Friday, May 30, 2008

33- Week Check Up

Ta-da! I only added another 2 lbs since my last visit three weeks ago! So I'm officially 46lbs heavier at 33 weeks. It was a big week though, the lower (read: big giant heavy) weight had to get moved over this time instead of just the little guy. Which of course means the little guy gets reset to lower numbers but still, its a big change for me, I've never seen that puppy get moved so far (fine! don't' feel bad for me!I get it.)

Everything is going well, my bp was 104/70 so its still a the low side but nothing to worry about. The baby's heart rate was 130, although she had to chase him around a little to get a stable reading. He was very active this morning. I swear he LOVEs to kick me in this one particular spot (the one on the movie) and it feels very raw in that spot now. I had felt like he had turned last week but I think hes back to his normal sideways position again. There is plenty of time for turning yet.

So I met the last doctor today and I really liked her alot, which is good because they told me my doctor is gone until the end of JUNE!! So who knows if I'll actually see her again. Oh well, between today's doctor and the other one I like I should be fine since they are the two that have taken over her appointments. There are two other doctors I don't like, but one (the one who told me to stop eating fruit) seems to be a temporary fill in because the other (the one who told me I would probably have trouble getting pregnant because of my weight(WRONG-O!))isn't there. So I guess I'll go over my 'birth plan' with everyone I see from now on just to be safe.

I have another appointment in 2 weeks for a strep B test (that means an internal exam! yippee!) and she said they would do titers (or did she say titrate) because of my penicillin allergy, but I believe that is a blood test, I have no idea what that actually means and didn't seem important at the time..I would guess it has something to do with checking to see how much or which antibiotic to give me to get rid of the strep B if I have it.

So I'll be 34 weeks on Monday which is when they would not make any attempt to stop a delivery if I went into labor. Prior to that they try to slow you down to give the baby steroids that promote lung development. Don't get too excited.. they don't say 'it could be anytime now' until after 36 weeks and even then its the MOST true after 38 wks (Something like 90% of births occur within 2 wks of the estimated date of delivery).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Its not just me being crazy!!

Check out this video about how flame retardants are potentially harmful to humans. I wrote about this awhile ago when I discussed organic crib mattresses.

Want to do a little something about it?

A recent study conducted by the watchdog group, Friends of the Earth, found that 56% of infant carriers, 44% of car seats, and 40% of the strollers they tested had dangerous levels of toxic fire retardant chemicals. Graco (the maker of one of the safest car seats around) is considering removing these chemicals from their products.

Click here to put your name on a petition asking Graco and other manufacturers to not use any more halogenated fire retardants.

My infant is going to have to deal with a flame retardant filled car seat because right now I have no other options. Hopefully, we can get this problem solved in a timely fashion so I can get a car seat without these chemicals when he grows out of this one.

33 weeks pregnant and oh so tired

What does it feel like to be me 33 weeks pregnant? Exhausting! Seriously, the lack sleep thing is starting to add up. I had a wonderful baby shower at my moms on Saturday (there is another one in two weeks for the other half of the family).I traveled there by train and ended up having to fly back (even though I'm not supposed to fly after 32 weeks) because the train was sold out. I had a very nice weekend but it really wore me out. I took two naps yesterday and still feel asleep around 10pm. Although the sleep the followed was pretty spotty.
Here's the biggest problem, I have a HUGE BELLY! I'm not supposed to sleep on my back because the weight of the uterus supposedly cuts off blood supply.  Obviously sleeping on my stomach is out of the question. It seems like sleeping on your side while pregnant should be comfortable but it's just not. To get my belly to touch the bed I have to twist a little further over causing either odd pressure on my shoulder or a twisty uncomfortable spine. I've tried to add a pillow to support the belly but it is even more uncomfortable (mainly because the pillow is probably too big). To make it worse the baby is the most active while I'm laying on my side so the constant pokes and jabs make it even harder to sleep.
Poor Sean, he is normally a very solid sleeper but my constant rolling wakes him up and I feel terrible about it. I suggested sleeping separately but he won't even hear of it. He asked me this morning why I had so much trouble sleeping last night. I just laughed and said it probably had something to do with the ~30lbs I'm carrying just in the belly (not to be confused with the nearly 50 I've put on to date). To which he replies 'oh, so that's not going to get better is it'. Sorry babe, it is only going to get worse before it gets better, and 'getting better' isn't likely to occur until 3months after the baby is born.

I cursed myself on Saturday at the shower because I kept telling people my back wasn't really bothering me at all. Guess what is bothering me now!!! Oh brother.

Updated to add: For some reason this post gets more hits than any other on my blog, so if you navigated here from a google search feel free to leave a comment about how exhausted you are at 33 weeks pregnant (which is likely the search terms you were using). Apparently it is a common condition! Plus, I love random comments from strangers!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New Idea...

In my blog reading I've noticed that many blogs have re-curring themes for blog posts. For example one blog I frequent has "Works for me Wednesday" where they feature product reviews or other things that "work for them", although I don't think they came up with the idea, it seems to be a theme that many blogger's use. In light of this I'm going to edit my last post and add to it to make a 'Cheers and Jeers' themed post (Rants and Raves sounds too negative). This will not be tied to a particular day of the week, because that's too much pressure but I hope to have a Cheers and Jeers post once every couple weeks.

Cheers and Jeers

Cheers to: JetBlue!

As if I didn't love this company enough already, I got an e-mail from them today about "Jetting to go Green", their new initiative to be a little greener. Check it out at their website, and while you're there you can enter to win lots of cool prizes (which you have to share with me if you win because I told you about them).
Seriously, I wish every company was as environmentally conscious as JetBlue!!

Jeers at: Fisher Price.

Ugh am I tired of companies hiding behind the FDA and patting consumers on the head saying things like "Don't worry we test our products and they are safe according to the current standards." For some people the 'current standards' just aren't good enough and I would like more information. Furthermore, you just recalled products for lead paint in your toys, 'we test our products' doesn't fly anymore. If I 'the consumer' do not feel comfortable with your product because I fear the safety of a particular item that may or may not be in your product I won't buy it. If you 'the producer' want me to feel confident buying your products, please tell me what is in them. This 'no comment' stance to me equals "We load our products with cheap things like PVC and phalates that are probably going to harm your child but since there is no way to trace it back to us, we figure its best not to tell you about it, lest you actually decide to sue us when the evidence becomes clear that these products are harmful". Now my little 'David' blog isn't going to change a 'Goliath' like Fisher Price but if enough of us 'Davids' get together we have a chance of making an impact. As for my household, from this day forward we will be boycotting Fisher Price products (I just removed one product from my baby registry! HA!).

I just did a quick search for Fisher Price Boycott... I'm not the only one who doesn't like Fisher Price.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baby bump 32 Weeks

I know I'm late again. It has been a bit crazy with school and other obligations. Apparently, I was making some people nervous since it had been so long since my last post. I had a deadline last week to submit an abstract for a conference so every spare moment was sucked into that. Then we spent the weekend out of town not arriving home until Monday morning. So this week, Tuesday is my Monday and since I'll be headed upstate to my parents on Thursday, Wednesday is my Friday. That's my kinda week!! Elaine had asked if I would start posting pictures every week now since we are so close. As of right now, the answer is no. 1) I can't get them up on time when I do it every 2 weeks, 2) I'm changing less now in my opinion and 3) I like these pictures less and less as I get bigger and bigger. If I look tired in the picture, I am! I think its par for the course at this point. Only 8 weeks left.. 'I think I can, I think I can' =)

Monday, May 12, 2008

My 1st Mother's Day.

Since this was my first Mothers Day as a Mom-to-be, I wasn't really expecting much but I was hoping Sean would at least remember to get a card. He did so much more than that, I actually got gifts! One from him and one from baby! Ever since our birthing class I have been talking about getting a birthing ball, and Sean has constantly poo-pooed the idea because he didn't want another thing in the house that I would loose interest in. Well he got me one! I've heard they are also great for after the baby because the bouncing motion is very familiar and calming. The best part right now, is that while getting up and down from sitting on the ball I get a lot less tailbone pain than I do when getting up and down from sitting in a chair. That was my gift from him, my gift from baby was a Ped-egg! I say I want one every time I see the info-murcial but I didn't really expect to get one. You can find them in stores now so I guess Sean remembered! He is so great.

Honestly, the best part of all was the card I got from the baby! Obviously Sean wrote it (left handed to make it look child-sloppy) but it just chokes me up every time I look at it. It says cute things like thanks for holding me and feeding me and taking good care of me. Baby also says he is sorry for making my feet hurt and hopes his gift helps. (Are you crying because I'm crying!?) As a bonus (which Sean probably didn't do intentionally but gets major bonus points for) he wrote the card on stationary left over from my sisters bridal shower favor. This stationary was a joint effort by my grandmother (and possibly some things left over from her mother and/or grandmother) and I to tat some cute patterns to put onto stationary cards. Kristy then added (with help from Aunt Sue and Mom) a very pretty fabric liner to the envelope. Anyway, my point is that the stationary has some family significance so it's really a sweet thing. Makes me cry all over again just thinking about it.

That's new!

The blueberry has now found my ribcage! He has been palpating the inside of my ribs for the last 20-30 mins! So far, I suppose due to my extremely long torso, he hasn't come into contact with my ribs much. Things must be getting a little more cramped in there (as if I'm not putting on enough weight)!

Over the last week or so the gentle kicks and nudges have turned a little nastier. I'm starting to have real fears that my child is going to be mean because of the way he has been clawing and kicking at me. Anyone want to weigh in on this? Please tell me this is an irrational fear!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day Mom

Warning: Total Sappy Content! I'm getting to the emotional part of pregnancy so I just can't help it.

In honor of Mother's Day:

My Favorite Things About my Mom:

1.) She's my personal cheerleader: My mom might not always understand everything I do, but shes always in my corner cheering me on. No matter how small my accomplishments might be she is always impressed. I remember one year I came home from college and while I was unpacking my things, she found the study sheets I had made for my biology final. I think there were about 20 chapter outlines, one chapter per sheet. To me it wasn't really anything to be proud of but my mom was totally impressed and actually asked to keep them.

2) She's all about the follow through. My mom doesn't do anything halfway. From homemade Halloween costumes every year growing up, to just-right hair-do's every morning before school, my mom puts an extra ounce of love into everything she does.

3) She's loyal. There is nothing she won't do for her family or those she cares about. I mention I could use some help re-organizing my closet, all she says is "what weekends are good for you?"

4)She's honest and consistent. My mom doesn't 'play games'. As kids, when we screwed up we knew it, and there weren't ever guilt trips or manipulation. In fact, I don't think she ever used the "just wait until your father gets home" line either. Issues were delt with immediately and with total communication. If the dead bolt was set when you came in late, you knew mom was going to be at the top of the stairs ready to give it to you for breaking curfew (it was Erin's fault, I swear! I always underestimated how long it would take me to drop her off at home).

5) Shes affectionate. My house was full of love, hugs kisses and cuddles were the rule. You can't even greet my mom without a hug. The woman is so full of love it just bubbles right out of her onto everyone around.

6) Shes predictable. I can guarantee if she isn't already, by the time she finishes reading this she'll be crying (this goes back to the love just bubbling out of her!). You always know what to expect with my mom, it is very comforting.

There is a saying that says you don't have to be a 'perfect' parent, you just have to be a 'good enough' parent. Well, my mom went way beyond good enough! The example she has set for me has set the bar pretty high. I hope to be a 'good-enough' mother to make my mom proud and do right by the example she's set (although if you go back to #1 you'll realize that might not be too hard). Thanks Mom, for being more than good enough... and I swear if I wasn't such a picky eater, perfect would have definitely been in your sights!! =)

n.b. My mom is away on vacation this week (no I didn't send her for mothers day although I would love to take credit) so don't be disappointed when there is no response from her about this, it'll be a while before she sees it. This is just my way of dealing with the fact that I can't communicate with her today. Going back to being predictable, she is probably a little depressed right now because she can't talk to her girls on Mother's day.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Baby's first home video

I've been trying to catch a video of this for weeks and havn't had much luck. Watch closely at about 10/11 o'clock on the belly, a few seconds in you'll see the blueberry give me a mid-strength kick (theres nothing of value in the sound). Nothing else happens on the video afterwards, just me breathing and Sadie giving herself a bath. They get quite a bit stronger and more obvious than this but so far this is the best I have caught on video. Don't worry I totally understand if you find this freakish

Weighing in

Once again I'm meeting another new doctor, and although my next appointment would have been back with my normal doctor I guess she is on vacation so I won't see her until June. My official weight gain is now at 44lbs and obviously everyone is concerned about it. This seems crazy to me but now I'm supposed to cut back on fruit and increase protein. I guess the protein is supposed to help with the water retention and the fruit has a lot of calories. Here I was feeling guilty for not getting the recommended 5 servings a day and she wants me to just have 1! She kept looking for things in my diet that would be adding weight and there just isn't anything. I eat more in a sitting than I ever used (before pregnancy) to but I'm not snacking uncontrollably or anything like that. I've been so focused these past three weeks trying to be good about food and not eating ice cream and it didn't even make a difference. Boo to that! So I'm going to try not to worry about it too much. The baby's heart rate is perfect and I'm measuring normal still. My glucose test came back normal (I got an 87 for those who understand those things). She is quite concerned about the size of my ankles and suggested that I start wearing anti-edema stockings, joy of joys! Apparently it's very early for me to be retaining as much water as I am. I tried to explain that I think its okay because my sister had the same thing but that fell on deaf ears.

Next appointment in three weeks!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Singing praises...

1) I want to update everyone on the Sigg bottles. I LOVE THEM! No metal taste at all, keeps the water pretty cold for a long time which is surprising since I'm not actually going out of my way to have cold water. This might sound funny, but I really like the feel of it on my lips. A normal water bottle has threads on the top for the cap and this one has the threads on the inside so you don't feel them and the metal is so smooth it is a very pleasant experience. =) They are a little pricey but I think its totally worth it.

2) I want to publicly praise Baby's R Us for making a real effort to carry more green options. Toys-R-Us also announced recently that it will start removing baby bottles that contain BPA from their shelves sometime next year. I just got a flier from them yesterday and from May 9 (I think)- 29th they are having a lot of good sales on baby products, including a lot of buy one get one half off on Gerber organics and other organic product deals. Opinions on 'big business' aside, having green products available at this level is so important, because green living should be an option for more than just the very wealthy. So GO Toys-R-Us/ Babys-R-Us! May 17th they are having a green product fair at most stores. Check it out if you can, I will be tied up that day so I probably won't make it, but I would love to hear about it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Baby Bump 30wks

Wow, I can officially say 30 weeks feels a lot longer in real life than it does when you just think about how long 30 weeks should feel. I have been pregnant since October! Watching other people be pregnant feels a lot shorter than being pregnant yourself. 10 more weeks until show time. The birth dreams have started but so far they are easy, painless birth dreams so thats good at least.Two things have been said to me more frequently lately. 1) It looks like you have a basketball in your shirt. While that is true, the weight gain in other places is pretty significant, although I will admit it photographs better than it looks in real life. I saw my sister on Saturday, and you can always count on your sister to be brutally honest. The one thing she couldn't stop talking about was the size of my butt! Its pretty huge compared to what it once was, although I realize I'm not going to get a whole lot of sympathy. and 2) "That baby is LOW, you're going to have it soon huh?" To which I have to say, "no I'm not due until July it just seems lower because I have an abnormally long torso." To which they reply, "No you're just carrying low, which means you are going to have the baby early". Note to everyone who ever talks to a pregnant person. Don't say NO to me (I mean her)! I know what my body looked like before and I'm telling you, it just seems low because my boobs aren't resting on top of it. I have plenty of room left down below to 'drop'.
Oh and before I end, I want to reply to Elaine's comment from two weeks ago about my hair. I'm not growing it out on purpose, in fact, I actually cut it the weekend before the 28wk pic was taken, although I totally admit it didn't look much different before and after the cut. My intention was to loose length but he just cleaned it up and added more layers, which I proceed to straighten the crap out of so they lay flat. In this picture, for those who don't know me well, I just let it curl. No perm or anything like that, I just was being lazy this morning and didn't blow it dry. The warmer it gets the more often I let it curl (who wants to sit under a hot blow dryer?!? and its not going to freeze if I leave the house with it wet).
My doctors appointment isn't until Thursday this week so check back then for a health and weight update.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The dangers of PVC

Until I started reading 'green' baby books I had absolutely NO idea that PVC (a common household plastic sometimes referred to simply as 'vinyl') was even remotely dangerous. According to greenpeace PVC is the most "environmentally damaging of all plastics." The process of making PVC is combines many chemicals to soften and stabilize the plastic. These chemicals include chlorine, lead, cadmium, DHEA and phthalates. Many of these chemicals are linked to liver and kidney damage as well as cancer in animals. Phalates in general have been linked to reproductive organ problems as well as premature breast development in girls. The problem is that these chemicals don't stay IN the PVC after processing and could and do leach out, not only while you own the thing containing PVC but also after it ends up in a landfill, causing these chemicals to end up in the ground water.
Guess what?!? Virtually every known use for PVC has a safer alternative, the problem of course, is that the safer alternative is generally more expensive so big companies aren't eager to make the switch.
Our biggest power for change is in our pocketbook so if we stop buying products that contain PVC maybe manufacturers will stop producing them. (This includes your vinyl shower curtain, that nasty smell it has for a few days after you first put it up is clue #1 it's not good for you).

Here is a list of a few brands that in 2003 were known to be making PVC free childrens toys (something obviously important to me at the moment). However, they may have changed their policies since then so look for things like "PVC free" on the packaging. Obviously, solid wood toys are typically PVC free too, although anything painted could have other issues.

Brio (sister company of K'nex and Lincoln logs) Ambi toys specifically are listed as PVC free. (Although I'm not exactly sure what it means to be an Ambi toy)

Chicco (nothing on the website, I emailed them, check for updates) Update: 5/6/08. Melody e-mailed me back to say that Chicco is still PVC free! Way to go Chicco!

Gerber- Still PVC free since 1999 (only some are phthalate-free) They lean a little too much on FDA standards to justify the safety of their products if you ask me.

International Playthings (Primetime & Early Start)- I emailed them check back for updates-- Update 05/05- They say they are working toward a goal of being PVC free but gave no indication of when it will happen.

Lego Systems Still GOOD!

Sassy (list of BPA and PVC free toys) I emailed them. UPDATE 5/28- they responded to tell me they are phalate free (both Sassy and Mam products!)

Tiny Love Their blog says all their toys are PVC and Phalate free, although some of the packaging may contain PVC. Update 05/06/08- Sheri from Tiny Love says "Please be assured that all of our products undergo rigorous safety testing and contain no Bisphenol-A, PVC, lead or any other harmful chemicals. We have passed both the American Standard Safety Test (ASTM-963) as well as the European test (EN-71) and have had no recalls on any of our items."

If anyone has information to add to this let me know!


Update: Continued Kudos for Ikea.. their toys are PVC free. I would bet everything they make is PVC free, this is one of the most environmentally conscious mainstream companies I've ever seen. GO IKEA.