Monday, March 30, 2009

22 Weeks

Wow, the time is flying by and we’re more than halfway there. I’m more obviously pregnant now, which was confirmed by the comments at church yesterday. Heartburn is kicking in, but I really can’t complain. It still blows my mind sometimes to think that I’m growing a child – a new and whole person. We start our Bradley class tomorrow evening and I’ve started making a brainstorming list of things to do before August. That way, when I do have a little time and energy I can actually think of something that needs doing.

Here's the belly pic:
Of course the cat had to get in on it too!

Friday, March 27, 2009

My baby has cute legs!

We had an ultrasound last week. It was really fun to see our baby, and see how perfectly formed that tiny person is. Everything looks wonderful and healthy. I waffled for a minute, but I’m glad that we decided not to find out if it’s a boy or girl. I'm glad that we’ll find that out, along with so much else about who our child is, when he or she is born. It seems so much more natural and whole to me. In the meantime, I thought you all might enjoy a few pictures:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March Financial Update

Our main goal is to save $750 a month towards our student loans from January through July. I was hoping for a minimum of $750 and than as much as we could scrape together beyond that. Well, after we got stuck overnight out of town when the brakes went out on my car, we realized that we’re going to need to replace 2 cars within the next two years, not just one at a time like we were planning. So, we decided we’d stick with the $750 towards the student loans and whatever else we could manage past that would go into our car replacement fund. We saved some from paychecks and moved some other money around, which gives us $1400 in our new car fund. We’re expecting around $900 in a tax refund soon, which we’ll also put towards it! I’m thrilled with that progress, especially since we were starting with nothing at the beginning of February and this wasn’t part of our original plan.

My other challenge for February was to spend as little as I could on groceries and use more from my freezer and pantry. I did pretty well at first, but started buying more fresh fruit towards the end of the month to add to the applesauce and other frozen fruit we already had. If I weren’t pregnant, I would have made do with what we had on hand, but I’m trying to make sure I’m getting lots of fruits and vegetables and I wasn’t doing so well on the fruit side with just what we had already. I ended up spending $40 on groceries for the month, but I also had the opportunity to buy beef from someone I work with that came from her brother’s farm. She bought half a cow and shared what wouldn’t fit in her freezer with the rest of us. I paid $50 for 20 pounds of ground beef and 11 pounds of various other cuts. I don’t usually buy much meat, for a number of reasons, but this was a great deal and we’ll definitely make use of it, albeit slowly. It’s a good way for me to get in some more protein and iron right now. Not necessary, but helpful. Between the regular groceries and the meat, I ended up spending $90 on groceries, instead of $180 like normal, resulting in $90 towards the loans in addition to the regular $750.

Our FPU class has been fun and it has been a good recharge for us. We’ve refined out budget a little more and are excited about making progress towards paying off our student loans.

I haven’t sold anything yet on Craig’s list or ebay. Time to get moving on that one! We are also thinking of having an FPU group yard sale in May.

$840 towards student loans ($2256.93 so far for the year)
$1464.18 towards a replacement car

Thursday, March 12, 2009

18-20 week pregnancy update

Here’s a picture from 18 weeks, when I was originally planning to post ☺ (I’m at 19.5 now). I tried taking a picture in the same shirt and jeans as the first pictures, per my dad’s request, but it just didn’t work. It’s not the best picture ever, but it gives you an idea. I think my belly’s sticking out at least another inch or two in the last week and a half.

Last week, I had my first person ask me if I was pregnant, just from looking. My belly still doesn’t stick out too far, but she had noticed that it was poking out and hadn’t been a month or two ago. I’m ready to start looking more pregnant now. I can feel myself walking a little differently and I can definitely feel all sorts of things stretching in my abdomen.

We heard a good strong heartbeat when I did finally go in for my last appointment (about 17 weeks). I also got to meet the new midwife in the practice and talk through what I was thinking about the different options for birth classes.

I’m 99% sure that we’re going to go with a Bradley class, which I hope will be helpful for really knowing the things we need to know to make good decisions and avoiding any interventions unless absolutely necessary, as well as helping empower Dave as a partner for the birth. One of the critiques I’ve heard about the Bradley method is that it tends to be very rigid – i.e. this is the proper way to give birth and you need to do this and this and this – and I’m definitely picking up that vibe from the Bradley book I’ve been skimming. All things considered, though, I still think it’s going to be the best option for us for a class, but I want to make sure that I have a really good doula who can help me to just relax, go with the flow, trust my body and follow my instincts – which are some of the really helpful aspects of other birthing philosophies/ways of preparing for natural childbirth. I’m not totally sure we’re making the right choice, but I’m hoping to get the best of both worlds between a good midwife, the Bradley class and a good doula.

I forgot to mention in my last post that my mom and I went to the cloth diaper store in Ann Arbor while she was here – so. much. fun! It was incredibly helpful to be able to feel and try the different kinds of diapers and to hear from other experienced parents. It actually changed my perspective on some of the different cloth diaper options. I can’t wait until it’s time to actually have them and use them!

Overall, I’m feeling good. I’m still tired, but not much more than I normally would be, as long as I get a good night’s sleep. I had a few days where all I wanted to do was clean, organize and decorate my house, but I was too busy working, and now that I’ve been a little less busy, I’m not so motivated. Hopefully that nesting urge will come back again soon!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Whirlwind Updates

Long time, no blog, huh? Life’s been a little crazy around here.

- My mom was here one weekend, which was fabulous. We went shopping for maternity clothes and talked up a storm. Dave and I both got to drive her new red Prius (paid for in cash!) and add some more ideas on how to maximize her fuel economy. On Monday, we went to an uncle’s funeral out of town, which cut my mom’s visit a little short. On the way home, one of the brake calipers locked up on my car and we spent the night in Lansing at Dave’s sisters house while the brakes were repaired. I did get a chance to go to my favorite place in Lansing and get a long overdue haircut and we got to hang out with the baby and his grandma. But it also meant that we missed our FPU class and I had to reschedule my midwife appointment twice – once for the funeral and once because we got stuck. Have a mentioned that I LOVE my midwives? Or that I’m tired of my car having problems every time we’re traveling?

- The next weekend, Dave’s parents were here to visit and to help with a couple house projects. Dave and his dad installed our new faucet and water filter (Christmas presents from our parents) and I couldn’t be more thrilled. His parents came to church with us, but they had to sit by themselves since I was working in the nursery and Dave was running the sound board!

- When Dave got his March schedule last week, he realized that he had this past weekend off and it would be his last chance to attempt to go skiing this year. He grew up in northern Michigan and was on the ski team in high school. He loves skiing but hasn’t been for 3 years between being in Africa and being a very busy resident. Dave and his dad skied on Saturday and his mom and I hung out, let the hem out on my pants, picked up a sweater off the clearance rack that goes over my belly, browsed a baby name book at the local bookstore – fun stuff like that. We took Dave’s car this time and it didn’t have any problems. He did call his mom in the morning after we got back and joked with her that we had to spend the night somewhere on the way home again.

- Other than that, I’ve not been super motivated, organized or productive lately. The days keep flying by, but I’m not quite sure where they’re going. Dave’s schedule is not too crazy this month. He’s on a rotation where they get done about 5pm everyday, unless he’s on call. It’s really wonderful to have him home before 6:00 most nights, especially since I’m still trying (emphasis on trying) to get to bed somewhat early.