December 22, 2005

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

We are thoroughly enjoying Gloria's first Christmas! She likes looking at the lights on our tree and watching us wrap presents. We had the Fiorini family party on Sunday and she was less interested in helping open presents than I was hoping.

She is really starting to reach for things all the time. She occasionally pets the cat and he doesn't mind too much if he doesn't realize it's her. Gloria is still sleeping through the night (most of the time), but she is not napping very well (if at all).

She has also recently discovered that she has hair and that she can pull it while she eats. She does this ALL the time now. She has also realized that we have hair, too, and that pulling it is also great fun. However, all of this hair pulling has nothing to do with her growing bald spot.

Gloria still continues to roll over in only one direction. She really hates being on her stomach, so she will roll onto her back almost immediately after being put down on her belly. She gets really close to rolling in the other direction, but will not bring the rest of her body over.

December 1, 2005

Picture me Rollin'

Gloria rolled over for the first time yesterday afternoon! I called Marc from work and she rolled over while I was on the phone with him. She proceeded to do it a few more times (with the third one caught on film with our digital camera). She rolled from her belly to her back, but will not go the other way. Each roll is accompanied by a little squeal as she rolls over. She showed off her trick to my Aunt Elissa and cousin Bridget last night before we went to our annual concert.

Watch the video:

November 28, 2005

Post-Thanksgiving Update

All is well at the Nelson house. Gloria continues to grow and learn new tricks. At her last appointment, she was up to 13 pounds, 5 ounces and 25 inches. She is still not rolling over yet, but has discovered that certain noises will get our attention (i.e. coughing, grunting). She makes these noises on purpose a lot now! She is also laughing more frequently and seems to be getting ticklish.

Last Monday, I took her to a meeting with me to show her off to all of my colleagues. She was a hit with the environmental community in her cloth diapers!

Gloria is able to reach for more things now. She can finally grab the whale that hangs from her swing and pull on it hard enough to activate the lights and music. When she first got her swing, it was hard for me to imagine that she'd ever be able to do that! She has also learned the fun in pulling off her socks. She pulled them off about 10 times on Thanksgiving morning, leading Marc and I to outsmart her with tights!

Gloria also moved up to the "ring" in her bathtub. She still can't sit upright, so I hold on to her with one hand the whole time, but it seems to be working better. She held on to the sides with a super tight grip the first time I used it, but she seems to be relaxing a bit more now.

Tonight, we gave her a bit of rice cereal for the first time. She seemed to understand how to eat, but not that what she was putting in her mouth was actually food.

November 12, 2005

Baby, Meet IKEA

Today was Gloria's first trip to IKEA. I made use of the childcare room, which was very clean and well-equipped.

Gloria still hasn't rolled over yet, but continues to trick us into thinking she might. She has recently discovered how to stick out her tongue and enjoys doing it frequently. Also, last week, she "got" peek-a-boo for the first time and laughs when we do it (provided she's not hungry when we try it).

October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Tonight was Gloria's first Halloween.

She went to see her grandparents in lieu of trick-or-treating. She looked adorable in her pumpkin costume--the first thing I bought her when I found out I was pregnant last year.

October 26, 2005

Negligent Mom, Blogger Finally Posts

It's been a very busy month as I have returned to work full-time. Gloria has been busy as well. We had her Baptism almost 2 weeks ago. She fussed a lot during the service, but turned around to face everyone at the end, almost on cue.

I got a big cold last week, which she avoided. During the past 10 days, she's really gotten the hang of laughing. She doesn't do it all the time, though. She's still testing it out. Gloria isn't rolling over yet, but she's really trying. She sleeps either completely through the night or wakes only once to be fed. She seems to like shopping! Marc and I have taken her out together twice and I took her out for a bit on Sunday.

This week, we're trying to teach Gloria about our childhood.

October 23, 2005

Lazy, Dog-Dangling Afternoon

We spent our Saturday doing as close to nothing as possible. Gloria did wake up at 7AM, but fed and then went back to sleep until 10:30 or so. Later, we all took a nap for a couple of hours in the afternoon. Very nice.

When is this country going to adopt the siesta?

October 12, 2005


So, I took Gloria out for her first shopping trip yesterday:

As you can see, we hit the Kay-Bee (at Marley Station) and picked up some LEGO. Gloria was really good the whole time. We were there for about an hour, including changing and feeding in the family restroom - which was very helpful, BTW.

I think I need a little more practice driving the stroller, though. I pushed it about half an hour before realizing that one of the wheels was locked.

September 28, 2005

12 weeks are up already?

Today was my first day back at work. I cried this morning before I left. It wasn't too bad, though. I know it will get easier. Thanks to all of you who emailed or called to see how I was doing--I really appreciate it!

In other news, Gloria really wants to laugh. Frequently when she smiles, she opens her mouth a bit wider and smiles bigger, but no noise comes with it. She'll do it a few times. She has the desire to laugh, but not the ability yet.

September 27, 2005

That's a Wrap

It looks like the end of Gloria's swaddling days are here. She slept for over 10 hours last night without being wrapped up.

September 23, 2005

All Night Long

Well, it seems as if she may be sleeping through the night now! For four nights in a row, she slept through the night (8 or more hours). Last night, she got up once, but she went down before 8pm, so I think that's why. I am really hoping this sticks before I return to work next week.

Last weekend was very busy for us. She ventured out on both Saturday and Sunday, meeting lots of new people. Saturday was spent at Tracey's house while Sunday was spent at the big family party for Uncle Jack's 80th Birthday.

She is now able to get her hand into her mouth on purpose. The most hilarious part of that is watching her try to do it when her head is turned--her hands still go to the same place as if her head was facing forward!

Gloria's neck is getting stronger by the day. She is getting much better at supporting her head. She does not like "tummy time" very much, though. She enjoys it for about 5 seconds and then gets frustrated and grumpy. We have taken to calling her "Grumbelina" when she gets in moods like that.

Her swing still seems to be her favorite place to nap and Marc and I have the receipts from battery purchases to prove it. When she's awake, she gets to lounge on a blanket on the living room floor or be read a story in our bed. She enjoys having books read to her and likes to squeal with excitement at the pictures in the book.

September 13, 2005

Gloria's First Boyfriend

Is our ceiling fan! She LOVES it. If she's laying on the living room floor and it isn't on, she'll start smiling as soon as we turn it on. It's ADORABLE.

I cried a little yesterday when I realized just how big she's getting. She's now wearing some of her clothing in 3-6 months.

Something else I neglected to mention in earlier posts is that her baby acne is gone. It just seemed to disappear one day, like everyone said it would.

September 8, 2005

Shots, Smiles and Size

We took Gloria to the doctor today for her 2-month appointment. She is growing like a weed! She is now 11 pounds, 7 ounces and 24 1/2 inches long. This places her in the 75th percentile for weight and the 99th percentile for height. She got her first vaccine shots today and she didn't like it one bit. I handled it better than I thought I would. She calmed down pretty quickly from the whole ordeal, though. I have Infant's Tylenol ready in case she needs it.

She smiles and coos all the time now. It's really amazing and I absolutely adore watching her. It's my favorite pasttime right now. It beats my second favorite pasttime--watching BBC programming on MPT--by a wide margin. In the last week or so, I've noticed that she has dimples. They are the most adorable thing in the world! I also noticed that she no longer has the white bump on her tongue that she's had since birth. I don't know when it disappeared, but it's gone.

She still sleeps pretty well for us at night. Some nights, she sleeps the whole night and other nights, she's up a few times. Usually, though, she's only up once during the night. Not bad at all!

August 30, 2005

Don't Wanna Jinx Myself...

but I think we're nearing a temporary schedule! I know I can't expect it to go on forever, but I think I'm figuring it out for now. Up at 7, eat, change, play, eat. Nap from 10-12:30. Eat, change, play, eat, change, eat. Nap from 4-7. Eat, change, play, eat, change, eat. Eat, eat, eat. Down at 11. Up once during the night.


What You Don't Know Can't Hurt You

A man who doesn't want to watch his wife give birth is a jerk.

That's the opening line of a recent piece in Slate about society's expectations of expectant fathers. The line is a paraphrase of the more extreme epithets some female bloggers directed at men who do not wish to be present at childbirth ("total asshole", "squeamish and dishonourable").

Luckily, people reacted to my decision to leave the birth to Liz and her mother with considerably less vehemence. As Meghan O'Rourke points out in the Slate article,

Until 30 or so years ago few men were in the delivery room, and now nearly all are: That's a huge cultural shift.

Perhaps the human race hasn't suddenly figured it all out since 1965 - maybe tens of thousands of years of human history can offer at least some guidance.

Personally, my decision was motivated by two factors. The first was sheer humility - how could I have helped Liz as she experienced childbirth? I'm sure she would have appreciated the effort, but somehow I think I my presence would have been less than reassuring. I didn't want Liz to look up and see someone even more terrified and clueless than she was.

I also didn't feel like my absence made me a bad husband. I think a lot of marital problems are the result of people wanting their spouse to be all things, all the time. I am comfortable enough with myself and our relationship to know that there are some things that I just can't do for Liz (and Grandmom did a great job!).

Secondly, I didn't want to witness Liz giving birth for the same reason we don't watch each other go to the bathroom - some things are better off unseen, even between a husband and wife. There's definitely something to be said for preserving an element of mystery.

August 25, 2005

A Great Night

Last night, we all slept well thanks to Gloria's 9-hour stretch of sleep! She went down around 7 p.m. after a busy day out (and very little sleep while out) and didn't get up until 4 a.m. Fortunately, she also went back to sleep from 5-8 before waking for the day. I am feeling better than I have in weeks!

I had my 6-week post-partum doctor's appointment yesterday. All is well. My incision healed well and everything checked out OK.

August 23, 2005

The Latest Buzz

Currently, I am recovering from a sugar buzz. Last night, Marc and I celebrated my birthday with our first date since Gloria's birth. We went to the Monday night all-you-can-eat dessert buffet at Vaccaro's. If you are a real fan of desserts, I would HIGHLY recommend going. It was nice to get away for a few hours. It was much less nerve-wracking than I imagined. No sitcom-esque calls to my parents every five minutes.

The other buzz is that loyal BOAN reader Frank and his wife, Rebecca, will "bee" welcoming their first child in February. Congratulations and best wishes for a healthy pregnancy!

It's been a good week for us. Gloria is now spending more time awake each day. She loves her swing and spends hours a day in it. She loves to look at the lights and she naps in it during the day. She hasn't slept through the night again for about a week, but she's much easier to handle at night now. She's all business. Gets up, eats, gets a diaper change, eats, goes back to sleep. It's really nice.

August 14, 2005

Oral History

It's been a big weekend for Gloria. On Friday, we got our first real smile from her! It's pretty amazing to watch her smile to show happiness instead of for no apparent reason. Yesterday, she took a bottle from Marc for the first time. She seemed a little nervous at first, but once she figured it out, she took the whole thing very quickly.

August 12, 2005

Some Observations

It's hard to do a "Frequently Asked Questions" post for a baby because the questions and answers change all the time. Instead, I'll try to answer some of the questions I hear now as well as some observations about the baby.

1. She is currently sleeping really well at night (either all night long or only getting up once during the night). We know that this is subject to change, but we're loving it for now.

2. She will not sleep in her bassinet. She will, however, sleep in her car seat that we place in the bassinet. She will also sleep in her baby swing.

3. She will only sleep when swaddled well or being held. Marc is an expert swaddler and I am still learning.

4. She loves to "talk" when she's on the changing table in the morning. She will make all kinds of cute noises. Then, suddenly, she will scream because it's time to eat again. I'm getting better at knowing when the coos are almost turning to screams.

5. Cloth diapering is working out really well. We had a lot of problems with leaks when we were using one particular brand of disposables and have had much greater success with the cloth diapers. Marc did some research and found out that the diaper covers we got don't require pins, so it's REALLY easy. We use disposables when we're going somewhere and have been very happy with Pampers.

6. Nursing is also going well. It's gotten much easier a lot faster than I anticipated.

7. I'm worried that Gloria will recognize the voices of "The Golden Girls" before she recognizes those of some family and friends. I watch it every morning with her while I'm nursing. If she starts cracking wise or telling Sicily stories at a young age, I know that I am solely responsible.

August 10, 2005

One Month Old!

Yesterday was Gloria's one month birthday! We celebrated in high style with a trip to the doctor. She now weighs 9 pounds, 11 ounces and is 23 1/2 inches long. She had to get some blood drawn from her foot for a PKU test. She and I both cried. As sad as the test made her, it didn't last for long AND she slept for 8 1/2 hours straight last night!

On Friday, she had her first bath in the tub. Marc and I were both involved--it's not an easy task. She also greeted her first out-of-state visitor on Friday night when she met her Great Aunt Annette for the first time. Friday was also my first venture out of the house by myself for a bit. I spent an hour at Target and drove for the first time in 4 weeks.

As good as Gloria's sleeping is at night, her daytime habits are a bit different. She'll sleep, but she does not like to be put down. It's not so bad when there are people here, but it's much harder when I'm flying solo.

August 4, 2005

Need More Snooze

Whee! Gloria slept for about 5 ½ hours straight last night!

August 1, 2005

LEGO: Is There Anything It Can't Do?

Now that Liz is on her feet, I've had some time to work on Gloria's room. Along with putting together and moving furniture, I got to do something creative:

Now if only IKEA would get our crib in stock!

The Lost Baby Pictures

For some reason, the daily pictures are not being moderated and the folder they are in has remained private. I'm starting a new folder for August, but here are the ones you may have missed:

July 28, 2005

Looking (and Feeling) Good

Yesterday was my first post-baby doctor's appointment and I am happy to report that all is well. I am even beginning to feel like a normal person to some extent!

My blood pressure was good, my incision is healing very nicely and I have lost ALL of my pregnancy weight plus 2 more pounds (total loss of 30 pounds since July 9). I am still wearing maternity clothes because nothing else fits quite yet (and they are much comfier on my scar), but am thrilled to have gotten to slightly below my pre-pregnancy weight so soon!

July 23, 2005

Todd Smells - Oh, I already knew that!

A note about yesterday's baby picture of the day...

Please don't be offended. We were simply referencing one of our favorite episodes of "The Simpsons." Now, sit back with some nachos (Flanders-style), relax and enjoy the picture.

July 21, 2005

Our First Full Week at Home

It's been a busy first week at home for the newly expanded Nelson family. Gloria had her first bath on Saturday--she didn't seem to mind too much. There was some initial hesitation to having her body washed, but she really liked having her hair washed.

On Sunday, her umbilical cord fell off. It was a bit bizarre for Marc to notice it missing when changing her diaper and not be able to find it! It was recovered from her onesie during her changing.

Monday brought with it a bizarre first outing for Gloria. I wasn't feeling quite right and tried to take it easy for the afternoon. Unfortunately, my condition worsened and my midwife told me to go to the Labor & Delivery ward of the hospital. So, Gloria's first trip was back to St. Joe's. Long story short, both the baby and I are fine. I'm just on a week's worth of antibiotics.

Tuesday was our first day of cloth-diapering and it went really well. They are pretty easy to use and much more leak-proof than the newborn disposables we had been using.

Yesterday was Gloria's first doctor's appointment and she was WONDERFUL. She slept in the car the whole ride there, slept through most of the check-up (and didn't fuss when she was awake) and slept the whole way home. Unfortunately, this translated into being awake A LOT of last night, but it's hard to complain when she's been such a good nighttime sleeper every other night. Her appointment went well. She now weighs 9 pounds (up 15 ounces since we left the hospital last week).

Thank you to everyone for your nice cards and emails. I have not been online much at all lately (I'm actually writing this offline in bed on my sister's laptop), so I am quite behind on replying to everyone. I also appreciate everyone's desire to visit and your respect for our time right now. We will be happy to introduce Gloria to all of you as soon as I feel like a (semi-)functioning member of society again!

July 17, 2005

The longer version about the big arrival

So you know the basics, Gloria Jean arrived on Saturday, July 9 at 1:36 am, weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces and measuring 21 inches long. Here's the slightly longer version for everyone who is interested.

I went to the Perinatal Center on the morning of Friday, July 8 for some testing (Amniotic Fluid Index and Non-Stress Test). During these tests, it was determined that the amniotic fluid level around the baby was low and that her heart rate dropped a few times during the non-stress test. Taken separately, this may not have meant much, but the combination made my OB decide to have me admitted to Labor & Delivery.

So, Marc being on jury duty that day, I was with my dad who brought me over to the hospital (we walked--the buildings are connected), made some calls and walked with me to be admitted. It was weird because I never pictured myself walking calmly to labor and delivery like that.

I was admitted around noon and quickly settled in, got hooked up to an IV and started answering the millions of questions they have for you (none of which I think I could have handled if actually in labor).

Around 2:30 pm, the doctor on call attempted a short procedure to get me to dilate. My midwife came in to check on me during this time. Unfortunately, the procedure didn't work as well as it usually does (only got me to 2 cm), so my midwife and OB were consulted on what to do next. My OB asked them to get me started on Pitocin. The line was put in and the medication started around 3. I started having contractions almost immediately. They weren't too bad at first. I was talking, getting up to go to the bathroom and feeling pretty good. Then, every half hour or so, they would increase the dosage of the Pitocin and my contractions would strengthen.

Dr. Collerius, my OB, came on call at 5pm and was in to check on me. I was still only around 2-3 cm at this point. She attempted to break my water and then contractions got pretty bad. I was still trying to hang in there and breathe through everything, but it was getting intense. The contractions were coming closer together and lasting longer. My nurse asked if I might want an epidural. Since I was pretty sure that I did want one, I started a new IV bag around 6pm to stay hydrated enough to get an epidural in 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist on call was in the middle of a c-section, so it would be an hour before I could get my epidural. I was offered something else for pain, but refused it and decided to wait the hour out.

A little before 7pm, the anesthesiologist came in to begin administering the epidural. It took about 30 minutes and was very difficult at times because of the continued contractions. But, with the help of a great nurse and nice doctor, the line went in and I started to feel good and numb by 7:20 pm.

When my doctor came in to examine me at 7:30, I had progressed to 5cm. She said that from that point on, the norm was to dilate 1 cm per hour and then to figure another 1-3 hours for the delivery itself. Well, unfortunately, the baby had other plans. At 9:50 pm, Dr. Collerius came in to examine mw again and I was stuck at 5cm! Plus, the contractions were becoming harder to track on the monitor, so an internal fetal monitor was inserted.

At 11:50, Dr. Collerius came in to examine me again. I had progressed to 7cm, but the baby's head wasn't dropping. She said that we might be looking at a c-section. I was really starting to get tired from the events of the day. So, I tried to rest as best as I could. While I was resting, my OB and my nurse stood and watched my contractions and the baby's heart rate on the monitor. The baby's heart rate was not reacting well to the contractions, so I was prepped for a c-section.

I don't remember a whole lot after that. I kissed some people "good-bye" and was wheeled into the operating room. The anesthesiologist, Dr. Rizzuto, was there to give me my new medicine for surgery. My nurse, Amy, and Dr. Collerius were with me the entire time and many new faces appeared. All were very nice and made sure to introduce themselves to me through their surgical masks. I got the chills really badly before the surgery. When everything was ready to start, they brought my mom in to sit next to me. I couldn't feel the pain of the surgery, but felt a lot of pressure as it progressed. Time stood still while I was in there.

After a while, they told me that the baby was coming out and Dr. Collerius announced that she was, in fact, a girl! A little bit later, I heard that reassuring first cry. Marc, my dad and my sister were outside of the OR and were able to hear it, too. After that, I really don't remember much. I dozed on and off while they closed the incision and cleaned up the baby. It was a little while before they brought her around for my mom and I to see--but she was so beautiful when I got to see her for the first time! She had a full head of brown hair, which I was not expecting, and she was incredibly alert.

We were wheeled into recovery after a while where she was able to meet her father and then later, her grandfather and aunt. I continued to doze on and off. We finally made our way to the Mother/Baby unit around 4 am, where she was able to meet her other grandmother and eat for the first time.

All in all, it was a crazy experience. Not bad, not at all what I anticipated, but with an incredible outcome.

We are home now. She is doing incredibly well and I am recovering from the surgery. I cannot begin to thank you all enough for the warm thoughts, wishes and prayers over this entire pregnancy and as we begin the parenting phase of our lives. We really appreciate it!

July 14, 2005

"We Need To Talk About Your TPS Reports"

Just wanted to let everyone know that we are all home and doing well.

To help keep track of Gloria's doings, I took a little inspiration from one of mine and Liz's favorite films:

July 10, 2005

She's Here!

Gloria Jean Nelson

  • Born: July 9, 2005

  • Weight: 8 lbs. 10 oz.

  • Length: 21 in.

I'll let Liz tell the whole story when she gets a chance, but I can tell you that Gloria is a beautiful, healthy baby, and that we are both very happy!

Thank you for all your help and prayers. Be sure to check back for more pictures of Gloria - we're going to post one per day.

July 6, 2005

What does a woman 4 days past her due date look like?

Basically, this:

July 6 - 40 weeks, 4 days

I went to the doctor today and I have not made any major progress. I am about 100% effaced, but not dilated at all. So, I go to the Perinatal Center on Friday morning for a Non-Stress Test and Amniotic Fluid Index.

If either of these tests produce abnormal results, I will be admitted to the hospital to be induced. If the tests come back normal, I will be sent home in hopes of going into labor on my own. If I don't go into labor by Tuesday night, I will be admitted to the hospital at 8pm and will be induced to deliver by Wednesday.

It is my sincere hope that I will go into labor on my own before Tuesday. Please send all thoughts, prayers and "labor vibes" my way.

I'm Officially on Maternity Leave

My maternity leave started today. I will be out of work until September 28 (12 weeks). It felt very strange to leave the office yesterday, knowing how long it will be before I return. I also know how hard it will be to go back after so much time at home with the yet to arrive baby. I spent my last day in Annapolis for a while in grand fashion--lunch with Sue and Dawn and ice cream with Jackie.

I have my doctor's appointment this afternoon, so check in later for an update.

July 3, 2005

That's Why They're Called Estimated Due Dates

My estimated due date was yesterday and there are still no signs of the baby.

So, I did the only logical thing and spent this afternoon at my Uncle Johnny's house for a big family party. It was lots of fun and very remniscent of the annual parties we had when I was younger. I don't think the baby will come any faster as a result, but I had fun and ate VERY well for a woman past her due date!

We'll continue to keep everyone posted. Have a great 4th of July!

June 30, 2005

No baby yet

I know that everyone is concerned since I am merely days away from my due date, but there is no baby yet.

I went to see the OB yesterday afternoon. The good news is that my blood pressure is normal and I am measuring well. The bad news is that I have made no progress since last week's appointment. So, I go back to see the doctor on Wednesday. If I haven't made any progress, she will do some tests to be sure that the baby is fine. If anything is abnormal during those tests, I will be sent to the hospital to be induced as soon as possible. If everything is fine with the tests, I will schedule a date to be induced for the following week, giving my body the opportunity to go into labor on its own during that time.

So, no baby yet. The latest the baby will arrive is July 14. My hope is that the baby comes on its own before July 14.

June 27, 2005

We have a nursery!

I know, some of you will be shocked that I am due on Saturday and we just finished the nursery. Unfortunately, Marc and I are procrastinators. Fortunately, the baby hasn't come yet!

On Sunday, my parents and aunt came over. We cleaned, moved furniture (OK, I didn't move any furniture) and got things in order. We still have some little things to do, but if the baby came tonight, it would have a place to sleep. When I get decorations up, I'll post some pictures.

June 24, 2005

Baby Pool!

So it's a little late, but it's still fun to get all the guesses. I was inspired to do this after one of the WebMD regulars posted hers this afternoon.

Visit here to enter your guess for when the baby will be born, how much the baby will weigh, how long the baby will be and whether the ultrasound was right or wrong!

June 23, 2005

38 week appointment update

I went to see the midwife again today. All is well!

My blood pressure is good. I have gained 28 pounds total. I am about 70% effaced, but not dilated yet. Monique said that she thinks the baby is pretty big--her guess for today was 7 1/2 pounds! The baby has not dropped yet, but is head down (which was confirmed today with a quick ultrasound of my lower belly). I had some weird pains the other day which are normal because of where the baby is resting right now. I have had some contractions, but they aren't coming regularly so as to worry about them.

I go back on Wednesday to see my OB.

June 22, 2005

There are a few things about being pregnant that still amaze me

1. I'm tired ALL the time. Not just late at night, not just when I first get up in the morning--ALL DAY LONG FOR 40 WEEKS! Sure, I had a few weeks in the second trimester when I had a bit more energy, but I'm pretty tired constantly. I am now more exhausted than ever. I yawn from the time I wake up in the morning until the time I hit the pillow at night.

2. When I'm not yawning, I'm going to the bathroom. This has also been very consistent for me. It was actually one of the first pregnancy symptoms I had. Now, of course, it's much worse than it was before, but I haven't slept through the night since October.

3. Even when you are a larger woman, you get a big, pregnant belly! I LOVE my belly. It's really neat. It gets hard, I can feel various parts of the baby, my belly button is almost non-existent right now. It's really cool. I will miss it when the baby comes.

4. Some days, I can't stop eating. Other days, I don't want to eat a thing.

5. Feet and ankles can swell to enormous sizes. They can also expand so that you only have one pair of shoes left that fit. I had two pairs up until about two weeks ago, but they just kept expanding. I really hope that my feet go back to normal after the baby comes.

6. If you get sick while you're pregnant, you might be stuck with a runny nose until you deliver. I hope that delivery makes mine go away.

7. As one of my WebMD "friends" said the other day, almost anything you tell your OB or midwife during pregnancy will be met with the answer "That's common at your stage of pregnancy."

8. I will not dwell on my increased snoring, but I'm sure Marc can tell some tales. It's one of the less "cute" things about pregnancy.

9. Marc walks faster than I do now. Marc is usually a SLOW walker, but I've had to ask him to slow down lately.

10. People are really nice to pregnant women! Women will start talking to you and then start fondly remembering their own pregnancies and you will be chatting about personal things in no time. It's really nice. I'll be one of those advice-givers soon, which still seems so strange to me.

June 18, 2005

Congratulations to Loyal BOAN Reader Mollie Gerhard

Mollie is getting married today!

We're so sorry we can't be in Boston for the festivities, but we wish you and Chris all the best!

June 15, 2005

My Big Belly

Here are two belly shots to show you how much I've grown:

May 29 - 35 weeks, 1 day

June 15 - 37 weeks, 4 days

Why Homeschool? #1

So my kid won't be subjected to the peanut ghetto:

"If children at a neighboring table have peanut butter, we ask them to pick a friend and move to another table," McGuire said. "We don't want to make it feel like a punishment; we just really want them to be aware that their peanut butter actually can be harmful to a student."

In the past few years, the school's cafeteria has stopped serving all products containing peanuts, McGuire said. That includes the old lunchtime standby, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

The school even removed the Snickers bars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups from the vending machines in the teachers' lounge, McGuire said.

Sweet Jesus.

The silver lining in this peanut allergy craze is that Black History Month should be a lot more fun - instead of doing a boring old report on George Washington Carver, the kids can burn him in effigy.

June 14, 2005

Into the Homestretch

I now see my doctor or midwife every week. I went back today to see Monique, the midwife, after a slight scheduling screw-up. I haven't made any progress since Thursday, which, as far as I'm concerned, is just fine! Monique suggested taking Evening Primrose Oil caplets a few times a day to help get my body prepared (but not induce labor). My blood pressure was still a little high, but no other problems (except my swollen feet). I may have dropped a pound or two since my last appointment, but time of day of my appointment probably affected that.

After my appointment, I made a quick run to Motherhood Maternity for another pair of shorts. It's too hot for me to want to wear anything else! If we have any more kids, I'm aiming for April or May due dates!

My cold is still around, though it's getting much better.

June 10, 2005

A Deluge of Gifts, 2 Appointments with the Midwife and One Childbirth Class

It's been an incredibly busy few weeks here as the baby's expected arrival date is less than a month away!

Since my last posting, we have had three (yes, three) more baby showers--2 for me, 1 for Marc! We are really lucky to have so many thoughtful people surrounding us. We will have the best-dressed baby around and the most well-read child in town! On Memorial Day weekend, I had a great time at my shower with all of my high school girlfriends (though I've been friends with most of them for a lot longer than that) and some of our moms. They had a book-themed shower, so in addition to wonderful gifts, we also got some of the best kids' books out there. On the Tuesday following Memorial Day, I had a shower at the office that was really nice, too. The following day, Marc's co-workers threw a shower for him at the library!

I have been to see the midwife twice since my last posting and am happy to report that all is well. I have gained 22 pounds total so far, which isn't too bad (and it seems like almost all of it is belly). The baby is head down (great news!) and the baby's butt is on my right-hand side. When the baby really gets moving, that butt can be pushed right up against me and be very noticeable. My blood pressure was a little high at my appointment yesterday, so I have to keep an eye out for all of those nasty problems I had a few weeks back. I have started effacing (was around 50% yesterday), but still have some progress to make before labor.

Last Saturday, my mom and I went to my childbirth preparation class. We chose to do an all-day class instead of the several weeks that others go through. It was really wonderful. The instructor was great and there were only 6 other couples in the class. I was quite nervous as we watched videos of deliveries, but I don't think there's much I can do about it now!

Unfortunately, I came down with a nasty cold this week. I have been home all week, drinking lots of water, one or two cups of hot tea each day and not taking any medicine. It seems to be getting a little better (and fortunately, I didn't have a fever), but it looks like I will not be doing much of anything this weekend to continue my efforts to shake this cold. I was very lucky this week to have Marc home to take care of me a few days this week. He's going to be a great stay-at-home dad.

Work on the nursery continues. We (OK, Marc) had a lot of things to dismantle and move around to get it into its current state. Finishing that may be our big fun for the weekend. That, and watching more baseball.

May 23, 2005

It Looks Like You're Showering Her With Gifts

Yesterday was my first baby shower and I had a wonderful time! About 40 people were at my Aunt Gloria's house yesterday and they all brought tons of gifts with them. We got so many nice things from everyone who came (and many who couldn't make it, too!). I will be sending out personal thank you notes this week, but we wanted to let everyone know how much we appreciated everything they did for us.

I'm spending the day trying to recuperate. I got home late last night, then Marc and I had to get all of our loot into the house. I could barely move when I woke up this morning. I've been trying to put some of this stuff away, but there's just so much!

May 13, 2005

The Best Kind of Update

I went to see the doctor today and all is well. In fact, thanks to Dr. Collerius' brother, my OB may become the latest BOAN reader!

My blood pressure was normal, I gained 2 more pounds, I'm measuring properly and all aches and pains are normal pregnancy-related pains. I haven't had any false contractions (yay!) and the baby is moving around a lot.

May 12, 2005

Baby Blues

In case you were wondering...

According to this Eye Color Calculator, the baby (and all of our future children) will have blue eyes. It's not impossible for two blue-eyed parents to have a brown or green eyed child, but it is very unlikely.

So now you know!

Bean's First Baseball Game

We went to the Orioles game yesterday afternoon to see the O's defeat the Twins. It was a great game with beautiful weather. Now, we have been watching a lot of baseball this year (which is apparently really common among pregnant women in Baltimore), but this was the first game we went to. Unfortunately, it might be the only game I get to this summer. The seats were not as comfortable as usual at 7 months pregnant!

I was completely exhausted by the time we got home last night, but we had a really great time. In uncanny timing, the baby started kicking when the Orioles came up to bat in the first! Another O's fan in the making? The baby also started kicking during dinner last night, which I took as a sign of approval for my carnitas burrito.

May 5, 2005

What a difference a week makes!

I went to see my midwife again last week. My blood pressure was normal. It wasn't even on the high side of normal, just normal. My lab results came back fine, so no ordered bed rest. I have to keep an eye on all of the signs of preeclampsia, but it looks like the worst is behind me. I'm still trying to take it easy as much as possible and put my feet up frequently.

I was 30 weeks, 6 days at my appointment and measuring around 32 weeks, which is good. The baby's heartbeat was nice and strong. Her head seems to be down (another good thing) with her butt on my right side. I have gained 15 pounds total (a loss of 1 pound since my last "official" appointment). I have another appointment next week.

I feel like I'm back in the first trimester sometimes because I'm completely exhausted all the time again. I slept for 11 hours the other night and could barely get myself out of bed--a luxury I know I won't have soon.

We are still trying to get our house in order for the baby's arrival. It would be a lot easier if we could buy our crib!

A special thank you to everyone who has been sending me Mother's Day cards--I can't believe how many Mother-to-Be cards there are!

Also, maybe just some wishful thinking, but could the bean be born in an O's playoff year? Woo-hoo first place!

April 22, 2005

Bed rest update

I am NOT on bed rest! I went to see the midwife yesterday and my blood pressure was high, but not so bad that she wanted me on bed rest. I went to get some blood work done to check everything out. I'll get the results of the lab work at my regularly scheduled appointment this Friday.

My weight at this appointment was down 4 pounds (from just a week ago). I think it may have had more to do with the timing of the appointment (morning versus afternoon) than an actual weight loss. My appointment on Friday is at 8:45 a.m., so we'll see what the scale says then.

Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts this week.

April 19, 2005

Latest Health Update

I was sent home from work by my midwife yesterday after I called to tell her about a headache that would not go away with Tylenol. I spent the afternoon and evening on my left side, propping my feet up as well as I could. I worked a half day today and am sitting here with my feet up. My biggest problem today is swelling in my feet, which seems to be largely heat-related. It's much cooler at my house and the swelling is reducing.

I go back to see the midwife on Thursday for a blood pressure check and a possible bed rest discussion. Keep your fingers crossed.

I forgot to post the really good news from my last appointment--I don't have gestational diabetes! That's one less thing to worry about now.

On a lighter note, today is Free Cone Day at Ben and Jerry's. Sue, Dawn and I ventured over. If you're near a scoop shop, you must go. I recommend "The Last Straw" which was yummy and is a scoop shop only flavor. It's not nearly as good as "Cool Brittania" but I don't know what is.

April 17, 2005

Belly shot with 11 weeks to go

We're going to try to do these weekly now. Here's a shot of me at 29 weeks (11 weeks to go).

Also, a quick health update. On Friday, I had a spell of blurred vision and loss of depth perception. My mom and Marc came to get me from work and take me home. My midwife ordered me to a day of bedrest and I was feeling much better after taking it easy for a while. I'm trying to rest as much as possible and keep an eye on myself.

In other news, Marc and I tried to buy our crib today, but IKEA was out! I have to call them for the next few weeks to see if they get it in stock. Keep your fingers crossed.

I've also added the link to our online only registry at cloth diaper site. For those of you who have not heard, Marc and I are going to go with cloth diapers instead of disposables. We couldn't register for any in the stores because they are of a lesser quality than can be used effectively for diapering.

April 14, 2005

Spring has sprung and so has my belly!

I had my latest appointment with the midwife today. All is well. I've gained 16 pounds total. I'm 28 weeks and 5 days today and I was measuring 30 weeks. The baby is growing well.

The big thing I have to watch out for is my blood pressure. It was high when the nurse first took it, so she had me rest on my left side for a few minutes and then took it again. It was in the normal range, but a bit on the high side. I need to keep monitoring my sodium intake and elevating my feet as often as possible.

The heartbeat was nice and strong and the baby's head is in the right direction. The baby kicks a lot now. My whole belly moves every once in a while--it's hard to adjust to. Kicks are mostly focused on my right side.

Last Monday, I had to stop wearing my wedding rings. They now hang nicely from a chain around my neck. Stupid swelling.

I am officially in my third trimester, which is terrifying! I'm just a little over 11 weeks from my due date. Summer and the baby will be here before I know it. I'm now so pregnant that I go to the doctor every other week!

We've been bad about posting belly pictures, but I'm going to try to do them weekly now since my belly seems to be growing by the day.

April 2, 2005

Nurse, cancel my one o'clock

I saw the baby move yesterday. I was sitting at my desk at work and my whole stomach just moved. It wasn't quite the way it had been described to me (namely, I didn't think Sigourney Weaver and Tom Skerritt were going to have to make an attempt to save me), but it was a strange sight to see. I'm not sure, but I think it was the new Beck album that Dawn and I were listening to...

I'm 3 months from my due date today (13 weeks to go), so we'll be posting a belly picture later.

March 28, 2005

My Little Rockette

This past week has been full of excitement as the baby's kicks have been felt from the outside. Last Monday, I was getting ready for work and the baby was kicking stronger than ever. I had Marc put his hand on my belly and kept asking "Did you feel that?" This went on for a few minutes. Finally, I stopped asking. Then, just as I was feeling a kick, his face lit up because he felt it, too! It was pretty amazing. Marc has felt it a few more times this week.

Yesterday, the combination of good food and lots of candy woke the baby up after dinner so my mom and sister could feel, too.

The baby's newest play toy, unfortunately, is my bladder. When the baby isn't kicking my bladder, she seems to enjoy staying on my right side and kicking me repeatedly in the same place. This is most common around 2:30 in the afternoon when I'm sitting at my desk or as soon as I lay down to go to sleep.

March 18, 2005

Latest doctor's appointment and life in general

Yesterday was my latest appointment with the midwife. All is well, though I am nearing the phase of the pregnancy where I have to really pay attention to any changes.

Here's the lowdown from the appointment:
1. I gained 11 pounds since my last appointment--that's not good! 11 pounds in 4 weeks is crazy. So, I really have to watch my weight gain now. Marc suggested that Wednesday night's goodbye dinner at Sabatino's with Dennis may not have been good for the weigh-in.
2. My blood pressure was a bit on the high side, so I need to continue to monitor my salt intake. I am also supposed to watch for other symptoms of preeclampsia.
3. My due date is still set for July 2. I will be 25 weeks tomorrow and I was measuring right on target.
4. I have been experiencing leg pains during the night. Monique suggested that I might need more calcium in my diet.
5. I have to take my 1-hour glucose tolerance test before my next appointment. This is the standard screening for gestational diabetes.

The baby is moving constantly, but you still can't feel it from the outside! I'm really anxious for Marc and others to feel the baby.

Last week, I got to be "Mother of the Day" on WebMD! Every day, someone towards the end of their second trimester gets to be "Mother of the Day" and all of the other women bombard you with questions. It's a lot of fun!

Marc and I registered this week. After some initial nervousness that our registry was lost, it appeared on Target's website today. Please visit and buy us lots of stuff!

3rd Ultrasound Update

Last Thursday, I had my third ultrasound. My doctor asked for one after the baby's stubbornness during the second ultrasound. I was a bit apprehensive about returning to the same radiology center where the tech blabbed about the baby's gender, but I didn't have much of a choice.

My mom came with me to this ultrasound and she loved every minute of it! I, too, had a much nicer time this visit. The tech was much better than the last. She was sure to point out everything to us. I saw all four chambers of the baby's heart, a kidney and (almost) the whole spine. Again this time, the tech couldn't see the whole spine, but she didn't see any fluid leaking that would indicate a problem.

The baby weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces and his/her heart was beating at 153 beats per minute (normal). The baby spent most of the ultrasound sitting in the pike position, hovering around my belly button.

3rd Ultrasound Pictures

The story is in the next post, but here are the pictures from my third ultrasound:

March 8, 2005

4 months and counting

Here I am on March 2--4 months from my due date. My belly is getting much more noticeable, especially when I'm not wearing maternity clothes (e.g. flannel pajama pants). The baby is moving around constantly and I'm noticing movement during the night. We're still not able to feel the baby from the outside yet, though.

We celebrated Marc's last "child-free" birthday this weekend. To prepare, Marc and I started the redecorating of our entire house. We are moving furniture around to get ready for the summer arrival.

In strange food stuff news, many of you heard about my sudden aversion to ketchup, a mainstay in my frozen french fry heavy diet. Long story short, I'm eating ketchup with reckless abandon again! For those of you who haven't heard, here's the crazy pregnant lady story:

I got home from work one night, turned on the oven and made some frozen steak fries. They finished baking, I put them on a plate and proceeded to create my ketchup pile. I dunked the first fry, bit into it and almost threw up. It tasted like rubbing alcohol! I thought it was the french fry, so I tried a different one. Same thing. I opened the bottle of ketchup and the whole thing smelled like rubbing alcohol. I, being a calm and rational pregnant woman, quickly got online, emailed the nice people of Heinz, vowing to take this to Teresa herself if I had to, and threw out the bottle of ketchup. A few nights later, I was eating a salad with a vinaigrette dressing and noticed it tasted odd. A few nights later, something similar, making me realize that I may have been having an aversion to vinegar. I decided to give ketchup another go, with no luck. Finally, over brunch on Sunday, I tried again and the ketchup was fine!

We'll be posting more ultrasound pictures after my appointment on Thursday.

February 21, 2005

Latest news from the doctor

I had my latest doctor's appointment on Friday. There's not much to report. My appointment was with Dr. Collerius and she was wonderful.

She put the doppler heartrate monitor on my belly and found the heartbeat immediately. Then, the baby moved away and the heartbeat was really faint. It's amazing how much room the bean has to move around in there!

I've gained three pounds total all pregnancy, which is wonderful. It's even better when you consider how often I'm eating. I seem to get full very quickly, but get hungry very often. My blood pressure seemed high when the nurse took it, so Dr. Collerius took it again at the end of my appointment and it was normal. I'm trying to monitor my salt intake so that I don't have any major blood pressure problems.

I told the doctor about my horrible ultrasound experience. She felt so bad for me! I asked her about the due date (the tech suggested I might be due June 25 instead of July 2). Dr. Collerius left me at the July 2 due date and said that the first ultrasound is the most accurate. I will be getting another ultrasound which makes me really happy--I love seeing that bean on the screen!

On Saturday, Marc and I went out for the afternoon before heading to dinner with his family to celebrate his birthday. While we were sitting at a light, I felt the baby kick! It was great because I've been thinking that I might be feeling the baby, but this was the first time that I was sure it was the baby. It was so wonderful!

February 14, 2005

By popular demand...

... a picture of me on the blog!

This was me on February 2--5 months from my due date. My belly was beginning around this date, but is really starting to pop this week. It looks bigger from one day to the next. We'll be doing these monthly pictures and I'll aim for immediate posting in the future.

In other news, Marc and I were both sick all weekend. In bigger news, I am beginning to feel the baby kick. I thought the initial "jabbings" as I have been referring to them were illness related. Based on my online chats with other preggos, it appears that they were probably kicks. Hopefully everyone else can feel soon...

February 7, 2005

Please welcome the newest member of the extended Fiorini family

I'm a week late, but I still wanted to get this on here. My cousin Karen and her husband Andy welcomed their son, Dylan Aaron Cunningham, into the extended Fiorini family last week. Dylan was born at 9:30am on January 31. He was 20 inches long and weighed 8 pounds, 12.4 ounces.

As a woman a few months away from labor, my immediate reaction was to note how good Karen looked after 14+ hours of labor.

Congratulations, Karen & Andy!

February 6, 2005

There are no more surprises in life

Marc and I went in yesterday for our second ultrasound. All is well with the baby, but we had a horrible experience.

We arrived at 9:50 am for a 10 am appointment. I drank more than my required 16 oz of water. We were called back. On the walk to the room, I informed the tech that we did NOT want to know the gender. She got me prepped for the ultrasound and started to look at the baby. Unfortunately, my bladder wasn't full enough and she was having problems getting clear images of the baby. So, she had me lay on my left side for 15 minutes and wait for my bladder to fill up. These were 15 agonizing minutes.

The tech returned to the room and started to look at the baby again. She pointed out arms, legs, fingers, toes, the spine and the baby's bladder. Then, bluntly, she said "I'm pretty sure it's a girl." Marc and I looked at each other and I started crying. She was about to try to get a better look when I said "That's OK. We didn't want to know." I was so completely devastated. We had been so excited about having a big surprise in the delivery room and this woman's insensitivity and inability to remember the ONLY thing I asked of her ruined it for us. The rest of the sonogram was kind of a blur as I was trying not to completely break down in the room. The only question I managed to get out was about the baby's heartbeat.

Here are all of the latest details from yesterday:
1. We're having a girl. They can never be 100% on these things, so we're still going with our neutral themes.
2. The ultrasound moved my due date to June 25. I'm waiting until my doctor confirms, but the ultrasounds are usually pretty accurate.
3. The baby currently weighs 13 ounces.
4. The baby's heartbeat is 138, which is in the normal range.
5. I may need to have another sonogram because the baby was being stubborn and wouldn't let the tech get a clear picture of the spine the way doctors like to see it. This is not cause for concern.

After the sonogram, I found the ladies room in the office and burst into tears. We had been excited about having a boy, but what really upset me is having such a major surprise completely ruined for us. We are happy that the baby appears to be healthy, since that's all that really matters.

February 5, 2005

2nd Ultrasound

Just posting the pictures - I'll let Liz give you the news:

January 31, 2005

So far behind!

I went to see the midwife over a week ago--I can't believe I'm so far behind!

On Friday, January 21, I had my latest appointment. Since my doctor is no longer a practicing OB, I met the Nurse Midwife, Monique, who was WONDERFUL. It was a short appointment. She asked lots of questions, I asked lots of questions. Then, she listened for the heartbeat. At first, she couldn't find it. It was absolutely terrifying. It felt like hours while she searched for it. Finally, she found it (maybe 90 seconds went by), but lost it right away. She said that the baby is very active, so it was hard to hear it for long. Everything is progressing along as it should be. I gained 2 pounds since my last visit, bringing me to my pre-pregnancy weight.

I got a prescription for my next ultrasound, which I scheduled for this Saturday morning. If we were finding out the gender, this would be the appointment, but we aren't, so we'll all have to wait another 22 weeks or so to find out.

On my way to work after my appointment, I was driving around State Circle looking for a parking place when I was rear-ended. I was stopped at a stop sign and the driver behind me wasn't going more than 10-15 miles per hour, but it really jolted me. I pulled over to exchange insurance information, when I realized that I knew the woman who hit me! We were both fine and our cars were both fine, but we were both terrified. I called my doctor's office right away and they pulled Monique out of a delivery to take my call. When you say "pregnant" and "car accident" in the same sentence, people really jump to take care of you. Long story short, the bean and I are both fine.

I was in and out of work last week from a combination head cold/stomach bug. It seems to be gone now, but it has been replaced by what is either a tapeworm or the bean growing at an alarming rate. I CANNOT stop eating. Apparently, this will come and go, but for now, I'm doubling our grocery bill.

I finalized plans for my maternity leave last week, too. I'm taking off for 12 weeks to be with the new one. Marc is joining me for 4 of those weeks. Dennis might be back for the end of it.

We'll post ultrasound pictures on Saturday or Sunday.

January 18, 2005

Just a quick update...

It's been a slow few weeks, but I thought I'd still update everyone.

New year's eve was fun, though my most sober since the year I got sick at the Towson Drapetorium without drinking! My new year's resolution? Not to get pregnant in 2005!

I'm enjoying life in the second trimester. About two weeks ago, I was able to feel the baby moving internally for the first time. Now, I'm so aware of it! He/she is most active in the evening. It will only be a few weeks before I can feel those kicks from the outside! Everyone will be more than welcome to feel when the time is right.

I'm still thoroughly exhausted all the time. It's the one thing that really won't go away. I got a cold a few weeks ago that I shook, but I've gotten another one now. I seem to be easily able to get sick now, which is not much fun when you can't take any medicine!

We've gotten a few more gifts from people and a few things lent to us. My grandmother's house is beginning to fill up with my cousin's hand-me-downs which I am THRILLED to have! I don't even know what's there--I'll have to check it out before we register. Sara, my parent's neighbor who has a little girl who just turned one this weekend, lent me several of her pregnancy and delivery books. I saw Dan and Emily over Christmas and they gave us the most adorable duck blanket, bib and musical stuffed animal. My parents also found my old Orioles jacket from my toddler years, so I'm taking good care of that for baby's first baseball game (not this summer, though). Cory sent me the most stylish diaper bag I've ever seen last week. I'm really thankful that I'll be the most stylish new mom around! And speaking of style, my maternity wardrobe just quadrupled last week when Susan, a work colleague, lent me two huge tubs of her maternity clothes. It's all great stuff and it just saved me a few hundred dollars (or the agony of putting together several outfits from a few pieces).

A few things in the world of pop culture have happened lately that make me feel like the world is changing too much for me right now. While I know that neither of these things are monumental changes in society, they were just weird things for me to try to handle.
1. Dick Clark didn't host New Year's Rockin' Eve
2. WHFS went off the air!

I go to the doctor's on Friday to meet with the new midwife for the first time. I'll keep everyone posted.