Our Kids!

Cassius Daniel:


Monday, April 26, 2010

A Very New York "Push Present"

Monday, April 26, 2010
About a month ago, Ross sent me an email saying he was giving me a "push present." For anyone who has never heard of this ridiculous phenomenon, a push present is a present husbands give their wives after labor as a token of their affection for having the biological necessity of birthing their child. Personally, I feel like the idea is a bit condescending - I don't really need a diamond pat on the head to do something that a) I ostensibly have no choice in and b) actively pursued doing in the first place. Plus, my 30th birthday is about 2 weeks after my due date and I had already emailed Ross with the exact purse that I want and didn't really want his funds to deviate away from my dream handbag. However, Ross was convinced (in a very sweet and non-condescending way) that this was something he wanted to do for me and seemed to have a very good idea of what he wanted to do and didn't want to wait until June to give it to me.

So after his email, I received another email entitled "Thanks for the push ;)" and a gift certificate for naps. Yes, you read that right - a gift certificate for me to go and get two 20 minute massages followed by 25 minute powernaps in a zero-gravity YeloChair at Yelo spa in Midtown. According to the website, in the YeloChar my knees will be lifted above my chest to allow my heart rate to slow down and induce a deep state of relaxation.

This sounds absolutely heavenly.

Ross says these are for me to go and do in the summer during maternity leave when I'll be primarily caring for Cash myself (as Ross will be at work) and will probably need a little massage/powernap combo from time to time. I seriously think that this is the best gift from the best husband in the world and an absolutely perfect way to interpret a "push present."

This will be me in my deep state of relaxation:

Slow motion

That's pretty much how I feel nowadays, both mentally and physically. And it's the primary reason for the lack of posts. I would love for my days to mostly consist of me sitting in my recliner chair, eating cookies and watching back episodes of Oprah and Judge Judy. However, my days are mostly filled up with frantically trying to cover all of my bases at work before maternity leave (16 work days! 16!) and going to childbirth/care/feeding classes in the evening. I come home and it's basically a challenge to remember how to brush my teeth before bed.

I am determined to get back on board with the posting though. I had my baby shower this weekend (which was awesome) so I'll have a post soon about that as well as our finished Crib Corner since I am supposed to receive the bedding within the next week.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Childbirth Class - 1 down, 3 to go...

Friday, April 16, 2010
Ross and I had our very first childbirth class last night. A 3 hour long class, the first of four total, with a childbirth educator recommended by our OB practice. This past Sunday we had a newborn care and CPR class with her and in a couple of Mondays we have a breastfeeding class. Yes, WE have the class - I asked the woman tonight if Ross should come and she "strongly encouraged" it so he has begrudgingly complied. The class is basically just a generic class. I considered checking out some different methods of natural birth to see if we wanted to go to a more focused class but due to the fact that NYC makes these types of classes prohibitively expensive, we opted for the generic option.

We are definitely learning a lot from the class. Ross had never seen a real birth before so he got the privilege of seeing that for the first time tonight. Her videos (yes, everything is on VHS) are a tad outdated and the woman in the birthing video looked like my high school Journalism teacher, but it was a pretty positive video to watch. There was no crazy screaming or moments of panic in the woman and it showed her using a birthing ball and moving around a lot, two things that I've had in my head as extremely important to my birth experience. And the woman did it naturally, which I was happy to see. I've been reading a lot of books about natural childbirth, such as Active Birth and Birthing the Bradley Way, and I've been trying to take from them various techniques so I can make my own combination that will work best for me. Plus, as an added bonus, since I buy most of my books from the Amazon used marketplace none of them are the latest editions so the actual birth pictures in them are of couples from the 70's and 80's which is highly amusing. I like to show Ross the photos of the birth partners in short jogging shorts and gold chains and also frighten him with the general "hirsuteness" of the woman involved.

Now, our birth educator is really nice but she definitely has some quirks. First off, she is extremely New York. Ross thinks that everything she says sounds aggressive and pseudo-threatening. Like "Yoose need to walk around during your labor...why don't yoose walk around a bit!?" Ross's impression is much better. Also, her snacks are negligible at best. Who puts out a plate of Ritz crackers with nothing to put on them? She also makes coffee during the middle of class and makes a point of announcing that the coffee is ready. Then, last night when I got some coffee she said "oh well I have decaf tea for the ladies if they want that." I've had 1-2 caffeinated drinks per day throughout this pregnancy and I don't plan on stopping now. I actually once considered writing a blog post called "For the Love of Brie - One Woman's Pregnancy on the Culinary Edge" talking about all of the forbidden foods I have eaten while pregnant and how little Cash is perfectly fine. But whatever, that's a whole other rant for another time.

So next week we get to try different labor positions and are supposed to wear comfortable clothes. That should be awkward. If only I could discreetly take pictures...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

8 Month Ultrasound

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Today Ross and I had our last big ultrasound, the 32 week growth scan. Cash looks fantastic. He's 4lbs, 3 oz., all of his major organs are functioning well, and the amniotic fluid level is great. He is also already head down so it looks like he is a bit of an overachiever. I'm not sure when he flipped since according to the midwife at my last regular OB appointment, he was definitely head up.

He wasn't terribly cooperative with the 3D pics. His arms and his one foot was up and covering his face but we got some decent shots. Ross thinks he looks like me and I think vice versa so any opinions would be welcome. Of course he's covering his little chin so I can't see if he has the Walters' cleft or not and I forgot to ask about the status of his hair.

32 Week Belly Shot - Pajama Pic

It's hard to believe that I'm at 8 months. And yes, I'm wearing pajamas in this pic. I'm really not even trying anymore. Things are still going very well and no real complaints other than carrying a 4 pound bowling ball on my stomach 24/7. My back hurts a lot on some days and not much on others - I think the yoga is helping with some of the aches and pains. At this point, I'm in countdown mode for maternity leave (37 days!) and Ross and I are trying to fix up the remaining crib corner amenities. We got the wall decal in the mail the other day and put it up tonight. I think it looks pretty good and can't wait until the rest of the decorations and bedding come in.

Weight Gain: +25 or as I like to call it, "fighting weight".

Belly Size: Some disturbing happenings have occurred on the belly front. First, I noticed a week or so ago that when I am wearing a dress and sitting down, I felt something sitting on my thighs...it was my belly. And second, my belly button popped which I've been dreading since becoming pregnant. Well, it half popped. Just the top half. Apparantly, my laparoscopic appendectomy permanently inverted the bottom half of my belly button. If only it had spread to the top...

Cravings: I've stopped with the yogurt peanuts. It was becoming excessive. Now I'm eating a lot of granola and milk so still sweets I guess.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

St. Vincent's - apparently not saved.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
So word came down today that the hospital I was planning on giving birth in, St. Vincent's in Greenwich Village, is closing for all inpatient services effective April 14th. Basically this means that the birth center tour that ironically I went on last night is a completely moot point as I will now be giving birth in a currently undisclosed location.

While I'm confident that my doctors will transfer to a good hospital and that their personal philosphy won't change, I'm anxious to find out where it is and also take the tour of that facility. I'm just hoping that the rest of the hospital is in line with the Village Obstetrics minimally invasive OB philosophy like St. Vincent's was. The tour last night left me with great feelings about how my birth experience would go and now I have no idea where I will be, how far away from the apartment we will have to travel, if the nurses will want to constantly monitor me or allow me to move around, if they have birth balls and other equipment that I had figured was a given, how supportive of rooming-in they are,etc., etc.

This is all a bit much to handle with t-minus two months to go...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Nursery Corner decoration purchase

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I just bought this adorable wall decal on Etsy:

It will go at the head of Cash's crib and say "Cassius" of course. Ironically, Jackson is the name Ross and I had originally selected for baby but circumstances forced it out of the running.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby Cash update

Monday, April 5, 2010
I had my 30 week OB appointment today and everything is looking great. He is "perfect" according the midwife, who I had my first appointment with today. Village Obstetrics has two midwives as a part of the practice and I could not be happier. She was extremely knowledgeable, calm, and put at ease a couple of anxieties I had started to have about labor. Cash is still head up but that is apparently very normal and he has 4 weeks to get his act together and turn around. But he was moving well, has a great heart rate and as for myself, my glucose and insulin levels that were tested after my last appointment are fantastic, despite my frequent dessert intake.

I'm now starting my bimonthly appointment schedule and I have my 32 week ultrasound next week so more updates to come...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter weekend crib building

Sunday, April 4, 2010
Ross and I stayed in town for Easter and decided it would be a good weekend to rearrange the bedroom and set up the crib that had been sitting in our kitchen for two weeks now. We also had to put together the changing table that we bought at Ikea so we figured it would be a long day.

We started the day by recreating an Argentine breakfast. When I was in Philly last weekend, Jami and Jessica were nice enough to bring me back some dulce de leche packets from their recent trip and I used it as an excuse to make a huge breakfast in the style that we received at the bed and breakfasts we stayed at during our trip in 2008. As you can see, it's pretty carb-heavy:

Then Ross went to work with the crib building. I don't have a lot of pics of the room yet because I want to do a post later on with before and after pics of the room once everything is complete to show how we are making it work in our small space. But needless to say, it fit, which is a good start. For now, here is the basic set up and the mobile that we put together for it. It's a Stim mobile -it's supposed to be good for brain development. Yes, I have become one of those parents already:

Today for Easter, Ross and I went to church and then up to Central Park for a picnic of KFC. Surprisingly, this is the first time in my pregnancy that I have had fried chicken but I have thought about it many times. It was a beautiful day in the Park and a great way to cap off the weekend.