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Baby Gear! (Before Baby)

I’ve had a couple of requests for more info on the baby gear we’ve (ok, I’ve, because the Boy has thrown up his hands every time I ask for help) decided to go with.  So here it is.  Realize this is all pre-baby, and Henry might just hate some – or all – of this stuff.  In which case I’ll try to update this post with a post-baby entry as well.

Once a geeky, gear-head librarian type, always a geeky, gear-head librarian type, it seems…

Stroller:

After much deliberation, I went with a 2010 Bugaboo Bee.  I live in gucci-stroller central, where nannies push babies more often than moms do, and so while I knew I wasn’t looking at a cheap stroller, there was one that caught my eye on the street over & over, mostly because it wasn‘t as overdone as many of the others I’ve seen (UPPAbaby, the other Bugaboos, Stokke, etc.)  Besides being adorable, the 2010 Bee had most of the things I was really looking for in a stroller.

  • folds down into a single piece, with the seat attached.
  • fairly lightweight (17#)
  • can face front or rear
  • can take a car seat, specifically a maxi cosi mico (though I think it also takes the Gracos)
  • narrow enough to take into stores without running over others’ toes.
  • adjustable push handle (I’m 5’2″, my husband is 6’3″)
  • room under baby-seat for groceries.
  • pushes like a dream.  Seriously, I’m a sucker for well-engineered non-motorized things with wheels.  Meaning I couldn’t care less about cars, but high end bicycles?  I swoon!  This falls into that “WANT!” category.  As soon as I pushed it around the BabiesRUs showroom, I knew that this was it.
  • Cons?  Ok, mostly, just that it’s STUPIDLY expensive.  Like, I’m embarrassed to admit how expensive it is.  My first car cost less than this stroller does.  (Of course, this stroller probably goes faster than my first car, but I digress.)  Seriously, this is a ridiculously extravagant purchase, especially for someone like me who’s essentially thrifty, but hey – my MIL sprang for it, I’ll likely be getting many thousands of miles of use out of this stroller just in the first year – Brooklyn is HEAVILY geared toward walking, I’m a walker by nature, and, well, most of my baby fantasies involve walking with my baby.

Plus it’s just plain adorable.  So there.

Crib:

Too many of the cribs we saw were scarily ornate.  Features.  On a crib.  Folks, to my way of thinking, a crib is merely a cage with a mattress at the bottom.  I felt really strongly about not getting one with a drop side – too damned many recalls, and they’re already outlawed in most other countries.  So a fixed side crib that wasn’t made of plastic should have been easy to find, right?  Hah.  Fortunately, IKEA came through for me here (though they seem to have discontinued the matching changing table before I could buy one, the bastards!)  The Gulliver in Birch is sturdy, unobtrusively simple, and, well, it was cheap.  As cheap as a cage with a mattress on the bottom should be.  Cons?  Not a one so far.  It was easy to set up, it adheres to all safety standards both here & in Europe, and it’s non-toxic.

Bassinet:

Because I’m planning on breastfeeding, and because I’ve heard that it sort of sucks, waking up every 2-3 hours for the first 6 weeks+ to do so, I felt pretty strongly about NOT having to go into the next room to collect the screaming baby in order to let him snack at 4am.  In fact, I feel pretty strongly about not getting out of bed at 4am at all.  So.  But there’s no way Henry could hold his own in our bed as a co-sleeper, what with me, the Boy, and the whippet all overlapping limbs & pillows on our queen sized mattress.  Enter…

The Arm’s Reach Mini Co-Sleeper!  It’s designed to cinch in tight to the side of my bed, so I can heft Henry over to the Boobie-snack bar without actually getting up, and can get him back to his safe baby-place afterward without having to worry that he’ll get stepped on by the wonder whippet while he’s peacefully sleeping.  I’m really hoping that the cinched-in-close-to-the-bed thing works as well as it looks like it will, but even if not, being able to just reach over for him instead of leaving the room, etc. will be a sanity saver, I’m thinking.

Car seat:

To be honest, car seats are sort of overkill for here – I can’t remember the last time I drove my car.  Shoot, my hospital doesn’t even require you to bring a car seat to bring home baby, because they recognize that most folks are going home in a taxi, and in NYC, you don’t have to carry baby in a car seat in a taxi.  Go figure.

But, I of course, want to be able to bring Henry with us on our upcoming NH junkets.  And that trip to the World Fantasty Convention in October that the Boy’s trying to persuade me will be FUN with a 6-week-old, and the road trip out west we’re planning on for next spring to visit family and friends.  So.

First let me say that car seats are outrageously heavy and bulky and awkward, and for the most part, hideous.  So I went with one that was supported by the stroller I want, because Henry will probably be in it more in his stroller than in my car.  And I went with ‘chili’ color, which is more like a really bright salmon color.  (Hot pink, if you’re not feeling subtle.  Ah well.  Non-gender defined color schemes are a good thing, and god knows everyone who’s bought him clothes has gone for blue.)  The Maxi-Cost Mico!

I dislike bells & whistles on baby-gear.  I also get hives when the concept of baby-entertainment/education comes up.  My kid will only listen to Mozart if he likes Mozart, I say.  And if it needs a battery, he doesn’t need it for at least a few more years.  Which means 90% of the walkers/jumpers/swings/entertainment units on the market are not for us.

But I knew I wanted somewhere to stash the baby while I cook or shower or try to get the feeling back in my arms after holding him for 12 straight hours.  You know.  So I knew I wanted a

Bouncer:

And this one came recommended and was “free” with points on my Amex card.  One of my first purchases, actually, and I like its simplicity, like that baby has to jiggle it himself, and like that it’s not pink or blue.

I’m also a big believer, though in baby-wearing as much as possible for the first few months, especially.  So I love the concept of the

Baby sling:

So much so that I bought two.  An Ergo for when he can hold up his head & a Balboa adjustable for around the house when he’s still floppy. I bought both of these on eBay, and am happy with them so far.  Comfy and lightweight – especially without a a baby weighing them down!

I found a Skip-Hop diaper bag on Ebay for $5, and it seems to be a perfectly adequate diaper bag.  I went with a puj tub because we do not have room for a standard tub, and this looked like a great compromise since it’s soft, but it also folds flat for stashing out of the way:

Most of the rest of the gear we’ve gotten have been gifts of clothing, towels, blankets, etc.  I will say that my favorite of the swaddling-type muslin blankets so far are these by Bambino Land:

I’ve got a ton, and they all washed up beautifully.  I was able to get 6 of these through one of those ‘daily deal’ sites I’ve registered for the emails from.  Haven’t used those emails for much else, but when I saw the Bambino land come up at 50% off, I totally jumped.  I have one Aden & Anais that I bought ages ago, and it’s lovely but, damn, it was expensive!

I’m still holding off on breast pump/bottle systems, til I see how much milk I’m producing, how much I’m hating/loving pumping, etc.  The Boy has volunteered, repeatedly, though for at least one of the nighttime feedings, so I’m thinking I’m going to be feeling pretty motivated to Make It Work.  Leaning toward an Avent Isis manual at the moment, but  I’ll let you know.

No crib mobile yet, because I couldn’t find any that I liked, so I decided to make one from the most amazing felted animals I’ve ever seen made by a woman on Etsy.com  Waiting for those to be finished & shipped so I can figure a non-deforming way to hang them so that I can also take them down in a few months when he’s past the mobile stage & give Henry one to nom on, while I display the others somewhere, because I think they’re beautiful and astonishingly wonderful.

I think those are all of the big purchases we’ve made, but I’ll keep you updated as I realize that Henry NEEDS a swing (or a playpen or a thingamahoo or a battery0operated Whosit or whatever.)

Today’s Ramblings – and a photo!

So now that I’ve announced the name to all & sundry, the Boy said last night “I don’t know why, but I keep thinking of this kid as ‘Ben’.”

“Well, ‘Ben’ was in the running for a long time, there’s still time – shall we call him Ben?”

“No, I actually prefer Henry.  I just keep thinking of him as Ben.  What if I call him Ben when he’s 15 and he thinks I’m really stupid?”

Um, yeah.  And who said dads-to-be weren’t as obsessed with parenting fears as moms-to-be?  I dream I’m giving birth to a kitten and he’s worried he’s going to call his son by the wrong name in 15 years.  I WANT TO TRADE WORRIES WITH THE MAN!

**

As mentioned earlier, I actually got some sleep last night, which was a nice change.  I put myself to sleep imagining all the things I’m going to do to the new house before we move in.  I’ve never moved into a place sloooowly before.  We’ll be closing in early October – which means my mom & dad can come with us to see the house when we take possession!  Road trip with the ‘rents! – and probably not living in the house until next summer, which should give us plenty of time for repainting, fencing, dog-door installing, furnishing, etc.  Which is exciting, in a way.  But it also means there’s a lot we’ll feel like we want to get done on all the weekend trips I’m sure we’ll be taking.

So starting now?  Counting rooms to paint, bedrooms to decorate, deciding which room for my office and which room for little Henry (next to our bedroom or far, far away from our bedroom.  hmmmm.  jury’s still out on that one.) is exciting.  Though not so exciting that it doesn’t send me to sleep.  Which was, as I mentioned, wonderful.

**

For my mother, and for a few other people who’ve been asking.  This is probably the last ‘oh dear lord, I sure am PREGNANT’ photo I’ll take (though I’ve promised youngest SD a ‘sweaty hospital picture’ since she won’t be able to see me in my exhausted glory for herself).  Here I am a couple of days ago.

I do look – and feel – rather as if I’ve swallowed a beach ball.  I feel like I’ve been fortunate – fortunate? – that the summer’s been so miserable so that, combined with the heartburn that ate my esophagus,  eating has not been high on my priority list.  Other than the baby-belly, and, of course, the BOOBS, the rest of me has stayed sort of the same.  Which is to say, not svelte, not elegant, but also not drastically different than normal.  Baby Thor obviously hasn’t minded eating Sprogblogger-chub instead of steak, since he’s been plenty big all along, so I can’t bring myself to be worried about the fact that even going to Italy, even eating ice cream every night (oh, ice cream, how I’ll miss our nightly affairs!) hasn’t helped me gain any weight since early summer.  I’ll confess that at this point I’m hoping it makes getting back to pre-IVF normal a bit easier, simpy because I’ve had ENOUGH of sore feet and cranky backs.  Had ENOUGH of being exhausted by climbing stairs.  Had ENOUGH of feeling as if a walk to the grocery store was roughly equivalent to an assault on Everest.  Ready for this baby to be on the outside, where I can snoogle him and nom on his toes and cheeks, but also feeling pretty ready to be just me in here, again, and a ‘me’ who can wear real clothes again.  And bend over properly.  You know, the important stuff!

**

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my 39th week, and I had high hopes for today, being as how I swear I felt Henry shift deeper into my pelvis last night, plus, you know, I made dinner plans.  But alas, it’s quarter til noon, and not so much as a cramp, let alone a contraction.  Looks like my hopes for a September 2 birthday are crashing and burning around my ears.  Ah well.  Maybe tomorrow.  I’ll definitely be ordering the eggplant tonight…

Baby Name Out Of The Bag

So I guess I let the baby-name out of the bag – which I was intending to do, but I’d thought I’d put rather more thought into the post than just slyly sneaking it into a DoG post!

Best laid plans coming to naught – the story of every IF’s reproductive life…

Anyway, yes, we have settled on a name, and barring something completely unexpected, Thor’s name will actually be Henry Jett Butler.

We did have a few moments of hilarity whilst trying to include every grandparent’s lineage.  His paternal grandfather has been pushing hard to call him “three sticks”  As in Samuel Butler III.  Which I refused on the grounds of there are already too many Sams at family gatherings, (grandfather, the Boy, cousin) and I refuse to live in a house where every other person living there besides me has the same name.  His paternal grandmother would love to see her own father, James Alexander, honored.  Which is great, but I had a boyfriend named James, and Alexander is the name of middle SD’s all-but-fiance.  So that one’s out.  Henry is from my mom’s family, and is pretty much set as this child’s first name at this point. McRae has become the middle name of choice on my dad’s side of the family.  And the Boy’s closest friend gave his children 4 names instead of the more-traditional 3, and has been encouraging us to think outside of the box when it comes down to actually naming Thor.

So we had a moment (ok, more than a single moment, but no more than two or three) when we were possibly seriously considering “Henry James McRae Samuel Butler” (just to assure that the kid actively hated us from the time he was old enough to pick up any English Lit.  coursework book.)

Reason and compassion won out.  Henry Jett Butler it is.  And I’ve been assured by the youngest SD that kids these days don’t even KNOW there’s a movie out there called Gone With the Wind in which the male lead is named Rhett Butler.  Which rhymes with Jett Butler.  Which would have been an open book for much teasing when I was a kid.  But of course, I was a kid back in the stone age, when the book was better known than the movie.  And since I’m not entirely sure she knew there was a book, I decided that she was probably absolutely right.

So, indirectly, anyway, one of the SD’s named the baby.  More or less.

**

A useless doctor’s appointment this morning.  “Still pregnant, I see?  Call me when you go into labor.”

For this I waited an hour and a half?

In all fairness, they also checked for protein in my urine – none.  Checked my BP – 110/60.  Checked my weight – no change.  The nurse commiserated on my painfully swollen feet.  And they gave me new instructions for coming into the hospital.  If I get there in time to have one bag o’ antibiotics, Henry won’t have to go to NICU.  If I get there in time to have 2 bags, then Henry won’t even have to have a shot himself.  So that’s obviously the goal.  So instead of laboring at home, I’ll basically be going in as soon as my doc thinks – from a phone call, most likely – that labor is imminent.

And it’d be nice if that were soon, because really?  Late summer in NY?  Hugely pregnant?

Not.  Much.  Fun.

**

And yeah, I’m obviously cranky these days.  Can’t sleep – seriously, it was my third sleepless night in a row, and it’s getting old, waking up every 20-40 minutes.  My hands are numb, my feet hurt, and I’m sore everywhere else.  Belly hurts from being internally kicked, ligaments are sore from having gigantic belly sticking way the hell out.  Cramps and fake contractions are making my innards sore – though not as sore as they will be, I know!  And I’m hungry, but nothing sounds good.  And bored with waiting.  And whiny.

Have you noticed?

Bu I’m also healthily pregnant.  And getting ready to deliver a healthy baby in a week or two (please g-d, not more than 2!)  And I should go take a nap to try to wrench my mood out of the garbage, because really?  I got nothing to complain about.

Remind me of that, please, when I threaten to start complaining again in another 15 minutes.  Seriously going to go take a nap now.  A nap followed by a dose of coffee.  Followed, perhaps, by another nap.

What’s New in my 38th Week? Poop! Baby-Mapping! Sleep/no-sleep!

No, not baby poop.  I’m saving that topic for maybe a month from now, maybe two.  I’m actually talking about my pregnant-lady obsession with poop and all things, um, excretory.

Because, really, you’ve all been wondering, right?

First off, let me say that for me, most of the vaunted side effects of being pregnant have translated into essentially, being constipated for 8 months.  Really constipated.  Eating trees’ worth of prunes with no effect, constipated.  Wondering if Thor might possibly be half-deer, or perhaps half-rabbit, constipated.  For 8 mos, folks.  Longer if we take into account all the feckin’ drugs I’ve shot up over the last 3 years with, um, binding side effects.  But pregnancy?  I’ll put it this way:  I’m pretty sure the Chicken Kung Pao I ate the night before transfer way back in December is still hanging out somewhere near my appendix.  It’s been that bad.  Really.

But these last few days – OMG!  Relief!  Which has me, you know, hopeful that we’re getting this labor show on the road someday soon. Combined with the slight easing of the edema that’s turned me into a source of amusement for the Boy – (I heard him describing my feet to our friend the other day “You know she always has hobbit feet, all wide and cute, but now it’s as if hobbits wore clown shoes – her feet look like the shoes.”)   And the insomnia and the nesting and the other vague but surely-when-all-added-together-they-must-mean-something! signs of impending labor, I’m starting to feel, well, hopeful.

And even if my hope for an “any day now” labor/delivery is a misbegotten one, I’m still planning on enjoying the relief of a normally functioning large intestine for as long as this may last.

So that’s what’s new in my world in the 38th week of this pregnancy.  Enjoying normal bowel movements and – as a result – feeling like eating food isn’t purely a punishment dreamt up by some non-pregnant, non-constipated sadist.  Maybe I’ll actually start to feel human again, just in time for birthing the big-headed baby to disrupt all my normal below-the-waist functions.

**

In other exciting news, baby’s taken up a position & stuck with it pretty much for the last week and a half or so – Head down, spine on my left, butt under my ribs, and feet kicking me in the right elbow.  Seriously – the sono. tech was trying to get some good photos and she kept getting the wand kicked almost out of her hand.  And it was all the way over to my right.  Can’t quite map him out yet, to see whether he’s LOA or LOP (Left Occipital Anterior or -Posterior) but am pleased he’s at least sticking with the head-down/LO thing.  One less thing to worry about.

**

And then there’s the no-sleep/sleep thing.  No sleep, because, well:  it’s hot, the bedroom is stuffy, my feet hurt, I had to get up and use the bathroom like, seven times last night, I kept waking myself up by snoring (kid you not!) and I was generally playing the “oh god, what if Nellie’s fleas made it to my MIL’s house!  I’ll die of embarrassment!”  “oh god, what if Thor gets himself born on the day the Boy is driving his daughter up to Boston!  I’ll have to get myself to L&D on my own – that’ll suck!”  “oh god, what if I start crying when the Boy kills the lobsters tonight.  I’m all hormonal and weepy anyway, but that’d just be stupid and his children will despise me!” game.  Sleep because I just woke up from a 2 hour nap (11am – 1pm — how wonderful is that?) in front of the air conditioner. Naps rock my world these days.  Some of my best hours over the last week have been spent napping.

And that’s the news at chez Sprogblogger.  Now – who said pregnancy wasn’t sexy & glamorous?  *yawn*

You’re welcome for the update.

ID – check! Bathrobe – check! Birthing Plan – not so much.

So it looks like, as a Strep B carrier, I’ll be on IV antibiotics all through labor.  Which kind of sucks.  IVs, per se, don’t bother me, but being tied to a pole just might make me nuts at that time.  Hell, I did lousy the other day just being stuck in bed for 3 hours while they did that long-ass NST.

And when I made a face at the news that I had tested positive, my nurse said, “what’s the big deal?  you’ll be on an iv at the hospital whether or not you’re receiving antibiotics.”

Huh?

Seems that the lady who ran my hospital tour wasn’t entirely forthcoming about IV use at BI.  She said it was optional, but my doc. apparently says it’s still mandatory.

Which is one of the many reasons I’ve not gotten too worked up about writing up a birth plan, or about hiring a doula.  Quite honestly, some things, you just have to sort of shrug and go along with.

At least, you have to do that if you trust your doctor – which I do.  I made a conscious decision to go with this guy because I liked his c-section & other intervention statistics compared to other high risk practices in NYC, and also because he’s a personal friend of my RE, and also because he’s a solo practitioner who’s known for attending every birth no matter what, and also because I like his manner and am comfortable with his sense of humor.  He’s also been practicing obstetrics almost as long as I’ve been alive.  Which means that no matter how much research I do, he’s attended more births than I have, and he knows what he considers to be the safest bet.  He delivers at a very pro-breastfeeding hospital, which is also pro-doula – hell, his nurse moonlights as a doula.  But he’s been doing this for 30-odd years, and if I’m not going to trust his judgment on things like whether or not an IV is a good idea, then what the hell am I doing entrusting my health, and the health of little Thor to him?

And most of the things I’d write up in a formal birth plan are sort of common sense things that the hospital doesn’t push anyway.  My hospital doesn’t give sugar water or pacifiers or bottles of formula to babies unless there is a medical need. Which, if Thor is born weighing more than 9 pounds, there might be a medical need to give him formula until my milk comes in.  Apparently big babies end up with low blood sugar and need more calories in the early days than ‘normal sized’ babies do.  Who knew? Not me, because I’ve never done this before.

And I’m certainly not willing to mess around with passing on Strep B to Thor, so fussing about the IV drip is just a moot point.

Candles?  Soft music?  I’m not sure I’m really going to give a shit about such niceties, really.  I’m allowed to wear my own clothes – if I want to.  Again, not sure I want the laundry responsibility for that one, and really – it’s not like I’m going to be thrilling anyone with my fashion sense whether I wear the hospital gown or whether I’m dressed in my finest XXL sleeping shirt when I have the baby. A sign saying ‘please keep your voice down’?  That strikes me as rude even at the best of times.  And really, it seems to me that the nurses in L&D are on my side – they’ve chosen this specialty because they love it, and because they love being a part of the birth process.  And as long as I’m not “the obnoxious patient” they’re probably going to do everything they can to make me comfortable during an uncomfortable time, so why go into this assuming that they are the enemy?

I’d been planning on trying to hold out at home as long as possible through early labor, but with the Strep thing coming up positive, I’m going to be encouraged to be at the hospital sooner, rather than later.  So be it.  It’ll make for a more comfortable taxi ride if I’m not having to fight the urge to push, all the way there.

And the doula question.  Ah, the doula question.  I’ve found that I’m actually really resistant to hiring a doula, even though I love the concept of a doula.  But really, what it comes down to is that I’m going into this birthing procedure not particularly afraid of the process or of the outcome.  Yep, it’s probably going to be uncomfortable at times, but hey – Baby at the end of it all!

The thing is, I don’t like other people around me when I’m uncomfortable – not even if they’re trying to make me more comfortable.  Just ask my husband – when I’m sick, all I want is to be left alone.  And I’m good at asking for what I need – just don’t, whatever you do, argue with me! So if I go into labor thinking – insisting – to a doula that I want a natural birth and later change my mind?  It’s her job to argue with me, to remind me what I wanted before I was in pain and frightened.  But you know what?  That would piss me off in a huge way. And one more person standing around, waiting for my body to do what it’s got to do?  I’m thinking it’s more than I want to be thinking about, one way or another.  If I don’t want drugs, my hospital isn’t going to to push them on me successfully.  But if I do want drugs, I want to be taken seriously, not second-guessed.  This is all new to me, and I don’t really know what I’m in for.

And in the end, all I really care about, all I’ve really got my heart set upon, is being handed a healthy baby at the end of it all.  I don’t care if I push him out or if they cut him out (though I’m pretty sure being pushed out is better, long term, for him and for me).  But really, I went through so much medical malarkey to put him in there, do you think I’m going to balk at however he’s coming out?

So, no formal birth plan for me, but rather, we’re going to go in there assuming that everyone is on our side, that they’re going to do whatever they can to make sure I’m comfortable with what’s going on both inside & outside of my body.  We’re going to go in there assuming that these are professionals who care passionately about babies and moms and the health of us both.  And more than that?  Well, we’re just going to wait and see.

Ray Bradbury Apparently Thinks This is Hilarious, Too.

Because it’s been a while since I’ve posted any truly inappropriate mentions of the details of what’s going into or coming out of my girl goods, I figured that I’d link to a completely inappropriate music video, for all my science-fiction-y readers out there. Yeah, all two of you.

This made me laugh yesterday, on my crankiest of cranky days, so I figured I’d share the joy. It’s truly offensive on several levels, totally NOT safe for office viewing, and full of profanity/obscenity/hilarity. And I can’t get the profane title off the screen – sorry office readers!

I apologize, and you’re welcome.

Argh! Cranky Sprogblogger.

So I went in for my weekly OB exam, but my doc was off delivering a baby.

“Bummer,” said I.  “I really wanted to double check with him – I’m feeling less movement in the last couple of days, and what with going off the Lovenox, I’m feeling in need of some doctor reassurance.”

So the nurse suggested I go talk to him at the hospital.  When I demurred, she called him up and told him she was sending me over.

Well, ok.  I suppose there’s plenty of down time while he’s waiting to catch the baby, but couldn’t I have just spoken to him on the phone?

So I get to Beth Israel, and they immediately have me start filling out admissions paperwork.  “Whoa!  Not delivering.  Not in labor.  Just here to see my doctor, who’s expecting me.  Dr.  Wind.  I’m Sprogblogger.  Don’t really need to go to triage just yet.”

But apparently when you work in L & D & a heavily pregnant woman walks in, you don’t pay attention to what she’s telling you, you just prep her for delivery.

*sigh*

My doc asked me to submit to another NST – like a 3 hour one this time.  And he did an internal (OMG OUCH!) to make sure that the L&D nurses would be disappointed.  And by the time he confirmed that, yeah, everything’s fine, Thor’s just shifted since last week, so he’s feeling the confinement a little more and can’t stretch out as readily, they noticed that my normally lower than low blood pressure was creeping up higher.  “Just relax”

“I am relaxed, but I’m also in pain.  Lying on my back really aggravates my hips, can I sit up?”

“No, we want you to relaaaaxxxx”

Um, yeah.  So as soon as she left the room, I sat up, took some of the painful pressure off my hips, and – amazingly! – next time the BP cuff did its automatic inflation thing, it read perfectly normal.

*sigh*

So 3 hours of continual monitoring, one ultrasound, one BPP, one admittance to triage, one discharge from B.I. later, I’m back at home.  Finally.  Crankily. Having not gotten to the P.O.  (Sorry Stacie!)  Having not gotten out to lunch with Dora (Sorry Dora!)

Oh, and I’m testing positive for strep B, so I’ll be on antibiotic drip throughout labor.  Joy.

On the plus side of things, at least I didn’t have to be weighed this morning.

I am still cranky, though.   Don’t see that changing any time soon.

Not Impressed.

Just had a less-than-satisfactory encounter with the owner of the kennel.  They sent me a bill for the vet visit, so I emailed them back, telling the owner I’d happily pay the vet bill, but that I’d’ve rather they’d properly dealt with Nellie’s flea problem, rather than waiting til it got so bad that she developed an allergy to the flea bites.

“Oh, no, we would never have ignored fleas!  She can’t have had them here!”

Well, since I picked over 20 fleas off her in the car from Manhattan to Brooklyn, I don’t really see where else she would have gotten them.

“Maybe they were in your car.”

Um, no, lady.  We used that car for the 2 days prior to picking up Nellie after our vacation with no being swarmed by hungry fleas.  And we didn’t get bitten at home until she brought her cargo load of kennel fleas home with her.  Sorry you didn’t notice them, but there’s a problem, and it’s one you should have caught.

She kept trying to reiterate how ‘hands on’ and ‘proactive’ she is, how she brought Nellie into her own home, etc.

Well, I never accused her of abusing Nellie or hating dogs, just of not dealing with a massive flea infestation in an appropriately timely manner.

And she refused to take responsibility for it.  She’s sorry I “had to go through this” but is quite certain I’m mistaken about the origin of the fleas, though she did, at my urging, agree to email her other clients to let them know that one of the boarders had had fleas and that they might want to check their dogs’ coats extra carefully.  Even though she knows Nellie couldn’t have gotten them at her kennel.  Because she loves dogs.

Yeah, whatever.  Be that as it may,  Nellie will never – never, never, not ever – be going back there.

I am not impressed.

We have a stroller!

And a diaper pail.  And a car seat.  And a crib, which I assembled this morning.  And a bassinet on the way (courtesy of my wonderful parents!)  And while my hospital bag isn’t exactly packed, I have, at least, made up lists of what I might otherwise be tempted to forget.  Like giganto maxi pads in soothing, pastel colors.  And medicated bum wipes.  And a copy of our marriage certificate since we have different last names.  And, you know, a camera and a baby book and a bunch of snacks (I’m thinking bloody rare steak and sushi, but can’t quite figure out how to preserve in my hospital bag.  May have to rethink this one.)  Still working on actually putting things into that bag, but I’ll get there, I’m sure.

We’ve already determined that it would sort of suck for the baby to be born on the day youngest SD leaves for Germany – September 1 – so I’m sort of assuming that’s when he’ll show up.  Also, while the Boy is taking his middle daughter up to school in Boston?  That’d be lousy timing, too, so I’ll put that down on my calendar for a runner-up date.

But yeah, it’s feeling more real.  Afternoons find me waddling around the giant wad o’ baby lodged in my pelvic region, and evenings I’m lying on my side, trying to find a position that doesn’t make Thor do jumping jacks.  Haven’t had a lot of success with that one yet, but I am nothing if not persistent.

Another sono. appointment this morning, though they did no measurements on The Big-Headed Baby, just on his amniotic fluid & another non-stress test.  Fluid is fine, NST went fine, though he was sleepy and so they ‘zapped’ him with a buzzer to make him react.  I’ve been paying for that little experience all morning.

(Note to self:  Do not zap the baby.  He does not appear to like it.)

I’m scheduled for another OB appointment on Wednesday.  Here’s hoping all’s well and perhaps starting to slowly progress.  Wouldn’t it be nice to be one of those women who walks around 4cm dilated, so that when labor actually begins, it’s quick & easy?  Sounds nice to me, anyway.

I started “decorating” the nursery, which in my non-Martha-Stewart-esque fashion consists of ordering binder clips so I can hang the alphabet cards I bought oh-so-long-ago, and hanging the single painting I bought, again, in another lifetime when I was filled with joy and light about the prospect of a baby.  Kind of cool to have stumbled on both of these while I was rummaging through the baby-pile for things to wash.  I’ll post pictures when I get them up on the wall, which won’t be til after Staples delivers the mini-binder clips. Love free home delivery.

I also put the accumulation of baby books on top of Thor’s dresser.  And took the “Butler” stuffed bear given by Thor’s Great-Aunt & -Uncle Butler away from Nellie yet again.  She really really wants that bear to be hers.  I foresee many disagreements in the Sprogblogger household over the next five or so years regarding proper ownership of stuffed toys…

Other exciting news?  Nellie is fully recovered, and, in fact, more cuddly than I’ve known her to be in months and months.  I had no nausea this morning, which was a relief.  Weirdly, for a brief time last night, I could actually see tendons and veins in my poor swollen feet – first time that’s happened in months.  I even, briefly, had ankles.  It was nice.

But otherwise?

Nada.  Nothing.  Nope.

And so I wait.

Patiently.

(Not so much.)

Hmmph

Hmmph.

Felt crappy so I turned on the a/c unit.  It’s so humid here right now it’s hard to breathe.  That didn’t help so I pet the dog.  Which made her happy, but didn’t do anything for me.  Then I puked up my morning apple-juice & vitamins.

That worked.  Feeling much better now.  Had some toast & milk to try to settle things down.

Guess I won’t be taking my pills first thing in the morning from here on out.

Going to go brush my teeth again.

Very strange.