Tuesday, April 29, 2008

You're all baby!

I heard that phrase 2 times today at my 2, yes 2, appointments: "you're all baby." Given that the baby is around 3 pounds 10 ounces, and the fact that I weighed in at *gulp* 25lbs over my pre-pregnancy weight, I am not "all baby." I know, the increased blood volume, placenta, uterus, amniotic fluid, pizza dough chest, yadda yadda, but it is strange to think that Linus is still so little, and I am so much bigger. And that is all related to this week's concern d'jour--IUGR, intrauterine growth restriction. (I am not sure that French worked there. I only took high school Spanish, and just pretend to know French.) He measured slightly over the 10th percentile and showed to be 30 weeks 5 days at this morning's 32 week u/s, so he is down in weight and charting, but my belly measured "right on," and his heart is strong! I couldn't see much of anything in the u/s pictures, but my newest career for Linus is "diver." He is jack knifed in my belly: both feet are kicking my rightmost ribs, his bum is bumping my left ribs, and his head is so deep in my pelvis, I swear I thought the u/s was going to go from transabdominal to internal as she kept moving the u/s probe down, down, down...

Blood pressure? Still "high," but not increasing. 126/82 today. I don't get it. I think I'll see if I can convince Sour Kraut (a new nickname for my co-worker) to walk with me to CVS every day I am at the office to do the free BP monitoring. I still don't get this seemingly idiopathic BP increase.

Newest complaints (you mean you have MORE you say!?!): sleepless nights. Linus's head may be in a good position in terms of not being a breech baby, but it is also pressing on my bladder 24/7. Multiple trips at night to the bathroom. Sleeping in general is pretty uncomfortable; I honestly do more 3 point turns in the bed than I ever have in a car. Moving from one side to another is truly a process I have now refined. 1. kick away knee pillows, 2. move back pillow to tummy area, 3. lift legs to brace the belly move, 4. with strong legs, move the belly to the center of the bed, 5. drop legs to other side and position knee pillows, 6. reposition back pillow, and 7. pray that all this movement won't prevent you from falling back asleep for too long. Okay, so maybe it is a 7 point turn. I am also experiencing more frequent upset tummy episodes because he is squishing all my insides.

Newest joys: I have to acknowledge the good things, too! People love accommodating preggos. I have cut in line at Krizzle a few times, and have been given the best lines at the Farmer's Market, and more doors are being held open for me. And, after 40 minutes at a fast food chain, trying to get lunch for Eric's track staff, one of the workers finally said, "someone get them their food-she is pregnant and has been standing there a long time." I was hoping that the massive volume of food we were ordering (not just for the 2 of us, but for the whole staff at the region meet), combined with my swelling belly would draw some sympathy as they all would think, "that preggo is big, and HUNGRY!"

Sorry no pictures this time. My creativity is pathetic this week.

Gratitudes:

-Taking walks with Eric. Simply wonderful. Even though he came back from Boston sick, and immediately consumed with 3 weeks of region and state track obligations, we have had a few walks in our neighborhood, and it is so nice to spend that time with him-even in the thunderstorms!

-The approaching baby showers! For one if them, my mom, mom's friend (and essentially a "family" member), mother-in-law and father-in-law are all making the trip. It is going to be wonderful!

Nixed Names: *We are down to 2 first and middle name combinations! Both first names are different, and middle names are different. So, really just 2 choices. Eek! Emery (we loved this one. German, and we met at Emory University, which is close to the name), Eli, Liam, Calvin, Robert, Sebastian, Samuel, Marcus, Carter, Elliott, Henry, Max, Charles, Oscar, Noah, Isaac, Braxton, Hicks, Evan, Owen, Abe, Josef, Dylan, Griffin, Jens, Jan, Nevin, Emil, Milo, Luke, Lucas, Simon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green With Goodness

I cannot quite call the Atlanta Heintz clan green crusaders, but we have tried for the past few years to really reduce our environmental "load." With the advent of the pregnancy, our focus on safe and healthy lifestyle choices has amplified. (Well, there was the 18 weeks of me barely eating more than generic brand bagels and cream cheese with lemonade.) We try to reduce our consumption of refined sugar, and make as many of our meals at home as possible. As convenient as pre-packaged food is, it is usually injected with ridiculous amounts of salt and preservatives. Additionally, I have eliminated as many artificial sweeteners as possible. It's all about moderation. From my work at CDC, I realize now that eating "real" food in moderation is much healthier than relying on a menu of diet soda, "light" yogurt and sugar free prodcuts. With the recent hoopla concerning BPA and baby bottles, we do feel more confident in our (expensive) decision to opt for the Born Free bottles and glass bottles. A price we are willing to incur, especially since we both work full time and will rely on bottles for a good portion of Linus's feedings. And then there is the Nalgene/BPA catastrophe. About a year ago Eric and I switched to using Kleen Kanteen bottles, but still had Nalgenes kicking around the house. It's amazing how much sentimental value you place on water bottles-especially when adorned with fun stickers. Apparently, Nalgene is going to phase out their BPA bottles! Same thing with Tupperware. I didn't think Eric could be attatched to plastic storage containers, but I almost saw a glint of a tear in his eye when I started to recycle some of the aged Tupperware (I think it was from his mother's time with Tupperware! Nostalgic, perhaps...but the fact that it was peeling inside did not seem so safe. Now, I am phasing out all plastic wear and trying to change to all glass for storage.)

Almost a year ago we switched to making our household cleaners with the help of a great book, "Clean House, Clean Planet," and it is far cheaper (thanks to CD for the book rec). Basically, everything is some mix of organic essential oils, baking soda, Borax and liquid soap (NOT detergent like most dish soaps are). I have to say...the lavendar/lemon scented baking soda we sprinkle on the carpet prior to vaccuming is far better smelling than anything you can buy. I am glad our cleaning product routine has been solidified prior to the baby, so that it will be second nature.

CNN had a cover story on soaring food prices eliciting more "eco friendly" practices by American moms. I hope that people realize that the importance of making some life style changes is more than price gouging. Some of their suggestions resonante with what we are trying to do: buy generic for some items that don't compromise quality, make as many of your meals at home as possible, buy LOCAL (perhaps on par with buying organic), buy organic (especially strawberries, peppers, peaches and celery), plant your own veggie and herb garden (deck prohibitive!), make your own cleaning products...etc. I'm a big loser and intend on getting the "magic bullet" kitchen appliance so that I can make our own baby food. Good advice from Nana Anne, freeze portions in ice cube trays.

I've briefly commented on the diaper dilemma. Still not sure how it will pan out. Again, being a full time working mom, cloth diapering is not really an option, so we'll try the gDiapers and 7th generation.

The safe cosmetics database is a GREAT resource for safe body care recommendations. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/. California baby appears to have some safe cleaning products for babies, as does Dr Bronner's. I am actually now using Dr B's castille soap for just about everything-including cleaning my body. I have had some belly irritation and think it is related to the Dove soap, but it appears Dr B's is a good alternative. It's neat, I can use it to clean my dishes, hair, body, baby, everything! A non-baby related note: I just tried Alima cosmetics, and highly recommend their make-up. http://alimacosmetics.com/I don't wear a ton, but knew that the stuff I put on my face has tons of terrible chemicals. Alima has a wonderful jar return policy (but you must return with recyclable packaging), and is determined to provide safe and effective make-up.

I've commented a number of times our intention on reusing as many baby clothes (and some products) that we can. And will try to make conscious choices about the new products we buy. There is that whole lead insanity, too! So, we'll try to keep with natural and fair trade toys, nuks (aka pacifiers). I had a slight panic last night, realizing that we have NOTHING for the baby in terms of furniture, but after reading a helpful post from Schlotty on the Vanguard website, the recommendation is to WAIT to buy everything. You never know what the baby will need. Panic averted.

I think this amplification in my interest in greenness is my experience with "nesting." Who knows what the status of our living situation will be in the next few months, but wherever we land for the next year, be it in this same condo, or in a home, I would like to install a clothes line and convince my husband that if we are in the condo, we can still do some mini composting. Not sure that is possible...For the past few months we have been using a turkey baster to collect the water in the bottoms of our deck plants, and then rewater everything with it. It is sort of labor intensive, but gratifying. I think our neighbors think we are crazy.

I have listed some of my favorite blogs on the left, and there are a handful of green parenting ones if you are interested.

I found more "things that make you go awww!" They are called Animalz (not sure on the spelling, seen it a number of ways). Apparently they are a "safe" toy, and get really good accolades from the youngins. I read about these wooden figures in one of the blogs. Not infant friendly, but come on! They are wicked stupid cute. (Like that phrase?)


Gratitudes:
-Another easy one: THE DECK DEVIL HAS BEEN CAUGHT! Yes, I watched early yesterday morning as the Desantis squirrel trap captured the lil bugger heading straight for our bird feeder. My joy was soon deflated when I realized that I would have to hear the thing hiss and frantically try to get out of the trap all day until my husband came home after 8pm to drive him far away to release him. I threw bird seed in the cage and with a glove, and put him under the table for shade. It is strange-I kind of felt bad for him! Upon his release at a high school past the interstate (that thing better not cross 1-85 and find his way back to our home), Eric told me, "I could never be a hunter." Well, good! I was hoping that wasn't a new hobby to replace marathon training.

Nixed Names: Liam, Calvin, Robert (Sorry Dads! This was the hardest cut, yet). Sebastian, Samuel, Marcus, Carter, Elliott, Henry, Max, Charles, Oscar, Noah, Isaac, Braxton, Hicks, Evan, Owen, Abe, Josef, Dylan, Griffin, Jens, Jan, Nevin, Emil, Milo, Luke, Lucas, Simon.

"It's funny; the more hurt you look, the more cheers you get."

From Teddy Roosevelt, via Big D:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Words cannot express how emotional it was yesterday, tracking Eric through over 80% of a flawless marathon, to panicking as the last 20% appeared to indicate some tragic situation. "Refreshing" my screen obsessively while G-chating with Schlotty and Aunt T was enough to sideline me from eating, drinking, and keep me in my pajamas until 1pm.

I am so proud of Eric and his run. Maintaining a 6 minute mile pace for over 20 miles of a marathon is remarkable. Even more, realizing at that 20 miles that your hiccup in fluid and carb intake around mile 12 (his gel didn't agree with his tummy) would eventually bring you to your knees, and then deciding to truly be a hero and avoid long term injury and suffering by slowing down is even more remarkable in my opinion. Anyone who runs marathons knows that imperfect fluid/food intake during a race can land you in a situation where your muscles seize up, sidelining you for a painful death march. Was it awful? Of course. Was he in shape to run a sub 2:40? You better believe it. That's the marathon. One bump in the road early on can grow exponentially into a tragedy later on. (Anyone recall Uta at Boston with the terrible intestinal trouble? Poor woman was TAPED the entire time as she tried to run through the pain and embarassement of having her entire shorts and legs stained.)

Perhaps Eric's marathon shoes need some airing out for a few months, but I know he'll be back on the Boston course in the future...perhaps with his son by his side (or his wife!). Until then, I know he'll be satisfied working on shaving time off of his 5k, 10k and half marathon times.

Thanks to all who supported him in thoughts, prayers and internet tracking. :)

Gratitudes:

-I am thankful that my husband comes home late tonight! I wasn't there at mile 25 to give him a hug like his huge fan base, so we (Linus and mom) owe him a big one!

Nixed Names: Speaking of hiccups, there was a little hiccup yesterday in our naming progress due to an unforeseen, albeit blessed development in the world. We may have to reevaluate one of the top choices (my #1!), but I am thinking it is still in the running (no pun intended). And no, the name is not "boston" or "marathon." But you wouldn't be far off in terms of topic. Cryptic, eh???

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Boston Baked Belly

Eric is less than 24 hours away from tearing asphalt at the 112th Boston Marathon. Maybe it is the mother in me (EEK! Did I just say that?), or the fact that I am hundreds of miles away from him, but I am probably more nervous than I have ever been for one of his races. Thankfully, he is supported by my parents, his parents, and a third set of "parents" (Great Uncle Big D and Great Aunt G) up in Beantown. Well, Linus is nervous too, and has a message for his Dad:
(I swear I didn't tell him what to say!) If you are interested, you can follow Eric online, or if you are at home 10am EST, you can watch on the Versus network. I also want to wish good luck to the other ATC competitive team members running: Mike, Chris and Stan.

(*Note: as hard as it is to write on your belly backward, upside down, and with a lipstick brush, it is even harder wipe it off.)

I have decided that because I have all sorts of nervous energy to be wasted, and am running on little sleep as Linus set up a hammock on my bladder, and lounges there all night long, that this will be a disjointed and random post.

Non-sequitur #1:

Last night, I found this printed on a onesie on a new website, www.greenwithwhimsy.com. It should have been included in the previous post. Simply hilarious:Non-sequitur #2:

The Heintz family has started their spring/summer deck garden. The fig tree is sprouting leaves again, and we made a trip to Lowe's to pick out a bunch of flowers. It will take a few weeks for everything to mature into full bloom, but I think it looks pretty good! One of the pictures shows a little lizard, let's call him Waldo, who somehow crawled up three flights to our deck. I'll let you play "Where's Waldo?" with all of the pictures. I still need to master taking pictures, as I just can't ever get the artsy photos I want, but I did try to take a closeup of the unique gerber daisy we planted. We have learned so much about plants and what thrives on our ultra sunny deck, and I hope this year won't have as many casualties as in the past. We have also had to cover each pot and box with decorative rocks, as we have been suffering the wrath of a skinny squirrel digging into our soil to stash his booty of acorns. Eric has a hate-hate relationship with the rodent, and has tried everything from a broom, to a water spray bottle, to now our friend's rodent trap to get this guy. He is one brazen animal, and will soon meet his demise if Eric has anything to do with it. (In a humane way, of course...) You'll also notice Eric's wall of cacti and succulents. If you have ever been to our condo, you will notice that we have accumulated a fair number of desert plants. I am not quite sure where it came from, but my husband is obsessed with prickly plants and succulents. It is like tearing a kid away from a Wii (like that reference?) when we go to IKEA and have to tramps through the plant area on the way to the check-out. He gets lost in the plants, and I have to remind him that we have no more room and no more pots for plants. Oh, and pots! The boy drools even more when we get to the check-out area. Is it the smell of the $1 cinnamon buns? Think again; it is the area by the registers that houses the enormous, modern pots and plant holders. Okay, now I am mesmerized, too (although, the cinnamon buns are about just as tempting, and a lot cheaper), but without a house, our deck just cannot withstand any more pots. And perhaps as a way of connecting non-sequitur #1 and #2, I found the perfect gift for Linus and Dad. It is a recycled plastic indoor gardening set by Green Toys. It is manufactured in CA from recycled curbside milk containers. It is non-toxic, packaged in completely recyclable materials, and is pthalate and BPA free. The gardening set includes 1 peapod-shaped planter tray, 3 planting pots, 1 trowel, soil, and 3 packs organic seeds (Teddy Bear Sunflower, basil, zinnia). So maybe it is for kids age 5+, but I wouldn't put it past my husband to try and teach Linus how to plant sometime this summer.

Non-sequitur #3: new poll to the left!

Gratitudes:

- Let's shut me up and let pictures speak my gratitudes...



No Nixed Names...still battling it out with 7 names.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Things that make you go "awww!"

First, a warm thank you to everyone who answered the queries from the previous post. I'll let you know if my friend has any interesting insight to share from her presentation or class.

My ability to communicate effectively continues to dwindle, as does my grasp on daily tasks. Case in point- I was surprised to find my cereal bathed in grapefruit juice the other morning. Not sure how that happened; I would like to blame it on gremlins that live in the condo, but a) not sure that I want gremlins living in our condo, and b) the truth is, we all know it was during one of my pregnancy hazes.

Given the status of my mental functioning, especially after a long work day, I am just going to post pictures of items that have recently made me go "awww!" Note: I have not had a baby yet, and cannot attest to any of the items charm or functionality.

Papili toys: super-cute, fair trade and organic cotton plush toys from France. (Certified by the fair trade label Max Havelaar. That means the entire process--from growing the cotton to manufacturing-- adheres to strict fair trade standards.)



Downtime Organic Sleepy Hat: (description not written by me. I would like a review of it before trying): "It blocks out light and visual stimulation to help your baby fall asleep and/or have uninterrupted, restful naps when it otherwise would be difficult to do so.Designed with safety in mind...this hat is completely breathable, super soft, 100% organic, and very light-weight so that you can feel good about putting it over baby's delicate skin and eyes.Use it before and/or during your child's sleep to ensure a happy, well-rested child and to get some well-deserved Downtime for yourself. Ideal for travel or at home. Safe. Our Sleepy hat is made with safety in mind. All fabrics used in the hat are completely breathable. And because it is attached to a hat (unlike older child and adult sleep masks), there is no risk of strangulation.
Gdiapers: I know, I know. So much contraversy related to diapering. I am sure we'll experiment with it all, but there is something so cute about the Gdiapers, and I like the composting idea (for the non-poop ones). I hear that Gdiapers and 7th Generation diapers still have some sort of "gel" in them that isn't the best, but I just don't think cloth diapering is a realistic option for a child in daycare. Anyway, babies in Gdiapers certainly makes me go "AWW!"




Gratitudes:

-For the generous gift of a running stroller from Grand Nana and GGPJ (great grandpa John). I imagine it will get many miles of use.

Nixed Names(the list is down to 7): SEBASTIAN, SAMUEL, MARCUS (as in Marcus Aurelius...guess whose name that one was?), Carter, Elliott, Henry, Max, Charles, Oscar, Noah, Isaac, Braxton, Hicks, Evan, Owen, Abe, Josef, Dylan, Griffin, Jens, Jan, Nevin, Emil, Milo, Luke, Lucas, Simon.

Monday, April 14, 2008

URGENT REQUEST: Calling All Preggos and Former Preggos!

I have a special and urgent request for all of you who are currently pregnant, have been pregnant, or heck, like to put in their 2 cents on important issues! PLEASE RESPOND VIA COMMENT FUNCTION BY THURSDAY AT THE LATEST!

My friend, let's call her PIXIE (and this is not an imaginary friend) is in a class on universal design. She is exploring how a pregnant woman's needs change as pregnancy progresses (e.g. the picture of me in the "expectant mother" parking space). PIXIE would love if we could all weigh in on some additional examples of universal design, or areas in which we need universal design for preggos. Additionally, comments on society's response to what is in place or what should be in place is appreciated.

A more targeted question: do OB/GYN offices do anything in particular to pregnant women?

Some of my own thoughts:

For the first 18 weeks of my pregnancy, I would say that the only accommodation I was seeking was a sturdy waste basket to be attached to anything within arms reach of my body. That included my car, office, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. Truly, I was so sick, and actually losing a fair bit of weight, that I didn't notice the physical difficulties associated with pregnancy. Now that I am on the chunkeroo train, I have noticed quite a few changes that make every day life a little more difficult.

Pregnancy can affect a woman's ability to reach and bend, but it can also affect balance as well as the ability to breathe easy. I am not quite at the point where I am dramatically affected by my bodily changes, but do notice things are more difficult: tying shoes, shaving, walking up stairs, etc. I also notice strange things...like toilet seats are too low. I don't like my belly sitting on my legs. Exploring my office environment a bit more, my desk is currently okay, but I can imagine that many people have trouble pulling up to a desk with a belly. There are a few places that have "expectant mother" parking, but I have only seen 1 in Atlanta, and there certainly is not one at my office complex (the irony is that the closest entrance, the back "freight" entrance, is always sprinkled with smokers, so my shorter walk is tainted with cigarette smoke).

I am finding seat belts to be uncomfortable now, too. I haven't figured out a way to make it so that the lap belt part doesn't hurt my lower belly.

Some other observations: I don't like lying directly on my back. Therefore, acupuncture is not as "fun" and I imagine I will dislike being at the dentist this week as I am not only on my back, but launched backward, making it even more difficult to breathe.

Stepping into the shower is actually a bit more difficult. I have to do a sort of hurdle, and avoid my belly...with a slick tub, this is danger just waiting to happen. The bottom of our tub has some sort of textured circles, but they provide little to no traction. I think tubs don't accommodate ANYONE in this capacity-pregnant or not.

In terms of my particular OB/GYN office. There is no separate parking for preggos versus other gyn patients. (May I also add that they always have the heat on way too high). Additionally, the chairs in the waiting room are "pretty" but not particularly comfortable for pregnant women. I wish I could say that the office makes special accommodations for the preggos, but they really don't. It would be great if they could provide seating, both in the waiting areas, and in the examination room, more conducive to a pregnant woman's body. The chairs kind of hurt the back, and if they put you up on the table and tell you to wait, I end up lying down because I need some sort of back support. The office only has 1 set of stairs, and they just happen to be the only entrance (unless you go to the back to the handicap entrance...but it does not say preggos can use it, too). Stairs aren't a pregnant woman's best friend.

The "people movers" they have at the Atlanta airport are a great invention. They are the "flat" belts on the ground that move. I always still walk when I am on them, but they are helpful...pregnant or not!

I am sure a lot of you have some great additions to this topic. Please respond! If any strokes of genius bubble up in my head, I'll add some more thoughts. (The "genius" part is unlikely...coming from a girl who put grapefruit juice in her cereal this morning.)

Gratitudes:

-I am thankful for Skype. It's free, and a great way to video communicate with loved ones. Eric and I got to "talk" to my parents the other night over the computer. It was a treat! They were able to see, live, my fat belly and Eric's lumberjack beard. This is going to come in handy when I deliver...we'll be able to use the hospital's wireless to send live video of Linus to those loved ones far away. I highly recommend downloading this program. And if you do, let me know!

As this is an untraditional post, I am not going to do names. Eric and I are really starting to get serious, so we will have some additional deletions in the next post!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ms. Olive Juice Phlebotomist

I POPPED AGAIN!

That one is just for fun. More later in the post.

Ah, Ms. Olive Juice Phlebotomist. First I had the wonderful Tracy Ultrasound, and now I have had an experience with Ms. Olive Juice Phlebotomist during my 3 hour fasting glucose tolerance test (the whole ordeal was 4 hours, though).

(If you don't get the "Olive Juice" part, go to a mirror...mouth the words "olive juice" quickly, and see what it looks like you are saying. If you still don't get it, mouth the words silently to a friend. See what s/he thinks you are saying.)

There have been a handful of grumpy medical assistants, nurses (and let's not forget Dr. Evil!), but the few wonderfully nice ones make up for the rotten eggs. Upon reaching the lab, hungry and surly, I met Ms. Olive (as her lab coat indicated). She was a ray of sunshine, and cheered me right up, even though she knew that I was about to endure 4 blood draws and 4 hours of additional fasting. For some reason, I like that she called me "hun." For many, I know this is demeaning, but I kind of like it. I actually dislike that many medical professionals call me "Miss / Ms. Heintz." Perhaps it is protocol, but it sounds too formal. Call me by my first name, please. Anyway, Ms. Olive was just what I needed in a phlebotomist for the 3 hour GTT test. Although, not even Ms. Olive could take away the intense hatred I had for the glucose drink I was forced to consume. Do you all remember the "orange" drink from McDonald's way back? Imagine that, but sweetened beyond belief...like you know your teeth are rotting the second it hits your lips. It was atrocious. And it was another "college flip cup" moment when I had to chug a huge bottle as fast as I could...knowing if I threw any of it up, I would have to repeat this nonsense. Well, it's over, and I just got called from the OB office...I had 1 abnormal, but all the rest normal, so...I AM NOT DIABETIC! Thank you jeebus (as KB would say).

On the subject of being friendly and calling people by name, I challenge you all to call someone you don't know well by his / her first name. For example, the check out clerks. (They have name tags for a reason.) I have been told that I am one of those people who will talk to anyone, and subsequently, can attract the "crazy ones." Being pregnant has only amplified my comfort in talking with people. I guess I feel safer while pregnant...no one wants to upset a hormonal preggo! For example, when "Swan" was painting my toenails when KB and I got our pedis at 10Ten nail bar, she introduced herself as "Swan." I said, "nice to meet you...could you repeat your name?" I didn't quite believe it was Swan; well, it was. Upon leaving, Swan was putting the pedicure flip flops back on me, and not my own. I said, "Swan, could you please put my flip flops on instead?" For some reason, just using her name makes me hope that she feels that I am paying attention to her and value her work. Now, I do know the difference between being friendly and being naive...

Take for instance, the guy standing next to me at the Farmer's market with 8 lbs of $0.59/ lb "meat product" that he told me he uses to feed his dalmations. Seriously. That was the price. I smiled, waiting to just get my 1lb of organic beef, which just happened to be located next to the, dare I say, "meat" this man was buying. He continued, "it is the best and cheapest dog food." Okay, so maybe I egged him on with, "don't the bones hurt the dogs?" And so began the conversation. Rather, him talking at me, and me nodding, trying to be friendly to a man who clearly doesn't communicate with beings outside his 25 dalmations. It ended with him asking if I wanted a free dalmation puppy. Telling him I was pregnant and having a baby and that my HUSBAND and I were trying to move didn't resonate with him. His response:

"Well, I'll let you have one. Free of charge. If you don't like it, you can return it to me. Do you use the Internet?"

Me: "Sometimes."

Crazy meat man: "Well, I have posted a lot of Christian literature on there. If you go do a search for (I forget the phrase, but it was something religious), you'll find all of my stuff. I am really lonely, and I sleep with my dalmations. They are the best pets. My brother is trying to sue me, but he has no ground to stand on. Could you please pray for me? My name is Paul."

With that, he walked away...both hands full of bags of meat scraps...I did say a quick prayer for him, but not about him being sued. I also said a prayer for myself, hoping that he wasn't waiting outside in the parking lot with a car full of dalmations, 8lbs of meat product, and more requests for prayers. He was definitely lonely and a little "off," but not lonely enough that I would get in a car with him or offer to carry his meat product to the car.

In addition to the "gift" of having Ms. Olive Juice Phlebotomist take care of me this week, I also received such stinkin' cute gifts and packages from people, it makes my heart melt. First, Aunt S and Uncle S sent the most thoughtful gifts. I had to take a picture of one of them: his name is Egypt. He is the cutest baby toy from the eco-friendly company "Under the Nile." Well, we immediately named him Egypt. Why can we come up with his name faster than Linus's? We are surely not naming Linus Atlanta...


I also got a GENEROUS box of gently used clothes and diapers from Aunt T. I love that we are able to reuse so many things, and even though we are going to try to steer away from disposable diapers, they were already purchased by someone who didn't need them anymore. If they are going into a landfill, they might as well have Linus's poop and pee in them. :)

Finally, more belly pictures. The one of my stomach up close may make you sick. I was trying to get a picture of the blue vein action without resorting to a rated "R" picture of my pizza dough bags. (Don't mind the yoga outfit.)



I think I look like my mom in the one directly below. Not sure why. Obviously, it is not about my arms as hers were JACKED, and mine are nice and, well...soft.


One final note to potential preggos: if you have a fear of needles or giving blood (ahem, Schlotty), start some therapy now. I think I have had more arm sticks over the past 7 months than I have had in my entire life: hCG levels, AFP test, CBCs, 24 hour urine and kidney test, 1 hr GTT, 3 hr GTT, and then numerous sticks at Emory University, where I am enrolled in an observational clinical trial. My arms look like I either shoot a lot of heroin, or someone punched that tender area inside the elbow (There has got to be some funny anatomical name for that area...like "squeegy" or something.)

Gratitudes:

-This is easy. For ALL of the support I have received over the last week as well as the last 7 months. Heck, my whole life! Words cannot describe my gratitude. This darn baby is loved for sure...


Nixed Names: Carter, Elliott, Henry, Max, Charles, Oscar, Noah, Isaac, Braxton, Hicks, Evan, Owen, Abe, Josef, Dylan, Griffin, Jens, Jan, Nevin, Emil, Milo, Luke, Lucas, Simon.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Is this some sort of joke?

I debated on whether or not to post, but am just having one of those days when you just need to vent. Long story short: I took a glucose test at last Friday's high risk and ultrasound appointment to check for gestational diabetes. I was called today saying I didn't pass, and need to go to a lab for a 4 hour period to have my fasting glucose checked out. Unbelievable. This is awful to say, but it is days like these that I get so angry at my body and wonder if they are signs from somewhere else telling me that I am not supposed to have a baby. I've tried to live a healthy, active lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a well-balanced diet. I have never had hypertension or diabetes. I get pregnant; morning sickness beyond belief; start to feel good; can handle food finally; feel up to exercise; then SMACK! I develop gestational hypertension. Well, there goes the exercise. I am told brisk walking is even a little risky. Followed by: uh-oh, your baby is too small. More tests. Then, this glucose test, and the possibility for gestational diabetes comes into the picture. What is the treatment? Moderate exercise. Wait, I can't do that because of the hypertension!

Maybe there is some bigger lesson in all of this, but to be honest, today I am feeling selfish and angry. I'd rather read about the lesson than live it.

Gratitudes:

-This is hard on days like today. I am thankful for a lovely day planting some beautiful flowers on the deck with Eric.

No Nixed names. I haven't consulted the husband. Apologies.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Thanksgiving came early at the Heintz household...

You know those turkeys that come with pop-up thermometers? I have never felt so akin to my favorite Thanksgiving poultry delight. Since my last post, I have noticed some dramatic changes in my body:

  • My "inny" belly button "popped" out like the turkey thermometer. When I tell you that I had an "inny," I mean I had a deep, dark, scary tunnel of a belly button. I am almost certain it could have been classified as a black hole. Well, I noticed last week that I could see the inner workings of my belly button as it is almost flush with my belly! (Warning, this photo may disturb some viewers.)
  • Speaking of the belly, I certainly feel like I am much bigger. I still get the occasional, "you cannot be 28 weeks...you are so tiny!" "Why are you so small? Is something wrong?" (I think I might carry my belly shot progression to show people that this IS big for me. Plus, when people don't know that your baby potentially has intrauterine growth restriction, and you are ashamed to admit that you have looked at the Internet and aren't ruling out delivering a primordial dwarf, or a baby with progeria, the comments seem harmless.) I have gotten the "you are really filling out" from a co-worker. Although, I am not sure that comment sits well with me, either. My belly may be small, but Linus is still doing wild circus tumbles. I have likened Linus's kicks to "popcorn" in the past. Not so much anymore...he uses quite a bit of force to kick and punch the right side of my belly. My belly feels heavy, too. I feel like I am smuggling a big honeydew melon.
  • Speaking of smuggling food, in addition to the melon, I also feel like I am carrying 2 big bags of room temperature pizza dough in my bra. This gratis breast augmentation is no longer a welcome gift. I may be in the minority, but until they serve their purpose for Linus, they just get in the way. Sticking with the food theme, (I am visual person, people!), is their blue cheese pizza dough? Perhaps that is the most accurate description. I guess this is normal, but the veins in my midsection are SO obvious now. From my neck on down, my skin is incredibly transparent, and you can see the whole network of veins.
  • Speaking of skin, I am about ready to scratch it all off! And I thought winter itch was bad. My belly feels so tight and itchy, and my thighs are screaming for me to grow my nails out. The thing about this itching is that the more you scratch, the more it itches! Luckily, I have moisturizer with me all of the time, and will do a quick belly slather when no one is looking. I really enjoyed the free sample of Curel pregnancy moisturizer that I got through one of Schlotty's daily "free sample" e-mails. It lasts incredibly long, and smells nice, too.

  • Speaking of smelling, I have noticed a dramatic increase in my congestion. It is not that my sinuses are full of mucus, but I can tell the blood vessels are swelling, and contribute to a constant feeling of "stuffiness." Why wasn't this adaptation more prominent in the first trimester when the very thought of a noxious smell made me gag?
IN HONOR OF AUNT T'S 30TH, HERE ARE THE MOST RECENT BELLY SHOTS SHE SO REQUESTED. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Before you all start judging the elastic waist pants on the next few shots, let me tell you that they are the most comfortable pair of chinos I have ever worn. They are still a little baggy in the rear end, but I am easily working on filling out that area (much like my arms and pizza dough chest). And at $10.99 clearance (thank you Old Navy), you can't go wrong.
Here are some face shots for my mom. Perhaps I look "wan" in these, too...that is what happens late at night.



And this is my "I feel full and portly!" pose.
And the classic. You can't forget my better half (I love him so much, it gives me the chills! Can't you see my hair stand on end? Oh wait, that's my crazy cowlick coiffure).



Gratitudes:

-I am grateful for SPRING! I do know that the allergy fairy, sprinkling her yellow fairy dust all over, just about drives the city nutty, but I would rather deal with pollen on my car than snow. Plus, snow just turns into grey, sludge, whereas the pollen is always followed by beautiful blossoms and weather. I don't have allergies, but can empathize now with my pregnancy congestion.

-I am thankful that Eric's parents are able to see him run the Boston Marathon on April 21. As I am stuck in Atlanta with my high risk status, I am not going to be able to travel up to Boston in a few weeks. I am thinking about taking some PTO and watching it live on Versus network at home. I do feel good about him having his 4 parents there to cheer him on!

-I am also incredibly thankful and grateful for (great) Aunt GF's health. We love her dearly, and glad things are okay. (Those who need to know will understand.)

Nixed Names: MAX, CHARLES, Oscar, Noah, Isaac, Braxton, Hicks, Evan, Owen, Abe, Josef, Dylan, Griffin, Jens, Jan, Nevin, Emil, Milo, Luke, Lucas, Simon. NOTE! We are now down to 12 names on our list.