Monday, September 25, 2006

Endless Possibilities...

Adam and I talk a lot lately about what the baby will be like, and things that we will do with it. We are so excited to have a third person, with its own personality and quirks, interjecting itself into our life. When I think about what I want for the baby, I am kind of surprised by my list. I thought my expectations would be much higher.

I really don't care if it is a boy or a girl. Fortunately, there are so few limits placed on us in life now based on our gender that this baby will be afforded equal opportunities to succeed. I think that every person has a balance of masculine and feminine qualities, and I hope the baby can find a comfortable way to express itself.

I know that you are just supposed to wish that your child is healthy, but what about all of the children that are not born with perfect health or with challenges? Are they somehow a disappointment? Of course I wish that our baby is healthy, because I don't want it to experience any pain, but we will deal whatever is given to us.

I don't care if the baby is cute or pretty or kind of funny looking. I will love it no matter what, and to me it will be the most beautiful child I've ever seen.

I don't care if it is really smart or not such a great student. I want it to have a love of learning and a curious nature, because that is what makes life interesting. But he or she will be free to learn at their own pace.

I don't care if it is gay or straight or somewhere in between. I don't want my child to experience discrimination, but fortunately the world is changing at a very rapid pace. I do however, want it to find someone to love and to share a life with, who loves them back just as much or even more.

I don't care if the baby looks like me, acts like me or that we share the same interests. Frankly, a break from my own self absorption will be a nice change of pace!

I do hope that the baby will find a way to show compassion to people who deserve it, and to those that might not deserve it. Sometimes it is very hard to tell the difference because we don't know the whole story.

I do hope that the baby will know that there is always someone less fortunate than itself, no matter how bad the situation seems.

I do hope the baby is able to give and receive love freely, with no strings attached.

That's about it. Oh, one more...that it never forgets to call its mother

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Whoa...this has never happened before!

There is nothing like a little false labor to get the preparations moving!

I had been feeling a little "funny" all day. I was having alternating periods of being in a very good mood and then experiencing feelings that can only be described as anxiety. Due to the baby's positioning, I have trouble breathing. This of course, makes you anxious, which then makes breathing more difficult.

So anyway, in the early evening, the baby was extremely active. At first, I chalked this up to eating some cake and having a cup of coffee earlier in the day. But, the baby continued to roll and kick and move around much more than usual. All of a sudden, I felt a very clear and distinct movement of the head (downward). Since the baby is head down, I rarely feel anything like this. This struck me as a little strange, but whatever. Then I start to have a contraction or two, which I have had in the past. It usually involves my stomach tightening up for a minute or two and then subsiding when I have a drink of water and sit down for a little bit. So, this wasn't really that abnormal either. But the contractions kept coming, and then were accompanied by some cramping down near my pelvis. When I looked at Adam kind of funny and asked him if he had charged the camera battery yet, he definitely started to look a little more nervous! He started to mentally time them, and they were a minute long, and about 5 minutes apart for about an hour. Well, this is exactly the information that my doctor had given me as to when to call him. But, something just told us that this was still not IT. So, I sit down to do what I always do in a medical crisis (other than call my sister). I consult Google. While I am doing this, Adam was mysteriously inspired to start charging the camera and find an empty duffle bag. I start whining that this can't be it, because I don't have any clean pajamas to bring (As I explained to Adam this morning when he asked why I was so concerned about this, it is never "just about the pajamas.")

Based on my "Google MD" I determine that these could be false labor. They are not radiating from the back, and they are now varying in length. Sometimes they were coming one right on top of each other. So, I do what any rational person should do when facing a life changing event squarely in the eyes. I went to bed. I figured that if I stayed awake, I might have a panic attack, and that it was a little too late to finish my study of Hypnobirthing (A book about convincing yourself through self-hypnosis that labor is not going to hurt. Hysterical, I know.) IF this really was labor, I would know soon enough. As someone recently described it, real labor is a one way street!

Somehow, I fell asleep and Adam came in shortly after. I do remember him asking me at one point during the night if I was still having contractions. I recall telling him that I did not know, but that I was sleeping and I didn't want to talk about it. So anyway, don't get excited. No baby yet.

But, lo and behold, we were both up very early this morning! So far today, the camera battery has been charged, all of the baby's clothing and bedding has been washed, all of our laundry is done (including all of my pajamas) and the linen closet has been emptied and now contains an entire wardrobe of very tiny cotton clothing!

This should be an interesting three weeks!

Friday, September 22, 2006

37 Week Appt

Everything is fine.

The baby has dropped since last Friday, and I am 30% effaced (whatever that means, I will have too look it up.) I am still not dialated at all. All of this adds up to absolutely nothing. I could have the baby tomorrow, I could have it 4 weeks from now. Go figure. Off to eat some curry, maybe that will help :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Other Funny Happenings

  • They had a surprise baby shower for Adam at his office yesterday. (He works with a lot of women) It was so sweet of them to plan, and they even invited me! They decorated the conference room with balloons and streamers (some of the balloons were quite funny. One said "Who's your daddy? But another one said, "Who's your Mommy?" That would be a little hard to hide) They had tons of gifts and we had pizza and cake. Very sweet. But the funny part was that they made Adam wear the ribbon hat. Turn about is fair play! I promise to post the picture of this when I get it.
  • Lots of people shout things at me on the street about the baby. Sounds unusual to most people, but it not so unusual living in a Caribbean neighborhood. Many Dominican people are extremely forward and friendly, and very family oriented. Both men and women are very interested in pregnant women (and readily offer subway seats!) and they all have opinions and theories on the sex of the baby, your size etc. A man saw me in the elevator today and predicted that I would have the baby on DECEMBER 25th! I think he needs to work on his methods. Can you imagine? I guess I looked smaller than what he was used to. But, in case I was nervous about my size, about 2 hours later the cashier at Whole Foods asked me when I was due because I "look huge."
  • My sleeping patterns are so erratic that I don't really set the alarm anymore. I go to bed at the same time as Adam, but he is asleep in a flash. Before I can really settle down, I have to pee about 4 times (I am not kidding.) I get into a nice sleep around 2am, and stay asleep for most of the night. He let me sleep through the regular Wednesday morning clean-up (before the cleaning lady comes), but I was startled awake by the door buzzer when she arrived. I flew out of bed to get the door, and walked straight into the doorjam. Apparently it was quite amusing to watch (Adam was getting dressed and witnessed the whole thing)
  • I momentarily fell asleep with my head on the sink last night during one of my many trips to the bathroom.
  • We have a couple in our building that have 5 grown children, and that are very friendly. The first time I met the husband in the elevator, he told me that I should stop by their apartment at ANY TIME to ask his wife questions. He told me her name, and I happened to meet her in the laundry room the next day. I mentioned that her husband had offered her services to me, and her first question was, "Did I need her to come to the hospital with me?" Not the first thing that had popped to my mind, but a nice offer nonetheless. A few days later, I was going to work and the subway was extremely crowded. I heard a voice behind me ask, "Ma'am, are you expecting?" I turned around, and it was the husband. He saw that I was, and told me to wait where I was. He pushed his way through the crowd and practically pulled two younger boys out of their seats! He then motioned me over to sit, and then walked away! We then saw him in the lobby this weekend. He asked how I was faring, and reiterated their offer to help in any way. In case we weren't sure of how to utilize their services, he suggested that Adam stop by when I was in the hospital and have dinner with them! I swear that these two should win some sort of community service medal!
  • I can't sit that closely to the table anymore, and am constantly spilling things on my shirt. I have reached a new low however. I now regularly find crumbs in my bra. So attractive.

37 Weeks

37 Weeks today, so 3 more weeks to go! 4 weeks plus a few days if I go late, but I am going to pretend that is not possible. Any extra days are more than I can wrap my mind around at this point.

We still have A LOT to do, but are making progress. Still on the "To Do" list are:

1) Find our marriage certificate (since we have different last names)
2) Charge the camera battery
3) Wash the baby's clothes so that we have a coming home outfit
4) Pack my hospital bag
5) Pack Adam's hospital bag (He is convinced he needs one, so I told him about Jesse's suggestions. He wants to sleep at the hospital, but I am not letting him because it costs $400 extra per night)
6) Wash my hospital pajamas
7) Wash baby bedding (Baby Hammock and Crib)
8) Set up crib
9) Get closet built (We are building another closet in our hallway so that I can clear out the closet in the baby's room)
10) Make list for Adam of people to contact when the baby is born
11) Find a photographer to take the birth announcement photo
12) Finish reading hypnobirthing book
13) Finish Childbirth Education Class, and take Baby Care & Feeding Class

Things we have done:

1) Set up baby hammock. Remind me to tell you the story about when we had Kate (Heather's daughter, age 20 months) test the hammock. The look on her face was PRICELESS.
2) Bought more pants for the baby.
3) Purchased Halloween costume for the baby

OK, so my priorities may be a little skewed, but the baby did need a costume!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I am such a cliche! Nesting 101

One old wive's tale is that you know the baby coming soon when the nesting instinct kicks in. Well, I think it is true! I can't believe how hard it has hit me.

I am not the tidiest person in the world, but lately even small messes have been bothering me. I feel like I can't sit still, and I am always thinking of things that need to be done. I have been emptying the dishwasher on a regular basis (even with no dishes waiting in the sink), taking out the garbage (which is normally rare but especially rare over my months and months of puking) and doing all sorts of household chores that I have NEVER been inspired to do before unless someone was coming over.

The night after the shower, I was like a whirling dervish. I harassed (literally) Adam into moving a bookshelf for me so that I had somewhere to stack all of the gifts. I was running back and forth between the rooms, sorting and stacking and organizing. He had to practically force me to sit down and rest at one point, because I couldn't stop! I was almost picking imaginary lint off of the floor!

The change has been so noticable, that Adam has commented on it many times. He keeps asking me, "What happened to you? I mean, this is nice and all, but are you OK?" I told him, "My mother always said, when you need to keep the house clean, you will." I have always believed that, but I guess he didn't think I had it in me!

P.S. Adam has been exhibiting the male form of nesting. This involves lots of napping, and going out on his boat. (Don't get mad anyone, I am just kidding. Adam does a lot around here. Just not lately :) )

Friday, September 15, 2006

36 Week Appointment

I had my 36 week appointment today, and everything is going well.
  1. Weight is fine (mine)
  2. Blood pressure is fine
  3. Baby's heart rate was between 130-140 beats per minute, which is higher than last week. I think the little bugger was taking a little shut eye last week.
  4. Baby is head down, which is where we want it. Breech can mean a C-Section, which I would like to avoid.
  5. Urine tests are fine
  6. I passed the Group B Strep test, which is good because I won't have to have IV antibiotics during delivery
  7. I also had the first internal exam today (joy of joys! not.) and he can feel the head and I am not dialated at all.

I also asked him how late he will let me go. He said 42 weeks at the absolute latest, but that he normally would look to induce after 41 weeks, 1 day or so. I told him that if he let me go to 42 weeks, that I "might" have to hurt him so he quickly agreed to 40 weeks on the dot! Of course he didn't agree, but I think I scared him a little :)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

36 Weeks

Four more weeks to go!

I feel like I am wearing a lead blanket on me today, I am so darn tired! It is 8pm, and I could go to bed right now. Can't wait to sleep in this weekend, because the treadmill starts again on Monday! The next 4 weeks at work are going to be difficult. I wish I had saved more vacation time so I could take a day or two off.

Also, so excited Adam will be home tomorrow night (albeit very late). I feel like I haven't seen him in two weeks. (Which is almost true!) I put the phone up to my stomach at night so he can say good night to the baby. The baby went nuts last night after he talked to it. Better not have flipped breech or they are both in trouble.

Oh, and my belly is so big that only my really long or big shirts fit and my belly hangs out the bottom. Kind of the Britney Spears look going for me. Not very attractive. And all of my pants are falling down. I look like I have droopy drawers all day.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Nothing Exciting

Whew, it has been a busy week so far!

On Monday, we went to see WWE Raw at Madison Square Garden with our friends Nate and Andrea, Andrea's sister, and our friend Marilyn. Now mind you, I am not a professional wrestling fan. Marilyn happens to work there and always asks us to go when they are in town. Adam and I went once in the past and it was a hoot! This time was quite entertaining as well, it just got out very late. Also a little more entertaining with a drink or two, but now I sound like I was a lush in a previous life! Certainly a different experience stone cold sober! We all met for dinner right after work, and the show started at 8pm. Since it was televised from 9-11:08pm, Marilyn asked us not to leave until the end because they don't like to have empty seats on TV, and we were right up front. We didn't get home until midnight, and then back to work the next morning.

Tuesday Adam left for his conference in Chicago (stay by the phone Julie!) and I went to work and then to our second installment of Childbirth Education class after work. It is from 6:30-9:30pm, which is way too late at this stage in the game! I was hoping that I would enjoy it more this week and I left feeling fairly annoyed again. The teacher admitted that she is a doula, which is basically a natural birthing labor coach. So, this explains her fairly biased viewpoints. She is a nice lady and very informative, but the class is a little light on material for it to be a total of 15 hours. Seems like she could cut it down to three classes from the five. She talked for 15 minutes about what funny programs you could watch on TV during the early stages of labor to release natural endorphins, or that we could play Scrabble to pass the time. I'm sorry, but I don't want pay $225 and stay out until 10pm after a full work day to hear about the TV schedule and such basic information.

Anyway, she almost started a riot in the class when she told one of the husbands that it was his responsibility to deny pain medication for his wife when it was offered to her in the labor room. That she would be weak with pain, and would probably accept if he "let" her get the epidural. She said the doctors and nurses will push the epidural on you because it is such a profit center for the hospital, and that the husband was only trying to relieve his own discomfort about seeing his wife in pain by letting her have one. If I asked for an epidural and Adam told me I couldn't have one there would be serious consequences to be paid when we got home! Or, I might choke him with my fetal monitor. Anyway, this lady is a little too nutty for me.

Today, I went to a party down on the Jersey Shore with some people that I work with. Gave me a serious hankering for a beach house! I think I will need to get back to work a little sooner to make that pipe dream come true!

So, that is all for now. Trying to stay up past 10pm so that I am not wide awake at 4am, but it is difficult!

Oh, the crib and crib mattress have also arrived! Can't wait to put it together. Just need for Kevin to come get the couches so that the room is empty.

Here is a picture of the crib we chose:

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Shower? It was a deluge!

There was a shower thrown in honor of Baby Schnell's pending arrival on Saturday. What a lucky baby this is going to be!

It was so nice of my Mom, sister and mother in law to throw such a nice party. I am sure it took a lot of work and planning to make it come off like it did. The food was delicious, and very creative for shower food. The cake was just as I like it with buttercream frosting and no crazy fruit gel in it. The invitation was adorable, and the centerpieces really fit the tone of the location. Very creative. The favors that were made by my beautiful and talented nieces were a big hit. I'm sure my sister in law Julie played a large part in making sure they were so beautiful and arrived safely, although she is too modest to admit it! The games planned by my friends were truly over the top! I loved seeing the look on grown women's faces when they realized they had to drink out of a baby bottle! Talk about stepping out of your comfort zone! All of the materials for the games were so professionally done, and the great prizes kept everyone motivated to win! Who knew I would have such competitive guests! (Especially Julie, who is clearly a shower regular!)

We truly appreciate that everyone took the time to schlepp into the city on a sunny day when they probably had things they would rather be doing and celebrate our baby. We know that it is not the most fun place to come if you don't live here, and might be a little scary to drive to or take the train to if you don't do it on a regular basis. So, thank you everyone for being so brave and making the trek! I really enjoyed seeing each of you!

We are so fortunate to have such generous friends and family. We received so many beautiful gifts, we were just astounded. They stretch from one end of our dining room to the other! It is just a sea of baby paraphenalia! Everyone must have realized how unprepared we were, because we received toys, books, clothing, diapers, furniture, medical supplies, our entire crib set, a stroller, car seat, diaper bag, our baby hammock, bouncy seat, boppy, high chair, sling, video nursery monitor, handmade blankets, sweaters and other sentimental gifts such as beautiful figurines, frames and the baby cup/spoon set. We also received gift cards and money to buy those last minute essentials that we might have forgotten! Neither of us could believe how many gifts we got, how thoughtful they were and were truly touched by them all.

So, thanks so much to everyone involved. We really appreciate it, and look forward to you all being part of the baby's life.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

35 Weeks

Five more weeks to go...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

First Class

We went to our first "Childbirth Education" class tonight. They are from 6:30pm-9:30pm once per week for 5 weeks. Don't they know that I am ready for bed at 8:30pm? Especially after a full day at work?

The class was informative and the instructor nice, but I am a little disappointed because I think it will have more of a Lamaze spin to it than they advertise. I had thought it would be more technical/clinical, going through the stages of birth, hospital tour, pain management options etc. Maybe we will get more into it later.

I am probably a strange type of student to have in your class. There are two extremes of people, and I am somewhere in the middle. There are those that swear they will go natural, no matter what. They want no intervention. There is the other end of the spectrum where people want to start the pain drip with the first blip of pain amd are very fearful of labor.

I would "like" to go natural, but since I have never done this before, who knows if I will accomplish this. I am reading up and learning various techniques to try to make this possible. I don't have a lot of fear or anxiety about the process. I figure if other people can do it, so can I. I am a pretty calm person in general, and have a high pain tolerance. I trust my OB and those in his practice, because I have no other choice. I have to believe that they are not hell bent on doing a C-Section, inducing me for convenience, giving me an unnecessary episiotomy, or trying to hinder my "freedom" by putting monitoring devices on me or the baby. My goal in the process is to deliver a healthy baby, and not do anything to endanger either myself or the baby. It is not to have a "birth experience." If I have a positive birth experience in addition to a healthy baby, then that is just icing on the cake.

So, the point of this little soapbox rant is that I get annoyed when instructors try to make pregnant women think their doctors are out to get them and do procedures just to get insurance money or keep their scheduled golf game. I am sure there are doctors that do this, but I have to trust my OB or I shouldn't be going to him. I also don't like when they tell pregnant women that the process is almost completely without risk. I know it is a natural process that has been going on without medical intervention for thousands of years. However, women and babies used to die during childbirth. Medical technology and monitoring have lowered the incidence of this considerably. I have to think that modern technology can be used as a complement to a natural childbirth, and that they are not mutually exclusive. Anyway, off to bed because I am obviously very tired and cranky!

Monday, September 04, 2006

So Cute!

We went to visit the newest addition to the Schnell Family yesterday. Future Aunt Tara and Uncle Barry have picked up their 2nd pug, and she is just adorable! Her name is Madison, she is eight weeks old and weighs about three pounds.

For your viewing pleasure, here is Adam and Madison. We wanted to take more pictures, but our camera battery died.

Friday, September 01, 2006


I was taking a shower this evening while Adam was down at the boat. I had just spoken to him before I got in, and I knew he would be home within a half hour. So, as is my usual routine if I have the time, I like to sit on the floor of the tub for a while, stretched out and relax a little bit.

(Note to self: Another reason to keep the cleaning lady after the birth! I shudder to think what our tub would look like if we were left to our own devices)

Anyway, I had some soap on my back when I sat down (I have no idea why I didn't rinse it off first, I am very impulsive in my actions I guess), and also had the brilliant idea to try to shave my legs (unsuccessfully I might add). So here I am, stretched out in the tub with my head resting on the highest part, half covered in soap and holding a razor. I decide I need to get up to rinse off, and realize I am too low to have leverage with my arms, I am slipperly like an eel, and I have a giant baby pinning me down! Lovely visual for you all. I thought I would be stuck in there getting shriveled like a prune until Adam got home!