Monday, December 31, 2007
Like most nights, Jonathan, Christian and Bella are now asleep and Mommy is on the computer satisfying her internet / e-mail / blogging addiction.
2007 started after we spent pretty much all of 2006 trying to get pregnant. We had high hopes that 2007 would be our year (and lo and behold ... IT WAS!).
2007 was really a year of excitement and anticipation over the pregnancy. We always looked forward to Dr. visits and possible ultrasounds. I read pregnancy books and baby books like crazy, as I studied for what I called "the biggest test of my life: mommyhood."
I always enjoy news programs and magazines that reflect on the past year. I often keep the magazines as a reminder of that year's events. This year, I think I'll grab every magazine I can find that reflects on 2007 ... as a keepsake for Christian ... "Here is what happened the year you were born."
I watched the news tonight as they flashed all of the "famous people" who had died this year. Among them was Anna Nicole Smith. And I thought, "Was that THIS year??" Man, a lot has happened this year ... in the media, in the world, in my own life.
We are so excited to see what 2008 will bring us. The Lord certainly did bless us in 2007! We are excited to watch Christian grow and change ... and we try to savor every moment we have with him. We named him Christian for a reason, and we look forward to the day that we can start explaining to him who Jesus is. We pray that one day, he'll accept Jesus into his heart, as we have. As I tell people, "Christian is going to grow up to be a pastor." :)
If I could dedicate a song to Chrstian, it would be "My Wish" by Rascall Flatts. Surely you've heard it ... if not, it goes like this:
I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow,
And each road leads you where you want to go,
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose,
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you.
And if one door opens to another door closed,
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window,
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile,
But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
I hope you never look back, but ya never forget,
All the ones who love you, in the place you left,
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret,
And you help somebody every chance you get,
Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake,
And you always give more than you take.
But more than anything, more than anything,
My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too,
Yeah, this, is my wish.
We hope that each of you who follows this blog can look back on 2007, and find you have more good memories than bad memories. We hope that in 2008, your dreams come true and you meet your goals. We hope you make new friends, while cherishing your old friends and your family.
Happy New Year!
Jonathan and Jennifer
Many thanks to Christian for being born during football season so that he could be his Daddy's new football buddy (relieving Mommy from that duty!).
Friday, December 28, 2007
We spent the afternoon of Christmas Eve at Grandma Debba's house eating a might fine Christmas dunch / linner (kinda lunch, kinda dinner). When we visit Grandma Debba's house, Christian is always the star of the show.
Christmas day was spent at our house ... just hanging out. Check out some of our photos by scrolling down the page.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
It used be that I felt anybody in their 30s (or older) was old. And now that I'm officially in my mid-30s, I guess that makes me old (yes, yes, I know ... those of you who are older than I am are now rolling your eyes).
And when it occured to me that in just five years, I'll be 40 ... well, that was shocking. Even more shocking was realizing that in 15 years, I'll be 50. Oh my.
But you know what overshadows any annoyance with being 35? My delight in being a new Mommy to the most precious baby ever (in my humble opinion!).
I pray we'll be able to have another child before all is said and done (I'd prefer Christian not be an only child). So, that is part of my anxiety about being 35 now ... how much more time do I have in my child-bearing years. I'm sure several of you are rolling your eyes as you read that. And if you are, you probalby fall into one of two categories: 1) You've already raised your children or 2) You're young enough that you have plenty of time to have your children.
I have already decided if Christian is the only child we ever have, then that is okay. We would just like to one day be blessed with having two children. And tick tock ... tick tock goes the clock.
Ah, 35 ... where did the time go?
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Its nearly 11:00pm on a Saturday night, and by all accounts, I should be doing one of two things:
- Sleeping (like everybody else down the hall)
- Enjoying quiet time with Jonthan (who, as aforementioned, is sleeping)
But, I am wide awake. Now is the time to clean the kitchen, do laundry, pick up around the house ... post to the blog.
I often get a "Golden Hour" or two in the early morning hours. During the week, that hour or two is usually spent in front of my computer working.
Early in our relationship, Jonathan were able to stay up into the wee hours of the night ... talking, watching movies, etc. As the years passed, and we got older (gasp!), our ability to stay up late fizzled. Call us old. Go ahead ... I dare you.
So its a good thing we're already used to unexciting evenings of staying home. And frankly, we like it that way. And now that we have Christian, nothing could make us happier than staying home and just having some good ol' family time.
Time to get back to what is left of my last Golden Hour of this day.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
My friend's mom made these ADORABLE booties for Christian. Awwww!!
If there was ever a contest for the cutest baby booties EVER, I'd submit them ... and they'd surely win!
Our thanks to Patricia Huneke! She's quite a talented lady!
Friday, November 30, 2007
So here's my one month summary:
The c-section has been far easier to recover from than I expected. I still feel some discomfort at the incision and walk a bit funny because of that discomfort. But overall, I'm back to normal.
Christian only gets up twice a night to be changed and fed and then he's back asleep. It works out nicely for all of us.
Overall, we've been adjusting really well. For me, its a bit challenging to have a newborn at home during the day and still try to get my job done. So I get as much done as I can when he's sleeping (ha! They say to "sleep when the baby sleeps" ... not in this house!). Fortunately, Jonathan works from home two days a week now. We try not to bother him during his work day at home, as I know he's busy. But just when I'm really needing another pair of hands, Jonathan appears. WHEW!
One of the biggest things I've experienced in the past month is the vast amount, and variety, of advice out there. Baby book authors have their differing opinions, my own Dr. and his nurse have differing opinions and parents I talk to all have differeing opinions about feedings, pacifiers, how long to let a baby fuss / cry for, etc.
I was talking to my Grandpa the other day who warned me not to spoil the baby. I said, "Oh, the current thought is that you can't spoil a baby." His reply, "OH YES YOU CAN!" I told him that perhaps each generation has their own views on child rearing. Its currently thought that the first three months of a child's life is considered the "fourth trimester" and that you can't hold, cuddle or otherwise tend to a baby too much in the first three months of life.
Speaking of which, Christian is now fussing. I've let him do so for a bit and now its time to step in and reassure him that Mommy is here for him.
There are a few key ingredients to making a person feel old: 1) When your little sister turns 31, 2) When you are on the verge of turning 35 and 3) When your realize its been 25 years since Thriller came out.
I was obsessed with Michael Jackson as a kiddo. I used to claim I could tell when a Michael Jackson song was playing on the radio. I'd turn the radio on and sure enough, there was a Michael Jackson song on. Of course, back then, there was always a Michael Jackson song on the radio somewhere.
I'd cut out his pictures from magazines and put them on the wall in my bedroom. I'd put my tape recorder to the TV speaker or radio when a MJ video or song played. I even had silver socks (ahh, I miss those cool socks!).
25 years later, Michael Jackson has pretty much become a freak ... physically, in personality and lifestyle.
Who would have ever guessed? Certainly not me ... his biggest fan back in the day. When Christian gets old enough, he'll surely laugh that at one time, his mommy thought Michael Jackson was the coolest guy ever.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
- Christian's umbilical cord finally fell off, revealing his belly button for the first time (and to be tasteful, we've masked his "bits and pieces").
- He got his first bath at home since getting one on his birthday. Poor kid ... he was none-too-happy. In an attempt to make sure the water wasn't too hot, I think I made the water a bit too cold for him. I'd be unhappy, too ...
We also went to Albuquerque for the first time as a new family and braved a shopping excursion at Wal*Mart. Thankfully, he slept through the entire time we spent at Wal*Mart!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
The nurse who wasn't satisfied with Christian's weight gain wasn't in today. So, it was "that guy Tiffany" who weighed him.
And we now know he's considered a "she."
I told the receptionist we were there to get Christian weighed, and she said, "We only have one nurse today, and I'll let her know there is a baby that needs weighing."
She called out, "Danielle ... you have a baby to weigh ..." And from around the corner, "Tiffany" appeared.
So Tiffany is Danielle. I think we'll still call him / her Tiffany. :)
But back to the point: Christian is gaining lots of weight and we're just delighted!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Or ... a visit to our pediatrician's office.
I first saw "Tiffany" within moments of arriving at our first Dr. appt. I was with the receptionist when Tiffany walked by. I smiled at Tiffany and thought, "Whoa ..." I returned to Jonathan and quietly told him, "There is somebody back there that will freak you out! It's a woman that's a man!"
Within minutes, Tiffany appeared from behind the door and called us back. He/she weighed Christian, took his other measurements, etc.
I just wasn't sure if Tiffany was a man or woman for a few minutes. He/she has 80's hair with the high bangs (to be fair, I had the same hair 20 years ago ...), a full face of nicely-done makeup and a voice that is only slightly feminine. But it was when Tiffany took Christian from me that I noticed his hands. Yep, definitely a man.
So I turned to Jonathan and mouthed, "Its a MAN!" Jonathan silently mouthed "Shhhh!" to me.
I mean really ... who does Tiffany think he's fooling? Certainly not us.
No, his name isn't Tiffany (or is it ... ?). We don't know what his name is ... but we call him Tiffany because after the appointment, Jonathan and I were discussing what had happened and Jonathan casually said, "------- that guy Tiffany ..." And we busted up laughing long and hard.
"That guy Tiffany ..."
I guess you had to be there.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I promise that any day now, we'll have new pictures up for all to see.
Christian is doing great! We've now got the breastfeeding thing down, which is a huge relief. We took him to the Dr. last Thursday and he was wanting Christian to gain more weight. He was hoping for three ounces by today and he had gained FIVE ounces. However, the nurse we saw wasn't satisfied with the FIVE ounces and wants more (huh??), so we've been instructed to feed Christian every two hours now. So we're confused ... the Dr. told us to feed on demand so that Christian was extra hungry when he woke up.
My c-section recovery is going far better than I could have ever hoped for. I'm even walking somewhat normally now. And I'm actually wearing a pre-pregnancy outfit today (okay, to be fair, I was able to wear this outfit up until about the seventh month ...). And since Christian was born, I've lost 20 pounds (well, including Christian and all his "stuff" that came out with him) ... YAY! Having a baby is the best diet ever - ha ha!
As for Jonathan ... sadly, he must return to work tomorrow. He's not ready to leave the baby and me (and frankly, we're not ready for him to go, either ... we love having him home with us) and actually planned to take tomorrow as a vacation day.
However, I can't drive for three weeks after the surgery and Christian needs to be weighed again on Thursday. So ... I need Jonathan home on Thursday.
Jonathan is just the cutest dad EVER! He's so caring and delicate with the baby ... its a sight to behold. He talks to him and sings songs to him. He and Christian like to nap together ... with Christian on his Daddy's chest.
I know Jonathan and I each want Christian to ourselves all the time, but we've been very good about sharing the snuggle time. I keep in mind that I get the one-on-one breastfeeding time with Christian and so Jonathan needs his time, too.
This is one very loved baby!!!!
Look for pictures very soon!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Monday, November 5, 2007
Jennifer and Jonathan
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Liz is on her way in from Phoenix as I type this post, and Jonathan and I are both trying to work (he at his office, me at home), but are finding the pending events tomorrow are incredibly distracting.
As I sit here by myself in a calm and quiet house, its hard to believe this day will be the last one like it ... for years!
It will obviously be a few days before I can get online and post an update.
The next time you hear from us, we'll be "Mommy and Daddy" ... WOW!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
However, on Friday, we learned that it was a good thing.
Friday's ultrasound showed a big baby: he's currently at 10 pounds. A few weeks ago, it was suggested that at his current rate of growth, he'd be 10 pounds at 40 weeks. However, he's 10 pounds at 38 weeks. There is a big ol' fancy term for him ... he's officially a "macrosomic baby."
Here's a nice medical explanation:
"Macrosomic babies may not pass easily through the birth canal, causing difficult deliveries, complications such as shoulder damage during delivery (shoulder dystocia), nerve damage, or even a fractured bone. If your health provider suspects you are going to have a macrosomic baby, she will probably recommend you have a cesarean section."
And so ... drum roll please ...
I am scheduled for a C-section on Friday, November 2 at 12:30 p.m.
C-sections are common procedures these days ... but, its still considred "major surgery." And, well, that's pretty scary. Its nothing compared to the only other "surgery" I've ever had: getting my wisdom teeth pulled.
I do feel better, however, knowing that my niece just had her second baby by C-section ... and her first was vaginally. She tells us she preferred the C-section method.
And ... since my procedure is planned, as opposed to an emergency C-section, it won't be all rushed and crazy (like what we sometimes see on TV).
The Dr. seems to think its unlikely I'll go into labor prior to the C-section. He's not "engaged" in my pelvis and she thinks he's too big to get engaged. I do get "contractions," though not the painful kind. So she told me to take it easy and not walk around too much.
Should anything happen between now and Friday, we'll try to post updates.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Now, who knows what the odds are that I'll actually go into labor. Frankly, I'd rather not think about it.
Bottom line: Baby Lucero might be ready to come out, but I'd like him to stay in a bit longer.
Furthermore, the labor and delivery unit at our hospital in Santa Fe is rather small. I don't want to be one of 23 women in labor. And that also keeps the beloved epidural man busy. Perhaps too busy to administer an epidural when I need one the most.
If you're the praying kind (and we all should be), then please join us in prayer that tonight is not the night.
In the meantime, I've got a house to finish cleaning!!! :)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Week 38: Approaching the Runway
Only two more weeks (or plus two more, max) before your baby makes his or her appearance. And what an adorable appearance that will be! Your little one isn't so little anymore — weighing in at close to seven pounds and hitting the height charts at the 21-inch mark (or less).
As you prepare (best you can) for baby's ETA, he or she is also getting ready, big time. Vernix and lanugo continue to shed from your baby's body into the amniotic fluid. Your baby swallows that amniotic fluid (yum yum?) and some of it winds up in his or her intestines where it — along with other shed cells, bile, and other waste products (triple yum) — will turn into your baby's first bowel movement (meconium) and perhaps your first diaper change.
Your baby's lungs continue to mature as more and more surfactant is secreted (remember — it helps prevent the lungs from sticking to each other when your baby begins to breathe…definitely a good thing). All systems, almost go!
Monday, October 22, 2007
Traditionally, maternity wards get very busy during a full mooon with expectant mothers going into labor. Sounds hokey, I know ... but I've looked into it and it appears to be true.
When is the next full mooon, you may ask? THIS FRIDAY!
I'm still waiting for that famouse "nesting instinct" to kick in. I've read some amazing stories about the kinds of nesting women do (i.e. fertalizing their lawn on a steep hill in the middle of the night, removing all doorknobs in the house to clean behind them, etc.).
So I either don't have a really intense nesting instinct, or labor is still too far off for it to kick in with any rigor.
Although, I do get antsy if too much laundry has built up ... or there are too many dishes in the sink. I know we'll be having visitors after the baby is born and I won't have time to clean the house after he comes. So, I'd better get a move on. I can't have visitors in a less than spotless house.
We have another ultrasound on Friday, so we hope to get some good pictures of the baby. I keep thinking, "I hope he doesn't come before we get the ultrasound done." And then I laugh at myself and and realize that if he does come before then, I'll get to look at the baby himself and not just some fuzzy ultrasound photo. :)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
So what's keeping your little one busy while waiting it out until D-day? Practice, practice, practice. Your baby is simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on his or her thumb, blinking, and pivoting from side to side (one day you feel the tushy on the left side, another day it has swung around to the right side). All these are skills needed for his or her next gig — starring as newborn.
Here's an interesting fact: Your baby's head (which, by the way, is still growing) will, at birth, be the same size circumference as his or her hips, abdomen, and shoulders. And guess what's making an impression (literally) these days on those shoulders and hips: fat — causing little dimples in those cute elbows and knees, shoulders and hip, and creases and folds in the neck and wrists.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Your baby's skull isn't the only soft structure in his or her little body. Most of your baby's bones and cartilage are quite soft as well (they'll harden over the first few years of life) — allowing for an easier journey as your baby squeezes through the birth canal at delivery (and less prodding and poking for Mom along the way). The skull bones are also not fused together yet so that the head can easily (well, relatively easily) maneuver through the birth canal.
So your little bruiser (who you've now learned won't be bruising you all that much with those soft bones) is now about six pounds in weight and measures slightly more than 20 inches in length. Growth will experience a slowdown now, both so your baby will be able to fit the narrow passageway to the outside and also so he or she can store up all the energy needed for delivery.
By now, many of your baby's systems are pretty mature, at least in baby terms — and just about ready for life on the outside. Blood circulation, for instance, has been perfected and your baby's immune system has matured enough to protect him or her from infections outside the womb. Other systems, however, still need a few finishing touches. Once such notable example: digestion — which actually won't be fully mature until sometime after birth. Why's that? Inside his or her little gestational cocoon, your baby has relied on the umbilical cord for nutrition, meaning that the digestive system — though developed — hasn't been operational. So your baby will take the first year or two to bring that system up to speed.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
And then there are the two or three woman who recetnly told me their baby came three weeks before its due date.
Bottom line: the baby will come when he's good and ready.
As for the Lucero household, we're ready with all the gear. Thanks to our baby shower, we have lots of clothing, blankets, and other misc. baby goodies ... including the co-sleeper basinett. And this weekend we bought the travel system (car seat/stroller combo), a "pack and play" (think portable crib with a changing table) for the downstairs, a baby monitor and some other good stuff.
The baby's room has been painted and most of the wallpaper border is up. The blinds arrived yesterday and will be installed soon. I plan to wash all his clothes today.
There are a couple of odds and ends that need tending to, but for the most part, the house is ready.
But are we?
People who have children have warned us what we're in for: sleepless nights, exhausted days, endless laundry, etc. So we try to envision what our lives will be like and while we think we have a pretty good idea (remember, we did foster care for little kids last year ...), we know the changes will come as a total shock to us.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Not long ago, it seemed like our baby shower was far off into the future. But it has now come and gone and we're one step closer to the big day.
We had a fabulous baby shower and wish to thank all who attended! The food and company were fabulous!
Most of all, we'd like to thank Valerie and Jon, Carrie and Madison and Debby and Amy. Valerie and Jon hosted the event at their home, and Carrie, Madison, Debby and Amy came early to help get everything set up. We are truly blessed to have such great friends!
We'd also like to thank Elisabeth for making the cakes ... and for so much more. She stayed with us for a few days and we were so happy to have her here. Thanks for the hamburger stroganoff, Liz!
Jennifer and Jonathan
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Week 35: Soft in the Head
At about 20 inches and five and a half pounds (but with about five more weeks to grow), most of your baby's growth over the next month or so before you meet will be in weight (with a gain of anywhere from one pound to several), not height (baby's pretty much reached the in utero limit in that department). Accordingly, fat continues to accumulate at a rapid pace these days (on baby, not just on your hips). Back in the middle of your pregnancy, your baby's weight was made up of only two percent fat; now that percentage has soared to closer to 15 percent (and will increase to 30 percent at term). Which means your baby's once skinny arms and legs are now quite plump…and irresistibly, squeezably soft.
Also continuing to grow at an amazing pace is your baby's brain power. Luckily, the part that surrounds that amazing brain — the skull — remains soft. And for good reason: A soft skull will allow your baby to squeeze more easily through the birth canal. (Mother Nature was really thinking this one through — imagine trying to push out a rock-hard head…ouch!)
And talking about that head, your baby has probably settled into the head-down, bottoms-up position in your pelvis. That's because the fetus's head fits better at the bottom of your inverted, pear-shaped uterus. It also makes it easier during childbirth if your baby comes out head first. Fewer than five percent of babies prefer the bottom-down (or breech) position by full-term. Don't worry if your baby hasn't assumed the head-down position yet. There's still a good chance he or she will flip head-side-down before birth — even in the tight confines of your uterus.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
We got some interesting news about Baby Lucero on Friday: He's already 6 pounds 10 ounces (according to the ultrasound computer ... which is just an estimate). If the conception date was unknown, the computer would estimate a due date of October 19.
But we know the conception date and the large size of the baby doesn't change it from November 9th. The Dr. is a bit concerned about the large size of the baby (heck, I was only six something when I was born a week early!), so I had to take a blood test this weekend to detect whether or not I have gestational diabetes. Its a common condition in pregnancy ... I just hope I don't have it.
If he keeps growing at this rate, and I go to term, its possible he'll be just about a 10 pound baby. YIKES!!!
So here are the latest ultrasound photos (for more, scroll down the page a bit). They aren't very good and he looks like an alien with a big ol' mouth. But, he's our little alien. :)
We're in week 35 now. Wow, time sure does go quickly when one is pregnant!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Rising Doughboy (or Girl)
Your baby could be as tall as 20 inches right now and about five pounds. Need a visual? Hold a five-pound bag of flour in your arms and imagine it's your soon-to-be-born baby (cradle it, and you'll only get strange looks in the baking aisle). Then stack three such bags one on top of the other (and get ready for some more strange looks, maybe from the same clerks who saw you grinning and holding that one-pound box of sugar a few weeks ago). That's how tall your baby is now. (Now go bake some oatmeal raisin cookies with all that flour!)
If your little doughboy is, well, a boy, then you'll be pleased to know that this week his testicles are making their way down from his abdomen to his scrotum. (Some baby boys — three to four percent — are born with undescended testicles, but they usually make the trip down sometime before the first birthday.)
Your baby's fingernails now reach the end of the fingertips and may even curl over the tip, making a manicure one of the first things you'll need to do for your little bundle.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
As if all that wasn't scary enough, I looked into my rearview mirror only to see a mini-van coming up behind me ... FAST ... and he wasn't slowing down.
I recall my immediate thought was, "I'm pregnant, my sister is in the car, and Bella is home alone." I quickly moved my car onto the highway shoulder to get us out of the way. The van went barreling past me on my left, and then had to swerve to avoid hitting the car that was in front of me. Had I not moved to the right, we'd have been hit behind with full-force, and been thrown into the car in front of us.
Now that was scary!
God definitely had his hands on us: What if I hadn't looked into the rear view mirror at that exact moment to see that van? What if the van had swerved to the right at the same time I did ... or what if there was already a car on the shoulder (I didn't have time to look before moving over).
So many other ways that situation could have played out. But we were safe and so were others who were in the immediate vicinity.
Praise God! (how could we not??)
Saturday, September 22, 2007
This week's prenatal class focused on all the things that freak out an anxious mommy-to-be: labor, delivery, epidurals, spinal blocks, etc. We even watched a video on C-sections (which wasn't nearly as gorey as what I've seen on Discovery Health).
And here is what I have to say: knock me out and wake me up when there is a baby.
Last night, I watched the newest show on The Duggars (you know, that family who just had their 17th child? They named the baby Jennifer, by the way). So she's done this labor and delivery thing several times ... and keeps coming back for more. Women throughout history have been having babies and certainly in less desirable locations and conditions that I'll be in. So I'm trying to get a grip on the whole thing. But man, several hours of the most intense pain I've ever felt in my life is just a scary thought.
When I was a kid, I proclaimed I would never have children because it would hurt too much. Somewhere along the way, I forgot about that little fear ... until recently.
But, this is what I signed up for. And in the end, we get a baby. And that is all that matters.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
This week your baby may be anywhere between 17 to 19 inches in length and weigh more than four and a half pounds. Your baby could grow a full inch more this week alone — especially if he or she has been on the shorter side. Weight gain can range from a third more growth to a full doubling before the big debut.
The level of amniotic fluid in your uterus has reached its maximum, making it likely that you have more baby than fluid now. That's one reason why you're probably feeling lots of nudges and pushes — there's less liquid to cushion the blows. (Of course that means you're even closer to your baby now!)
If your uterine walls had eyes, here's what you'd see: your fetus acting more and more like a baby, with his or her eyes closing during sleep and opening while awake. And because those uterine walls are becoming thinner, more light penetrates the womb, helping your baby differentiate between day and night (now if only baby can remember that difference on the outside!).
And good news! Your baby has reached an important milestone about now: The development of his or her own immune system that (along with antibodies from you) will be able to provide protection from mild infections.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
I tell ya ... I can't wait for Jonathan to be home for good. Nothing makes you miss your husband more than an unexpected trip to the hospital.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Jonathan departed this morning for his final trip to D.C. He absolutely loves to travel, but isn't looking forward to this trip. He's had too many hangups at the Atlanta airport on recent trips and is concerned about what future delays are in his travel future.
He's also concerned about leaving his very pregnant wifey behind. I have assured him all will be well ... and we are just praying Baby Lucero loves his environment and will stay put until Daddy gets home. As we still have a few weeks left, we're confident he won't try to make his way into this world before Jonathan returns on September 27.
My sister, Liz, will be coming to stay with me for a few days, so that will be nice. And that leaves Jonathan fewer days to worry about me ... which is nice, too.
After this trip, Jonathan is home for good - yay!!
Friday, September 14, 2007
I frequently get told, by various people, that as a pregnant woman I need to "relax" and "pamper myself." And, hey! I agree! But ...
As you may have noticed, my blog writings have been pretty sporadic lately. This week was my company's annual conference (translation: annual nightmare). The weeks leading up to the conference were busy, the days leading up to the conference were even busier and this week itself was just plain CRAZY.
It wasn't until after the conference ended yesterday and I was simply carrying a stack of notebooks (one of the lightest loads I've carried in recent weeks, by the way) that people started saying, "Oh, let me do that for you. You're pregnant. Just sit down and relax."
But the way I look at all the physical work I've had to do lately is that doctors are always emphasizing that pregnant women need to exercise. So I believe I've met my exercise quota and plan to relax the next few weeks.
Most importantly, I want to thank Jonathan. I have been a tired (read: sleep deprived) and cranky wife this week. I think I did a fairly good job of not snapping at him, but he did get some raging hormones and frustration and tears directed his way a couple of times (the poor guy!). So here's a huge thanks to him for being patient with me, for helping me load the car and take all the conference material to the hotel ... and for just being a great husband. Thank you ... and I'm sorry for being so icky. I love you!
Week 32: Squirming, Pushing, Growing
This week your baby weighs almost four pounds and could be up to 19 inches long. And though that's a head-to-toe length, your baby is actually back to a curled-up position (you try standing up in those cramped quarters!). You're likely feeling tapping and squirming instead of your baby's signature rocking and rolling. That's because, while comfy, your baby is a bit tight for exercise space right now.
While your baby is still getting nourishment through the umbilical cord, it won't be long before you'll be bringing on the breast milk or formula (and soon after, the mashed carrots and peas). In anticipation of that momentous transition to mouth feeding, your baby's digestive system is all set and ready to go.
And because your baby is accumulating more fat, his or her skin is finally turning opaque (like yours), which means those see-through days are over. Though weeks away from D-day, your baby's looking more and more like a newborn.
And speaking of that big day, hope you're resting up for it — because your bambino certainly is. In preparation for that big first date with you, your baby is sleeping like a baby — with sleep cycles of 20 to 40 minutes long (which would also account for the decrease in movement you're likely feeling these days.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Week 31: Thumbs Up
As far as growth goes, your baby's still on a roll, measuring an impressive 18 inches and weighing in at more than three pounds. You can still expect your baby to gain at least three to five pounds, possibly more, before you two meet.
Your baby's brain is working overtime these days, developing faster than ever. Connections between individual nerve cells are growing at a frenetic clip, and your baby can now perceive information from all five senses. Sure, your baby can't smell anything right now, but that's only because he or she is still submerged in amniotic fluid and needs to be breathing air to get a whiff of anything. Lucky for you — and your baby — yours will be one of the very first scents your baby breathes in, a scent that will quickly become his or her very favorite.
So what's your little dove doing all day while you're busy feathering your nest for his or her arrival? Making faces, hiccupping, swallowing, breathing, pedaling with little hands and feet along your uterine wall, and even sucking his or her thumb. In fact, some babies suck their thumbs so vigorously while in the womb that they're born with a callus on their thumb (what a little sucker!).
Friday, August 31, 2007
So here's how things are moving along:
- We took our first of six pre-natal classes last night. I gotta say, it was pretty lame - there is very little structure to the class and I'm not sure how much we'll actually learn (as opposed to the books I read and the shows I watch on Discovery Health). As is typical for those classes, we watched a video on labor and delivery. It was on a very small screen, so the gore was minimized. For my part, I just couldn't get past the obvious fact that it was filmed in the 1980s ... ah, the hair!
- I've been getting "Braxton Hicks Contractions" for a while now. They say these "contractions" are just practice contractions. Apparently, they can get quite uncomfortable, but for now, its just a brief tightening sensation ... and then its done. My Dr. says as long as its no more than four an hour, its okay. So far, so good.
- The baby moves around A LOT! I think he's going to come out wanting to run, just like his daddy does! I really wish I could somehow get a camera in there and see what the little guy is doing!
- I'm starting to experience some of the classic late pregnancy issues: back pain and a difficulty in being able to sleep comfortably. The back pain is still relavitvely minor, and for that I am thankful.
- Looks like this weekend, we'll be painting the baby's room. The bottom half of the wall will be light blue and topped with a really cute alphabet wallpaper border that Jonathan selected.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Week 30: Making Headway
Your baby's height and weight haven't changed much in the past week, but the big news is your baby's brain gain. Until now, the surface of your baby's brain was smooth. Now, your fetus's brain is taking on those characteristic grooves and indentations. The reason for this change in appearance? Those wrinkles allow for an increased amount of brain tissue — a necessary change as your baby prepares for life outside your womb, and the street smarts he or she will need.
Another big change this week: Your baby's bone marrow has taken over production of red blood cells (before, tissue groups and then the spleen took care of producing the blood cells). This is an important step for your baby, because it means he or she is better able to thrive on his or her own once born (with a little TLC from you, of course).
So it's in with the new (brain cells, red blood cells) and out with the old (lanugo). Much of the lanugo — the soft, downy hair covering your baby's body — is beginning to disappear now because both fat and the brain are regulating your baby's body temperature (so no need for that furry coat anymore). But you may see a few leftover strands of fur on your newborn's back and shoulders.
Monday, August 27, 2007
My employer provides very good health insurance, as does Jonathan's company (and therefore, I'm double-insured). I know healthcare in this country is always a huge political issue (and just an issue, period, for those who don't have health insurance). And so I just have to bypass all the politics and proclaim, "I am so thankful for my health insurance!"
I thought about those people in this country who have no, or inadequate health inurance. Or let me go a step further ... people who live in poor countries who don't have any health insurance and limted (or no) access to medical care.
My Dr. is just a phone call away. The pharmacy is just down the steet. My Dr. is awesome and catches "issues" in their early stages and fixes them. During the pregnancy, I pay one co-pay at the beginning and then I have no expenses to pay at each Dr. vsit. I am so incredibly fortunate!
Starting at this point, I will have Dr. visits every two weeks, and I'm glad. As I mentioned, there are "issues" (with me, not the baby) that need to be monitored. So its nice to know that just around the corner will be another appointment.
We're gettng close! Just ten more weeks until this baby is fully-cooked. :) And only seven more weeks until this baby is considered "full term."
Man, reality is really starting to sink in. Big time.
Friday, August 24, 2007
If you’ve been feeling butterflies moving around in your belly, it’s not just your run-of-the-mill pre-birth performance anxiety. No, it’s your amazing baby with a case of the hiccups: a fairly common occurrence at this point resulting from practicing breathing for their big birthday. In addition, to getting a round of butterfly-like hiccups, your little swimmer has arduously managed to accumulate enough baby fat to account for nearly 3.5% of their overall body weight. Yeah, compared to we adults, it’s not a lot, but when they’re little like that—it’s certainly a healthy (and warming) accomplishment in its way. Another fantastic accomplishment: your baby's spleen is now in charge of hematopoiesis—the 10 dollar name for the process involved in building up certain important blood components.
Another fantastic-accomplishment: your little monkey has been peeing into their amniotic sac for a little while now (this is why potty training takes a while) and if you didn’t know, actually swallows it along with the rest of the amniotic fluid. Although the concept is nasty, their urine is sterile and as part of the amniotic fluid base, is replaced several times throughout the day. So if you didn’t know before, now you can tell people, that yes, you drank your own urine—you were still in the womb, but nonetheless, you’ve been there.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
The Dr. left a message that all was well with the test. So, I don't have gestational diabetes. YAY!
I considered celebrating by consuming a box of Red Hots. But instead, I decided to satisfy my curiosity about what Ben & Jerry's "Pistachio Pistachio" tasted like. I ate the whole pint in one sitting and it was mighty tasty! Tastes like a frozen version of Jello Pistachio Pudding ... in case you're wondering. And besides, that ice cream has more nutrition than Red Hots. It has calcium and protein. :)
Today is Thursday and Jonathan returns in one week - yay! So far, Bella has been a little angel in Jonathan's absense. She hasn't dragged me too far or hard on our walks. I'd be so bored without her. She really is the best dog ... EVER!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Your baby is almost 17 inches tall now (nearly as tall as he or she will be at birth), and close to three pounds (a weight that will likely more than double — and may even come close to tripling — by delivery time). His or her wrinkled skin is smoothing out as more fat is deposited under the skin surface. This fat, called white fat, is different from the earlier brown fat that your baby accumulated. Brown fat is necessary for body temperature regulation while white fat (the fat you have, Mom) actually serves as an energy source.
Which explains why your energizer baby feels so…well…energized! Space in your baby's living quarters is now at a premium, so you'll be feeling jabs and pokes from elbows and knees mostly. But those kicks will be more vigorous than before (and also less erratic) because your baby is stronger and excitedly responding to all sorts of stimuli — movement, sounds, light, and that candy bar you ate half an hour ago.
Luckily, your baby doesn't have teeth yet that would need a brushing after that sugary treat, but it won't be long before you'll need to buy that first baby toothbrush! You'll recall that your baby's baby-teeth buds formed weeks ago, but now the buds for permanent teeth are forming in his or her gums as well.
And back to those kicks, who's counting? Actually, you should be. Now's a good time to start doing a kick count twice a day to make sure baby's doing just fine (plus, it's a good excuse for a rest). Lie down (preferably after a snack) and keep track of your baby's movements. You're looking for at least ten movements in an hour's time (don't forget to count movements of any kind — kicks, flutters, swishes, rolls, and so on).
Friday, August 17, 2007
Which brings me to the adventures of this week.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Are you dreaming about your baby? Your baby may be dreaming about you, too. Brain wave activity measured in a developing fetus shows different sleep cycles, including the rapid eye movement phase, the stage when dreaming occurs.
By now, your baby, who weighs in at about two and a half pounds and stands — or rather lies — at almost 16 inches (measured head to toe) has added blinking to his or her growing bag of tricks. (Outside in the real world, blinking is necessary to help keep foreign objects out of the eyes.) Other impressive new talents being added to your baby's roster include coughing, more intense sucking, and, perhaps most important, better breathing.
The good news is that babies born this week, though premature, have an excellent prognosis because their lungs have reached the point (for the most part) of maturity — so you too can breathe a little easier now. Of course, it's still best if a baby doesn't check out of that uterine hotel just yet — there's still a lot of growing and maturing to do over the next 12 weeks.
Friday, August 10, 2007
According to all I've heard and read, pregnant women are known for their rollercoaster of emotions. I've been pretty normal throughout my pregnancy, if I do say so myself. I'm sure Jonathan is quite relieved!
But now let's visit an incident that happened the other night, shall we?
They say that at this stage in a baby's developoment, he can hear sounds outside the womb. So, every night, Jonathan reads to the baby from a children's book of Bible stories that we have. On this particular night, I was laying in bed, highly amused at the strange shape my stomach becomes when I sit up just a bit. And I got a bad case of the giggles, just like a kid does. The giggles interrupted Jonathan's story time and so he eventually closed the book and put it away.
Enter pregnancy hormones.
I was immediately moved to tears because he stopped reading. I was truly upset by it. So I got up, took the book and proclaimed I was going to read the Bible story for the night. Poor Jonathan was dumbfounded by my tears. And frankly, so I was I.
So what did I do? While crying, I started laughing ... and then I continued crying. Oh, boy. It was just weird. I was highly amused and seriously upset at the same time.
And so when I saw this cartoon today, I just had to share it.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Happy Birthday, Liz!
My sister, Liz, turns 31 today (and there are few things that make an older sister feel OLD than knowing her LITTLE sister is 31!)
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Most babies this age, yours included, still like to snuggle in a slightly curled position inside the uterus (thus the term "fetal position"). Even so, beginning at this stage, your baby's length will be measured from top of head to toe — which makes your baby nearly a full 15 inches now. And at just over two pounds, he or she has doubled in weight from four weeks ago.
Your baby's auditory development (hearing) is progressing as the network of nerves to the ears matures. And even though the sounds your baby hears are muffled (thanks to the creamy coating of vernix covering those ears), he or she may recognize both yours and your partner's voices. So this might be a good time to read and even sing to your baby (or rather, your belly) — and a good chance to start boning up on those nursery rhymes and lullabies you'll need to be repeating (and repeating) pretty soon. And while you're at it, here's another way to have some family fun: If your partner presses his ear to your belly, he might be able to hear the baby's heartbeat.
Your baby's taste buds are very developed now too (with more taste buds than he or she will ever have outside the womb, actually). Need a taste test? If you eat some spicy food (you hot mama, you), your baby will be able to taste the difference in the amniotic fluid (but keep in mind that you'll have different mealtimes, with your baby's coming about two hours after yours). Some babies will even respond to that spicy kick by hiccupping. And although hiccups (which feel like belly spasms to you) may seem like they're disturbing to your baby, he or she isn't stressed at all. It's just one more sensation that babies need to get used to.
Friday, August 3, 2007
Jonathan flew out to D.C. last Sunday, and thankfully comes home this evening.
All is well with the baby this week. I'm starting to find it difficult to find a good sleeping position at night and it seems when I finally do get comfortable, its time to get up. But regardless, I know I'm still getting way more sleep now than I will once the baby comes. So, as they say, "Its all good."
This week, I have learned that Bella (you know, the dog ...) is pretty much a Daddy's Girl. She's excited to see me when I get home and when she gets the hint that she'll be going on a walk. But aside from that, she seems to be oblivious to the fact that I even exist. But, I kind of understand ... Jonathan interacts with Bella much more differently than I do. He's her playmate. I'm just the Mom.
Probalby the hardest thing about Jonathan being gone is that I am the one who has to walk Bella twice a day. She's 50 pounds of energy on those walks and I'm just a big ol' pregnant woman slowly walking along, trying to keep Bella from running off after rabbits, birds and unknown creatures that lurk in the bushes.
Aside from Bella, work has been crazy for me this week (and will get progressively more busy until our annual conference comes and goes next month).
This girl needs a nice, quite, and relaxing weekend with her husband!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
The baby has been moving around like crazy today ... and it makes me laugh! And I love to watch my stomach as he moves around. Ever seen that movie Alien? That's what its like - only nothing is bursting out of my stomach (yet!).
Jonathan finally felt the baby kick this weekend. The timing was good: it was his strongest kick yet, and Jonathan's hand was right there to feel it. YAY!
Week 26: Eyes Wide (Almost) Open
Look who's looking. Your baby's eyes — which have been closed for the past few months (so that the retina, the part of the eye that allows images to come into focus, could develop) — are now beginning to open. What this means is that your baby is able to see what's going on now (unfortunately the view in your uterus isn't all that exciting). But do try this at home for kicks (baby's that is): Shine a flashlight at your stomach. Your baby might kick in response (as in: "Get that light out of my eyes!").
The iris, the colored part of the eye, still doesn't have much pigmentation (that'll fill in over the next month or two), so it's too early to start guessing your baby's eye color. Even the color your baby will be born with might not be the permanent shade; so you may be kept guessing until your baby is close to six months old.
Look what else is going on this week: Your baby's brain-wave activity is kicking in, which means your little one can not only hear noises but can now also respond to them. Not in so many words, of course, but with an increase in pulse rate or activity.
And talking about activity, at your baby's current height and weight (about nine inches tall and two pounds), and at the rate he or she is growing, your baby will soon be feeling a little cramped in your uterus. Not to worry, there's still plenty of room for your baby to grow. It just means your gymnast will have less room for those somersaults, cartwheels, and other Olympic feats.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
As the classic story goes, I was in line at the grocery store (well, Whole Foods, so it was a LONG line) so I had a few minutes to chat with this woman. It was actually a very positive conversation: she asked if it was my first baby, told me to take advantage of being able to eat everything, mentioned if I'd be breastfeeding, then I get to continue eating everything I wanted, etc.
And then ... she lookes at my stomach and says, "So you must be due pretty soon then?" I said, "No, actually ... not until November."
The poor woman. She didn't know what to say ... and I felt embarassed for her. So I quickly said, "I keep wondering how many babies are in here!" She laughed, I laughed and all was well.
I still haven't had perfect strangers come up and want to touch my stomach. And you know what? I don't think I'd mind if they did. I am just soooo happy to be pregnant!!!
Friday, July 27, 2007
They test my urine at every visit for various things. After my mass consumption of Red Hots earlier this week, I thought for sure I'd be told I now have gestational diabetes. But, they didn't say a thing.
So does this mean I can eat another movie theatre-sized box of Red Hots? Eh, probalby not. But man, they are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO good! My other favorites that I have managed to mostly stay away from: Butterfingers, Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, and white cake with buttercream frosting. Its such a good thing that Cold Stone Creamery closed in Santa Fe. I'd be there A LOT if it was still open.
I really thought I could eliminate sweets from my diet once I got pregnant ... I could do far worse, I suppose. Its not like I sit here all day eating cake, candy and ice cream (but wouldn't that be fabulous!!). And, really ... if my Dr. does tell me I need to stop with the sweets, then I absolutely would.
But back to my appointment. As I said, it was uneventful. Translation: no ultrasound. And no future ultrasound mentioned. Drats! I guess I was spoiled with so many ultrasounds early on. I want to see the little guy!
Thursday, July 26, 2007
At nine inches and more than a pound and a half in weight, your baby is taller than two juice boxes stacked one on top of the other, and almost as heavy as four of those little boxes (an analogy you'll find particularly apropos in a few years, when those juice boxes start taking over your refrigerator, your pantry, your car.…).
Don't look now (as if you could), but your baby's skin is turning pinker. No, not because he or she's getting overheated (in fact, the amniotic fluid is perfectly climate controlled, keeping your baby at an always comfortable temperature), but because small blood vessels, called capillaries, are forming under the skin and filling with blood. Later this week, blood vessels will also develop in your baby's lungs, bringing them one step closer to full maturity — and one step closer to taking that first breath of fresh air. But those lungs are still very much works in progress. Though they are already beginning to develop surfactant, a substance that will help the lungs expand after the baby is born, the lungs are still too undeveloped to sufficiently send oxygen to the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide when he or she exhales.
The lungs aren't the only system that's gearing up for air intake. Your baby's nostrils, which have been plugged up until now, are starting to open this week. This actually allows your little one to begin taking practice breaths. (Of course since there's no air in there, your baby is really only "breathing" amniotic fluid, but it's the practice that counts, right?)
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
For example, I was flipping through the winter schedule for the Santa Fe Symphony and saw a performance I'd like to attend. As I started making plans in my head to attend, I realized we'll have a one month old baby by then … and the likelihood that we'll want to go to that performance is slim to none.
Or … this weekend when a friend, after hearing I'm 24 weeks pregnant, proclaimed, "You'll be at full term in 13 weeks!!" (37 weeks is considered "full term," though 40 weeks is ideal) I thought, "Oh my … THIRTEEN WEEKS?"
Or … after going through a box THREE times (so far) of baby clothes we were given this weekend. I look at them, fold them, put them into stacks and think, "Oh, wow … there is going to be a baby filling these soon."
Wow … we're having a baby! Six months into the pregnancy, it still amazes me!
Monday, July 23, 2007
"Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar." --Drew Carey
I know ... I know ... that job called "motherood" will be way more intense than my current job. :) But I look forward to it anyway!!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Last night as I was relaxing watching "The Road Warrior," (more on that momentarily) the baby was moving around a bit higher than usual … and then I realized I could feel him from the outside! Jonathan will be thrilled, as he's been a bit jealous that only I have been able to feel the movements. The movment is pretty subtle … its not like a hand or foot is poking through my skin … but there is definite movement that can be felt with a hand on the tummy.
Now, onto "The Road Warrior." A couple of weeks ago, I watched "Mad Max" for the first time ever. I thought it was a dumb movie and couldn't believe it was responsible for launching Mel Gibson's acting career. The sequel, "The Road Warrior," sounded more interesting, so I rented it. Indeed, it was slightly more interesting, but still dumb. I don't think I can bring myself to watch the third movie, "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." Last night's movie watching was just a waste of my hour and thirty-five minutes. Maybe that is why the baby could be felt from the outside … he was PROTESTING that dumb movie.
We have over 100 movies on our Netflix list … and I admit, a good portion of them are chick flicks. Since I'm supposed to be "relaxing," I'm going to spend the next few months with my feet up and watching chick flicks with Bella while Jonathan is in D.C. I'll be happy … and he'll be happy that I won't make him watch all of them with me. :)
Besides, I gotta get all of this movie watching taken care of now. I'm sure there will be little quite time in our house for movies come November.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Week 24: Sounds Like?
Your baby weighs more than a pound and a half right now and sports a crown-to-rump length of about eight and a half inches (standard letter size!).
Wondering what (and who) your baby will look like? If you had a baby cam, you'd almost be able to tell by now. That beautiful face (though still tiny) is almost fully formed. What's still missing from the picture is the fat that will be piled on under baby's skin. Until those fat deposits are made, that very tender skin is still very transparent, which means a close look would let you see clear through to all the organs, bones, and blood vessels. Fortunately, that see-through look won't last much longer. Babies at this point are gaining about six ounces each week — with much of that gain coming from fat, in addition to growing organs, bones, and muscle.
What's been playing on your little rocker's stereo system these days? All kinds of sounds: from air exhaling from your lungs (deep breath now), those gastric gurgles produced by your stomach and intestines, your voice and your partner's (which your baby will be able to recognize at birth), and even very loud sounds such as honking horns, barking dogs, or a wailing fire truck.
Wow ... our baby is the length of a piece of paper! And that is not including legs. AMAZING!!
Monday, July 16, 2007
Originally, we had planned on moving to D.C. over the summer, but those plans transitioned into two weeks in July, two weeks in August and two weeks in September.
They had also discussed Jonathan going to D.C. for the first two weeks of October (rather than August). But I suggested to him that with a due date of November 9th, it would probably be better for the situation if he didn't go so late in the pregnancy. After all, one never knows when a baby will make his way into the world. Some tell me, "First babies are usually late." On the other hand, I have several friends who tell me their first babies were early. So … ya never know. (And according to all the baby shows I watch on Discover Health, this baby could come any time between now and the end of November! My preference is early-to-mid November, thank you very much.)
So when I think of the next four months in terms of how frequently Jonathan will be gone, I realize the rest of this pregnancy will probably go very quickly. And imagine how much bigger I will be when Jonathan comes back after being gone for two weeks in each of the three months! He'll see me down the concourse at the airport and think, "Whoa! Is that MY WIFE?? It can't be!"