Thursday, July 31, 2008

and lest we forget....

...(because I know I certainly had!), here is what I started out looking like. I kept going "Okay, I've gained all this weight--is it ALL belly? Is that even really possible?" Evidently the answer is "Yes, because you had NO belly 8 months ago!"

I would like to happily point out that at least some of the weight went to another good cause--I have a respectable bum now. :)


Also known as "baby house" as it gets bigger and bigger... it seemed to just need a bigger name!

Oregon again

It bears mentioning that Alex is in Oregon until next Wednesday, attending an AZ reunion. Don't panic, worriers, because I will NOT be going into labor while he's gone. Honestly, I have seven weeks to go....

And even if I DO have to go to the hospital for any reason, one of the girls from work says I could call her any time and she would make sure I was taken care of until Alex got an early flight back and came to my rescue.

I'm actually somewhat enjoying having the apartment to myself. As long as I know there's an end in sight. :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

What is the world coming to?

I got my new social security card in the mail today! You'd almost think bureaucrats were forgetting their place in the world.... :P

Sunday, July 27, 2008

donating breastmilk

Sometimes because of adoption or a health issue with the mother (taking certain medicines, for instance) a mom can't produce safe milk for her baby. The mom can be stuck thinking that her only option is now formula feeding.

Chris commented on my post about the breastfeeding class I went to, and she reminded me that I wanted to talk about donating milk for this kind of situation. This is SUCH a good thing to do! Nursing moms operate on supply and demand, so if you plan it properly and pump between feedings, it's totally possible to have enough milk to feed your own baby AND to donate.

The really important thing to realize is that a baby benefits by having real human milk even if it's not from the baby's own mom. Even if you only get an ounce or two per day of extra, that's a little benefit for someone's baby that wouldn't have happened otherwise.

I found out after the class that there is actually a milk donation center being set up for New England, and that I can be connected up with them so I can participate in their program if I want to. I haven't found out much more than that yet, but I will be, and will post what I find.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Critter's college fund started!

A woman gave me 57 cents for Critter's college fund during my shift today. She said we need to start saving now, and she wanted to get the ball rolling. :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dr. appointment and a class

Wednesday was a double-whammy on the pregnancy front. In the morning we had a check-up with our primary doctor, Dr. Browne. (Highlights included her calling me "so skinny".... what a nice person!)

We talked about a TON of stuff more related to the delivery than to pregnancy, and found out that we are still happily on the same page. For instance:

Eating during labor: (Some doctors won't let you eat, in case you need a c-section later.) She says totally, bring snacks. Just don't bring your favorite food in case you throw it up and don't want to eat it ever again!
When to clip the cord: (Standard is pretty much RIGHT when the baby comes out.) She says "Yeah, we can wait until the cord stops pulsing. Just bear in mind you might have to remind us--we get a little excited!"
When do you use a vacuum/forceps: She hates forceps and the only situation where she'd use a vacuum would be if the baby was in enough distress that it needed to come out NOW. And she would always give the mother the option to say no to the vacuum, even if the only other choice was a c-section.
Birth plan: By all means, write one. Try to deal in positives ("dim lighting" vs. "no bright lights") so you don't make people scared of you. :)
....AND about a bajillion other points.

THEN I had a class on breastfeeding that evening. There was just me and one other woman (with her husband) in attendance, so it was nice and personal.

The first 1/3 of the class was geared toward convincing you that breastfeeding is a good idea. Preaching to the choir, folks! But there was a bunch of really good information about the proven benefits, such as the mother having reduced risk of osteoporosis later in life, and the baby getting REALLY good odds against ever contracting two kinds of lymphatic cancer later in life. (Those were some of the more dramatic examples--there are also other things like fewer ear infections and doctor visits, higher IQs, etc....) It reenforced my belief that there really is no good reason not to breastfeed.

The middle chunk of the class was really cute, because obviously you can't really just TALK about how to nurse properly, or the idea just isn't really going to arrive. So what they would do is talk about "here is how to get the baby to latch on" and then show a little video set to music of a bunch of teeny tiny babies latching on properly. The other woman and I were just sitting there giggling every time they played a video--the babies were just TOO cute! We did separate sections on latching on, nursing, how to fix improper nursing, and the baby being done. That last one mostly consisted of babies falling asleep all over the place. SOOOOO CUTE. The nurses call that the "drunken sailor" look, because they totally look like boozed-up happy little passed-out sailors.

The end of the class was about how you can maintain breastfeeding along with work and stuff and how you can involve the dad, so we went over bottles and pumps and how to figure all that stuff out. (Did you know that frozen breastmilk can last up to a year? I didn't!) After the class I was examining the example products and rather admiring a hand-powered pump that would work nicely for what Alex and I are planning for his part in doing feedings (we really don't need a big electric one) and the nurse who taught the class told me that secretly, they use those exact ones on the delivery floor and if I ask for one after I deliver, they'll give me a freebie to take home. :D

Monday, July 21, 2008

Maternity Leave

Well, it's all squared away, and it looks like I will be starting my maternity leave on September 1st. I know, I'm due on the 15th and babies are late sometimes, blah blah blah.

It's actually totally fine because I can extend my baby leave until January if I want to, so I'm not concerned about having to rush back to work right after the baby is born. AND that means I don't have to spend my final weeks of pregnancy with people in my face every other second going "Wow, you haven't popped YET?" and other such charming commentary. (As a sample, all this week, perfect strangers haven't seen any problem with asking me, "Are you SURE you only have one baby in there????" while making google-eyes at my evidently mammoth-sized stomach...) I think I'm going to like the peace. :)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

mornings these days

I always know I've actually woken up this time because Critter wakes up too. For some reason, we are right in sync on our morning wake-ups. :)

mornings these days

I always know I've actually woken up this time because Critter wakes up too. For some reason, we are right in sync on our morning wake-ups. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

barefoot and pregnant?

Yesterday I tried to go to the movies without any shoes on. :D

EDIT: It was an ACCIDENT. And I figured it out before we made it out of the apartment building.... :P

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy 4th anniversary!

We're off to do whatever we darn well please together, all day. :)

Happy 4th anniversary!

We're off to do whatever we darn well please together, all day. :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


A small miracle has occurred: Today I went to the social security administration's office in downtown Portsmouth, found parking really easily, was in and out in twenty minutes, and....

They actually are changing my last name to Bowling!!

I flat-out don't believe it, but the girl who helped me swore I'd be getting my new social security card in the mail within two weeks. This is a big load off of our minds (well, mine at least), because we really did want to make sure that Baby Bowling was born to Mr. and Mrs. Bowling, not Mr. Bowling and Hey Mom, Why Does It Say Marshall Here On My Birth Certificate? I do think it's easier for little ones to get the idea of a family when everyone has the same name.

The reason this is such shocking and delightful news is that I waged a three-year war with Social Security in Oregon to no avail, and without getting into painful details, was told time and time again that I had done it wrong, was missing key documentation, was a bad bad person who may not in fact exist.... you get the idea. They were determined not to help me. Contrast this with New Hampshire's service and you get yet another reason to be happy we're living in this state!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

baby classes

One of the services our doctor's office offers is a bunch of free classes on pretty much every aspect of prenatal care, birth, and newborn babies. Tonight we went to two classes: one on newborns and one on epidurals and C-sections and the various medication options that come with the various birth options.

Let me tell you, I don't think you could ever create a more compelling argument for natural birth, personally tailored for me, than the epidural/C-section class! They showed pictures of the needles involved, a real c-section, and all sorts of stuff. It was definitely very informative.... and since I'm MORTIFIED of anything to do with needles, took a large number of options off the table in my book.

The good news is that there are milder, much less obtrusive ways to still get some pain relief if it's needed. The guy doing the presentation even made a point to mention that breathing and relaxation techniques totally do the trick for some women, so he advised us all to learn about those and not neglect them!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

aha! Critter IS my baby!

We've been finding several things that make it really clear this is Alex's baby--like the fact that eating Chef Boyardee out of the can is suddenly NOT a weird/gross concept to me.

At last, I found one for me!

I went swimming at the lake near my sister's house and it was kind of a chilly day. I was getting in gradually, trying to accustom myself to the water, and everything was fine. I was only getting in the water for the belly-floating properties, or I wouldn't have bothered to face the chill!

Well, I finally just bit the bullet, dunked in to my neck ("it's not even cold afterward!" my mom and sister assured me...), and was instantly freezing--I didn't recover from the shock at all! The funniest part was that the baby instantly got all huddled up under my ribs, so tightly crunched and so far away from the outsides that you could press on my belly and not encounter baby anywhere!

After this I realized I should have known what would happen, since if I have a warm plate of food or a cat on my belly, Critter inevitably cozies right up to the warmest spot. :) Alex is doomed--I have someone on my side for thermostat settings!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Alex's New Tech Blog

I did finally decide to create a blog for my technical explorations. Basically, I wanted to have it as a record of what I've done when I want to refer back to it. While few of you will actually be interested about the highly technical aspects of a project I'm working on, many of you would probably like to have some avenue where you can pose questions at me and get free answers/advice on tech subjects. Obviously, I'll discriminate regarding which questions to post and subsequently answer, however, I like to put useful information "down" into a computer so that it can be filed and found later if needed. I'm nerdy that way.

Here's the link: My Tech Blog