Baby prep

Week 33

We're now about 6 weeks from Optimus Prime's due date, and even though we don't have a crib or the baby's room 100% ready, we have been doing some baby preparations.
A few weeks ago, John was out of town all week.  Our neighbors gave us a very nice Ergo baby carrier as a gift.  Since John was gone and I was bored, I decided to try the carrier out.  Since I don't have a baby yet, I decided that Portland would make a good substitution.  It worked OK, but clearly the carrier was meant for a baby without a tail.

He was a pretty good sport.
And then he got squirmy.
 John and I also took a 5-week childbirth prep course through our hospital.  It was good but the highlight was the empathy belly the partners got to try out.  I told John that until that empathy belly could give you heartburn and constipation at the same time, it's not even close.

I don't think John would make a very good pregnant lady.
Last, we spent a few weeks looking at rocking chairs.  There aren't a whole lot of Mid-century or even just modern rocking chairs.  I finally found one we both liked from Thrive, and we ordered it Labor Day weekend.  It showed up this week.  You know you're getting old when you're anxiously awaiting the arrival of your new rocking chair.
Looks good in the living room and Nera approves.
Nera hasn't moved much from the chair all day.  Apparently, it has her seal of approval.  At least the cats seem to like the new baby furniture.  We'll see how much they like having an actual baby.


Good things to come!

 Week 33

According to ancient K-family folklore, a random sighting of the Wienermobile is an omen of good things to come.  Not necessarily on that day, but in the very near future.  This morning, on my way to work, guess what I saw in the McDonald's parking lot?

Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener...

And not surprisingly, it came all the way from WI.  (Oscar Mayer and Kraft are based in WI for those of you not from the Land of Beer, Cheese, and apparently, Wieners.)

Just for reference, the last time I saw the Wienermobile was at the KC downtown airport in 2008 while riding my bike.  In the next month, we closed on our house, John had a job offer for his current position at UMKC, and he graduated from ISU with his doctorate.  The last time John saw the Wienermobile was while driving through Iowa on his way to start grad school.  So these sightings are fairly rare but always indicate something good is in store!

I hope you all have a Wiener-rific day!



Week 32 Continued

They say pregnant women "nest" before the baby arrives.  Hormones maybe?  Sure, every other weird behavior is blamed on hormones.  I don't know that I've really been nesting in the traditional sense (says the woman who shampooed carpets and cleaned blinds last week), like planning and decorating the nursery, but I suppose I have been.  I'm making good progress on the baby quilt but I'm still not quite done.  Here's a little preview.

Penguins!  Top is assembled and pinned.
I'm in the process of hand tying it right now, but it's taking me a little longer than I thought.  Part of the problem are my "helpers".
String is fun!
But the funny thing is, I'm not the only one that is nesting.  John and I were looking at bassinets and couldn't find one that we liked that wasn't $1000.  So John made a bassinet that comes apart and stores flat.  Best part?  No ruffles or lace anywhere.  It's pretty simple in design and Mid-Century inspired.

Bassinet complete!
 See the quilt?  That was made by a former professor.  It's hard to see the details, but there are dinosaurs all over it.  It's amazing, and best of all, it's not pastel baby blue.  The orange and green go perfect in the baby's room.  The stuffed dino was also a gift from a relative.  I did dream we were having a baby dinosaur and all.

Portland approves of the bassinet but he seems to think it is a perfect sized cat bed.  We'll see what happens when there is a tiny human occupying Portland's space.

John also wants to replaced the kitchen sink, faucet, and back splash in October, before OP arrives.  Not that I'm complaining, I just thought it was funny.  We've always hated that sink and faucet, and the back splash leaves a lot to be desired.  But I thought I was supposed to be the one nesting!  I don't know that it's actually a hormone-driven behavior or if soon-to-be parents are just smart enough to realize once the little lump arrives, there won't be time for home projects or spring cleaning.  We'll keep on "nesting" as long as I have energy and John can think of projects!


Pregnancy has finally caught up to me

Week 32

I just made it home from a long day at work and a quick stop at the grocery store.  John is out of town so I have to fend for myself this week.  Here's what I bought:
  • Spicy guacamole
  • Salt and Vinegar Chips
  • Apple Jacks
  • Cream Soda
  • Milk
Yup.  I'm that pregnant lady.

In the last week or so, I've really noticed that I'm slowing down and everyday tasks are getting harder.  I suppose it was only a matter of time but it's hard nonetheless.  This weekend was the biggest blow.

My doctor cleared me to run as long as I'm not having contractions.  This weekend I went out for an easy 60 min jog and at mile 2.25, I started having a Braxton-Hicks contraction.  I stopped until it passed then I walked for half a mile.  I assumed it was just a fluke, so after my heart rate lowered, I decided to try running again.  I made it less than a quarter mile before another contraction.

Damn it.  I stopped and started walking toward home.  I've had Braxton-Hicks before, but not two in a row and not while running.  I was a little nervous.  Then I had a third.  I finished my water bottle and leaned against a tree.  This isn't good and I'm still a mile from home.  I couldn't remember if it was 4 contractions in an hour or 6 in an hour and you're supposed to call a doctor.  Luckily, I made it home without another one. 

Braxton-Hicks contractions don't hurt but they're annoying.  It's hard to bend at the waist and running was almost impossible to run since it pulled all the ligaments tight.  I've had them before and I always feel exhausted on days I get them.

I was tired and crabby all day.  Most importantly, it isn't good to have contractions close together at 31 weeks.  But even after they passed and I was feeling better, I was still upset.  I may try another slow run this weekend but if I have even one more contraction, I have to stop running.  It's not worth putting OP in any danger. 

But if I have to stop running, I'm going to have to find something to do for exercise and stress relief.  I know it's a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things, but it was one of the few things I was holding on to.  It feels like it's all elastic waisted pants, heartburn and forgetfulness from now until OP arrives.  I know, I know, it's all worth it in the end.  But it seems like the end is still a long way off.


Belly Shot!!

Week 31
Baby Belly @ 31 weeks!

It seemed about time to post a belly shot and after getting my official weight gain to date (24 lb) I figured now is as good a time as any.  31 weeks 2 day, only 2 months or 62 days until Optimus Prime is due to arrive!  Holy crap!

In case you're thinking "Well she's not that big for someone who's 7 months pregnant" here's a picture of where I started.  I may not look that big compared to other people, but I feel like a beach ball most days.  We had a weeding this last weekend so I made John play the "Is there any physical way this dress will zip up?" game.   The answer was "Sorry Sweetie" on all of them.  Good thing I still have a few stretchy dresses from Athleta that I can fit into.  Normally I wouldn't wear a casual athletic dress to a wedding, but it was better than yoga pants!
"Belly" @ 5 weeks
Pretty crazy, huh?  And look at those abs!  Damn, I was in good shape!  After OP arrives, I'll post the full on belly transformation and hopefully post-baby belly shrinkage, too.  What a wild ride, and we're not even finished yet!

As for Optimus Prime, he has successfully found my rib cage.  I also can't stand to eat raw vegetables anymore.  It's like trying to eat newspaper and I usually LOVE raw veggies for lunch.  I just can't do it.  Now ice cream, on the other hand, goes down just fine.


Tiny Feet

Week 30

As I wrote about last week, Optimus Prime is 3 lb of kicking fury.  Most of the time it's entertaining, sometimes it's annoying, and every once in a while it is downright unpleasant.  Like the puking.  Luckily, the unpleasant kicks are few and far between.

At night, John and I usually read before we go to sleep and one of our favorite evening pastimes is watching OP rock and roll.  It is crazy how much he moves and how much my belly moves.  It's unreal.

The other night we were in bed and I was enjoying OP's nightly acrobatics display.  I happened to have my hand on the side of my belly while he was moving.  All of a sudden, I felt a foot.  Not just a kick, but an honest to God little tiny baby foot squarely kicked my palm.  I  mean, I felt the imprint of his little foot, maybe an inch and a half long, heel up to his toes, a complete little foot.  Maybe it doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was so freaking cool. 

I can feel him kick and move every day.  I hear his heartbeat at every doctor's appointment, but he's still a little abstract.  Yes there is a baby in there but it's still another two months before I get to actually see his face.  So feeling his foot was something tangible and real.  Man, I am so excited to meet my little boy.


Optimus Prime's Revenge

Week 29 Day 6

I'm skipping week 28.  Why?  Because it's 12:30 am and I am awake because of John's spawn in my belly. 

I went to sleep several hours ago.  I usually don't make it past 10pm these days and I was tired.  I woke up twice with major heartburn, which isn't unusual.  I've found if I lay on my right side, I get heartburn when OP kicks.  If I lay on my left, I get this weird indigestion and gas and since I can't burp, it's worse than the heartburn.

I thought I had solved the problem by adding another pillow, so I was on my right side but slightly propped up, which really helped to reduce the heartburn (after the 3 antacids I took).  I fell back asleep.

A few minutes ago, I violently woke to me puking in my mouth.  Gross.  I ran to the bathroom coughing and thankfully being upright prevented any more vomiting. As I was kneeling in front of the toilet, eyes watering and throat burning, all I could think was "Not cool, little man.  Not cool."

I might be sleeping upright tonight.


An Ode to BCBSKC

Week 27

I finally received an insurance statement and bill for the specialist.  I was starting to wonder when it would show up since my first appointment was at week 12 and my last blood draw was at week 15.

I was a little nervous when I opened the bill, prepared for $1,000 or more of total charges.  My jaw hit the floor when I saw the actual total:


Holy crap.  $71.  That's it.  Apparently, the powers-that-be must have determined the screening was medically necessary and not routine and therefore, almost all of the charges were completely covered.  $684 for ultrasound - covered.  $110 for ultrasound technician - covered.  $148 for genetic counselor - covered.  $268 for labs and blood work - covered.  The only thing that wasn't covered was the charge for the maternal fetal specialist, but since I had hit my deductible for the year, I'm now in the 80/20 co-pay and $71 was what was left.

People love to complain when they have a bad experience and I don't blame them.  Sometimes you feel like complaining to social media is the only recourse you have.  Fair enough.  But rarely do people go online when they have a good experience and are happy.  And insurance companies get a bad rap, so I thought I would give Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City credit where it's due.

First, BCBSKC seriously has the BEST customer service reps I have ever had to deal with.  They were always polite and knowledgeable and very helpful.  There was one time when the rep I was speaking to needed more information to clarify something, so she took my number to call me back.  I actually heard back from her within 15 min with the answer.  I've never had to wait more than 1-2 minutes to speak with a rep, either. 

I had another rep on a different occasion who helped me straighten out an incorrect code on my very first ultrasound.  She actually called the diagnostic imaging center on my behalf to get all of the information required and then called me back after everything had been corrected.  That saved me at least 2 more phone calls.  It may not sound like a big deal, but when you've been calling multiple doctors' offices and keep getting re-routed to someone else, it was a relief to have her make the calls and get the information directly.

We have an insurance agent through work who is supposed to help us with coverage questions and claims but he's a little "old school" (read: sexist with what I suspect is a drinking problem).  I would much rather call customer service and deal with them.

While our coverage isn't the best, it is pretty good.  And kudos to BCBSKC for the customer service reps they hire and their training.  I can't say enough how helpful they were when I was going through a stressful time.