Baby K: Weeks 26, 27 and 28

Sunday, January 29, 2012

I can't believe we're already at 28 weeks with Baby K! I've experienced so many kicks and hiccups and just tons and tons of movement. We've also had a bit more of a "baby schedule" where Peanut wakes up kicking when my alarm goes off in the morning and is a pretty active mover in the afternoons and late evening. And, apparently, quite active at around 2 or 3 am when Steve comes to bed and I'm passed out cold.

I feel more pregnant in the fact that my belly feels heavier and my back has been hurting a little bit more. But I'm still moving around very easily, I'm not craving anything crazy, my ankles are still skinny (yay!), although my calves are fatter (boo!), and my belly button is still very much an inny.

At our last midwife appointment it was confirmed that we have a very "feisty" baby (as described by our midwife). Peanut was moving all around and she had a hard time tracking baby down to get the heartbeat. At the appointment before that, Peanut was kicking so much that the Doppler wouldn't register the heart rate. Quite the mover and shaker, our little one! I also did the dreaded glucose test at my last appointment with the horrible orange drink. Here's hoping I passed!

I'm also excited to share that I'm now blogging at Hellobee as Mrs. Hopscotch! I have been using Hellobee as a huge resource in baby planning (i.e. figuring out what to register for, learning what to expect when Baby K arrives), so I'm thrilled to be sharing our journey on the site. Check it out!

And now, onto the belly...

When we hit week 26, Baby K was as long as a hothouse cucumber.

At 27 weeks, Baby K was as heavy as a head of cauliflower...


...making my belly look like this.

And now at 28 weeks, Baby K is as heavy as a Chinese cabbage...

...making my belly look like this.

Oh my goodness, that's a big belly!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Don't worry, I'm not over here boozing it up at 27 weeks pregnant. But I am struggling with the crazy amount of water they say you're supposed to drink during pregnancy.

They say to aim for around 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day, or around 64 ounces. On some sites I've read as high as 80-96 ounces. You can also consider juice, tea, coffee and milk as going toward your intake, although one could safely assume that the majority of your fluid intake should be water.

While drinking a lot of water is overall really good for you and the baby, drinking plenty of water also helps you retain less water. Which, of course, could help save you from cankles! And if that's not the extra motivation you need to chug some H2O, I'm not sure what is.

I haven't actually taken the time to see how much I'm drinking over the course of an average day...I just hear 8 glass of water and cringe on the inside. Seems like a lot, no?

So, let me break it down...

I always start my day with about 8 ounces of orange juice at breakfast.

Here's my fluid line up for today at work:

I always have my pink Camelbak water bottle with me, which I finish by the end of the day. It's around 25 ounces. In addition, I always have another glass or bottle of water, equaling around 17 ounces. So just sitting at my desk, I manage 42 ounces! Not bad.

In the evenings after work, I only drink water. I have a large glass that I refill as much as I can. On average, I will fill it up twice, and the glass holds around 16 ounces.

Today is a rather, err, special day because it's a balmy 18-degrees outside. Which of course necessitated a Starbucks run on my way to work. I limit my caffeine intake to a few times a week, but with the colder weather it's difficult to stay away. So today I grabbed a tall skinny latte, which is 12 ounces. And then I saw the orange juice and just had. to. have. it. That's another 15 ounces.

So, on an average day (i.e. one where I go straight to work and avoid Starbucks at all costs) I consume about 82 ounces of fluids, of which 74 ounces is water. Not too shabby!

On a weird day like today, should I manage to consume everything sitting at my desk plus my usual evening water intake, I will have had about 109 ounces of fluid, of which 74 ounces is water.

Now that I've broken it down, getting all of the fluids the baby and I need (especially all of the water) is far less intimidating...and I'm actually not completely failing at it.

Cankles, stay far, far away from me!

(I promise to take pictures of my ankles right around my due date and we'll see whether or not I've managed to ward off the hated cankles.)

Crafting a Plan...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I'm a planner at heart. This, in many ways, made my wedding very easy (although time intensive!) because I could manage each and every part. Flowers, transportation, timing, cake, etc etc.

The things I've learned about pregnancy/babies: you can't control when you will get pregnant (it took us 6 months to finally get knocked up), you have no clue how you're going to feel at any point in the process (so you prepare yourself of nausea 24/7 just in case), and once you get closer to the due date, baby can show up whenever he/she very well pleases.

It's this last part that scares the utter and complete crap out of me. I can't plan my last day of work before maternity leave like I could my last day before my wedding/honeymoon. If I decide to start taking time off 1 week before my due date, I could end up sitting around my house for 3 weeks if I go 2 weeks over my due date. And since my practice does not typically induce labor, 2 weeks over is not uncommon.

What I can do to begin preparing myself is create a birth plan. A plan which, I know, may get thrown out the window depending on how our little peanut decides to come into the world. But at least getting someone down on paper will help me plan/think about the day.

Hire a Doula
For starters, we have decided to hire a doula. A doula is "someone who provides non-medical support to women and their families during labor and childbirth." We actually met with a fabulous doula this week and jumped at the chance to hire her. She was incredibly kind, has attended 38 births (and counting!) is a licensed massage therapist, and delivered with the same midwife practice 4 years ago.

Having a doula will help us in a variety of areas: allowing me to labor at home for as long as possible, advising on pain management techniques to help me achieve my goal of having a natural birth, giving Steve advise on different ways he can comfort me during labor, helping with breastfeeding once the baby arrives, etc etc etc.

Attendants at the Birth
I've decided just to have Steve and our doula in the room when I give birth. Family is welcome to come before and after, but I definitely don't think I would feel comfortable with anyone else there.

Laboring at Home
My hope is to labor at home for as long as possible, under the guidance of my doula. This will allow me to be more relaxed in my home environment, walk around as much as I need to, rest, whatever will be most comfortable. Since the hospital is a 10 minute drive away, we can get there quickly.


My hospital allows me to wear my own comfortable clothing while I labor. While a great option, I honestly think that once I arrive at the hospital, I'm just going to want to throw on the gown they give me and call it a day!

I can also bring snacks (there's a fridge in the room) and they will provide 3 meals a day. Again, I understand that eating might not be the first thing on my mind, but it's great that they encourage you to keep your strength up, as labor can be a long process!

Labor Props
I know that the room I'll be in should have a jacuzzi tub in it, but at this stage in the game, the thought of sitting in a tub while in labor is a huge turn off to me. Don't ask me why, but I'm not a fan! Since we haven't taken our childbirth class yet and I haven't done a lot of research on anything else, I'm not sure if I'll want to take advantage of a birthing stool or squatting bar, although I assume if it was considered helpful in the midst of labor, I'd go for it!

Pain Relief
I know that, as of right now, I don't want an epidural. I'm hoping to benefit from my doula's massage background and use acupressure and massage as a means for dealing with pain.

While not along the lines of "pain relief" something I do want to implement is goal setting. As a bit of background, I'm not the greatest runner in the world, so when I was really really really terrible at it and running with Steve he would always give me landmarks as goals to help keep me running (i.e. just make it to that mailbox...and when we would pass the mailbox...just make it to the next corner, etc).

Working with goals is something that resonates well with me. And labor has, of course, the ultimate goal at the end - a baby! I'm hoping to use goal setting to make it through each contraction (i.e. just make it through this next contraction). I read (somewhere) about a woman successfully using this technique to avoid an epidural.

Until recently, all I knew about pushing was what I'd seen on tv: when a nurse would see the contraction coming on the monitor and tell the woman to push. And this makes sense, because if you have an epidural, you may or may not know when you're having a contraction. I would like to be able to rely more on instinct when it comes to pushing, and potentially explore other positions beyond"lying with feet in stirrups."

I'd like to avoid an episiotomy if I can, and understand that I more than likely will tear naturally.

I want my baby with me immediately after birth and allow the umbilical cord to stop pulsating before it's clamped and cut (this is, apparently, healthier for baby). I'd like Steve to cut the cord if it's something he wants to do!

After Delivery
I want the baby to stay in the room with me as much as possible and if the baby has to leave the room, to have Steve go with him/her. Our hospital does 24-hour rooming in with the baby, which is what I would like.

I plan to breast feeding exclusively and will use the support of my doula as well as the lactation specialist at the hospital for any feeding issues.

Leaving the Hospital
I have no interest in leaving the hospital too soon! I will plan to stay for the suggested amount of time/amount of time my insurance provider covers.

I still have a lot to learn/think about/decide on as we get closer to the day. Overall, I have no super firm convictions about things (i.e. I want soft music playing while I stare at a picture of a calming waterfall while wearing my favorite t-shirt). But I know that I want to make choices that can potentially help me deliver a happy, healthy baby into a calm environment with the opportunity to bond right after birth. The rest we may have to just figure out as we go along!

*thanks to the Baby Center birth plan form as a guidelines for this post.

A nursery...pouf!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I've been working on a lot of nursery projects lately. Awhile back, I had ordered a bunch of fabric samples and thought I'd chosen a favorite. And then, when we'd moved into the house and painted the walls, I lined up all of the swatches we had and Steve and I both immediately chose Jessica Jones' Tulip.


It perfectly pulls together the colors we want: yellow, gray and blue and I would (personally) put a girl or a boy in the room with this fabric. Normally $16/yard, I found it around Christmas on sale for around $9/yard, so I quickly bought 6 yards so we'd have plenty on hand for curtains, crib skirt, etc.

One project I've had in mind, especially since we bought our rocker, was making a "pouf" to rest our feet on while sitting in the rocker. I had come across this tutorial and it seemed simple enough for me to tackle in an afternoon (and it was!).

I used the measurements the blogger provided to create my pattern. I opted to do the "small pouf" as it seemed like it would fit our space better. I taped a bunch of computer paper together to make the pattern, but in retrospect I realized wax paper or parchment paper would probably have been much easier.

I cut out 8 diamonds of fabric - 4 in the tulip fabric and 4 in a lightweight turquoise corduroy that I had leftover from another project (which happens to work perfectly in the nursery!).

Following the instructions, I sewed down one of the ends of each diamond about 3 inches (note: I messed up my very first one! The end you sew down is actually the top of the pouf, so I should have sewed the other end so the tulip was right side up...something to pay attention to depending on the pattern you're working with).

I then sewed together pairs of tulip and corduroy so that I had 4 pairs.

I think sewed together pairs so that I had 2 groups of 4 panels.

After that, I sewed together the 2 sets so that I had the complete pouf and flipped it inside out.

I had picked up this big box of stuffing and used almost all of it to stuff the pouf. The instructions also say you can use rags/fabric scraps as stuffing as well.

I stuffed my pouf nice and full, making sure I filled out the shape evenly and didn't have any lumpy sides.

I cut an 8-inch octagon out of the tulip fabric, finished the edges, and then hand sewed it onto the top of the pouf.

And...ta-da! The pouf works perfectly with the rocker.

I was able to kick back, put my feet up and relax after all of my hard work!

This was such a fun project that only took a few hours from start to finish and all-in-all only cost around $30 for fabric and stuffing (I probably way overpaid for stuffing since I purchased it on Amazon rather than going to the craft store).

Rocker Dilemma No More!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Awhile back, we were facing a nursery rocker dilemma. While completely a first world problem, I didn't want us spending hard earned money on something that we weren't 100% confident would be a good choice. If we couldn't find anything, I simply wouldn't have bought anything.

I had blogged about the Curtis Storm Rocker from CB2. Now, we love CB2 in our house. I'd estimated about 75% of our furniture is from there, and we have no regrets about a single purchase.

So, at $299.00 for this rocker, I thought it was a steal and couldn't wait to set my pregnant behind in this chair. Steve wasn't with me on that trip, but I didn't need a second opinion to know that this was not the chair for us. It felt a little flimsy and while not necessarily uncomfortable, it definitely wasn't what I'd called comfortable. Which, during a 3am feeding, I might enjoy a little comfort.

After leaving CB2, I wandered over to West Elm. I was looking for holiday decorations at the time, but then I saw the Ryder Rocking Chair and I swooned. Then, I sat down in it and I fell in love. While not over-the-top plush, for a non-armchair style of rocker, this chair offers definite comfort.

Unfortunately, I glanced down at the price tag, saw $599.00, and fell a little out of love. Sigh.

I've been stalking the Ryder Rocker on West Elm's web site for the past month, hoping against hope that I'd see it go on sale. No luck. But Steve and I started talking more seriously about what we wanted and what we were willing to spend, and seeing what was available in our budget ($300-ish), we both agreed that stretching the budget was what we needed to do.

So on Sunday, we headed on over to our local West Elm to pick up the very last rocker they had in stock! Using a 10% off coupon West Elm sent us last week (score!) and saving on shipping costs by picking it up ourselves (vs. ordering online) we ended up spending around $590.00 for our rocker. she is, fitting perfectly in our cozy little nursery. Love.

Baby K: Weeks 24 and 25

Monday, January 9, 2012

Time has been moving right along in the Koo household, which also means Baby K has been growin', growin', growin'! Peanut has been moving around like crazy and I've been able to starting tracking when I will feel movement (after I eat something, when still down to relax after a lot of activity, when I lay on my left side, when I wake up at 3am and can't get back to sleep because a certain little someone is a night owl...).

It's also been exciting/creepy/alien-esque seeing my belly start to move as the baby moves/kicks. Steve has finally been able to witness many of these occurrences so I know I'm not just seeing things.

On most days, I still wonder when I will start to feel pregnant. 95% of the time I don't really have any symptoms. But, the other 5% of the time I am reminded of the little baby inside of me. Usually in the evenings after I've had something sweet and the heartburn begins to make itself known. Yummy homemade chocolate chip cookies plus mint chocolate brownie ice cream on New Year's after eating pizza did not make ringing in 2012 as pleasant as I would have liked!

I also have finally come to the realization that I actually do look pregnant. All of the time. Recently at the grocery store, our bagger asked me when I was due. At the time I was wearing my H & M winter coat, which I thought still sort of camouflaged the belly.

The evidence, below, would say otherwise.

It took me a minute to respond to her as I tried to process why she would have asked me that question. As we left the store I finally acknowledged to myself that the belly is now out in full force. Which is really exciting, but definitely took a stranger to make me realize that what I've been thinking about for months and months is out there for everyone I meet to notice and comment on.

As we hit Week 24, Baby K was as long as an ear of corn (!!).

Which, in turn, made my belly look like this.

At Week 25, Baby K is as heavy as a rutabaga. Having no clue how heavy a rutabaga is (or, really, what it is), I'll leave that up to your interpretation.

However, I do know that my rutabaga baby is making my belly look like this.

Please don't mind my ridiculously scrubby attire in this picture. I just bought some new workout pants from Gap and can barely manage to wear anything else (they'd be on my right now if I thought I could pass them as "business casual attire" for the office).

I also plan to, at some point, show my face in another picture. When I actually have make up. And dry my hair on the weekend. And, in general, when I look somewhat presentable for public viewing.

So I'll instead leave you with Charlie's face, which is always presentable! While Steve was taking my belly shot, Charlie kept on whining until Steve pointed the camera at him. What an attention hog!

Baby Expenses To Date...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rumor has it, my baby will not come out as a bag'o'money. Since Baby K won't be paying his/her way, I want to manage expenses the best that I can. So today, I added up everything I have spent so far in relation to the baby. Duh duh duh.


We still have A LOT that we haven't purchased yet, and of course, have not had a baby shower at this point. So it's hard to anticipate what we will ended up buying before baby arrives (and of course, all of the things after baby arrives when we may end up buying anything/everything out of desperation).

At 25 weeks, we have spent a total of: $2,684.05 on baby and maternity related items. This breaks down to:

Maternity Clothes: $963.01
Nursery (crib, dresser, fabric): $590.72
Baby Clothes: $216.97
Cloth Diapers: $193.00
Healthcare (insurance co-pays, deductible, birth class): $587.83
Breast Pump: $237.99

Things we haven't purchased/paid for yet, but know we will, are:

Crib mattress: $130-ish
Rocker: $500-ish
Doula Services*: $500-$600
Childcare Class: $60
Car Seat (if not gifted to us): $180
Stroller (if not gifted to us): $200-$400
Miscellaneous medical bills: TBD
Breastfeeding Supplies: $100-ish
More cloth diapers/diapering supplies: $150-ish

*We recently started looking into a doula and I really think it's a good idea for us, especially with my interest in having a natural birth, although it wasn't something we were originally budgeted for.

And, of course, anything that isn't gifted to us at our shower but things we will need - stroller, car seat, pack-n-play, etc. I'm assuming, based on what I typically give at showers, we will have onesies coming out of our ears. No need to worry about Baby K being adequately clothed.

I'm also (apparently) adequately clothed at this point in time, judging from the biggest line item thus far being maternity clothes. Ugh. It's just so difficult going into your closet and not finding a thing to wear. And even $963 dollars later, I only have 2 pairs of maternity jeans, 3 pairs of work pants, a few work dresses, and a handful of long sleeved t-shirts, sweaters, and tank tops. I definitely feel like I have enough to get by until the end of April, but I've also found that it's such a learning curve knowing what you will want to wear as you expand. I blog post of maternity clothes is definitely forthcoming!

Maybe keeping a spreadsheet of baby-related purchases is slightly neurotic, but it definitely keeps me in check on my spending and knowing that every little thing adds up. And that what I've spent on baby clothes equals or exceeds the price of a big ticket item (mattress, breast pump, car seat, etc).

My hope is that tracking of expenses keeps my impulse buying at a minimum...