Tuesday, March 30, 2010

He's a stubborn little bug

The bad news is that the Bean is still breech. The good news is he shows absolutely no interest in dropping or otherwise getting ready to be born.

I'm starting to think he's just comfortable. He's got his spot and he likes it and he's not planning to move anytime soon.

Except that he'll have to because he's already pushing 7lbs.

So! To that end . . . I'm scheduled for a version attempt on Thursday. This is sort of what a version looks like. Except I'll have two doctors instead of one, Bean will be on a heart monitor the whole time, and I suspect the woman in that video was given pain meds which I won't be (per my doctor's and my own preference).

The version could be successful, in which case Bean will be turned and I'll go about my merry way for the next few weeks waiting to go into labor. It could be unsuccessful in which case I'll go about my way waiting to go into labor, but very UN-merrily since I'll know I'm almost certainly doomed to a csection. The version could work but break my water, in which case I'll have to deliver one way or another within 24 hours. Or it could NOT work and break my water, or the Bean's heart rate could get iffy, and in either of those cases I'd wind up with an emergency csection.

We'll have our hospital bags and the car seat in the car when we go in for the version, just in case. Which obviously blows my freaking mind.

If the Bean were to arrive on Thursday or Friday though? We'd be ready for him: his room is done, his clothes are washed, we have diapers, our freezer is stocked for nuclear war.

Craziness. Right?!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Turn over, little man!

Something had to go awry eventually. I've had seriously the most normal, easiest pregnancy ever and things were just too damn lucky.

Bean is breech.

I'm 35 weeks. I'm not engaged/dropped at all which is good . . . nor am I dilated or even effaced by much (HI! LETS TALK ABOUT MY CERVIX!). He's got time to turn . . . this could really be so much worse.

Last night I spent a lot of time in various upside-down-like positions which was . . . unusual. I freaked my poor husband right out by asking him to spot me in a shoulder stand ("BUT YOU ARE EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT!"). I also annoyed the shit out of poor Bean by trying to herd him downwards with the aid of a flashlight.

I've got an appointment with a homeopath and chiropractor tomorrow to try a few turning techniques. One, the Webster Technique, sounds pretty reasonable and promising. The other involves burning sticks of herbs next to my pinkie toes. Keeping all avenues open, here.

If all of that fails (and really, I don't see how the pinkie toe thing could fail, right?!) I'll have to go to the hospital for an external version attempt during the first week in April. And either that goes well . . . or it goes poorly and I end up having an emergency c-section on the spot. No pressure there or anything.

I'm frustrated.

Up until yesterday I've really been looking forward to labor and the birth. I felt prepared . . . like I'd studied and read and learned all I could and like I could handle the pain and have a positive experience.

A c-section isn't something I feel "prepared" for. Not being able to hold my baby for hours after the delivery? NOT PREPARED. Several weeks of excruciating recovery? NOT PREPARED. Having to wait eons before I'm capable of resuming normal-ish household activities and the prospect of having to ask for SO much help? Kind of freaking me out, to be honest.

And to do all that WORK to prepare then not ever even be in real labor? Well, that'd just suck.

I'm trying to be positive and trust that he'll turn. He's an active little dude . . . constantly kicking and rolling and bouncing around in there. There's a distinct possibility that he just HAPPENED to be head up when the ultrasound was done and that he's flipped around a few times since then. Have I felt him flipping? I've felt lots of activity . . . but I just plain don't know anymore. I've spent the last two weeks thinking he was FOR SURE head down. My doctor felt him and agreed at my last appointment! I've might have been mistaking head-butts for kicks all along. I don't trust myself anymore.

Not only do I doubt what I'm feeling . . . I feel like I've done something WRONG. I know, it isn't rational, but consider that this is coming from someone who is going to have herbs burned near her toes tomorrow.

Any positive turning related thoughts you could send Bean's way would be much appreciated!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hospital Bags

So! I packed them the other night!


Bean's Diaper Bag:

Baby hairbrush and comb (I don't even know if he has hair!)
3 diapers
Small pack of wipes
Changing pad
2 burpies
A cloth diaper
A nursing drape
2 flannel receiving blankets
2 pairs of socks
2 0-3 month white tee shirts
3 pairs of 0-3 months sweatpants (Each pair goes with a different top. Shut up.)
1 0-3 month airplane hoodie
1 0-3 month star wars onesie
1 0-3 month guitar shirt
1 newborn footie sleeper
2 hats
[NOTE: I cannot be talked out of bringing this many clothes. Don't bother trying.]

My bag:

2 pairs of PJ pants (I'm holding out hope they'll let me wear them to walk the halls while I'm in labor. If you know otherwise, LA LA LA LA LA I'M NOT LISTENING.)
2 big t shirts
2 nursing tanks
2 hoodies
1 robe
4 pairs of socks
Lots of underwear (that I wouldn't care if I had to toss)
Flip flops
Going home outfit (Black drawstring cargo pants and a drapey top)
Belly Bandit
Breast Pump (I'm hoping the lactation consultants can show me how to use it, and they sell Medela parts at the hospital in case I need to be fitted . . . right? Sensible? Or totally unnecessary to bring?)
Bag of labor things (tennis balls, gum, mints, hard candy, lotion, gatorade mix packets, mini fan, ipod and ipod speakers, lip balm)
Cameras, batteries, memory cards, video camera, chargers, cell phones, laptop . . . OBVIOUSLY

Big ass things that won't fit into bags but we're bringing anyways:

Exercise Ball
Pregnancy pillow

Also: Carseat, husband, husband's overnight bag.

So . . . what am I forgetting?

Friday, March 12, 2010

White Bean Cassoulet

For our anniversary on Wednesday night, Boy and I went to Luna Park. It is one of our favorite restaurants because they have a) killer macaroni and cheese b) S'MORES FOR DESSERT and c) a Scotch menu featuring 3 Islay varieties for the Boy. Did I mention the S'mores? Because, seriously? There are S'mores. With dark chocolate ganache, homemmade graham crackers and molten marshmallow that comes out in a little ramekin suspended over a candle.

We always order the mac and cheese with a few other things to share. Boy won't order meat there because the mac and cheese is seriously that good . . . and since we'd feel silly getting TWO orders we try to round out with salads and soups and whatnot. This time we tried the Vegan White Bean Cassoulet and, while I quite like beans, my hopes weren't THAT high . . . considering we were also going to have a plate of MAC AND CHEESE, you know?

Internet: I barely touched that mac and cheese.

The white beans were INSANE. You could tell they were dried beans to begin with since they still had a bit of a bite to them and they were cooked just perfectly in the most amazing garlic-y (but not too garlic-y) broth with halved cherry tomatoes and chard, of all things, which I'd never even TRIED before but which was absolutely perfect. And the kicker? The whole thing was topped off with the most gorgeous, fresh herby pesto.

I'm not really exaggerating when I say that I went home and DREAMED about white beans.

I wanted to try to recreate the recipe while everything was still fresh in my head and so last night I gave it a shot and came, I think, pretty damn close. I've got the leftovers for lunch today and they're singing to me like sirens from the corner of my desk. That last bit could just be because I'm pregnant.

Vegetarian White Bean Cassoulet

- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only chopped finely
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 smallish carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely diced
- 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic, sliced thinly
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1 lb dried white beans
- 8 cups cold water
- 1 sturdy branch of thyme
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 2-3 stock cubes
- about 1/2 a bunch of chard, washed, sliced up the middle vein and chopped into chunks
- 4 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
- salt and pepper to taste
For the pesto:
- 3 green onions, washed and trimmed
- a bunch of italian parsley, washed
- a big handful of basil, washed
- about 3 tblsp water
- about 3 tblsp olive oil
- salt

- Set olive oil and butter in a large dutch oven to melt. Add leeks, carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook a few minutes until beginning to soften
- Add white beans, water, thyme and bay leaves (but no salt or stock yet) and set to a low simmer
- Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or so, uncovered, until beans are soft
- Add stock cubes, chard and tomatoes (and a bit of additional water if necessary), cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so more to combine flavors and lightly cook chard and tomatoes
- Meanwhile, place herbs, olive oil, water and salt in a food processor or blender (I used our Magic Bullet!) and puree until smooth
- Makes 4 big servings, each topped with pesto and excellent served with crusty sourdough

Counting the minutes until lunchtime . . .

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

All Hail The Running Water

One shitty thing about being a homeowner is that there is nobody to ring up when something breaks. And usually when things break they're things you hadn't been counting on mucking with. Also: things that are EXPENSIVE to repair. For instance: $300 worth of dishwasher pump and oven starter, respectively.

So on Tuesday night when our kitchen sink sprayer BROKE OFF IN MY HAND OMG I was ticked, obviously, but also kind of pleased because FOR ONCE the thing that broke was something we'd been meaning to replace anyways. Up until Tuesday it was functional at least, but it was white, plastic, old, grubby, just generally not great. Boy and I had been talking about replacing it with a shiny chrome model since the day I moved in to the condo.

Of course, replacing things with a gun to one's head is never "fun". We are in the process of refinancing and had an appraisal set for yesterday afternoon so we obviously wanted a functional kitchen faucet in before that. And as much as I may have enjoyed insisting on takeout for four days running because I couldn't wash any dishes, living without a kitchen sink just wasn't going to fly for very long.

We found a gorgeous chrome faucet on Amazon which was inexplicably described as unable to ship to CA or VT (?!?!) but I decided to be a rebel and order it anyways. And it arrived!!! HA HA TAKE THAT MOEN/AMAZON. It is installed now and there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO GET IT BACK SO NEENER NEENER!

Shipping worry aside, we were thrilled with it once we had it in hand because it was ACTUAL METAL CHROME whereas a lot of the faucets we'd seen at home improvement stores were merely plastic painted to look like chrome. Win!

Boy planned on calling our plumber to install the faucet but I opened the box up and decided the instructions were really simple . . . so I talked him into doing it himself. He bought a basin wrench and started working Friday night while I was at a baby shower and, internet, I FULLY EXPECTED him to be totally done by the time I got home. Little did I know.

I got home at 9pm to this:

Poor Boy had been working on ONE STUPID BOLT since 7pm and it had barely budged. I left him to his wrenching while listening to NPR podcasts, figuring I'd be better off staying out of his hair since it wasn't like Bean and I could fit under the sink to help anyhow. Around 10pm he was ready to give up . . . but we realized that he'd loosened the bolt enough that we could fit my jeweler's saw in the gap between the faucet and the sink and, potentially, saw the bugger off.

Home improvement projects inevitably come to this. The use of the jeweler's saw.

So! We did manage to get the faucet off and thought we were home free until we realized that the ugly, mucky, 80's soap dispenser was all but CEMENTED to the sink. An hour's worth of work we managed to pry it off with screwdrivers and hammers. I shit you not.

It is 11:30 at this point and Boy and I are both feeling pretty giddy over the prospect of FINISHING this project, since the new faucet's install instructions were so basic. ALAS we had not counted on our water lines all being slightly different sizes than the faucet's hookups.

We made a run to OSH in the morning (Seriously? NEVER going to Home Depot again. Not only did we find someone willing to help us at OSH, we found someone WHO KNEW WHAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT). It took about half an hour in the store, but we left with a bag full of metal thinggies and tubes and 45 minutes later, WE HAD RUNNING WATER OMG.

I'm pretty proud of the husband, gotta say.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bean Blocks!

I saw these darling baby blocks via OhDeeDoh and knew I just HAD to make a set for the Bean. The original tutorial comes from Smile and Wave. After one quick glance at the instructions, anyone who had to take geometry in high school could easily pull off the assembly. 6 equal sized squares sewn into a cross shape then stitched up the sides to make a cube. I picked flannels in primary colors and three different black and white prints for Bean's blocks. I interfaced the black and white fabrics, since they were a little on the filmy side. I also added jingle bells inside the blocks (sewn into little pouches of flannel so they'd be un-swallow-able if Bean ever were to break into a block). I made these blocks with 3 inch squares and, since I plan to make 6 blocks (3 that jingle and 3 that don't) I think 3 inches is a nice, stackable size. If you were planning to make one or two or three though I'd go with the tutorial's original instructions and make them 6 inches high since I think the extra size would serve to cut down on the puffy, overstuffed look my smaller blocks have.

They're slightly wonky and imperfect . . . but I'm hoping the Bean will like playing with them anyways!

Monday, March 1, 2010

So! Busy!

Here's pretty much what I've contended with this last week or so:

20th: A Bat Mitzvah with errands and starting a sewing project sandwiched between the service and the party
21st: Hike with an old friend followed by lunch followed by skulking into our three hour childbirth class 20 minutes late
22nd: Worked ten hours straight, got yelled at by an abusive pedestrian on the way home, cried, worked for 3 hours on new items for the Etsy shop
23rd: Infant CPR class after work
24th: Friends over for dinner
25th: Out with family for dinner
26th: Errands on the way home from work (Target, Joann, full on grocery shopping)
27th: Insane cleaning of the bathrooms and rest of condo, baked cookies, made a few bits of jewelry, dinner with family friends
28th: TAXES! And what fun they were. All 4 hours it took us to do them. With a big fat bill at the end. Followed by 3 hours of childbirth class, dinner out with Boy's cousin, sewing a gift for a party on Friday, finishing off the shower favors (47 of them!) and making seven items for the shop

I'm looking forward to a somewhat calmer week this week . . . I can cross my fingers at least, right?

There are PLENTY of projects worth blogging about . . . the baby blocks I'm sewing for Bean, the embroidery project I'm starting for his room, some new jewelry pieces and collections I'm working on. Unfortunately though, everything has been in such a state of chaos lately that I don't really have anything finished to show off. So, in this space, just picture me furiously sewing and stringing beads between working, errands and spending time with friends and family and you've got a fairly accurate picture of my life at the moment.

Bean is doing really well. He's kicky and hiccupy and has developed this cute new habit of sticking one foot out then taking it back after I've acknowledged him by rubbing it. It is almost like he's checking to make sure I'm still here . . . the same way I poke around to make sure he's still where he belongs.

We're getting soooooo close to meeting our little bug. I'm 32 weeks now . . . technically due in 8 weeks but we all know how that goes. Due dates are really a 5 week range, so we'll see. He'll come out when he's good and ready! Part of me thinks he'll be ready early, since he spends most of his time trying to kick his way out anyhow.

Question for the mamas: What did you have around the house that was really helpful, or what did you wish you had, for those first few weeks? I've started stocking us up: newborn diapers, q-tips and alcohol for his cord, baby tylenol and single serving formula packets just in case, the biggest maxi pads I could find, healthy foods in the freezer (brown rice, veggie potstickers, frozen peas) and pantry (whole wheat cous cous, pastas, canned tomatoes). Obviously, never having done this before (!), I know I must be forgetting something basic . . . some little thing that would make those first few weeks at home a little easier. Any suggestions are welcome!