Thursday, January 27, 2011


Little Belly!
As of yesterday, we've made it to sixteen weeks. I'm not really counting the days so much anymore; the weeks are all starting to run together. July 13th feels like it's right around the corner, and there's so much to do! One thing I'm not loving about pregnancy is that there is always some decision to panic about. And boy do I panic. Because every decision is also the most important one I've ever had to make. This is MY BABY we're talking about. It's not like buying a new pair of shoes or getting a hair cut, or really anything I've ever had to do before, and the (mostly self-imposed) pressure of the decisions mixed with pregnancy hormones and my already overly neurotic nature is running me ragged. I cry a lot. Kyle plays the good husband and tells me everything will be fine, but honestly, I don't want to hear that everything will be fine unless that statement is accompanied with information proving it to be true.

The other day I was chatting with BFF (she is pregnant too, a couple weeks behind me, but shh, don't tell), and she mentioned that she had registered for her child birth class recently. Wait, what? Already? Oh yes, she says. Her midwife asked her what class she was taking at her 12 week appointment and that apparently got her going on it. What? At  MY 12 week appointment, with that very same midwife, I expressed concern (i.e. freaked out), about not getting things (birth classes, pediatrician picking, etc.) done on time, and she assured me that they would let me know at each appointment what I should be working on. Or not, I guess. So I start looking. The teacher most highly recommended by my birth center... well her class is already full. Shit. In the end we found a class that we are happy with, and we registered this afternoon, but OMG stress! However, I should tell you, that we are taking our birth class from none other than Penny Simkin herself. How awesome is that? I have now moved on to stressing about daycare. Oh, daycare. But my stress surrounding day care is probably more than enough for it's own post.

I'm also starting to feel quite a bit better about the whole maternity fashion thing. (Is it vain to talk about this so often?) I still don't quite look pregnant, unless you're looking from the exact right angle, and my posture is just so, and you knew what I looked like before, etc. etc. And feeling like you look fat instead of pregnant isn't any good. But I've been able to find a few more good pieces here and there and I don't feel like I am wearing the same tee shirt every day, so that is good. I still need to do a lot more work to build a functional wardrobe, but it probably be and ongoing process, especially since I'm sure some of the stuff that fits me now won't anymore later. BFF and I have a date this weekend to visit every maternity store in the Seattle metropolitan area, so that should be good, I think.

In other news, Kyle and I did venture to the local (well, it's really in another city) Babies 'R Us to start our registry. There are only maybe ten things on it as of right now, since we actually have to research car seats and strollers and bottles and what kind of baby grooming kit we want, but I feel better knowing that we've at least started it and that I've exposed Kyle to the sheer masses of stuff that we don't necessarily need, but that is available to make our lives easier (or perhaps more difficult) with a baby. And I'm slowly acquiring information and knowledge about car seats and strollers, so the volume of choices is starting to feel not entirely overwhelming, and I'm beginning to feel relatively confident that we'll actually be able to make a decision we feel confident before the baby turns two.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's in a name?

How in the world do people name their children without have a complete nervous breakdown? I feel like this (and every other decision we have to make involving pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting) is the biggest, most important thing I've ever had to do and the consequences if we get it wrong... well, I don't know what they are, but they are hanging over my head, nonetheless. A name, a car seat, a parenting philosophy... it's all so overwhelming.

Names in particular are so important to me. I have a "weird" name. I also had a weird nickname as a kid. I love my weird name. Maybe it's because of the millions of times my dad told me how much thought he and my mom had put into choosing it, and the reasons the had, and so on, but I'm so glad I'm simply Astrid, and not Jessica R. or Jenny, because there's already a Jen and a Jennifer in my class/workplace/whatever. And yeah, it was often pronounced incorrectly or completely misheard, and yes, there were a couple of weeks in third grade where the older boys called me "ostrich," but none of that really matters. What matters is that my dad thought it was really important for his daughter to have a strong feminine name, one not too dainty or diminutive. What matters is that I was the only Astrid around, and my name was mine, all mine, and almost nobody has any preconceived notions about who I am or what kind of person I should be. I get to make that first impression.

We talk so much about teasing when we talk about names. When we talk about anything, really. Don't name you kid after a fruit, she'll get made fun of.  You have to circumcise your son or the other boys in the locker room will bully him. Your daughter will have a hard time making friends if you send her to school with a pita and hummus instead of a PB&J. I think the moral here is not that we can protect our kids from taunts and bullying by normalizing everything about them, but that our children will be teased no matter what we do, and that shouldn't be a good enough reason to name them John, or preform elective cosmetic surgery on a newborn, or whatever. And I think I'd so much rather be Astrid/Ostrich than Sarah number seventeen.

So my kids are not going to be Aiden or Emma, or whatever is at the top of the charts right now. But I think picking a unique name is so much harder than just going with the flow, or following some family tradition, or what have you. When you have all the freedom in the world, you can become paralyzed with indecision and get completely overwhelmed with all the choices, not to mention the lifelong consequences they'll have for your children.

We have a little less than six months to figure it out. Let's hope that's long enough.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Hello, blog! I'm still here. Fifteen weeks and one day pregnant. This experience just gets weirder and weirder I think. I'm pretty sure my body is changing by the day at this point, and it always looks different in the evening than I remember it looking in the morning. Bizarre. My belly is still not cute and round and obviously pregnant looking, but it's changed enough the even Kyle clearly notices the difference, and that's saying a lot, since as far as he is concerned, I've been the same size for the last six years. Definitely not so accurate. But yeah. This is getting real now. No needing to arch the back to emphasize it.

I'm really happy that baby is doing good growing in there, and that I'm finally seeing some obvious changes, but like, fashion-wise, belly is not making me very happy. Yesterday I wore the one stylish maternity shirt that I have out to trivia night with some friends, and instead of looking cute-pregnant, I'm pretty sure I just looked like I was awkward, chubby, and trying to hide it. Blah. And since it's less uterus, and more internal organs pushed out of the way by uterus, it's still kind of squishy and not hard and round and bleh. And the fact that I have approximately four things that I can fit into, most of which are boring as all hell, doesn't really make me feel any better about this.

But otherwise, I'm doing pretty good. I seem to have gotten over the barfing thing (finally!), although I do still sometimes feel queasy, but not in a yakking-is-imminent kind of way. I am still, though, tired all the time. I think maybe more than I had been previously. And my appetite still hasn't 100% returned. I'm trying to make myself eat so that I can gain back the 5.5 pounds I've lost, but eating when you're not hungry or find everything completely unappetizing is not fun, nor does it really promote a healthy attitude towards food. At least now I'm eating a wider variety of things than just bread, but hopefully soon I will like eating again.

I'm also finding that my center of gravity is already shifting, and I'm a bit more tippy than normal. This wouldn't be such a big deal, I don't think, except for that I spend a lot of my time wearing really tall heels or climbing ladders, or both. This morning we were putting up new displays and I almost lost my balance a couple times in the window. I think I'm going to have to start delegating that part of my job. And just being more careful in general, probably. A lot of my work seems to put me in precarious positions, and I really ought to be more mindful of myself.

Monday, January 17, 2011


I went shopping today. For maternity clothes. Wahoo? Found an Old Navy store with a Maternity section, but boy was the selection there dismal. (There are a couple other stores in the area that have Maternity, so I will try my luck there next.) And wow I hate shopping. Which is strange, because I normally love shopping. My mother likes to call me a fashionista, which drives me nuts, but it's kind of true, so this was a weird experience. I still don't really NEED maternity, and I'm not buying pants for as long as I can help it (or at all, if I can manage), but my pre-pregnancy wardrobe is, shall we say body-conscious (aka TIGHT) and therefore 95% of my tops are now too short and awkward and terrible. So I need some interim, sorta-pregnant clothes. The trip wasn't totally a bust. I got two super long camisoles and a couple of plain v-neck tees and a couple of black dresses, which look like they will be able to fit a substantial belly. But the whole lot is black, gray, and white, completely unembellished, and utterly boring. Fine for basics and layering pieces, which is what they are, but I need fun things, too, and I have no idea where to find that. It seems that maternity clothing seems to all be basics. And the whole, everything is too big for my boobs thing seems to be doubly true with maternity clothes. Anything I tried on that seemed like it would be able to fit me when I'm big was gaping ridiculously in the bust and at the arms. So hopefully I fill out at some point. Blah. But I did pretty good, since all of that, plus a t-shirt for hubby cost me under $60 with employee discounts and sales and all that, so I guess I can't be bummed. I think my next stop will be target, and also buying buttloads of stuff online and returning most of it, because it seems like all the interesting pieces and colors are online-only. Boo.

Anyway, it turns out the Old Navy the I went to was across the street from a Babies 'R Us, and I had some extra time so... why not? Actually, Kyle agreed to go with me to one next weekend to freak ourselves out and whatever, but I figured it couldn't hurt for me to get a head start so we're not both completely overwhelmed on that trip. And goodness, overwhelmed I was. I have no clue what I need or want or why I should even care about this or that feature, and holy crap all this shit costs a lot of money. I mean, I guess that is why God invented the internet and everything, but how does everyone else even deal? Or maybe while I was reading every thing I could get my hands on about pregnancy and natural childbirth, all the other girls were researching travel systems and pack 'n plays and diaper genies. I don't know. I guess we'll figure it out.

So we're going to go and freak out and hopefully bring Kyle one step closer to actually realizing that we'll be the proud owners of a real live infant six months from now. And probably start a registry because first great grandchild! On three of four sides! People are already buying me shit! And because I am a materialistic American, and registering is fun and I will not apologize for that.

Sorry for the really lame post.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hello, Second Trimester!

So I'm fourteen weeks today and diving in to my second trimester. Cowabunga! My body is definitely changing. Most people who see me are like what, no, you're still impossibly tiny!, which is silly since I was never impossibly tiny to begin with (pre-pregnancy I was probably a size six), but okay. I'm definitely bigger for me, even if OMG BELLY! for me is someone else's normal.

I am definitely going to need to do some shopping soon, for things that will tide me over for the next few months. I did buy one maternity shirt yesterday when I was visiting my old store which has a Maternity section, but I'm not loving the stuff we're selling right now, and the in-store selection is pretty dismal. I'm going to have to have an online shopping extravaganza, I guess. I'm not even especially attached to things having a maternity specific label or anything, but the silhouettes that are coming out for spring are really not going to be flattering on a pregnant body. If only I have been pregnant a year ago when everything was blouse-y and tunic-y. Oh well. I have also heard the advice to just size up in regular clothes, but I'm not sure if that will work for me. I already have problems with tops that fit me elsewhere being huge and gaping in the chest area since I'm so flat, so going up a size seems like a wardrobe malfunction just waiting to happen, since my boobs still haven't gotten any bigger than they ever were. Blah. At least I will be doing the big parts of my pregnancy in the spring and summer. Dresses dresses dresses, I am sure. I'm super glad I'm not all huge now. Being heavily pregnant and having to worry about coats and things sounds like a nightmare.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sick Again

I had only just recovered from Parisian stomach flu, and now I have a nasty cold. I have been in bed all day today, so I feel much less terrible, but I had thought I would be okay at work yesterday, too, but all the standing up, and like, thinking was too much for my poor little body, and I ended up leaving several hours early.

Speaking of work, it's so hard lately. Not physically or mentally, but omigosh, I cannot stand being around all the baby clothes. I mean, I can stand it and they are adorable and I love them, but the cuteness combined with my hormones makes me all teary and useless. But now that we've announced the pregnancy I'm actually able to buy baby things without making my coworkers suspicious, so I went baby shopping. We make so few unisex items, which is probably good because I don't need to spend tons of money on impractical baby apparel, but shopping! It's what I do best! And I can't buy anything for me right now because I don't need maternity yet, really, but I don't want to buy anything that fits me now, but will only be wearable for a month. Anyway, this is what I got. It is adorable and I love it and actually making a baby purchase for the first time feels like a super big deal to me.

(Now you know where I work. I wasn't planning on sharing that information in my blog, but it's pretty much inevitable to come out because FASHION!!!! I don't think it's going to matter so much since all of two people actually read my blog, and I generally have pretty good things to say about my company in general, but blah blah disclaimer I don't speak for Gap, etc.)

I'm really relieved that my pregnancy is out in the open now. I definitely wasn't ready to tell until we did, but as soon as we had out ultrasound I wanted everyone to know.  It definitely feels awkward for me to tell people in person, but fortunately I didn't have to for most people. Just some coworkers that I'm not friends with one Facebook, and my Grandpa, and surely I can suck it up for him. Kyle called his grandparents, and we emailed our extended families, gave them a day to make sure they read it all, and then told everyone else over Facebook. I was all sweaty and clammy and anxious in the hour after my email and Facebook posting waiting for comments, but now it's all done, and people are excited and I feel great, and I hope I don't turn into that obnoxious person who can't talk about anything else because so few of my peers are in the same life stage as me (so I guess they aren't really my peers so much anymore?), but I probably will be and oh well.

Otherwise, things are pretty good. We had another midwife appointment last week as well, and got back the numbers from our bloodwork. Normal, of course. Awesome. However, what's not awesome is the results that came back from my last prenatal. I'm borderline low on iron, and like, pathetically dismal for vitamin D. They sent me off to find obscure liquid supplements, which I've been taking dutifully, so hopefully thing will start looking up in those departments.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

France Update.

So, my trip! Remember that? Yeah, well, after my last post on the subject, things went a little downhill. I did get in a good shopping trip with my sister, and that was pretty wonderful, although all I ended up buying was a pair of sunglasses, because I wasn't really interested in amassing my maternity wardrobe on the Champs Elysees.  But I did find it a little bit difficult to enjoy my time with her on the whole. I think it was because she's going through such a huge life transition right now, but it was making her quite insufferable most of the time, and that was disappointing.

Sis and I before I got sick.
The last couple days of our trip I fell ill. I actually ended up leaving the restaurant in the middle of lunch with my parents and my sister and taking the Metro back to our apartment alone, without a good idea of where I was going because I just all of the sudden couldn't handle being vertical anymore. Laying down in the dark helped, and I napped for several hours. But later when my dad was cooking dinner, and everyone kept coming in to check on my, the smells from the kitchen wafted in every time the door was opened and I lost my lunch. And by lunch I mean a few bites of salad, because that's all I had eaten. And I spent the next twelve hours alternating between bed and the bathroom floor. I didn't leave the apartment for the remainder of our trip. Slept right through New Years Eve, although I think Kyle woke me up at midnight. I also had about an hour of panicked delirium where I was sure I had contacted Listeriosis from the mass amounts of smoked salmon I had ingested and was going to give birth to a baby with three arms and called a nurse-line with the most unhelpful answers ever, and then gave up and figured I'd see my midwives when we got back to Seattle if I hadn't died yet.

I'm pretty sure I had some sort of virus, and not just pregnancy related nausea, although maybe one just exacerbated the other. I think I had a mild fever for at least part of the time. Anyway, it's not exactly how I had planned to spend my time in Paris. And I was just so very relieved to come home. Especially after lugging my suitcase through the Metro system to the train station and eventually out again to the cab because there was an accident and booking it through the airport so we wouldn't miss our flight only to have it delayed, and feeling like I might be about to faint the entire time. When we got to Seattle we just took a cab home without even really considering trying to use public transportation (which is actually very easy here), because neither of is could fathom not getting home as quickly as humanly possible. And then I went straight to bed even though it was only three in the afternoon.

Now I have a pretty nasty cold that I'm trying to get through, and the coughing and post-nasal drip definitely trigger my nausea, so that's less than fun. But I think we're on the upside of all of this. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


13 Weeks
Dear Baby,

Hello! We are thirteen weeks along today! Almost finished up with the first trimester. Everything changed on Monday. Your Daddy and I got to see you for the first time! You are completely amazing.Your heartbeat is strong, and I've already watched the DVD we got from our ultrasound so many times so I could hear it again. You look perfect, and you're just as big as you should be. You have all of your arms and legs and you were waving them around like crazy. I'm glad you're already so feisty, even though I might regret saying that when you're exhausting me next year. I've been carrying your picture around with me everywhere because I'm just so excited and so in love.

You're also really starting to have an effect on my body. A couple weeks ago I started noticing that my pants were fitting tighter, but I wasn't really showing, at least not if I stood with any sort of reasonable posture. But today after I put my belt on, all of the sudden there you were! I was so happy and surprised that I said, "Hello, Baby!" out loud. I couldn't help myself.

This week we've also announced you to the world! Your grandparents and aunties and uncles have known about you almost since the beginning, but you were a secret from everyone else. It was fun for us to have a secret for a little while, but at this point I can't keep the news to myself any longer. Everyone is really excited to meet you, just like we are!

Love, Mommy

Your Facebook Debut

Monday, January 3, 2011


So, I was totally going to have some big update post about the rest of our Paris trip, but that's going to have to wait until later because we had our first ultrasound today and I cannot possibly write about anything else.

Oh. My. God. It was amazing! I was so anxious leading up to our appointment today. I woke up at 3:30 and I couldn't get back to sleep. I wasn't able to eat anything and felt terribly queasy to the point where I had to sit down on the bathroom floor for a couple of minutes in the middle of putting on my makeup. I know that we're pretty much the lowest risk pregnancy ever, but ugh. I can't help but imagine what could go wrong, especially after years of reading infertility blogs. I was having nightmares about spontaneous triplets.

But baby was perfect. I've only ever seen pictures from ultrasounds before, so I wasn't expecting to see the baby move so much--I don't know why, since it seems obvious that baby would be moving, but it surprised me. That was the best part, I think. Baby was waving arms around everywhere, and probably getting in the way of what the tech was trying to look at or measure, but I thought it was wonderful.

When we first heard the heartbeat all I could do was laugh, which of course messed everything up, so we had to start over.  I'm glad that I didn't get all sobby, and instead I was all giggly and bouncy and HAPPY and OH MY GOODNESS CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Kyle is a little more (aHEM) subdued about his excitement, but when he isn't trying to check his email or Facebook updates on his iPhone every two minutes, it means he's pretty damn interested in whatever else is going on.

Anyhow, we're now waiting on the results of our blood test, but they told us today that the nuchal translucency measurements looked really good, and they put our risk of Downs at 1 in 4700 (down from about 1 in 1000 based on just our ages), and that they don't expect the blood testing to result in anything funky. So yeah. I can breath a little bit now.

We got to keep a DVD of the whole thing, and we are supposed to bring it back to any other ultrasounds so they can add onto it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to watch it every day, at least until we do our anatomy scan at 20 weeks.


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