Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ben's First Portraits!

We had a 3D/4D ultrasound done today, and we got some great views of Ben. The sonographer ended up giving us a CD with 45 pictures on it because she was just so excited over the great shots she was getting. She said he was the most cooperative baby for the past 3 days, and she's really excited about us sending her before-and-after shots after he's born. Here are a few from the session:

Sucking on his hand, which is apparently one of his favorite things:

Now he's got he's left wrist in his mouth, right hand up to his head, and BOTH feet pulled up to his face:

Finally, we get to see his whole face!

And here, he's getting a bit grumpy with all the prodding and poking:

It was so awesome to be able to see his face and watch his movements - especially after feeling so much lately. And we really liked the woman who did the sonography, Melissa Dachs. If you're looking for someone in the Puget Sound area to do a 2D, 3D or 4D ultrasound, I highly recommend checking her out. Her business is called Baby Pictures ( and is located in Bellevue.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Symbolism of Candy

Rachel just got home from preschool, where they had an Easter party today. She had this to say:

"Why do we have candy? Because Jesus ate it for his dinner."

I told her I didn't think He did, but she's pretty sure she's right.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Am I a bad influence...

...if my daughter is singing along to:

"If I get drunk,
Well I know I'm gonna be,
I'm gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you"?

I made a mix CD of some of my favorite songs. Some of them I skip when she's in the car, like "Brickhouse," because I really don't think Rachel needs to sing about a woman built like a brickhouse. And "Tubthumping," with all the talk of pissing the night away and the various kinds of drinks they like to drink.

But I've let her hear "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers, and it's become one of her favorites on there, along with "Who Says You Can't Go Home" and now "Safety Dance." Most of the song is fine, and she hasn't been singing along with all of it, but today she did sing along with the "get drunk" lyrics, and I had to wonder if I'm being a bad Mom by letting her hear and sing with that one.

I think it's a fairly minor thing in the grand scheme of child-raising, but it still made me wonder a little.

Robbed of Cake!

We went to a 4-year-old's birthday party 2 Sundays ago. She's a friend of Rachel's from church, and there were 13 kids there altogether, ranging from around 2 1/2 to 12 years old, although the vast majority were under the age of 6. Pandemonium!

When it came time for the dessert, apparently Rachel got a bowl with some ice cream, but she didn't get a cupcake, nor did she get a piece of cake. Nobody realized it because she didn't speak up at the party, and it was a little chaotic when the adults were scooping ice cream and handing out cupcakes. But when we were in the car on the way home, she asked us "Why didn't anyone offer me cake or a cupcake? I enjoyed the ice cream, but why didn't anyone give me cake?"

And yes, she did sound like a 13-year-old when she asked. She often does these days :)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Childbirth preparation class

We had our childbirth preparation class on Saturday. I'd been dreading going because I'd started to feel like it was a waste of time and would have the underlying message that "pain meds and epidurals are bad, natural is good." That's basically what the class was like last time, with an obviously biased instructor. But this time, the instructor was neutral on all the info she shared, talking about everything as just things that may be used during labor and delivery without condemnation for however it goes.

She also got us down on mats pretty early in the class time, so we got lots of practice with positions for relaxation and dealing with labor pain, as well as breathing techniques for managing pain and to help keep from pushing when you're body isn't totally ready yet but feels like it needs to. I'm guessing I'll still have an epidural this time, but I'd like to wait longer this go-round and be able to handle early labor without it so that gravity can do its job and I can have more freedom to move. I'm hoping for no back labor this time - I think that's what made it so hard last time and caused such intense pain so early. If I can work up the pain more gradually, I think I can use techniques from class for a good chunk of early labor.

I'm now feeling calmer and more ready for the birth, and I'm getting excited about actually going to the hospital when it's time. I'm also looking forward to the hospital tour, which we'll do in a few weeks. They didn't offer a 1-day class at the hospital where we're delivering, just at its sister hospital, so we haven't seen much of the place we'll be going yet.

On a side note, I was surprised to find out that out of 12 couples in the class, we were the only ones who already had a child. I guess most people just take the class the first time around, if at all, and don't feel the need to do it again. For us, it was a good reminder of things we didn't get to use last time and a chance to learn more useful information and techniques, as well as something that made us just feel more prepared for the upcoming birth. So even if we again don't use any of the techniques and go pretty much straight to the epidural, I'll be calmer for the next 2 months, plus I'm re-educated about the phases of labor, types of pain management, things to take to the hospital, etc. And she even threw in some discussion about how dads can be most helpful and ways to prepare beforehand to make your return home a little easier (like getting help with housework, making meals ahead of time and freezing them). So I definitely feel it was worth going.

If we have a 3rd baby, I think I'd rather find a 3- or 4-hour refresher class with the positions and breathing, but this was money well spent.

Gestational diabetes

I meant to post on this sooner. Apparently I forgot.

I found out a few weeks ago that I once again have gestational diabetes. I was expecting it, so I was surprised at how ticked off and resentful I was once I got the actual confirmation, but that was pretty much over by the next day, replaced by annoyance and the digging out of information from last time.

I've since met with a dietitian, who looked over the meal plan I used when I was pregnant with Rachel and gave it the okay. She also gave me some other suggestions and tips and told me about a carb counter book that I picked up. It has TONS of info in it. It's the Calorie King Calorie, Fat & Carb Counter (you can find it on Amazon, although I bought it at the pharmacy at my doctor's medical building) for $7.99. If you're interested in tracking carbs, fat grams or calories, you may want to check it out. It has sections on all kinds of foods, including a chapter on types of restaurant foods (Hawaiian, Indian, Cuban, etc.) and specific information on foods from 200 restaurants. It's not a regionally divided book, so you won't have all the restaurants near you, but it still gives you a good idea of what you're looking at. I was sad to find out that a medium Reese's PB Cup Blizzard from Dairy Queen is 111 carbs. Not that I'm eating sugary desserts right now, anyway, but that will probably be a good dissuader when I feel like eating one post-delivery. I'm sure I'll still have the occasional Blizzard, but looking at those numbers (850 calories) will help me to say no more often.

I also met with the diabetic nurse counselor, who gave me *more* information and a meter for checking my blood sugar. I have to take a fasting reading when I get up in the morning, and I check my blood 2 hours after each main meal. So, I get to poke myself with needles 4 times a day. Of course, that's a tiny drop in the bucket compared to what I'll feel in labor, and I've done this before, so I just suck it up and do it. Fortunately I'm not someone who's ever had a fear of needles, even though they're not my favorite thing.

I've got 9.5 weeks until my due date, so that's not too terribly long. Hopefully the diabetes will be gone afterward, although there's a small chance it will convert to type 2 diabetes and I'll have to maintain a strict diet for the rest of my life. That would be a bummer, but at least the chance of that happening is a fairly slim one for now. Having had 2 pregnancies with gestational diabetes, I do have a 1 in 2 shot of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 5 years, but my hope is that by losing the extra weight I've carried for some time now, I'll greatly reduce that risk/stave off when I develop diabetes, if not avoid it altogether.