Sunday, March 30, 2008


We stayed at home all morning and afternoon today until it was time to go to church. Sometimes I still feel weird being home on Sunday mornings because I grew up attending a church that met on Sunday mornings. It was good to go to church this evening and talk and share a meal with everyone. I don't think I had been out of the house for over a week, except maybe to check the mail once or twice.

I have an appointment tomorrow--just a regular prenatal visit. Then I have an ultrasound scheduled for Thursday to see if the placenta has moved up at all. I am getting excited to meet Baby Girl, but I don't feel like it's time yet. I think she'll still be in there for a few more weeks. I am hoping to avoid inducing labor at all costs unless it becomes an absolute necessity for some reason. I want Baby Girl to come out when she's ready.

The hospital we've chosen to go to is almost half an hour away from our house--longer, if we had to get there during rush hour. We're trying to schedule all our appointments in the middle of the day so as to not have to deal with rush hour traffic, and I'm hoping that when I'm actually in labor, we'll be able to make the drive quickly. Dealing with contractions while sitting in the car is not my idea of a good time. In case of an emergency, there are closer hospitals we could go to, but hopefully, we'll be able to make it to the hospital we like. Blech...not that I really like any hospital, but if I have to be in one, at least this one has several nice features and amenities that other local hospitals don't have.

If it weren't for germs, it would make sense

I was sitting up in bed this afternoon, and Dear Little Fellow walked into the room. I saw that he had a runny nose, so I asked him if he needed a tissue. He said, "Yeah," so I handed one to him. He wiped his nose with it and then proceeded to "dust" my dresser, the door, and the bed with the same tissue.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Creativity at Home

It's kind of nice to know the gender of our soon-to-be-born little one (assuming the ultrasound technician was correct!). Now we always call her by name (when we're by ourselves--we are keeping her name secret until she's born). Today I had some time to start working on a picture for her room. It's been a while since I did anything crafty, and I enjoyed it.

I used some scrapbooking cardstock to make a mat to fit an 8x10 frame. It took a lot of calculating just to cut out one rectangle and two ovals! This is what I ended up with:


If you can't tell from the picture, the mat is light pink and the oval frames are light yellow. In the rectangle, I will cross-stitch the letters of Baby Girl's name using a lettering set from 2001 Cross Stitch Designs. Here's a picture out of the book of a couple letters from the set. Sorry it is kind of blurry.


In the left oval, I will put a picture of Baby Girl. In the right oval, I will cross-stitch a picture of two pastel butterflies (from the same book) near the top, and under that, I will record her birthday, weight, and length.

For dinner tonight, I made hot pockets. I made one recipe of this pizza dough, divided it into eight pieces, and rolled each into a circle (approximately 8-9 inches in diameter). Then I plopped on some shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, ground beef cooked with onions and garlic, and some of this pizza sauce. I folded each circle in half, pinched the edges together, and topped each with a little more sauce and a couple slices of mozzarella. I baked the hot pockets at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Yum!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Could I get any bigger? Almost 36 weeks!


Unfailing Love

But as for me,
I will sing about your power.

I will shout with joy each morning
because of your unfailing love.

For you have been my refuge,
a place of safety in the day of distress.

O my Strength,
to you I sing praises,
for you, O God, are my refuge,
the God who shows me unfailing love.

~Psalm 59:16-17

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

He's a big boy while he's awake, but when he sleeps, he's still my baby

Warm sun on his face, a comfy bed...


Soft classical music playing in the background...


...How could he resist a little catnap?

Monday, March 24, 2008

How We're Getting Along

Hubby bought a little step stool for Dear Little Fellow to use to get up on things, so I don't need to lift him. It is plastic and lightweight, so I can move it around from place to place easily. He uses it to get up in his high chair, onto the queen-size bed in his room where we change his diaper (he sleeps in a crib, but we don't have anywhere else to put the queen bed, so we're storing it in there), etc. Hubby has rearranged his schedule so that he can work 6 6-1/2 hour days a week and come home for lunch. This way, he can play with D.L.F. a bit mid-day, get him into and out of the high chair, change his diaper, put him down for a nap, and then go back to work.

Today was challenging for me. D.L.F. was up by 6:15. Hubby went to work before 7, and didn't come home until noon, and it was hard for me to come up with things for D.L.F. to do for five hours that didn't involve me lifting anything or bending over (my back and legs are really hurting). We read books, sang songs, and D.L.F. played with toys for a while on his own. Around 10, I took him outside for a walk because we were both getting stir-crazy being cooped up inside. He always wants me to carry him down the stairs, but I made him hold my hand and walk down out of sheer necessity today. He wasn't very happy about it, but then he was glad when we got outside. We just walked a couple blocks and back again, but at least it filled up half an hour. I had very noticeable Braxton-Hicks contractions the whole time we were walking. They stopped right away, though, when we got back inside and I was able to sit down for a minute and drink some water.

I have to admit that I am feeling kind of discouraged. It's hard to think about every day from now until Baby Girl is born being as long and hard and physically challenging as today. I'm super-emotional, too, just with regular pregnancy hormones, plus the craziness of trying to get used to having a baby in a hospital instead of my peaceful, familiar birth center. However, I am extremely grateful for all of Hubby's help and tender care. I just wish I could fast-forward several weeks to when I'm not pregnant anymore and I have a sweet baby girl to snuggle.

On a more positive note, I just ordered a cute and very reasonably-priced ($15.99, with $2.50 shipping) nursing cover off Ebay from the seller mariuszjoanna. Because of the ever-changing nature of Ebay, I don't think I can really link to it, but if you are interested, do a search on Ebay for "Joanna Design nursing cover," and it should come up. I ordered print number 141, which is a sage green fabric with a brown vintage print of children playing. Hopefully, I can get Baby Girl used to nursing under this nursing cover at home, so I will be able to nurse her during church without having to leave the room. I was never really able to discreetly nurse D.L.F. in public, because I didn't practice at home, so he wouldn't stand for a blanket covering his face if I ever did try to nurse away from home. I like the design of this nursing cover. It has boning along the top edge, which holds the cover out a bit so you can peek in and see how baby is doing. It's really similar to other nursing covers, e.g. Bebe au Lait, which cost upwards of $40. It should come pretty soon. I'll try to remember to post about how I like it when I get it in the mail.

Friday, March 21, 2008

What We Found Out

We had another ultrasound today which showed that Baby is head-down (not breech any more), and the placenta is not covering the cervix. It is currently 1.5 centimeters away, which is very close, but it could potentially "move" away a bit more as the uterus continues to grow. If the placenta reaches 2 or more centimeters away from the cervix, I may be able to try a natural birth rather than a C-section, but it would have to be at the hospital, not at the birth center, because there is still a risk of hemorrhage.

While I have been instructed to take things easy and not exert myself, I am not on complete bedrest any more.

Oh, and one more thing--we found out today that we are having a GIRL! We are so excited!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Home...and Bedrest

Hubby and I finally got to come home today around 2 P.M. My mom got into town and picked D.L.F. up from our friends' house, and we all got to our house at almost the same time. Then Hubby, D.L.F., and I took long naps and Mom went grocery shopping for us. We are so grateful for her being here. She will be able to stay and help out until the end of the week.

I am on complete bedrest for the duration of my pregnancy. This means I can get up to use the bathroom, take a shower, and walk to the table for meals, but the rest of the time I need to be sitting or laying in bed. No going for walks, no cooking, no housework, no lifting anything. This all feels so foreign and unnatural to me. I admit, a day or two of resting in bed will be nice, but I have a feeling it will get old really fast. It will be difficult to be on bedrest when I have a sweet but very active toddler who likes to get into things.

We will hopefully be able to get another ultrasound appointment scheduled for later this week. Most likely it will need to be a transvaginal ultrasound so we can really get a good look at the placenta.

There's still a chance that I could give birth naturally, but that chance is pretty slim. Also, because of the risk of hemmoraging, the doctors probably will not let me go to 40 weeks. A C-section will probably be scheduled around 37 weeks. This is all still up in the air until I can get another ultrasound.

Updated to add: I forgot to mention that Baby is also still in a breech position. From what the doctors said, because of my low-lying placenta/potential placenta previa, Baby is a lot less likely to go head-down.

Still Waiting to Find Out More...

Even with the "good" ultrasound machine, the ultrasound technician and the doctor couldn't tell much about the position of the placenta.

A nurse just came in and said that the doctor on staff this morning wants to have a conference at 10 A.M. regarding my care for the rest of this pregnancy. Hubby is taking care of D.L.F. right now and will be dropping him off at a friend's house, so Hubby should be able to be back by 10, and my supervising midwife will also be here.

I had some blood work done this morning, and it showed that I am anemic, so I will be upping my iron intake.

I really want to go home. A hospital is pretty far down on my list of places I'd like to be. I was hoping this pregnancy would be easy and uneventful, so naturally I am disappointed about these complications and especially about the potential for a C-section. Please pray....

Updated to add: The doctors had my blood re-tested because the bloodwork had shown I was severely anemic, but I didn't look anemic or have any symptoms of anemia. It turns out that there was some kind of lab error with the first test--I'm really not anemic. So that is good news, although I have to admit I have a little less faith in the hospital's labs now!

Guess Where I Am?

No, not in my bed at home, even though it is 12:57 A.M. I am sitting in a hospital bed, and Hubby is resting on a couch near me.

I had some spotting yesterday at about 3:30 P.M. I already had an appointment scheduled with my midwives for 5:00, so I went in then. They were concerned and sent me to a nearby hospital to get an ultrasound. One of the midwives came with me and stayed with me as we waited and waited and waited for the good ultrasound machine to come available. Around 9 P.M. a doctor came in with a very basic ultrasound machine for a preliminary scan to look at the position of the placenta. He said he couldn't tell for sure with that machine, but there was a chance of placenta previa. At that point, my wonderful midwife A. had to go home to her own family. She and I had a lot of time together this evening and got to know each other much better and found out that we have a lot in common.

She strongly recommended that I have someone come be with me at the hospital, so Hubby made arrangements with a friend to come over and stay with D.L.F. at our house so Hubby could be with me. The "good" ultrasound machine finally arrived around 10:30, along with the ultrasound technician, who performed what seemed like a very long procedure (it probably felt like that because I had to be on my back the whole time--ouch!). We wanted to find out Baby's gender, but his or her little legs were curled up tightly the whole time the technician was doing the scan, so we couldn't tell.

Anyway, the ultrasound technician wasn't allowed to tell us anything other than that the Baby's heart rate is normal, so we are waiting for someone to come and interpret the test for us. If I have a true placenta previa at the time of labor, I would have to have a C-section, but if the placenta is only partially covering the cervix now, there is a possibility it could move out of the way by the time I actually go into labor. Either way, there is a good chance I might have to be on bedrest for the rest of the pregnancy.

I want to do things as naturally as possible. I especially do not want to have a C-section. It is in the Lord's hands, though. I am grateful that Baby appears to be healthy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Here's what's been going on around here:

-Hubby stayed home from work a couple days this week with a cold. Dear Little Fellow had a runny nose, too, but they both seem to be doing better now.

-D.L.F. is down to one nap a day now; I think for good this time. I am adjusting to this new schedule. I used to have my quiet time with the Lord during D.L.F.'s first nap time, which is now non-existent, so I haven't been very faithful about spending time in the Word this past week or so. By the time D.L.F. does go down for a nap at 1 P.M., I crash, too. The upside of him taking only one nap a day is that he seems to sleep in a little later in the morning.

-Tonight Hubby and I both participated in an inter-house-church worship gathering. I sang and Hubby helped with sound and played the djembe (JEM-bay, a type of drum).

-Tomorrow we are bringing dinner for our church family. I will be making oven-fried chicken drumsticks, green salad, some kind of bread (I haven't decided yet), and either chocolate chip cookies or triple-chocolate brownies (haven't decided that yet, either).

-I am now 34 weeks pregnant! I'm getting closer to feeling ready. The only thing we need to do before Baby comes is get another car seat. I'd like to buy and set up a crib, too, in the next few weeks, but that's not crucial, as I'm sure the baby will end up mostly sleeping in bed with us for the first while at least, anyway. We have a few dozen newborn cloth diapers that I need to "break in" by washing them in hot water several times, but that can wait, too. We will probably use disposables for the first week or so anyway, because of the handy cut-out for the umbilical cord stump and also because I don't want to deal with scrubbing out meconium from cloth diapers.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Does This Statement Bother You?

However, California courts have held that under provisions in the Education Code, parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children. -from a California court ruling that would make it illegal for parents to homeschool their own children

The Home School Legal Defense Agency is (of course) protesting this ruling. You can sign a petition on their site here (you do not have to be a resident of California).

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pregnancy Update

I had my 32-week appointment with my midwives yesterday. Baby is doing great. He or she is in a breech position right now, but that’s not a big concern at this point. Midwife L. tried to manually rotate Baby, but Baby would not turn easily, so L. just left him or her alone for now. She said if Baby is still breech at my next appointment (34 weeks), she will give me some ideas about getting him or her to turn.

Baby’s heart rate has consistently been around 122-130 beats per minute, which according to the old wives’ tale, could indicate that Baby is a boy (boys’ fetal heart rates often fall between 120 and 140, and girls’ between 140 and 160; however, this is not always the case).

While we would love to have a sweet little girl this time around, it would also be great for Dear Little Fellow to have a brother so close in age to himself. I don’t really know what would be best, but God does, and He’s the one knitting this little one together in my womb. Plus, we hope to have more children in the future, so in all likelihood, we will end up with a mix of boys and girls anyway. We have had both a boy’s name and a girl’s name picked out almost from the time we found out I was pregnant, so we are prepared either way. :-)

Physically, this pregnancy is a lot more uncomfortable for me than my first pregnancy. My back hurts pretty much all the time, and my legs and an area on my belly are also often sore. I just keep telling myself there are only about eight weeks left! Maybe fewer, which would be nice. Who knows, though? I guess the baby will come when he or she is good and ready.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

My $38/Week Food Experiment

I am trying an experiment. Can I get all of our food and household items for $38 a week? My “official” food and household budget is $75 a week. This includes Hubby eating out one lunch a week with a friend. They always go to the same cheap Mexican restaurant, and Hubby only spends around $4, so I am left with $71.

I get most of our toiletries and household products for free or for pennies at Walgreens and Rite Aid by using coupons and rebates, but the one expensive household product I am brand-loyal to is Tide with Bleach detergent in a particular scent (clean breeze). I usually buy the 142 oz. box at Target for around $12. I haven’t kept track of exactly how long it lasts, but I know it’s over a month (I only use about ½ the recommended amount). I have decided to set aside $3 a week to save up for detergent and any other larger household products that won’t fit into my regular weekly budget.

I have also decided to set aside another $3 a week to save for Christmas portraits. That way, by the time we get them taken in early November or so, we will have around $100, which should get a decent small package.

Now, for the tricky part. Our family is growing, and it would be handy (almost necessary, especially when hauling luggage and gear for two young children on trips) to have a minivan rather than our compact car. I am going to try to set aside $30 a week out of the food budget to save for a minivan. Yes, it would take a long time on $30 a week, but if we combine that with the small amount we could get for selling our car, plus perhaps the economy-stimulus check that is supposed to be coming in May, there could be a used minivan in our future within the next couple of years (hopefully before we have a third child, because it would be next-to-impossible to squeeze three car seats in the back of our car!).

So, $75 - $4 for Hubby eating out - $3 for portraits - $30 for the minivan fund = $38 a week. Take out $3 for the detergent fund, and I’m left with $35 a week. Now, I am not starting from absolutely nothing. In the pantry, I have quite a few cans of tomato products and tuna, a couple bags of flour, a supply of oats and rice, some brown rice pasta (easier for us to digest than wheat), peanut butter, applesauce, etc. In the freezer, I have several pounds of frozen hamburger. I also stocked up on cheddar cheese and grapefruits last week when I found a sale.

We like meat around here, and I rarely make meatless dinners. I am going to try to buy chicken one week and hamburger the next, and freeze some of each so we can have a combination of both every week.

Yesterday, I went to two stores—a Kroger-chain store and a discount food store. Here’s what I bought for this week:

2 large packages chicken drumsticks $8.49
2 baking potatoes $.53
2 small heads of broccoli $.54
1 bunch grapes $1.43
1 large tomato $.50
1 bunch celery $.37
1 qt. plain yogurt $2.34
1 package raisins $3.98
1 roll plastic cling wrap $1.73
4-pack lightbulbs (to replace the fluorescent bulbs in our floor lamps) $.88
2 dozen omega-3 eggs $4.10
1 gallon organic milk (I used a $1 off coupon) $3.99
1 large bunch organic bananas (we like the taste way better than regular bananas) $2.34

Total for these two stores: $31.22

Today I went to the produce market and bought:

1 huge head romaine lettuce $1.39
2 oranges $.43
1 large bulb garlic $.50
1 large onion $.41
5 red delicious apples $1.20

I spent $3.93 at the produce market—only five cents over my budget, for a total of $38.05.

Here’s what we will be eating this week:

Breakfasts: Hubby likes the same thing every morning—toast with peanut butter and applesauce. Dear Little Fellow and I usually have scrambled or fried eggs along with some fruit, muffins, or oatmeal.

Lunches: Hubby gets lunch for free at his work cafeteria. Dear Little Fellow and I usually have leftovers and fruit.


Friday: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Saturday: Baked Chicken
Sunday (lunch): Chicken Soup; (dinner): eat at church
Monday: Hamburger-Broccoli Quiche
Tuesday: Fried Rice with Chicken
Wednesday: Tuna-Veggie Casserole
Thursday: Mexican Rice Bake

For side dishes with our dinners, I usually make either a green salad or a fruit/yogurt salad, or we just have fruit slices.

I am excited to try this experiment this month and see if I will be able to make it work on a long-term basis!