Thursday, September 30, 2004

No Baby, No Induction Scheduled (Yet)

I know you are all anxious for news, but there really is none. I had my appointment today. My blood pressure is up slightly, but nothing to be alarmed about. My weight is up just under two pounds, but I know at least half of that is in my feet! Since my hands and face aren't puffy, again there is no great concern. Urine still shows only trace protein, so no worries there.

As far as progress, there has been, and I quote, "nadda." No dilation, no effacement, nothing. Consequently, since no other factors are mandating it, there will be no induction, at least not yet. I will be seen again on Monday, where my progress (or lack there of) will be checked again. They will also do a non-stress test to make sure that the baby is still happy and healthy. If I have made progress, we will discuss induction for sometime next week, perhaps Wednesday. If not, I'll probably be seen back later in the week (I'd guess early Thursday). With all the other factors (possible pre-eclampsia, baby size, etc.), they certainly don't want me to go much more than a week overdue, so if they don't decide to induce next week, it will be the following week for sure, dilation or no. All of this, of course, assumes that Baby G doesn't decide to make his own plans.

So, that's all there is for now. I am almost completely over the bronchitis (I'd say 85-90%). I'm not too uncomfortable (assuming baby isn't using me for a punching bag; see below). I am getting quite tired more often; I go through spells of pretty good energy and exhaustion. But all in all, everything is fine. And the baby's room is all done! Missing a couple of decorative touches, but all of the necessary stuff is in there. Check out my webshots album of the Baby's Room if you would like to see.

Thank you all for your love and support. Just a few more days!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I am NOT a punching bag!

Or a trampoline, or a kickboxing practice dummy. Could someone please explain that to my child? I understand it is getting cramped in there (hey, it's not *my* fault he chose to grow so big before coming out), but pummeling me to death from the inside isn't going to help any. All it is doing is hurting me. :-( Just a few more days, just a few more days....

Then I get to complain about postpartum pain, absolutely no sleep, and no time to myself. :-\

Friday, September 24, 2004

Abstract art, a.k.a. new ultrasound picture

Here he is! Can you see his face? Chin on the left, forhead on the right, upper half of the pic.

Current baby status: Head down (with feet pounding my ribs!), spine against my left side, head pressing *quite* well on my pelvis, making walking, and even sitting, rather difficult at times. Estimated weight: 8 lbs 7 oz. EEK!

Current me status: Urine looks clear of protein, weight has stabalized, blood pressure is back down to 130/68. Yay! We're hoping it was more of a fluke than true pre-eclampsia signs. So, no more bed rest, though I still have to "take it easy." (But I'm guessing they say that to *any* woman 38 weeks pregnant!) Also, no further talk of induction, at least not until my next appointment (Sept 30). They want to give me as much time as possible to get as well as possible before introducing a baby into the mix. This of course assumes he doesn't decide to come on his own.

Current bronchitis status: Still hanging around, but I am feeling better (relatively speaking). Coughing is more congested, but considerably less frequent. Nose is still rather runny, but slowly getting better. My right ear is stopped up, which is driving me batty!! Breathing is easier, overall. But to me, the real sign of improvement is that I *feel* much better. Certainly more alert and focused than I have been for almost a week now. So let's hope I continue to improve.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Temari info and links (more info added)

No, no baby yet (thankfully; blood work came back fine, and all of my other factors were actually lower Friday than they were Wednesday), but I have another appointment today. I also think I'm coming down with bronchitis. Yeah, just what I need at 38 weeks pregnant! ::rolls eyes::

Anyway, someone asked me about temari in my most recent set of comments. Normally, I would expound quite a bit on temari, why I love it, and show pictures. But I just don't have the energy right now. So here is the super-short version. Temari is a Japanese embroidery technique done on spherical objects, usually handmade balls of some kind. It involves wrapping the ball with thread, then using decorative threads to create a design of some kind, usually geometric in nature. (You can see why this appeals to the engineer in me.)

I got started with it because a friend of mine learned to make them and brought an example with her to one of our stitching get-togethers. She then offered to teach us how to do it. She first used (with permission) Judy's Temari Tutor which, as far as I am concerned, is still the absolute best resource available. Better than any book. Another very good website, though better once you have tried your hand at a few is TemariKai. Great info, fair to good design instructions (depending on the design, but hey, they're free!), and an extensive links page. They also have a mailing list that has a good amount of chatter.

However, once you get the hang of the concept, the books are pretty useful as well. I use them more for inspiration (both design and color) than I do for actual instruction, but they are still good to have. Here are the three I own:
* Temari: How to Make Japanese Thread Balls, by Diana Vandervoort (she has several books)
* The Craft of Temari, by Mary Wood
* Temari: A Traditional Japanese Embroidery Technique, by Margaret Ludlow

I hope this helps. You can see examples of temari made personally by me in my temari webshots album. I'll get around to having a real webpage about them one of these days.

Okay, just for Glenda, I'm editing this post to talk about the supplies I use. I use 3 inch diameter styrofoam balls (available at any craft store, often in the floral section) as my base. Haven't gotten around to making my own mari yet. I then use 1/4 inch batting, a yarn layer (baby yarn), and at least one entire 300 yard spool of sewing thread. I think Judy talks about this on her site, but I don't remember for sure. Seems like either she does or Diana Vandervoort does. Anyway, once the base is wrapped, I divide the ball using quilting pins (I like the different colored heads, makes it easier to know what marking pin is what). You are now ready to put something on your wrapped mari base.

I usually divide the ball using Kreinik #4 braid or perle cotton (#5, I think, but I'll double check). For paper strips, I usually just cut the edges off of junk mail! I do most of the stitching (i.e. the actual design) in either perle cotton (again #5, IIRC) or just plain ol' DMC floss, just as it comes off the skein. For a cheaper alternative to perle cotton (that works perfectly fine, and I like it to play with, since it's cheaper), the DMC "craft thread" that is sold in packs is roughly the same weight as the perle cotton. It's not as shiny, but it comes in lots of colors, so give it a try if you don't want to put a lot of mone into it initially. However, it gives more dimension and texture than DMC floss, which ends up much more smooth in appearance. I can't remember what needles I use. Just the longest ones I can find; 2 inches is pretty good. The rubber "needle gripper" discs, often found in the quilting section, are fabulous for pulling the needles under the thread wrap.

That's everything I can think of. If I think of anything else, or if you have any other questions, just let me know.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

We may be out of luck

Well, we've been extremely lucky and blessed for 37 weeks, but it looks like our baby luck may have finally run out. Standard disclaimer: no one panic! The doctor is not alarmed, just concerned, saying that "it bears watching." So far, things are still fine. However, I have several factors which show me as borderline for preeclampsia. I had some blood drawn today; should get those results back tomorrow. Assuming that comes back okay, I will be allowed to stay home over the weekend, albeit on all but bed rest. I will then go back to the doctor on Tuesday, and I will probably be going twice a week from then on to have my weight, urine, and blood pressure checked (these are three of the major indictors). Apparently, I am standing right on the line between okay and not. If they can keep me stable at my current levels, they will let me continued as is, at least to my due date, which has been revised to October 2. If I cross said line on any factor between now and my due date, I will have to go into the hospital to be monitored and potentially have labor induced. Fun. So, be thinking of us.

And for everyone who has been asking me how big I am, I'm HUGE!!! Allow me to show you:

Monday, September 13, 2004

The Kitty Inspection Committee

Before I start this post, I wanted to let you know that Jacob's apartment is just fine. The only property they lost was everything in the refrigerator and freezer due to no power for a few days. Not bad, considering.

Okay, now to the actual post. Most of you probably know about the KFC (Kitty Financial Committee) by now. If not, you can read all about them here at a previous post I made. Well, with all the new responsibilities coming to the family with the baby, they wanted in on the action. Thus, the Kitty Inspection Committee was formed.

The real story? With all this new stuff, you don't really think we can keep it away from four cats, do you?! LOL Nope, no way, no how, not a chance. We *have* managed to do quite a good job of keeping them out of/off of the crib, which is our primary concern. They are already accustomed to not going in that room (not that they don't try every time). We have let them come in and sniff around, and we have held them up and let them sniff at the crib, but that's it. There's a door to that room, so not much trouble. But the travel system? That's staying down here, and it had to be put together, which obviously means we needed lots of "help." You don't really think that they were just going to let us "peoples" do it alone, do you? So once it got all put together, it had to be inspected.

Here is Tigger, inspecting the infant seat and stroller (and DH in the background):

And Bengal, inspecting the basket. Clearly it can hold at least 15 pounds. LOL

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

To whom it may concern

I've received a couple of emails, so I thought I would post an update on myself and my family in the wake of Hurricane Frances. Given how far flung we all are now, I find it pretty amazing that it managed to touch all of us in some way. We'll start with Jacob, as he was in the most immediate danger living near Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He evacuated early the same morning that mandatory evacuations were issued (later that morning, so he got out ahead of the crowd). Had he not left when he did, it would have taken almost twice as long for him to get out. He had to go all the way to Macon, GA (an hour or so south of Atlanta) to find a hotel. That's about 600 miles. Took him about 16 hours. Starting about 90 miles south of the FL/GA line, most of the trip was made at around 20 mph. But he was out and safe; that was the important thing.

Next, the rest of my family. My parents live in Brunswick in coastal Georgia, roughly half way between Jacksonville, FL, and Savannah, GA. So, as Frances moved north, they were getting whipped some. Ironically, given the path of the storm, my paternal grandparents were actually getting it worse than my parents. They live about 100 miles inland from my parents in Waycross, but the way the rain bands were arcing, they were going through Savannah, then coming around through Waycross, going around and over Brunswick.

As the storm continued moving north, it started affecting us and my maternal grandmother, who lives about an hour east of Atlanta. As of yesterday, she had received more rain than we had, but I think it was windier here. Been raining almost constantly since around midnight. Power went out here around 1 AM, but only for less than 5 seconds. Basically, long enough that the lack of noise woke me up (it cut off our fan), and long enough that we have to reset all the clocks. ::grumble grumble:: I guess if that's the worst it comes to, we're doing well.

Jacob is still in Georgia, though he has headed a little closer to home. He is currently staying with my parents. Parts of I-95 are still closed around West Palm Beach, FL. He has to go through there to get back to his place. They are currently trying to decide if they should try to take I-75 back instead. The problem at the moment is the lack of gasoline in Florida. Even if they do get back, they wouldn't be able to go many places on a virtually empty tank, and they may have to turn around and leave again next weekend (thank you Hurricane Ivan).

So, bottom line, all of "my people" are fine. We won't know about property until Jacob manages to get home. Keep those who were affected in your hearts and minds, and pray we don't all have to do all this again in a week due to Hurricane Ivan.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

International baby

My friend Cyndi has returned from her three-month work-related trip to Italy. She and I met up today briefly, just to say hi and catch up. She just returned yesterday, so she's still a little, um, spacy from the trip, to say the least, but it sounds like she had a fabulous time. Cyndi is quite the experienced international traveler, having spent a great deal of time in Paris just a couple of years ago during the Ga Tech architecture study abroad program.

While in Paris, she became entranced with what was *the* baby toy for all French children. It's a small plastic giraffe. She said at the time that she wished she knew someone with a baby so she could buy one. Well, upon finding out that I was expecting before this European trip, she decided that our baby would indeed have one of these little giraffes, and she specifically sought one out on her weekend trip to Paris. How many babies can say that? "Why yes, *my* chewy toy came from Paris! Yours is just from Target." LOL Thank you, Cyndi! I'm sure he'll love it.

And, it's just so darn cute, I have to show you: