Monday, October 6, 2014

September 2014

Baby shower was September 4. So I guess that should be included in this post. But me and my pregnant brain included it in August. Whatever. 

Partied it up in Henderson with this cute thing for her 4th birthday.

I flew back to Rexburg from Las Vegas by myself. A one hour plane ride for $38 sounded so much more pleasant than a 10+ hour car ride. This also left David free to stay in Panaca and hunt longer. He drove back on Saturday up the 93. The I-15 was closed off due to flooding that literally took the road away in Logandale, NV.  I would write more about that craziness, but it's getting late. Suffice it say, Panaca- little, old, little, little Panaca- became a boom town for a while as traffic was diverted up to and through it's Main Street. bumper to bumper for days. Days is not an exaggeration.

The week that I was home by my lonesome, I ate some really yummy food. And took pictures of it, because what else do you do when you're home alone? I would go out each night and pick a few things from the garden to add to my dinner plate. It was heavenly. And delicious.
Zucchini crust pizza. (Actually I think this one was back in August. Whatever. It was dang yummy)

Chicken with zucchini  and peppers saute.

Bread. Nom.

Cucumber, onion, pepper, and tomato salad. 

And then Wednesday night, the 10th, a nasty frost rolled through. The temperature dropped to 25 degrees that night. I knew a frost was coming through, so I went out late that evening and threw a "water blanket" down hoping that would be enough. Um no. Not for 25 degrees! I was 8 months pregnant and didn't want to lay down row covers by myself. I should have. My two rows of tomatoes with fat green and ripening tomatoes, my pumpkin patch, corn, peppers, everything- gone! It was very sad. But now I guess it's kind of a blessing because I would be spending a lot of time right now/ the past few weeks harvesting and preserving things from the garden instead of working on school stuff. And I definitely have more than enough school assignments to be working on and knocking out before baby comes. Blessings in disguise? I'm glad I enjoyed my garden this year while it lasted, I just wish I could have got more out of it and saved from it. Oh well. Se la vie.

School started September 15, and things have been crazy and nonstop busy ever since. 
David's classes: range management, ecology, biostatistics, doctrine and covenants
Giulia's classes: deciduous i.d., interioscaping, pest management, practicum (running the horticulture business for the semester)

A few nights before school started we checked our schedules again. We signed up for classes way back in May so we thought we should reacquaint ourselves with our classes. We had everything lined up perfectly and we didn't have class at the same time for when baby comes. But as we were reviewing everything I noticed that there was an hour in the mornings that overlapped. I asked David about it, and he said I was crazy because that class of his wasn't until 10:15. Turns out, the class he was signed up for... the teacher left. The school assigned a new teacher and a different class time and didn't care to let anybody know. Kind of frustrating. So we both have a class from 7:45-8:45. My class doesn't get out until 10. Luckily, it's a first block class and will be over on October 29. Hopefully we'll have David's mother here still to help us with the little one until then and get us through October. 

A few days into the semester I was informed that the evergreen i.d. class that runs the second block, which I was signed up for, has a week-long field trip to Arizona. I'm going to have a weeks old baby when that rolls around. I can't go on a week long field trip. Why is this information not posted on the course requirements/ course description when registering for classes!? Argh! 
I dropped that class and replaced it with interioscaping for the second block. The class was full but I went and talked to the teacher and he added me anyway. :) [I'm grateful I've taken the time the last year to get to know my professors and make sure they know who I am. This is done by: 1- I'm a good student. 2- I typically make 1-2 or more visits during their office hours to ask questions so they know me outside of class. Those of you new to the college game- take the time to know your professors] Unfortunately, this class is from 11:30-1:30 (...I think...) And David also has class from 11:30-12:30. So we'll need to find someone to watch our lil' man cub for us during that hour. Ugh! Not what we wanted and we worked so hard to avoid this. We just keep telling ourselves that everything will work out! It will all work out. 

This month we also took a childbirth education class. I'm so glad we did. I feel like both David and I are on the same page now about what will happen during labor and we are better prepared to be a great labor and birth team. We got this!

September has quickly moved into October. Baby will be here in no time. Parenthood here we come!

The Bulge part II

It's looking like "The Bulge" series will only receive two posts, maybe three if I include a postpartum story/ L&D story. I really was horrible at documenting this whole first pregnancy thing. I've been busy, and [obviously] taking bump photos or writing things down was not high on the priority list. 
Since last taking a bump photo in July with my awesome phone, we didn't take one bump shot. 
To make up for it I asked our friend from Henderson, Dessa Selch, to whip out her fancy camera and come play with me during a maternity photo shoot. We got more than a few good pictures and it was a lot fun. I'm glad I asked her. These are all unedited. When Janet gets back from Florida I'll have her doctor a few of them up so they're more photo-frame worthy. But even without fancy editing work, Dessa did a great job!
We took these September 19, at 37 weeks:

Here's a list of birth books that I've read and recommend:
The Bradley Method
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Birth Book #1 and 2 
...and that's all I can think of at this moment... These have been super informative and have hopefully :) prepared us for this new adventure. I'll admit, I'm a "birth junkie," and love reading the literature and research surrounding maternity care, labor & delivery, home vs. hospital birth, etc. I'm constantly amazed at how uninformed women are about birth and how easily they sign themselves over to the system of hospitalized birth without knowing what their options are. Being a woman, I've known my whole life, essentially, that I would one day carry, birth, and raise children of my own. Growing up I heard stories of my mother being a rock star and being the crazy lady at the hospital that refused an epidural and just wanted people to get away from her with their needles and machines and let her do her own thing. As I got older I realized how unusual this was (she is a peculiar lady... in the best meaning of the word). And I think, maybe, that's when my interest was piqued and I found myself diving into information about maternity care in the U.S. I'm glad I'm informed and as ready as I can be for the birth of baby numero uno. I really am excited and looking forward to labor and delivery.  Now...just gotta get the hospital bags packed... I keep putting that off. I think it's because I tell myself that I can just do that while I'm laboring at home. It will give me something to focus on. But hey, we got my toenails painted up nice and pretty yesterday. And by we I mean we. Meaning David did the paint job and I sat on my fancy new exercise ball while listening to the afternoon session of general conference.

Here's a copy and paste from an email we sent to family at the end of September. It's the best journaling I have to offer, and this way I don't have to think about and type things twice:

Soooo....we're getting close, really close, to baby's arrival. (Ah! I have a million things to do still!) I've yet to hit the, "I'm so pregnant and pregnantly miserable (and miserably pregnant) I want this baby out of me yesterday." So that's good! Baby can stay put as long as he wants as far as I'm concerned. I caught my reflection in a window as I was running at the indoor track yesterday and was shocked to see how pregnant I looked. So strange! How has it been 9 months already? (By the way- getting lapped by the pregnant lady....awkward for you, awesome for me!)
I just know that you all are dying to know what the latest news is.
Well, nothing really. :) I don't think I've had any contractions yet. Sometimes my toesies swell up at night after letting them dangle for hours in this high kitchen chair as I work on assignments. I hike around the gardens on campus in the morning three days a week identifying trees for one of my classes. I've controlled my diabetes really well and our midwife today said that I just have a perfect size belly and healthy, smallish (average? 7lb) baby in there/here. 

[Oh yah, I've never mentioned gestational diabetes on the blog. Yep, I gots it. At first it was hard and annoying and I cried the day I was diagnosed. But after a week of poking my finger the whole thing hasn't been that bad. It's actually been really good. I've definitely been a better eater during the last half of this pregnancy than I would have been and as a result have maintained a great weight and kept baby at a healthy weight as well. Given my family history I've alway known that I could be at risk for diabetes, and this has opened my eyes to how important it is that we continue to be healthy and active and eat good foods- not fake foods. I didn't have to do the medication/insulin route because we did so well with managing my sugar levels just through diet and exercise.]

One of the huge risks of gestational diabetes is the baby accumulating too much fat in the upper body and having a shoulder dystocia during birth. But because everything is looking so good we're not worried so much about that. Yay! 
However, because I am labeled as a gestational diabetic, if during the process of labor and delivery we get to a point where a forceps or vacuum assist is necessary, they won't do it because there's a higher risk of pulling the baby into a dystocia. So if we get to that point it would be an automatic C-section. Boo! 

As you know, I'm planning and ready for a natural birth with no interventions. This is even more important now with the diabetes stuff because of the shoulder dystocia and C-section risks (which we're not super worried about, but...). 
Let me lead you down the cascade of interventions associated with a typical hospital birth that I need to not happen in order to prevent a C-section:
-- hiring a doctor or midwife that gets scared if baby isn't here right at 40 weeks and scares patients into unnatural induction methods. (Granted, inductions are necessary and do save lives when appropriate)
   -Check! Our midwife said she'll "start" getting "worried" at 41 weeks and 6 days. That puts us at October 20. (estimated due date October 7... I have a mid-term on October 3rd, so anytime after that is fine with me. I'm thinking somewhere around the 15th though.)
-- going to the hospital too soon. If we get to the hospital before I'm dilated to 6 ish cm a few things could happen:
   - labor could slow down (unfamiliar place, triage, etc. could spook my body into stopping)
      -- if labor slows down, nurses want to start it back up with pitocin. If I'm hooked up to pitocin, I'm very limited in labor positions. If I'm limited in labor positions, labor is more painful. If labor gets too intense because the dang pitocin makes it worse than it should be, I get an epidural. With an epidural I'm definitely stuck in bed. Laying (lying?) in a bed is possibly the worst position to give birth in as it reduces the size of the birth canal by 30% (that's what I read last anyway... statistics, they're all made up...) Also, since you can't feel much with an epidural, I won't be able to push effectively. All of this (this is a shortened, explain it one breath, version) leads to a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery, which they won't do because of my gestational diabetes and risk of dystocia and I'll just get sent out for a C-section. Whew! 
***now here's where we need your help with prayers and good thoughts***
-staying at home and laboring as long as possible.
--Midwife said, "When you feel like you're at death's door, go to the hospital." Awesome. Hopefully by then I'll be past the point of no return (name that musical!) and will progress into transition and pushing at the hospital without interventions. 
---So*** pray that David and I will be an effective labor team at home and know when the time is right to leave the house. Or if we do go to the hospital too soon, that we'll know if it will be okay for us to stay or better for us to go back home.
---And then*** when we get there that things will continue to progress and go well. 
That's not too much to ask for, is it? :) 

A natural, drug-free birth is what I'll need in order to recover the quickest and get back to my classes as soon as possible. I'm crazy, I know! It also lends itself to the best start for breastfeeding- another crucial aspect as I try to jump back into classes. We want baby to be exclusively breastfed, but know that won't be possible when I'm in class. So I'll be pumping and feeding. Milk cow mama here I come.

I think that's it. We had another of our now weekly appointments this afternoon and will continue to do so until baby comes. We'll let you know if something is different next week. 

In other news, I ran the teleprompter for Elder Holland's devotional address here on campus on Tuesday. So that was cool. :) 

And from another email dated October 3:
We just got back from our weekly appointment with the midwife. Nothing to report. Which is great! :) I was able to finish my midterm exam this morning and not be in labor. Now my goal is to get through until Monday without any excitement. I'm meeting with the weed control office in Fremont County to collect weeds for a project in my integrated pest management class. So it would be great if I could get this project done before baby arrives. It will be okay if I don't, but I will be much less stressed postpartum if I do! Side note- last week for pest management we went to Krupp's Hallow scout camp (for those who know where that is) and blew up gopher holes. Ha!

"Due date" is Tuesday, October 7th- 4 days away! Baby's head is still down and his heart-rate is great. No contractions that I'm aware of. But maybe I'm sleeping through them? I wouldn't be surprised; I've always been a good sleeper. I've heard of some people doing that and waking up while baby is crowning. Wouldn't that be awesome!? That's the way to get through labor. I stopped running last week because I noticed that after that particular activity baby's head was pushing downnn. And seeing how I'm content with him just hanging out in-utero for at least another week (he's very easy to take care of this way), I decided I better stop all the running in order to help prolong his womb sentence and allow me to get more school projects done! I have four big projects due in October that I want finished or mostly finished by the time he arrives. Wish me luck!
I feel great and continue to shock and awe with my "pregnancy pass-" I don't look pregnant until you pass me and see me from the side or front. Mwahahaha. Haters gonna hate...

That's it for now. Hopefully you'll get an update next week with the same story. Well, I'm sure some of you want a different story, like an update with pictures of a baby. We'll see what happens!

And one more snippet from an email today:
I know I'm going to struggle with taking it slow [post-delivery]. I only want to do the minimum with school stuff after delivery, which is why I'm trying to get so much done now. The last three weeks have been crazy crazy crazy as I've worked around the clock to finish what I can now and not have to worry about it when babe is here. I have all of my farmer's market hours in; I have all of my apple orchard hours done (both of which are usually strung out until the end of the semester in December); I've been doing well on my bi-weekly quizes for deciduous i.d. and my mid-term so my grade is high enough that I have some wiggle worm for that class. That's the one that ends on the 29th. And that's the one that I'm worried most about getting right back to (as we go over 50+ new specimens a week with a quiz on Monday and Friday). But that craziness will only last a few more weeks.  I signed up to do my critical review presentation early for my pest management class and finished that last week. And I've somehow been putting 15-20 hours in at work on campus. Whewee! Now my focus is getting these dang projects finished today and tomorrow so I can have those marked off my to-do list and can be as worry free as possible when babe arrives. 
Wowza, seeing all of that written out makes me tired. But I know that it will be far more tiring and stressful to get all of that done with a baby. So I'll just keep workin' the clock!

Tomorrow, tomorrow! Is Monday, the 6th. Baby's 'due date' is October 7th. Tomorrow I'm collecting a variety of weeds for my pest management class. [That just got pushed back to Tuesday morning. So baby, Tuesday evening. Let's just make it through 'til Tuesday before you start any excitement.] I have so many other school things I can get done if lil' man cub will just stay put for another week. I know I'm crazy and that most first time mothers cannot wait for baby to come. I really don't care if I'm "overdue". In fact, I would prefer it (for previously mentioned reasons). I think 10-12-14 would be a great birthday-- easy to remember. 

I leave you with photos from this evening. 
Business in the back:

Party in the front: