Friday, November 30, 2007

Good Morning from Grand Rapids

Here is our house as it appeared when we moved in at the beginning of August.

And here is what it looked like when I walked outside this morning. I'm guessing this doesn't bode well for a balmy winter.

I was on my way to the dr.'s office when we took this. I had a Non-Stress Test, where they monitor the baby's heartbeat for 20-25 minutes to make sure she shows normal activity. She aced that, although mostly because she spent the last ten minutes kicking the sensor they had placed on my belly.

Then we went downstairs for an ultrasound where they checked out my levels of amniotic fluid. The tech was very relaxed about the whole thing from the moment I sat down, so we spent a few minutes just looking at the baby, checking for organs and what not. That also went well -- we are definitely having a girl! It was very interesting to see how much more baby there is inside of me right now! It was hard to make anything specific out in the pictures until the tech outlined it for us. Kevin seemed to have an easier time telling what was what, but I was looking at it sideways. My amniotic fluid levels were fine, so they're going to let me go a few more days. I have another Non-Stress Test scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, and will have my normal weekly check-up after that. If she has not arrived by that point, we'll schedule an induction for later in the week.

At this point I think it would be almost a surprise if I do go into labor naturally. It feels like we've been waiting for her to get here for so long! It's really nice to know that one way or another, she'll be here within the week.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

You're either In or your Out

Tomorrow I will be 41 weeks pregnant. Baby shows no sign of appearing today, but there was a special pregnancy surprise for my body last night. After 29+ years of having an innie belly button, I have a outie now. Especially when Baby Ring's little foot is trying to poke through right there. Kevin thinks she might be looking for alternate exits at this point, but I don't think belly button is the way to go.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Still waiting for Baby Ring

We had a dr.'s appointment today, and everything they said boiled down to we'll move forward with an induction at the end of next week if baby hasn't come by then. I have to go in a couple of times between now and then to do some tests to make sure baby is okay, but other than that we're still playing the waiting game.

In other news, all of a sudden it's become Christmas-time! Hurray for that! There is Christmas music on the radio, and we're going to pull out decorations tonight -- how fun would it be to bring the baby home to a festively decorated house! (Very fun is the answer you're looking for.) It's also served as a reminder of how different our lives are going to be with a baby, and Christmas is the first big example of that. Normally we would fly back to Texas to see our families, but this year we might be staying put here in a totally new city. We're waiting until she arrives to decide for sure. Even then it's going to be hard, though, since we have no idea what life will be like with a baby, and how she and I will be feeling by Christmas. I've found myself missing the traditions that we had in San Diego too -- like Kristin's annual Christmas party (2006 pictured above), Thanksgivmas, Fun Times gift exchange and all the December birthdays. I miss our friends in San Diego, and the urban family we had built with them.

That is not to say that I'm not excited about new traditions and the new family that we're about to become, but this Christmas will be a very stark contrast to last Christmas, regardless of where we spend it.

Snowflakes Keep Falling on my Head

Since we arrived in Grand Rapids four months ago, one of the most frequent questions we've received, apart from "Why did you move to Michigan?" is "Are you ready for winter?" We assured people that we both spent years on the East Coast, so we know what winter is like. In the past few days we've had temperatures consistently below 40 at all times of day and night, and have seen snow flurries several times, including this morning. And while we do know what winter is like, we are not quite ready for it. After living in Southern California for two and a half years, we both had to go out and buy socks -- all the ones we have are either dress socks or ankle socks. Because why do you need to cover more than your feet in Southern California? We've also both purchased new coats, long-sleeve shirts and sweaters. I still need to find some sort of waterproof boots. And I'm a little worried about what I"m going to wear post-baby. Conventional wisdom says you go back to the clothes you wore at around 5 months, but I was wearing dresses and shorts and tank tops at that point.

We are still waiting for baby to make her appearance. I'm officially late now. I have been having contractions for the past few days, but it's not quite enough to be active labor. I have a dr.'s appointment this afternoon, so we'll see what they say, but supposedly we're not even going to talk about inducing until next week. Physically I'm fine with that -- I would much rather go into labor naturally. But it is comforting to know that she will be here by some definite date. I do not want to be perpetually pregnant, especially since all the weight I'm gaining now is going straight to her. I'm starting to get a little top-heavy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

3 Centimeters

Baby Ring has not arrived yet, but things are moving along. I had a doctor's appointment this morning and I am dialated 3 cm so far. While this doesn't really mean anything definite, it is a sign that things are moving in the right direction (right direction being baby on the outside instead of the inside). We'll see.

My parents have arrived and are enjoying the peace and quiet of Grand Rapids. It's been gray and wet here most of the time, and I think there's snow in the forecast for Thanksgiving. I doubt that it will stick, based on the transient weather patterns we have been experiencing, but it might be fun to have the baby during snow. Kevin was born during a blizzard, so according to him, all the best people are born during blizzards (excepting people born in the spring, summer, fall or warm climates).

Friday, November 16, 2007

Waiting for baby

So, Baby Ring is due sometime between next Monday (the date indicated on the most recent ultrasound) and next Saturday (the date I am actually 40 weeks pregnant). But we want her to come now!

Nothing has worked so far. We've tried enticing her out with promises of new toys and fun times, but no go. We've been going for walks everyday, but it's gotten so cold I think that might be more of an incentive for her to stay in. We're collecting ideas from friends and books and websites about other ways to make her hurry up -- bumpy roads, painting nails and eggplant parmesan are the top three contenders right now.

In some ways this is so incredibly bizarre, because I know when she gets here everything in our lives is going to change. Kevin and I were talking about it last night, and agree that this is good training for the total pace-of-life change that will take place when she arrives. It's going to take us longer to get things done, and take more focus on our communication to decide on how to do things. It brings up questions about how we do things now and how we want things to be with our family in the future. And for every question we answer it looks like ten more will be raised.

So while we're waiting for her to get here, do we try and figure out all of these things? Or watch TV and read and eat delicious meals? I vote for the latter.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Fall in Grand Rapids (a place where there is fall)

Kevin and I have been enjoying the cooling weather and the changing leaves, and the totally spontaneous nature of fall in Michigan. It's almost 60 today, and tomorrow there might be snow. Hurray!

I finished working last week, so am enjoying being at home and getting last minute things done around the house. We feel like we're ready for baby to come and now are playing the waiting game. I've had some contractions but no real labor yet.