Sunday, April 27, 2008

Let's Do this again in 2028!

Last Friday, Shawn and I took a field trip to the grounds of the Indianapolis Art Museum. Since our schedules at work do not afford us a day off in common, I took a vacation day so that we could spend one last day together sans baby. It ended up being one of those spectacular, warm, spring days that almost make winter worth it. The IMA grounds were beautiful with every spring bulb and flowering tree competing with one another in a beauty contest. We took the dog and a picnic and just enjoyed a relaxing, childless, afternoon as a married couple. We agreed to do in again when Shawn's 50 and I'm 49!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Drop It Like It's Hot!

Today is day 246 of Felicia's gestation. Yesterday, I started to feel like crap--heavy, lots of pressure in my pelvic area, some crampiness as well. Could it be...I hardly dared think the thought! Felicia coming 3 weeks early?? But no such luck. After laying down most of the evening last night, my icky feeling subsided and I was pretty much back to my normal pregnant today. I am attributing some of yesterday's funk (and the lingering sensation that my uterus could fall out of me at any minute!) to what is known as "lightening." Lightening, a horrible misnomer in my opinion, is the term used to describe when a baby settles firmly into her mommy's pelvis in preparation for birth. This settling makes a smidgen more room between your boobs and your tummy allowing for deeper breathing, but smooshes your bladder and every other organ south of your belly button into flesh pancakes. Yuk. The good news is, I only have 20 more days to enjoy this "Unbearable Lightness of Being" the size of a teenage cow. That is, unless, Dear Sweet Felicia is late...and that'll be a whole other story!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Daddys Nest, Too!

Shawn and I spent a good portion of our Saturday night getting the baby's room ready for her arrival. It's looking pretty good...
Shawn had to think carefully about where to hang each item of decor...
And in the end he was happy with most of his stuffed animal placements.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bottom of the Ninth

My cute pregnant days are over. With 29 days left until delivery, I wake up each morning a bit more uncomfortable than I was the day before. Walking from my car to my front door leaves me huffing and puffing. I can't sleep for more than two hours at a stretch or else I risk waking up with one of my limbs cramping or asleep from 50 extra lbs. of pressure. I burp a lot. My big maternity clothes are now quite snug. Some woman asked me if I was having twins. I know that Felicia's birthday is just around the corner and I am frantically trying to make sure that everything is ready for her.

Shawn and I spent our Saturday night hanging wall decor in her room and rearranging furniture to find the configuration that made me the happiest. Aside from a couple minor things (like the fact that I am confounded by the bumper pad), I think the nursery is baby-ready.

Aside from preparing the physical space, I want to make sure that I am ready to mother a newborn as well. I've read all my books, some twice, and packed my bag for the hospital. On Friday morning, I attended a La Leche League meeting at the library.

La Leche League is a support group for breastfeeding mothers. Joining La Leche League is probably the closest I will ever come to being a legacy in a sorority. My mom was a League leader when my brothers and I were growing up and there are many family tales about our memories of attending meetings. In the late 70's, breastfeeding was just on its way back "in" after people were gradually beginning to question the nutritional superiority of infant formula to breast milk. As with many scientific breakthroughs, upon further investigation, formula was not the medical marvel it had been touted as during the 50's and 60's. Turns out, Mother Nature had a pretty good system in place for making sure human babies were provided for. Anyway, Mom became a pro-breastfeeder and was a natural at helping other women who wanted to nurse their babies.

So after 4 year of attending meetings on the boob-receiving end of the equation (Mom believed in self-weaning so I nursed a bit longer than most kids in this country), I thought it was time to go to a meeting as the giver of the boob. I was the only woman there who was pregnant, the rest all had babies of various ages. The topic was introducing solid foods and it was pretty interesting to hear what everyone had to say. For the most part, I just listened.

Then the leader, a sweet girl with three kids herself, asked if I had any more general questions. I really don't know why, but at that moment, as I tried to tell the 6 or 7 other moms there about my fears about nursing, I began to cry. Really cry. I guess I am more nervous about being a mom than I realized and something about being there with a supportive group made me just lose it. Who knows what the rest of the group thought--they all said they'd been there, that they understood-- but I didn't even really know why I was sobbing. I listened as they all reassured me and I took their tissues, but, every time I would try to pull it together, no luck, the tears would start over again. This was the beginning of what I can only call the All Day Cry.

I composed myself enough to go to work for a minute. When asked by my co-workers what was wrong (there was no hiding the fact that I'd been crying), I told them I saw a duck get hit by a car. While this isn't a total lie (I did see a squashed Canadian goose a few minutes earlier), it wasn't quite the whole truth either. It just seemed easier than telling them I had no earthly clue why I was crying but that I could start again at any minute. And start I did. Shawn followed me to the mechanic so I could drop off my car for repairs. I cried the whole way there. I wore sunglasses in the garage so Jeff at Honda West wouldn't see my bloodshot eyes. I cried the whole way home in the car with Shawn. I tried, feebly, as I didn't understand myself, to explain to Shawn that I wasn't sad, that I felt physically fine, I was just crying. When it was all said and done, I probably cried for three solid hours. And then, as mysteriously as it had started, I was finished. I felt better, if a bit tired.

So, hormonally, I am ready to eject this baby. The feeling of being in control of my emotions, if nothing else in my life, is one I am ready to reclaim. I realize that the postpartum period can be just as bumpy, but I think I got a good preview of what that might be like on Friday and I made it out alive. Poor Shawn is the one who I'm more worried about. He told me when my crying jag was over that he didn't like it when I got like that; he didn't know what to do. That makes two of us.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Felicia's Pre-Party

They say you can't spoil a baby, but what about a fetus? If you can, Felicia's done been spoilt!! I had my baby shower on Saturday and this kid made out like a bandit. In addition to all the great must-have items she received like washcloths, monitors, and diaper rash cream, she also got a ton of fun stuff like a frilly swimsuit, two handmade blankets/quilts, and some great onesies! Thanks to all the ladies who came and spent the afternoon watching me open presents and eat cake!

And a special thanks to the hostesses (above) who made the day so special for Felicia and me! A word of advice to any other preggos out there trying to enlist friends to host their shower: When 2/3 of the hostesses are pregnant, you're going to have an awesome party with some killer food. Who else but a pregnant lady would special order guacamole or spend the morning carving a watermelon into a baby-buggy? The non-preggo did a pretty good job as well coming through with an Emporium cake complete with buttercream frosting. Way to go Jen, Aly and Carrie!! And if you're also looking for something for your husband to do during your special afternoon, have him host a barbecue for his buddies with the admission price being a pack of diapers. That's how Shawn spent his Saturday and, not only did he have a good time with his friends and catch a pleasant buzz, but I came home to a house FULL of diapers! (And beer cans, and potato chip crumbs, and 1/2 eaten brats, but it was worth it!) With the first taste of spring weather FINALLY arriving on Saturday, it was a win-win for all of us. What a great day!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Big Sister Scout

Anthropomorphizing pets is the Schroeder way. I don't get the sense it happened as much in Shawn's house growing up as it did in mine, but he treats Scout like a human, so he must have seen it done. One of our big topics of conversation right now is "How will Scout adjust to the baby?"

She is a crotchety, 12-year-old dog who has never spent much extended time around children so we have reason to worry. As our family and friends have begun having children and bringing them around, Scout's reaction has been mixed. She follows the little people around our house watching them intently to make sure they don't steal her food. Kids quick movements and loud voices unsettle her. When Shawn's nephew Logan spent the night with us, Scout slept right beside his air mattress, not as a companion, I don't believe, but more as a Guantanamo guard. She posted herself there to make sure that he didn't get up in the middle of the night and try to steal anything belonging to her or her people. When Avery visits, Scout is weary at best and even nipped at her once. Avery finally won Scout over by feeding her Apple Jacks.

In recent weeks, as the nursery nears completion, Scout has gone in there in the middle of the night and crapped 3 times. Scout is house broken and has been for at least 10 years so the crapping seems like a bit of a protest. But even I, firm believer in doggie wisdom as I am, have a hard time believing she actually knows what is about to happen. I suppose if dogs can smell cancer in a human, they can detect pregnancy. But does she really know why we're re-doing the room? The dog has never seen a crib before, there's just no there?

Just in case, I've been having long talks with Scout about what to expect when her new baby comes home. I have played with her in the baby's room and tried to let her sniff around the new clothes and toys. Shawn and I put her in the crib. Ok, so that was more for our pleasure, but it was pretty funny. I let her go for a ride in the baby's new pink wagon. Again, maybe that was more for me than her. Actually, that might be part of the reason why she's been upset...I just love the damn dog so much I want to make sure I'm never put in the position of having to choose between dog and baby. So, they need to get along from the get go. No biting, no growling, and preferably only one of them crapping in the nursery.