wear blue. But things like delicate white lace mittens would look silly on a boy. I've been avoiding pastel colors because they all seem feminine, but now that I look at the bold yellow sweater I made, I'm not sure if that color's going to look good on a boy or a girl.

It doesn't matter, though. The fun thing is having all these tiny things around the house and spending the time making them and thinking about the baby. I can't wait until we can try them on!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

11 weeks

Baby's getting bigger. Depending on the source, he or she is either the size of a fig or a strawberry. The little critter is forming tooth buds and apparently is kicking and squirming around in there, even though I can't feel it. The baby has basically all of its major body parts now, just on a very tiny scale. So cute!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day Off - Preparations Begin

I'll be playing hooky from work tomorrow (actually using a vacation day so I don't think it counts) since there is a useless four hour meeting I'd prefer not to attend. So instead, I'm going to do some shopping. Specifically I'm going to be shopping for some equipment/storage that will be the first step in magically reducing my beloved studio to a small bundle on wheels that will fit in a closet. I tried to convince Julie that it would be a good musical influence to have the baby sleeping amidst patch chords and effects pedals, but she pointed out that he/she/it probably won't get much sleeping done with me banging out arrhythmic renditions of Crazy Train (crazy, but that's how it goes). As far as milestones go, this will be the first home preparation for the olive or kumquat or kiwi, or whatever spheroid it is compared to at this point.

I've heard some interesting stories from the guys at work about the "nesting" instinct. So far, mostly just sleeping, but I'm getting nervous about what I'm going to have to paint, and how many times I'm going to have to paint it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Jim says I can't use this blog for gardening talk, which is fine because I have a work-related blog for that. ( -- You don't have to log in to this one!)
I'm going to sneak in a little bit here, though, because that's really the only news from the past few days. I was feeling sleepy again Sunday I napped pretty much all day. But yesterday I woke up full of energy. The baby let me finish digging up the garden beds, helped me plant all the vegetables and then probably cringed as I struggled to put up a chicken wire fence to keep out the wild rabbits that have been eating everything. My hands are all blistered, I have little cuts on my legs from the chicken wire and I'm sore all over. It was a fantastic day!
I hope some of these veggies make it and I hope that if they do, I'll have the stomach to eat them. One of the big food aversions I've been having is to vegetables. I was getting pretty crazy about nutrition before we got pregnant, so it's very frustrating to be regressing. The books say this is OK. The baby takes nutrients from the stuff that was in my body from before. Some women eat nothing but saltines for the first trimester and apparently this is OK. I hope they're right.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Lex's Birthday

We went up to Vermont for Lex's birthday yesterday and had a very nice time. We haven't told Alan and Tessa about the pregnancy yet, and would probably have yesterday, except there were a lot of other people around so it didn't seem like the right time. Even so, just in casual conversation with either Tessa or Alan I almost gave away the goods. At one point there was a baby name book floating around and I almost let fly with a "you know what names I'm thinking about...". After that I tried to be more careful, but it was tough.

We also had the winning birthday present of the day (though I can't tell you what it is because certain people who read this blog may be getting the same thing when their, I mean child gets a little older). Lex was giggling insanely and I'm sure he was good and over stimulated by the time he had to go to sleep. Eve pretty much just slept the whole time.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Feeling better

It may be too early to be excited about this, but I'm feeling a little more like my old self. I did a bunch of gardening last night and was still so alert that I considered staying up later than 8:30. This morning I don't have the usual level of nausea.

I want to add to what Jim said about the appointment yesterday because everything went so well. We met a midwife named Susan, who was very friendly and gentle. She gave us the warning that it's normal to not hear the heart beat at this stage. Then she put the little wand thing on my belly. To me it just sounded like static transmissions from space, but right away she got excited and said we found it. And then you could kind of hear a fast pulsing of the fuzzy noise. She seemed surprised and happy that it was so strong.

It was great, but really insane at the same time. How could there be a heart beat in my gut? I know the baby's there in the abstract -- it's the critter that makes me ill and tells me it wants pizza. But to think of the baby as a real body inside my body is really hard to get my brain around.

The midwife did the rest of the exam and told us that the due date seems to be exactly right based on whatever weird things she feels around for in there: December 20. She also said I shouldn't have any problem having enough space in my body to carry the baby. (Or as Jim said, enough womb, heh heh)

We finished the appointment with one of the least painful blood draws I've ever had, and that was it. We go back in four weeks for our next check-up.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Food and Appointments

10 weeks and 1 day: "The baby wanted pizza for lunch."

Julie had her first actual appointment/exam this afternoon. We got to hear the baby's heartbeat. Apparently the baby is the size of a kumquat. I have no idea how big a kumquat is, though apparently it is bigger than an olive. The checkup went well. All signs (including the heartbeat) were good. Then we ate Taco Bell on the way home.

Sleepiness continues. Julie took a nap in the back of her car at work yesterday.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Yet More Sleeping

It is now 1:30 P.M. and Julie is asleep again. On the up side, I'm getting plenty of time for video games these days.

The earliest signs point to an apple that won't fall far from the tree. The baby has instilled in Julie a new appreciation for beef tacos. Fortunately we haven't hit any serious food aversions yet. I think Sun chips are out, but that's no big loss. If tomato sauce becomes an issue (as it was for Julie's mom - 9 months with no pizza, spaghetti, etc.), madness won't be far behind.


The most surprising thing about being pregnant is how tired I am all the time. I took two marathon naps yesterday and still had no problem collapsing at 10 p.m. and sleeping 10 hours last night.

I have these rare moments when the fog lifts and I feel like myself again, and I run around the house emptying trash cans or doing laundry or cleaning the garage because suddenly I see all the things that need to get done. But usually lately I look at a mess and it makes me want to go sit down somewhere and hide. It's almost like having the flu, except this has been going on for weeks!

The baby is about an inch long right now and it's starting to look more like a person. Its tail is gone and it has wiggly arms and legs, eyelids and earlobes.

I can't way to find out if it's a boy or a girl. It's hard to knit baby things when you don't know (though I already have one sweater done and a second one on the needles).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

9 weeks

Today we hit the nine week mark, and it seems like a good time to start a blog.

We have our first appointment tomorrow morning with a nurse. Our midwife had to change her schedule at the last minute so we won't meet with her until next week. The good news is that we should be far enough along by then that we might be able to hear a heart beat.

In the meantime, we're just hanging in there. Jim says time seems to be going by fast, but it doesn't feel that way to me. I'm still feeling icky about food, still going to bed by 9 p.m. and still getting irrationally angry about things at work. I also feel fat already, even though the baby's only the size of a grape. I've skipped some exercise classes because I'm so tired and I've been devouring random foods that suddenly taste delicious, like beef tacos and egg noodles with butter. I think it makes the baby happy, so I'm just going to go with it.