Thursday, August 31, 2006

34 Weeks

6 More Weeks To Go...

34 Week Appt

Everything went fine. 2 lb weight gain, blood pressure 110/70, measuring OK, no protein in urine, baby heartrate was normal. Met the last doctor in the practice and she was nice too. So, I am comfortable with any of them delivering the baby. I think there are 6 OBs in the practice in total. I am back with my regular doctor from now on.

Next appt is at 36 weeks and then I go once per week moving forward. Nothing else to report. Highly uneventful, which we are looking for!

But otherwise, feeling great. Better than I have in weeks now that I have this acid refux under control. I am pretty confident that I will be able to work until delivery since I am sleeping OK and have no problems getting around.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Lucky Baby!

Baby S. has not even arrived yet and her future friends are already sending her gifts! Very exciting! Here is something that we received in the mail recently from the Kennedy Family in MA. Tom is one of Adam's Fraternity brothers, and we have known his wife Paula since college.

This carseat is perfect for a NYC baby. It is called the Sit 'N Stroll and converts from a car seat to a stroller to a booster seat to an airline approved safety seat. Probably too heavy for those living in the suburbs, but perfect for us. It will ensure that we never have an excuse to not use a car seat in cabs (they are not required, can you believe that?) or on Long Island Rail Road trips to visit Grandpa Joe and Grandma Marlene. Or, if we get brave, to bring Baby S on her first airplane ride to visit all of the people in Florida!

Check it out, very cool! Thank you Kennedy Family!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jail Break!

Baby S. seems to be a very "active" baby, which of course I am pleased about because I consider it a good sign of his development and overall health. However, over the past few days, he has picked up a few new moves, and we can now discern individual body parts. The funniest to see are the feet and elbows when they pop out the side of my stomach. I also like it when he curls up and juts out his little rear end. Very cute. Right now, I think he is head down, with his face towards my back. Most of his body appears to be on my right side, and when he twists and rolls my one side bulges out. He even uses my ribs to push off. Sometimes I feel like he is doing a handstand in there. It doesn't hurt, but is definitely strange to see!

Very exciting times! Should get even more interesting as he puts on more weight.

*** Don't get too excited over my use of "he." I don't like to call the baby "it" so I need to alternate between sexes. This is not a trick, and no, we haven't opened the envelope. There is no chance we will open the envelope at this point, so don't get your hopes up.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Interesting Blog

Since I have nothing new to post (feeling fine, breathing fine, getting around fine, baby moving fine), and you all seem to like blogs, I figure I will direct you to one that was particularly interesting today.

Most of you seem to be new to the idea of a blog (which is short for "web log" by the way), but there are literally thousands and thousands of them out there. People blog on all sorts of topics, including politics, religion, their daily life, sports, etc. Many of them are done for family and friends like this one, but many others are done anonymously and are read by the general public. You could even create your own. I know future Uncle Barry is very jealous that he doesn't have his own blog, and is feverishly trying to think of ideas for one! Somehow, I don't think he will tell us about his for some reason!

Anyway, through our journey to have Baby S, I came across many blogs dealing with pregnancy, infertility and adoption. It seems to be a popular way for people to get their feelings out and be read by a community of people going through the same thing. One blog in particular has received a lot of notice in the media. I think it has even received a blogging award (If you can believe there is such a thing) and I became aware of it. It is amazing how interesting it can be to read about a total stranger's life!

So anyway, this blog is written by a lady named Mary Mia, and is about her and her husband's journey of adopting a baby from China. International adoption is usually a very orderly process, but is an extremely expensive (20-30k) and involves lots of paperwork and then lots of waiting around. These people in particular have been waiting over 15 months for their "referral," which is when they get assigned a baby and sent pictures and general information. They then have to wait a month or two more to travel to China to pick their baby up. Add this time to the time that they probably spent trying to have a biological child and doing all of the preliminary paperwork, fingerprinting, homestudy etc., and you come up with a long time that they have been waiting for a baby.

Anyway, they thought they were going to receive their referral last month, and were very heartbroken when they did not make the cut off for dates. China gives you a "Log In Date" based on when they receive all of your completed paperwork, and referrals are based on that. It seems to be a very organized process, but just takes a long time these days. The referrals are only sent out once per month.

Most people get a referral for a girl, since that is mostly who are put up for adoption. (China has/had a very restrictive one child per family policy, and the wisdom is that a boy can better care for his elders later in life so people prefer them. I think that is total bull, but that is another topic entirely!) Well to make a long story short, Mary Mia and her husband received their referral today, which of course they were very excited about. But to make the story even more exciting, they didn't receive a referral for one girl, they received one for twin girls! Boy, that must have been a happy surprise! Check her blog out, it is very cute. The address is

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Baby Schnell, give us a sign!

I love the gender guessing game. Almost every time I am at a public event, multiple people make "predictions" as to the gender of the baby. My favorite part of the game is how absolutely positive people are about their guess. There is no doubt in their mind that they are correct. About 80% of the people predict a boy, but that is just based on the way I am carrying the baby. But according to Heather, my belly looks just like hers did when she was pregnant with Madeleine, who is clearly a little girl.

They all have their methods, one more amusing than the next. They quiz me on the heart rate, rub my stomach, ask to look at my rear end, or stare at my face to see if the baby has "stolen my beauty." That is the funniest one of all. I think it is very risky to tell a pregnant person that a baby has stolen her beauty. She is all jacked up on hormones, and probably very pissed off most of the time anyway. Seems to be a high probability that she might haul off and punch you!

We were at a party yesterday at the summer home of one of Adam's co-workers. Lots of predictions were made, one even by an 8 year old girl whose mother claims she has 99% accuracy. My favorite one came from Adam's friend Keisha, who is so positive she is right, she has already purchased the baby a pair of pink sneakers, even though they come in gender-neutral pastel green. I like a woman willing to stick to her convictions!

Would you like to make a guess? Post your best guess in the comments section and we'll see who is right!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Help! I'm being suffocated!

As you can tell by the pictures, I am carrying this baby pretty high. The baby seems to have had a growth spurt over the past week, because I am starting to get bigger around the sides and in front. The one unfortunate side effect is that the baby has one of it's body parts shoved into my lungs (or diaphragm, I don't know I'm not a doctor!) I was sitting on the subway this morning, and it was pushing the baby up even higher. By the time I got to the office, I felt like I could barely breathe. (And of course I didn't want to stand up and give up my seat!) An exaggeration of course, but a mite bit uncomfortable. After two flights of stairs, I really couldn't breathe. Now, I consider myself a pretty calm person, but this had me feeling a little panicked. Intellectually, I knew what was happening, but not being able to breathe is a little scary. So of course, panicking makes things worse and made breathing harder.

I must have looked a little pale and nervous, because my friend who sits next to me called his wife, who happens to be and nurse and has three kids. (I try to spread out my healthcare phone calls Heather). She said this had never happened to her, but said maybe I should have a glass of juice which sometimes causes the baby to move. She also suggested a walk which might get the baby to drop a little or shift a bit. This gave me enough to focus on to start calming down, and about an hour later I felt a little better.

Anyway, that is the havoc that Baby Schnell is wreaking today. I swear this baby hates me! Just kidding everyone, don't get all freaked out.

33 Weeks

7 More Weeks to Go...

Friday, August 18, 2006

Funny Boy

We have read that the baby can now hear and recognize voices. It can especially hear women's voices due to the higher pitch. Since the poor little bugger gets to hear me yammering on all day, we make sure Adam talks to the baby a few times a day.

Before we go to sleep at night, he usually puts his mouth near my stomach and says a few general things to the baby. The other night, he was saying more and I couldn't hear him. I said to him, "What are you saying?" He turns his head without moving and says to me in a completely deadpan voice, "I wasn't talking to you." And then turns his head back to finish his "conversation." Totally cracked me up.

32 Week Doctor's Appt

I had my bi-weekly doctor's appointment this morning, and everything is looking great.

  1. Weight is up 2 more pounds, for a total of 16 pounds
  2. Heart rate was 145 bpm
  3. Fundal Height was measuring 31.5 cm
  4. Blood pressure was fine (120/80) I think
  5. Urine tests are coming up fine (I think they are testing for protein, whatever that means)
  6. No swelling in my hands or feet.

I met another one of the doctors in the practice and she was very nice. Very chipper. It would be like Kara Macaluso (for those you know her) delivering the baby, except that the doctor is Korean. She gave me some suggestions on what to do with the nightime vomiting, which I will try. Mostly stuff I am already doing but I am willing to give it a shot. I am sure Adam would appreciate not being awakened every night to the sound of me retching in the bathroom and then coming in and telling him that I peed on the floor again. Gross, I know, but it is my blog and I can put whatever I want on here! This is my life, love it or leave it! He has started wearing his flip flops in the bathroom when he gets up at night which I find hysterical. And yes, I do wipe it up afterward.

She also said the most important thing for me to look out for now is movement of the baby. She said to assume a normal sleep/wake cycle for a newborn. She said I should be feeling movement every three to four hours. If I don't feel it, and I have eaten and drank something and still don't feel it I should give them a call. She said the majority of the time the baby is just sleeping more, but they need to know in case the baby is in distress. Which I find very distressing. But, I have nothing to worry about right now because this baby moves like a champ. Kind of like me in a movie theater. Constantly twitching and changing positions. It feels like I have a cat in me right now with the stretching and arching of the back. Definitely weird.

OK, that is all for now. It is 9pm and I am heading to bed. If you think that is early, Adam has already been sleeping on the couch for 15 minutes. Ahh, the exciting life and times in our household...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

General Updates

  1. The bris was nice. The baby is very cute and Merri looks great already. I need to get Merri's grandmother's crumb cake recipe. It was the best I have ever tasted.
  2. We had a great time at the fraternity reunion. Very tiring, but glad we went.
  3. Tom and Paula are doing absolutely fantastic with their 4 kids (3 year old and 15 month old triplets.) They have everything completely under control and show it can be done with a lot of organization. The kids are adorable, good eaters, good sleepers and not whiney at all. Very impressive.
  4. We (I) picked a pediatrician. Apparently you are supposed to "interview" them, but I don't plan to. I wanted someone that was associated with the hospital near our house since it is one of the leading children's hospitals in the country. I also wanted one that I could walk to (assuming a lot of doctors affiliated with the hospital have offices nearby.) I asked around for some recommendations and found one associated with the hospital from a friend of mine at work whose sister is a nurse there. The pediatrician is on 86th Street, which I am not thrilled about (I would like to avoid the subway with the baby initially.) Anyway, she is young, went to Harvard Medical School, has 2 other doctors in her practice, takes our insurance, has openings for newborns and has late office hours and is also open on Saturdays. So, right now she seems like a good candidate. If I don't like her, I will just switch. The only downside is she doesn't have priviledges at the hospital where I am delivering, so an in house pediatrician will have to examine the baby after it is born. No big deal.
  5. I got a quote on the floor to ceiling cabinet that we wanted to do in the nursery. Too much money, so now I am on to figuring out "Plan B." Which really annoys me since I think regular baby furniture will be a monumental waste of space and not provide the storage we need. So, I guess I need to start shopping for at least a dresser and an armoir. (The only closet in the room is where I keep my clothes.) Adam has way too many clothes to share his closet in our bedroom.
  6. Adam has two business trips scheduled when I am 36 weeks, which is freaking me out a little. I know it is highly unlikely that I will go into labor, but I think that is cutting it a little bit close. I am not concerned about being home alone, but I am worried that he wouldn't get home in time if I went into labor in the middle of the night. He is going to Chicago and Atlanta, which both have a lot of flights, it is just the middle of the night thing. I have to think of who I would call to go to the hospital with me in that situation. My mom won't be up yet, and Heather is too far. I would prefer the person has had a baby already (and they need to be female. Sorry Kevin!) so that the experience doesn't scar them for life! That rules out Kerri and Janice. They also have to be a calm person that wouldn't be grossed out or freak out. I think the best bet is Julie (my sister in law), since she is a nurse and has 3 kids. But, it may be too far for her to drive and she would have to get Babs to come watch the girls. But, she is the best candidate. Either her or my friend Liz I think (who lives in the city.) Anyway, that is just on my mind.
  7. I still feel fine and can get around fine. I can still go to my Monday night kitchen gig as long as I have a stool. It is funny however that people there act like I might go into labor at any minute. It will be a long eight weeks if I stopped all of my activities now.
  8. Funny story. I was worried about waking Chuck and Natalie's baby up with my frequent bathroom visits when we slept at their house. I needn't have worried. They have a light switch for his bedroom in the hallway for some reason which Adam inadvertently flicked on when he got up to go to the bathroom (He was looking for the hall light.) Anyway, the baby had his light on almost the whole night and woke up at 5am! His parents couldn't understand why he seemed so wide awake so early (he normally gets up at 7am.) but quickly discovered the reason when they went into his room. Luckily Adam fessed up otherwise I would have been blamed!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Busy Week

Sorry that I have not posted this week, it has been EXTREMELY busy! In addition to working all week (from home on Monday and Tuesday because I have had a hard time sleeping at night and the extra hour helps. Do I have the greatest job or what?), we have had plans every night.

We had some friends stop by on Monday night, on Tuesday we had our infant CPR class and on Wednesday, we went to Breastfeeding class. After stopping for a quick dinner on the way home, we haven't gotten in until 11pm each night. Keeping those kind of hours makes me very tired!

But, both classes were extremely informative and I'm glad we attended. For those of you who have never taken an Infant CPR class, don't worry we plan on teaching you! You can't escape us! They taught us what to do if:
  1. The baby stops breathing
  2. Puts something in their mouth that they shouldn't have (not the finger sweep like everyone thinks!)
  3. If they are choking
  4. If they are having an allergic reaction to food.

At the second class, we also made contact with a Lactation Consultant who we can visit at the hospital or who with come to the apartment if Baby Schnell decides he/she doesn't want to eat. If we have to put the baby on formula because she gives us a hard time, it is coming right out of her college fund! Tough love right from the beginning!

Tomorrow, I am working a half day so that I can attend the Bris of Merri and Jesse's baby on Long Island who was born last Friday. After the party, I am meeting Adam on the Metro North train and we are heading to CT for the weekend. Ted and Keri and Chuck and Natalie (who all live in the same town) are hosting a reunion of sorts for some of Adam's best friends from his college fraternity. Tom and Paula are coming down from Boston with their 3 year old daughter and their 1 year old triplets. We haven't seen the triplets since they were about 4 months old, so we are very excited to see how they have grown and the havoc they are causing! Todd and Kris are flying up from Atlanta, and James is coming from Long Island. These guys have all remained such good friends, so it is nice that we can all get together. There is a dinner on Friday night (70's themed Fondue Party I have heard), a big breakfast on Saturday morning at Chuck's house, a pool party at Ted's that day, and a big barbeque at the beach that night. Should be fun. I hope I don't wake Chuck and Natalie's baby up when I get up to use the bathroom a hundred times a night!

Anyway, that is all that is going on for now. The baby is moving and flipping around like a crazy person. Last night during class, one of it's body parts (a toe or something) was sticking out of the space next to where my belly button has popped out. It scared the crap out of me, I though the baby was making it's escape!

31 Weeks Today

Only 9 more weeks to go (I hope!)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sleepless in New York City

Last night was a strange evening. We went to bed early because we were tired from our day out on the boat. Adam falls asleep almost instantaneously, but it takes me a little longer even in a normal state. However, as I am getting bigger, I have a more difficult time. Add to the fact that I think I have "Restless Leg Syndrome" (no Heather, I am not just being a hypocondriac) and that adds up to a lot of tossing and turning. After dozing off, I would wake up about every 45 minutes to either go to the bathroom or get a drink of water or just because my legs were bothering me. If you have never had this feeling, it feels like you have bugs crawling inside your legs. The only way to stop it is to move around. So, there I am slapping at my legs like a crazy person, flipping from one side to another while holding that long crazy body pillow. Finally, I decide to get out of bed because I can't stand it anymore. I go to the kitchen to get a snack (Leftover dessert from Lynn's house and a snack sized bag of Lay's. Very healthy) and then go back into bed. I get back into bed and Adam (who talks in his sleep by the way) proceeds to tell me that he just had a dream that my body pillow was attacking him! I don't blame him because I toss it around so much and half the time I wake up and it is lying across his face. Poor boy, I'm surprised he can sleep at all.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Big Milestone for Baby!

On Saturday, we went to Lynn and George's house for a barbeque. We love getting invited there, because they are both fantastic cooks and all around good hosts. I don't think I stopped eating from the minute I walked in the door until the minute I left.

Just to whet your whistle, I will give you a sampling of the spread: Sour cream and onion dip and Lay's potato chips which Lynn put out especially for me since I crave it constantly, shrimp cocktail, veggie platter with spinach dip, tomato bruschetta on "Texas Toast," rosemary lamb chops, BBQ ribs, ginger marinated tuna steaks, macaroni salad, potato salad (homemade with hardboiled eggs and no vinegar which is the way I LOVE it), 2 different kinds of green salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, lemon fluff cake, fruit platter, peach pie...I am stuffed thinking about it! Since Lynn is a good Italian girl, she also strategically places food around the house so that you are still eating even when you don't realize it. She had chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered pretzels, caramel turtles and this delicious "chocolate bark" sitting out on little dishes. Every time I looked in the mirror I had a ring of chocolate around my mouth!

It was very funny, as we were sitting down to dinner (after all of the snacks and George's BBQ "warm up" of ribs and lamb chops) Aly's daughter Sophia (who is 2 1/2) said "Why are the adults eating again?" Wise girl that Sophia!

Suffice it to say, Baby Schnell and I had a GREAT time (Of course Adam enjoyed himself too. That boy has never met a party he didn't like). They also had a pool that was as warm as bathwater so we had a fun time swimming. (Although my top did fall off in the pool, good thing no one was wearing goggles underwater! What an eyeful they would have gotten!)

Anyway, back to the milestone business. As I am sitting on the couch at the end of the night in my food coma, Aly is trying to feel my stomach for the baby. She looks at me and says "Your baby has the hiccups!" I think this is impossible, and how the heck can she tell this? I put my hand on my stomach, and I can feel a little sharp kick feeling about every 5 seconds for a few minutes, so she was right! Of course Adam and I both came up with the dopey idea that we should scare the baby to help her get rid of them (don't call CPS anyone, we didn't do it!)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Another friend for Baby Schnell...

It has been a banner week or two in blogland for babies!

In addition to Cousin Judy's new grandson Jack, my friend Meredith (see pictures below) delivered a healthy baby boy on Friday morning. His name is Jude Samuel, and we have heard from the proud Papa that mom and baby are doing well.

Disclaimer: In case anyone is disappointed about the lack of pictures of new arrivals or minimal details, it is merely because this is a public website and I try to not put too much up here about other people without their explicit permission. Adam is fair game, so he gets a lot of ink since he doesn't have a choice!

30 Week Doctor's Appointment Update

Sorry for the late post on the doctor's appointment, I don't want to worry my Mom!

Heartbeat was 150ish, blood pressure was fine, I have gained two more pounds (14 total), fundal height measuring on track. Met another one of the Obstetricians in the practice, she was very nice. I liked the fact that when she left she said, "It was nice to meet both of you!" (Meaning me and the baby) I thought that was funny. She said the baby appeared to be very active during the exam (cute now, probably not so cute later!)

She also said that my last bloodwork came back that I am anemic. Due to the fact that I can rarely stomach meat, this was no real surprise. She did say that I was anemic in my first tests as well (nice of someone to share this with me). She said that that is not unusual at this stage in the pregnancy since my blood volume has almost doubled. So, not only do I have to take an iron enriched pre-natal vitamin (which I already was), I have to take a supplement as well. Why doesn't she just put a big stop sign on my digestive tract? Ugh, should be fun!

So, I asked her if I could do this via dietary means, and she said that it was almost impossible to get the necessary amount of iron through diet alone. I knew Adam would wonder this as well, since he is not a huge supplement fan, so I decided to Google it. Here is a partial list of iron rich foods:

Boiled cockles, Black pudding, Liver, Fish paste, Faggots (what the heck is this?) , Kidney, Venison, Heart, mussels, liver pate, liver sausage, goose, pheasant, canned shrimp, haggis, sardines, anchovies, and ox tongue.

So, I think they should do the opposite. They should let you know only that you are "not" anemic, because I can't imagine anyone who isn't. This food list is pretty disgusting, don't you think?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Study in Contrasts

This whole pregnancy experience has such a mixed bag of emotions. I am so amazed that I can have such differing feelings on so many topics at the same time. Some examples of things rolling around in my head lately:

  • How much I love the experience, but can't wait for it to be over. Since it was so hard for us to get to this point, I am pretty surprised by this feeling. I love the first hand view of all of the changes that are going on with the baby, and I consider the process truly miraculous. I am thrilled that I am the one who gets to experience it. But, I am really tiring of the physical demands. I am not having a tough time per se with fatigue, backaches, and swelling like most women, but the nausea and vomiting, going to the bathroom a million times per day, the restless legs, lack of appetite and food aversions, lack of bladder control every time I sneeze or vomit (sorry to any men reading this, but most of my readers can relate), difficulty sleeping etc. are really starting to wear on me. I try not to tell people that I want it to be over soon very often, because they look at you like you are an ungrateful jerk. But I tell you, 7 and 1/2 months of puking your brains out and being disgusted by 99% of the things you eat gets a little old after a while!

  • How much I love the care and attention, but hate being so dependent. Adam has been an absolute champ throughout this whole thing. He is a terrific help and caregiver. He will do almost everything I ask, and many things I don't ask for. Being on the receiving end of so much generosity can sometimes make you feel guilty and weak. Yes, I know, he does all of these things because I am carrying the baby, but what about him? I feel like I am not in a position to reciprocate at all. I just look forward to the chance to be on equal footing again.

  • How I love that my generation has choices about whether to work or stay home, but resent the fact that society thinks I am the only one who has to make them. I have the benefit of a college education and a great job that I enjoy. I need to choose between this and taking care of my own child. My mother's options were beauty school or wife and mother at 20 years old. College was not even in the equation, just because she was female. There basically was no choice for her. I don't know if this gave her the freedom and license to throw herself fully into the task at hand, because there was no guilt about picking the wrong option. She did a great job on all fronts, so maybe that is the case. I am asked at least once per week by family, friends and complete strangers what I plan to do once the baby is born. I would guess that Adam has never been asked this even once. I can tell by the way most people ask that they have a pre-conceived notion as to what my answer "should" be based on how they feel, and that they are making some sort of judgement on what I am doing. If I say that I want to stay home, I am perceived as not serious about my job. I am putting my career on hold, while Adam can continue to develop his. If I say I want to go back to work, I am a bad mother or selfish or people assume we don't have the money for me to stay home. At this point, I have no idea what I plan to do. I have never had a baby before, so I don't know how I will feel. I know it is not anyone's business, but I am not used to feeling people are making judgements about me.

Anyway, these are some things jumping around in my head. Sorry for such a crabby post! Probably due to the fact that I am positively melting these days! I look forward to getting to work just for the central air conditioning. The subway ride there is positively brutal! I look like a wet rag when I get to there.

Not much else going on. Off to bed.