Tuesday, June 30, 2015

6/30/15 - 101 Dilations: Part 3

We had our final ultrasound today!
Baby Blackbird is still big but (thankfully) not too big!
They estimate that as of today, he is 7.5 to 8 pounds and they think by the time I deliver, he will be 8 pounds and some change.  They don't think he will be 9 or more.

Hooray!
I can handle 8 something!
Also, they explained that the ultrasound is taking a measurement of his head and abdomen and there is an error of 1/2 to 1 pound.  So he might even be smaller than 8, who knows.

On the ultrasound, the doctor could see my cervix and it is still looking long and closed.
So we didn't do a dilation exam today because he believes nothing has changed since last week.

Although he said that it could still happen at any time!

They could also see that his head has more room to drop down into my pelvis.
I said, "More room?"
This boy is going to drop to my KNEES!

In these last few days, he has felt so low and heavy.  I'm feeling pressure and still feel like I did a split by accident.
All of my muscles and bones are moving to prepare for the birth.
And I can hardly walk!
My body is also preparing me for the lack of sleep because I can't sleep for more than 3-4 hours at a time, which I know will soon be a luxury.  I'm constantly waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and turn on the AC because I'm sweating!

I am starting to understand why some women reach the end of their pregnancy and want that child out!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

6/28/15 - The Nursery

Baby Blackbird's nursery is finally finished.
I'm so excited to share these photos with you!

Let's start with a panoramic view of the whole room.

Above the crib is our little boy's name, but it's covered up because it's a secret until he's born!

Blackbird's baby safari animals!



Bookcase:


Complete with a Dr. Seuss shelf!

The Baby Blackbird corner:



Safari mobile and crib sheet:


His pal, Gus the giraffe!


And mommy needed something special to put her glass of wine on while she sits in that comfy glider:


Happy Sunday Baby Bump!

Friday, June 26, 2015

6/26/15 - Dear Blackbird, Part 5

Your mommies got married in 2012 in New York. One of the reasons we chose New York was because it was a state that recognized our marriage as legal.


At the time, gay marriage wasn't legal in your home state of California. We had to wait until 2013 for that milestone.

But today, everything has changed.
The Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage is legal in all 50 states.

So no matter where we go as a family, your mommies' marriage will be recognized.

You will be born into a country where gay marriage is legal.

There are so many things that I want for you. Here is one that I can cross off the list.

We love you so much.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

6/25/15 - Prenatal Yoga, Class 5

I went to yoga this morning again with the teacher I really liked from the weekend.

Huge bonus of going during the week at 11am: 
The class was smaller and these were full term mommies!
No whiney 17 week pregnant chicks!
Probably all of these women have stopped working and it was nice that we all seemed to be on the same page.

However, I made the mistake of eating breakfast a little too soon before the class. I was still digesting when the class started and then the sugar from my juice hit Baby Blackbird.
He started going crazy!
I said, "Hey calm down in there! We are doing YOGA!"

One girl brought up that she was craving chocolate and the teacher said that chocolate helps with milk production.

Well that's great news!
Especially because last night I came across ORGANIC OREOS!!!
And all profits go to CHARITY!
It's a win win!


I'm hoping Blackbird gives me time to be able to go back next week for my final class. It was hard to do some of the exercises, but I got a lot of good stretches out of it.

I remember starting yoga and seeing the women who said they were 37+ weeks pregnant. Then the next week, they wouldn't show up. It was like they had disappeared.

Now, I'm one of those moms who can easily disappear!  This little boy could decide at any moment that's he's over it and is ready to come on out.

It's amazing knowing how quickly our lives will change. I can picture us with this little boy at home. What I can't picture is the labor to actually get him out!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

6/24/15 - Week 37: Winter Melon

Today the baby is the size of...
A WINTER MELON.


"This is SO beneath me!"

Now it's hard finding a WINTER melon in June but this was pretty close!

Huge news:
BABY BLACKBIRD IS CONSIDERED FULL TERM TODAY!!!

So if he were born today, his lungs are mature and everything else is functioning as it should. He would no longer be considered premature.

This week he's continuing to blink, inhale, exhale, grip with his tiny fingers and even suck his thumb. He's practicing all of these things to get him ready for his big birthday!

Someone else is also practicing... her swaddle technique!


It is so incredible knowing that in a few weeks or less, I will be a mom. I will have this tiny little being counting on my every move. I'm so excited to meet him and take care of him and kiss those little cheeks!

We already love this boy so much that when he actually arrives our hearts might explode!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

6/23/15 - 101 Dilations: Part 2

We had our weekly doctor's appointment today, and here is the DILATION SITUATION:

1 centimeter dilated
20% effacement
Cervix is medium
Baby's head is at -2 station

Now I know this all sounds like a word problem, but this is where our childbirth class comes in handy!

Let's break it down...

1 centimeter dilated:
I can be 1 centimeter dilated for weeks before things happen, but it's still a good sign that things are moving along as they should.
9 centimeters to go!

20% effacement:
This refers to the thinning and opening of the cervix.  When preparing for the baby to move into the birth canal, the cervix thins to 100%.  So this is another good sign that things are progressing, but (thankfully!) not too quickly!
80% to go!

Cervix is medium:
When I'm really going into labor, the cervix will be soft.  Right now it's not hard, but medium so we are moving along here as well!

Baby's head is at -2 station:
This is the measurement of where the baby's head is.  As I go into labor, his head will have measurements that are on the positive side and around +3, he will be coming out!

This is all great news and means that he is getting ready, but is still pretty comfy in there.
After all, it isn't July yet so he's keeping up his end of the bargain!


Monday, June 22, 2015

6/22/15 - GB Strep Test

Last week I had a test for GB strep at the doctor's office.

This test looks for Group B strep (GBS), which is a kind of bacteria that many people have in their intestinal tracts. The bacteria may also be in your vagina and rectum as well, and be passed on to your baby during labor and birth.

Approximately 10-30% of women have this bacteria and likely don't even know it.  It can be passed on to the baby and in some cases cause serious infection or even death to the newborn.

The test is painless and just involves a swab of the vagina and of your bottom (SURPRISE!) and that's it.

I got my results back today and I'm GB NEGATIVE!

If I had been positive, that just means that when I arrive to the hospital, I would need to get a dose of antibiotics through an IV.  At some hospitals, this means that you can't really labor while walking around because you are now hooked up to IVs for these antibiotics.

This is another good reason to draw up a birth plan, but be prepared to throw it out the window.

If you have your heart set on laboring on a birthing ball and sitting in a tub, etc and find out you are GB positive, well there goes that labor plan because you are now hooked up to IVs and are probably laying in your hospital bed.

So this is all good news for me and I'm excited to go to the doctor tomorrow morning and see what the story is with the DILATION SITUATION!

Last week I was 1cm.... do we think I'll still be 1cm or will I have increased to 2?!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

6/21/15 - Swaddle This!

Today we took a baby care class and learned fun things like...

Swaddling


Bathing


Diapering


In other words, what our new life will become in a few short weeks!
It was great to practice on actual baby dolls and have someone help you through the process and answer any questions.

It was also great that for the first time, we weren't the only lesbians in the class!
Unbelievable, I know!

In less than 3 days, our Baby Blackbird will be considered FULL TERM.
We are still hoping he holds out until July, but knowing that we are almost to the point where he wouldn't even be "premature" is a huge relief.

Despite us wanting him to stay in as long as possible, my body might have other thoughts.
For the past few days, I have felt some lower pelvic pressure.
And it does NOT feel good.

I actually feel like I did a split...


And then rode a horse for 48 hours straight.


Speaking of riding horses, here's a flashback to me and my dad riding horses in LA.

Happy Father's Day!

And Happy Sunday Baby Bump!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

6/20/15 - Prenatal Yoga, Class 4

I took my 4th prenatal yoga class today.
It had been a while since I was there and with 3 classes left that I already paid for, it was time to revisit the hippie den!

I wanted to try a different instructor and this really paid off.  I loved her.  She was so sweet and helpful and would come around and adjust me as needed to get the most out of the exercises.

However, the class didn't start with all of those warm and fuzzy feelings.

I walked in and started looking at everyone's belly...
Am I in the right class?
Is this PRENATAL yoga?
These women had tiny baby bumps and I waddle in there at 36 1/2 weeks looking for all of the other full term mommies!

Luckily, I was in the right class and I started setting up my mat, etc.

Then the instructor handed out straps that look like these:


So you could do things with them like this:


And I thought, let the torture begin!

Minute 4 of the class and some girl asks to turn the fan OFF because she was COLD.
First of all, there are tons of bodies in here and BODIES WITHIN BODIES and you want the fan OFF?!
Fine... the instructor turned the fan off.

We went around and said our name, how far along we were and if we were experiencing any discomfort.
All of these girls from 15-20 weeks are like, "Oh I feel fine!"
Of course you do!
You're barely pregnant!
Wait 15 more weeks and get back to me!

Minute 12 and it's sweltering.
The teacher asked if it was hot and I voiced my opinion of YES IT WAS HOT and she said she was going to turn on the AC.
She turned to the previously COLD girl and asked if that was ok.
The girl said, "I'll be fine.  I'll be fine."
Yes you will be fine, Miss 17 weeks pregnant!  Try getting to 36 weeks and let me know how much you want that fan OFF!

Finally, it started cooling down in there.
The exercises were tough but I got a lot of good stretching from this class.

At the end, the women around me wished me good luck and I thanked them.
But settle down ladies!
I still have 4 more weeks.... or at least 1 1/2 until July!
I'll be back!

Friday, June 19, 2015

6/19/15 - My First Meal

After 9+ months of not being able to eat or drink whatever I want, I have had many fantasies about my first meal.  Essentially, when this little boy comes out, I have plans of what goes in ASAP!

Following months of perfecting this list, here is the final meal decision:

1) FAT SAL'S IRRESISTIBLE ITALIANO SIGNATURE HERO:
Ham, Genoa Salami, Pepperoni, Provolone, Sweet or Hot Peppers, Shredded Lettuce, Tomato, Red Wine Vinaigrette all on a HERO


I normally love turkey sandwiches, but when you can't eat lunch meat for so long, you want a sandwich that contains ALL THE LUNCH MEATS!

And there is a Fat Sal's Deli 0.4 miles away from our hospital!
Trust me, this meal has been planned out!

2) RUFFLES CHEDDAR AND SOUR CREAM POTATO CHIPS:


These have always been my favorite kind of potato chips and I LOVE eating chips with a sandwich, so this was a no brainer.
And they're already in the hospital bag ;)

3) COKE


To wash all this delicious food down, I need a damn soda!  If we can find a MEXICAN COKE, that would be ideal, but a regular COKE will suffice!

I've been thinking about this meal for so long that last night I actually had a dream about it.

I went into labor and Julia was there with me, but I don't remember anything about the actual labor or having the baby.  All I remember is after everything was over, I felt like I was feeling fine and could walk to FAT SAL'S for my sandwich.  The baby was born in the middle of the night and I arrived at the deli around 7am.  Somehow they were open and I waited there for my sandwich.

I'm telling you, these food fantasies are REAL and not to be messed with!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

6/17/15 - Week 36: Large Cantaloupe

Today the baby is the size of...
A LARGE CANTALOUPE!


"ANOTHER fruit, mom?!"

Oh my god I'm nine months pregnant today!
Where did this time go?!
One week from today (at 37 weeks), our little boy will be considered full term so hopefully he's not thinking of going anywhere just yet!

Officially 4 weeks left until our 7/15 due date.
Yeah, when people say they are pregnant for 9 months, that's technically not true.
It's actually 10.
40 weeks total.
And here we've made it to 36!

This week his growth slows down a little and his bones are still really flexible. This all sounds like good news to me so I can push him out!

The top part of his skull isn't fused together yet and won't be until he's 18 months old.

His liver and kidneys are functioning and his circulation and immune systems are all set, too. His lungs are still developing but are getting stronger every day.

My back is hurting a bit today and the pregnancy waddle has begun. It's tough walking around with 6+ pounds in front of you!

Baby Blackbird is still moving around like crazy.  I can now see the small lump of his feet as he kicks around, which is so wild!

Just 2 more weeks, little boy.... give me 2 more weeks and it will be July and you can do whatever you want!

Monday, June 15, 2015

6/15/15 - 101 Dilations: Part 1

This morning we had a doctor's appointment and they checked to see if I was dilated at all.

So the big news is...........

I'M ONE CENTIMETER DILATED!
NINE MORE TO GO!

But don't get too crazy because I can be 1cm dilated for weeks or even a month.  It's all part of the process, but the process is starting!  I can't believe it.  I'm just happy it isn't more than one!

The doctor said this was a good sign because when labor happens, things should progress well because they are already starting to work.

After this exciting appointment, we stopped by to see our IVF doctor and nurses.  It was so nice to see them knowing how far we have come.  Knowing that we are going to have a baby in a matter of weeks and it's all because of their help.

It seems like we blinked and got here.  Last fall was about 9 months ago and it went by so fast.  I know we struggled for a while before then to get pregnant, but now, being here, the whole process seems like it happened so fast.  I know how hard it is to cope with infertility problems, no matter what they are.  And at times it feels impossible.  You feel like it will never happen and you'll never get pregnant.  But chances are, if you have faith and keep trying, it will happen and you'll suddenly be 9 months pregnant and asking yourself how you got here!

To top off this fabulous day, it was time for an epic lunch.
I have been waiting to go to In-n-Out for my entire pregnancy.  I have somehow resisted the urge to pop into the drive thru and just go for it.

Well, today was the day.
And yes that's a milkshake.
Damn it was so good!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

6/14/15 - What Have We Done?!

Today we had a final meeting with our postpartum doula to go over everything before our little boy arrives. It's hard to believe that the next time we see her, we will be spending our first night at home as a family of three.

After that meeting, our friend offered to take some maternity photos for us. It was so much fun and here is a sneak peek of those photos!

(Photo credit goes to Caddie)

I don't know if I walked around a little too much today or what, but by the end of the night I feel like I rode a horse all day. I wonder if the bones in my pelvis and groin area are preparing themselves because I think they are moving. And this little boy is moving, too. He's definitely starting to drop even more and has been pressing on my bladder for the past few days.

It's amazing how fast everything is happening and tomorrow we start our WEEKLY doctor's appointments.  They will start checking to see if I'm dilated at all.  This is getting real!

Last night I had a moment of, "Oh shit what have we done?!"
I know parents get overwhelmed, especially first time parents, and you have moments where you realize that your life will never be the same. All of these changes are good of course, but they are huge adjustments.

I couldn't help but wonder if we took enough trips or traveled enough or went to enough crazy expensive restaurants or stayed out drinking late enough. But the fact is that before I was pregnant, that was all I wanted. All I could think about was getting pregnant and wanting the next chapter in my life to start. And now that I'm here I thought oh god did we spend enough time just the two of us?

Once we have our Baby Blackbird, yes our life will completely change. But that won't stop us from going out to fun restaurants and traveling to places we've never been. We want to show him the world and it will be so awesome to see everything through his eyes.

I know this will be the hardest thing we've ever done, but we will get through it. 
We will get through it together.
As a family.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

6/13/15 - Car Seats... Check!

Today we got our car seats installed!
Yes, that's right, we paid someone a small fee to install the car seats.

The one store where we registered has a certified car seat installation expert and we made an appointment with her and she installed everything. She also walked us through how to put the car seat in the car and tips for traveling.

Back in the day, people rode home from the hospital holding their babies in the front seat.
So it's no wonder that now there are car seat installation experts.

Could we have installed the car seats ourselves? Of course. 
However, if we were given the opportunity to have to read one less baby equipment manual and get an expert to install something that's so important, oh we are taking it!

We both have the base in our car and for now I have the actual car seat in my car. But this way we can switch between cars.
TIP: Buy 2 bases but only one infant car seat!

I assumed the car seat would go on the side but we were told that due to side impact collisions, it's safest to have the car seat in the middle.

Pre-mom car:


Mom car:


Mom car complete with paparazzi shade:


And here's this mom on her way to see Jurassic World!  
Can't wait to share my love of dinosaurs with our boy!

(Note the dinosaur necklaces... yeah I still got it!)

Friday, June 12, 2015

6/12/15 - Pack It Up

It's important to have your hospital bag packed BEFORE you start going into labor!
So I got a jump start on that this week.

To begin, I used my friend Danielle's list from her blog.  She's a gorgeous mama of 3 and is a pro at packing that hospital bag!

Here are some additional ideas of what to include:
- Copies of your birth plan (2-3 should be plenty)
- Goodies for the nurses (they will become your best friends.... and I hear they like cookies!)
- Games!  We are bringing our favorite travel Monopoly, Scrabble and Uno games because labor can take A LONG DAMN TIME!
- Magazines (like the fun ones at the checkout line at the grocery store.  You won't actually want to READ anything.)
- Movies/TV shows - load them onto your computer or make sure you have access to them in your birthing room via wifi.
- Labor playlist - Julia made 2 playlists for us.  One with fun, upbeat music to help get me through labor and keep me smiling and then one playlist for when it's pushing time and he's getting close to being born.  Cause although I love her, we don't want him to accidentally be born to a Kesha song ;)
- Write out a list of people to call/email after the baby is born so you don't have to worry about it in the moment.

And before you leave the hospital, TAKE EVERYTHING!!!!
They will give you extra diapers, pads, wipes, blankets, a thermometer... basically, whatever they offer you, TAKE IT!!!

Happy packing!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

6/10/15 - Week 35: Canary Melon

Today the baby is the size of...
A CANARY MELON!



I've never heard of a canary melon before and Frankie doesn't seem too impressed either!

I can't believe we have only 5 weeks left! This countdown is getting out of control!

This week our boy is still gaining some weight and might gain 2+ pounds before delivery. That would put him on track for an estimated 8 pounds.

I can handle that! Plus 8 is my favorite number... At least we aren't talking about 12 pounds here!

He probably won't gain much more in length but will continue gaining some body fat. In early pregnancy he was only 2% body fat and now he is 15% and at birth he will be 30%.

He's still moving around like crazy. His little pokes have become bigger movements and he is trying to use up as much room as he can.

I think I'm finally starting to feel better from this cold virus. The doctor said it doesn't affect the baby so I've been trying to rest and drink lots of fluids. When you're pregnant, your immune system isn't as good, so it's a wonder this is the first time I've been sick. I can handle a cold as long as it's gone by the time I go into labor!

In other news, by this week my uterus has grown 1,000 times its original size!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

6/7/15 - A Laundry List

We decided it was time to start washing Blackbird's clothes so everything was nice and clean for his arrival.

We bought some 7th generation baby detergent and went to town.


This boy has a TON of clothes!


Now the fun begins of organizing his dresser and closet. Everything has been broken down by size.  Newborn, 0-3 months, 3 months, 3-6 months, 6 months, 6-9 months, 6-12 months, etc.

Luckily we don't have too many "newborn" clothes because technically he could fit into them right now! They are for 5-8lbs.

Word of advice:
Unless you're having multiples or expecting preemies, skip the newborn clothes and go right to 0-3 months. It will save you some cash because chances are when that baby comes out, it won't fit into the newborn clothes anyway! And if it does, a week later it probably won't!

Happy Sunday bump!


Friday, June 5, 2015

6/5/15 - FTM & SAHM

Along the road to becoming a mom, there are tons of acronyms that you will come across.

If you remember, there's TTC (trying to conceive) and that's only the tip of the iceberg.


So as of this week, I'm officially a FTM (first time mom) and a SAHM (stay at home mom).

I've had a job and been working ever since I was 15, so to suddenly not have a job to go to feels pretty strange. 
And by strange I mean fantastic.  
But strange nonetheless.

Throughout my life, I've had a few different careers. Everything from being an actress to an event planner to working at a talent agency. For those who know me, I'm extremely determined and once I know what I want, nothing can stand in my way.

That's how I approached pregnancy. I have always known I wanted to be a mom. When I met my incredible wife, I knew that dream would become a reality someday. I knew that somehow, in some way this would work out for us.

And here we are.
About to become mommies for the first time.

My new job will consist of constant feedings and diaper changes with lots of crying and very little sleep. I know it will be hard. Probably the hardest thing I've ever done.

But I know that I was made for this. I was made to be a mom.

I'm going to take care of this little boy and help him feel safe, protected and loved. I want to give him the best childhood and the best life possible.

I know that's my destiny.

So when someone asks what I do, I can say I do what I was born to do. 
And that is to be a mom to our little miracle.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

6/4/15 - Disability

This is the best kept secret in the state!

My friends tipped me off to being able to collect disability due to pregnancy. At 36 weeks pregnant, you are technically disabled in the eyes of the state of California.

Where's my handicap placard?!


I stopped working just before my 36 weeks and filed for disability on the first day I wasn't working.
(Although the disability won't kick in until I'm exactly 36 weeks pregnant.)

Somehow, the process was so EASY!

If you are thinking about filing for disability, check with your state laws and then you can likely file online.

In California, you are entitled to 4 weeks disability pay (which is a portion of your regular salary, similar to how unemployment works). If you don't use the 4 weeks of disability before the baby is born, YOU LOSE IT!

Then once he's born, I file again and depending on the type of delivery, I can get 6 weeks disability (vaginal delivery) or 8 weeks (cesarian delivery).

And after that runs out I might even qualify for some FMLA (family medical leave act) pay.

After filing online, I just had to give the confirmation receipt number to my doctor's office so they can fill out some paperwork on their end.

And voila! As of now, it's that simple! I'll let you know if anything changes!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

6/3/15 - Week 34: Pineapple

Today the baby is the size of...
A PINEAPPLE!


Someone is throwing me major SIDE EYE!

I woke up and told Julia that our baby boy is a pineapple and she said, "I think he's a little more than that!"

So after yesterday's doctor's appointment and hearing that he's a bit big, maybe he's two pineapples!

This week his fingernails are already close to needing a trim. The vernix (which is a thick lotion protecting his skin so he doesn't look like a prune from the amniotic fluid) is getting thicker. His intestines are also maturing so he's ready to eat when he's born.

And he sure is moving! He is stretching all the time and showing me big movements as he tries to stretch me out!

Settle down in there!

Sleeping is getting more challenging and I'm slowly working on the finishing touches of the nursery. Our glider chair was delivered yesterday and it's hard to believe that this is really happening!

We are so excited to meet our Baby Blackbird (in JULY)!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

6/2/15 - Oh Boy!

We had a doctor's appointment today along with another ultrasound to check Blackbird's growth.

They measured his head, abdomen and legs and then said interesting things like:
"He's on the bigger side."
"Looks like he's gonna be a big boy."
"He's in the 77th percentile."

And my thought was:

WHAT?!?!?!

So I asked how big he was.
"He's anywhere from 5.5 to 6 pounds."

I said, "Right now?!"

YES.

Apparently he's tracking a few weeks ahead and weighs that much TODAY.

If I started going into labor right now they would not try to stop it because he would be big enough and mature enough to survive and we are one day shy of 34 weeks.

So that certainly made me feel better in case god forbid he's super early. Although they reassured us that his weight has nothing to do with the due date.

But no wonder I need someone to walk behind me and help hold this belly up! It alone weighs 6 pounds!!!

They are still estimating him being 8 pounds at delivery, but I wonder the number of OUNCES that could follow that number 8!

The best news is that he is certainly healthy. And the doctor isn't concerned at all and said he's perfectly normal and can absolutely be born vaginally (my poor vagina!).

We also have to keep in mind that these are estimates. Their measurements are never 100% accurate and can even be off by a pound or two.

We are now getting one extra ultrasound in probably three weeks to track his growth one last time. Selfishly I'm excited we get to see him again before the big day!

P.S. we heard a rumor that larger babies sleep better. So if that's the case, let's do it!

Monday, June 1, 2015

6/1/15 - Decaf Latte Mondays

Nothing like waking up at 10:15am on a Monday and staying in my pajamas until about 1:00pm and then going out to lunch and getting a decaf latte!


Despite the possible onset of a cold (shhh if I don't say it out loud, it won't happen...) and belly pains as Blackbird is clearly having another growth spurt, it was a fabulous day hanging out with my best friend, Kim.

Our moms knew each other when they were pregnant and we grew up together in Philadelphia.

She now lives in Florida and came out to visit for the weekend to be here for the baby shower.  We have her to thank for all of the awesome baby shower photos as well as all of her help with everything that day.


After we went out to lunch, we walked around Santa Monica a little and then came home to this little boy who missed his baby brother!