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    Bye bye arm-rests :(

    April 29th, 2008

    It’s been about 6 years since my last ergonomics evaluation. I had one today because pregnancy is making my body change and as such the work habits that worked for me 5 months ago don’t feel so good anymore.

    The lady who did my evaluation was very nice. She brought her trusty tape-measure and took some random dimensions. She then proceeded to take all the things that make me comfy away. No more arm-rests for one. I now have to use the slide out key-board tray that bumps my knees and she wants to move my mouse to my left side. That’s where I drew the line! No more arm-rests? Fine! I’ll cope. Slide-out keyboard? With a lower chair (which I’ll be getting shortly) the knee bump issue will be gone. BUT YOU CAN’T TOUCH MY MOUSE! I never realize how much I like my wonderful right-hand mousey setup until I have to use a colleague’s machine and it’s all in reverse. So we’re compromising – she’ll change out my keyboard, but leave my mouse alone.

    With all these changes, I do hope I won’t be walking around with a stiff lower back anymore.

    4 (or 6) dress sizes bigger

    April 28th, 2008

    In two weeks S and I will be attending the wedding of a good friend. This meant shopping! I wanted to wait until I was very close to the wedding to get anything for fear that when I finally need to get into said outfit it wouldn’t… well… fit.

    So this past Saturday I went shopping. 3 maternity stores later I had no dress to speak of, but did make the following observations:

    • finding a maternity dress that is neither white nor black is hard
    • finding a semi-formal maternity dress is harder. Finding a semi-formal dress that doesn’t look like something my grandmother would wear is harder still
    • finding a reasonably priced, non-white, non-black, non-casual, non-“I’m in my 80’s” maternity dress is just about impossible. I just can’t justify spending $170 on a dress I will only wear once. I can’t justify spending that much on a dress period, so the maternity style/size makes it even worse
    • maternity stores are a great source for a rest-room. Note to others: if at a mall and in need of a restroom, find a maternity store
    • putting the pregnancy belly pillow under your clothes to see what you’ll look like in a few months is frightening. I got a glimpse into my future, and let me tell you – it’s humongous!

    After our third store visit though, we walked by Express. There in the window were a few very cute dresses, that although not intended for a woman in my “delicate condition” would work just fine.

    My new dress
    [picture this, but in silvery gray, no print]

    So inside we go, through the dresses I look and I pick up a size 6, and a size 8. Prior to our pregnancy adventure, I wore a size S, 3, 5 or 6 depending on the designer. Given the design of the dress I figured I should still try the size 6, and maybe the size 8 just in case. In the dressing room, I started with the size 8. Wouldn’t you know it? It wouldn’t zip up around my boobs!!! Of all things my rib-cage circumference grew! So a size 10 was next. It fit. The dress was reasonably priced, so I decided to go for it. I also purchased a size 12 “just in case”. I’ll be returning whichever I can’t zip in two weeks.

    So there it is – I am now the proud owner of two dresses, each respectfully 4 and 6 sizes bigger than pre-belly. A little scary to think about, but I have a good reason.

    Oh – PS. I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to my good friend R who as a bridesmaid at my wedding, 8 months pregnant, definitely CAN’T reuse her dress. Sorry babe!

    More belly!!!

    April 20th, 2008

    G is getting big! I’m looking at my pictures from today comparing them to two weeks ago and there is definitely a big difference.

    Belly - 21w 1d

    His movement these days are just a little noticeable on the outside. When he moves, if you hold your hand over my belly you can just about feel him. I got a couple of good kicks or pushes… or something from him last night. I want S to feel it on his own too — without my translation, so I think we’re another week or so away from that.

    And yes, I am intentionally wearing the same PJ’s in each belly shot 🙂

    How to take off pants 101

    April 18th, 2008

    First undo belt, button and zipper and THEN pull down.

    Apparently getting used to preggie pants (that and drop-and-go) has disadvantages: you forget how the real ones work.

    Open Mouth, Insert Foot

    April 14th, 2008

    Post by S

    Maybe a better title is “My brain is shrinking”.

    A little back story is needed to start this post. When we started down the road to parenthood A gave me a book, “The Expectant Father“. I, of course, read it cover to cover. No really, I did. It was just over a year ago. It’s a great book that goes over the pregnancy month by month with sections like “What Going On with Your Partner”, “What’s Going On with the Baby”, and “What’s going On with You”.

    Since it’s been a while, I still pick up the book and read the relevant Month’s chapter – typically I read the chapter in bed. As I read the chapters, I like to think that I’m learning something that A doesn’t already know. I now realize that this feeling is completely ridiculous. After A has read a few books and some very detailed posts on the Nest, there is really no new information that my single little book is going to reveal. But she usually just lets me ramble about random statements while she is actually tuning me out.

    As I’m reading the chapter for the 6th Month, I decide to read out loud so I can school A in some new information! Maybe she would like to know more about “A Few Positively Odd Things Your Partner Might be Experiencing”.  So here is what I was reading, out loud:

    if your partner has been forgetful lately, or seems to be losing a lot of things — including her memory — it may be because her brain is shrinking.

    A looks up and gives me an evil eye. So I continue reading while thinking that I’m sharing some info that will help her explain some of the Baby Brain episodes. I may even earn some ‘good husband’ points!

    Yep. Anita Holdercroft, an English anesthesiologist, found that during pregnancy, women’s brains actually get 3 to 5 percent smaller.

    A is still staring at me, this time the stare is more intense, so I keep reading (out loud remember):

    Now that you know this, it’s probably best that you  keep it to yourself. After all, there’s really no nice way to tell someone that her brain is shrinking.

    Of course, I stop reading out loud at that point. And A asks, “Who’s brain is shrinking?”

    I think I was just experiencing some sympathy brain shrinkage. But one thing’s for sure, we won’t be having any more reading out loud story time with the baby books.

    Halfway there!

    April 13th, 2008

    At week 20 we are now halfway to “evicting Baby G from his current habitat” (S’ words). In some ways it feels like this time has flown by, and in others as if it has just dragged on. I suppose when you average it out we are moving along at just the right speed.

    I celebrated this milestone by wrapping up our baby registry. S and I are looking at this registry more as a personal shopping TODO than anything else. I’d like to think it’s pretty detail oriented (it has Q-tips on it, to give you an idea), but I’m sure come “Bring baby home” day, S will be making several store trips.
    I created two lists: one at Target and one at Babies”R”Us. I will say that doing this has taken far more effort than I anticipated. I’ve spent a week researching what a baby is recommended to have, assembling one of our infamous Excel sheets, reading Consumer Reports and online reviews, and painstakingly clicking on “Add to Registry” link after link. I also learned the art of the scanning machine. There are some items you just can’t decide on over the internet, you just have to go and see them in person. It is so easy to go overboard with this thing: now I understand how people end up with “Chocolate Syrup” on their wedding registries: you see it, you scan it, you move on. Don’t worry though: I’d like to think I did pretty good. I went into the store w/ an exact list of what I wanted to accomplish — it’s hard to do impulse shopping when it’s not on the list.

    Baby G has also been rewarding me for my accomplishments by moving around more. I am definitely feeling him in there! It took some time convincing myself that this was what I am in fact feeling, but now I’m convinced. I think I’ve narrowed down his movements to two types of sensations: the general one, and the more localized one. I’ve been having a hard time verbalizing to both S and myself what it feels like. This is amusing to me, because when I asked others to explain it, I received such vague descriptions that made me just nod and go “Uh-huh, oh…. okay…”. I had sworn to myself that I will be able with such eloquence to express the sensation, that everyone immediately understand…. and now I’m at a loss for words.

    The “general” motion for me feels like stomach cramps when you are gassy. Your stomach kinda churns for a second, “hardens” and then it goes away.
    The “localized” one is stranger. It appears in a “surprise” location each time… within the lower abdominal limits (of course). It feels like a very gentle poke… or at least gentle for now.

    That’s right: I’m sure you are now too nodding your heads and thinking “U-huh, oh… ok”. I don’t blame you — I wish I could do better!

    All these sensations make me really wish I had a TiVo for my body. It makes me want to pause and replay, because the feeling is so bizzare I want to re-live and analyze it more.

    So now with the registry TODO out of the way the next big item is finding a day care provider. I am genuinely dreading this part! I’m stalling on this task because I just have a feeling it will be really tidious and will take forever. I’m really glad that our friends A&B (who are also expecting just a few weeks behind us) want to do a nanny-share with us. I’m hoping that a divide and conquer approach will help, but it’s still so scary to me. Between the stories of monthly costs, waiting lists that require entry at the moment of conception, I’m a little scared at what we’re going to find.
    You think work will mind if G begins working there full time come January of next year? One salary for two people sounds like a deal, if you ask me! In addition, some of the questions and comments I get from our clients are just as eloquent as what our son will be able to provide at that age 🙂

    Kick me! Please!

    April 11th, 2008

    I “think” I might be feeling the baby move… either that or I have gas… which is also very likely. Feels about the same, yet different in a strange way.

    Time will tell.

    Our baby is a … (the BIG reveal)

    April 8th, 2008

    Patience is a virtue (or so I’m told), so you’ll have to read on to find out!

    A few months ago I had a dream that my parents had a baby lion for a pet and they needed me to take care of it while they were away. It was Halloween though and my sister had it dressed up as a Gryphon… wings and all. Now as you recall, Griffin is our top boy name pick, so since that morning, I’ve been just about convinced that we were going to have a boy. Was I right?

    Our appointment today was primarily to focus on ensuring that all is well with the baby’s development. They measured the heart and its chambers, the abdomen, the length of its legs and arms, its head, looked at the spine and the lips (checking for cleft lip), and all of its little baby parts. All looks well! We have a perfectly, perfect little… baby!

    S and I waited patiently for the tech to take all of the necessary measurements. She talked us through it though, so at least we didn’t have to guess and worry about what was going on in silence. We were thrilled that all looked well, but just wanted to hear the verdict: which one of us will be escorting this child to the bathroom?

    I had to use a mirror to look at the monitor. Not the most comfortable of things, but I still got to see our munchkin’s face

    19w4d - face

    and profile


    Oh… and of course… THE GOODS!

    19w4d - boy parts

    That’s right. We’re having a BOY! Our son wiggled a ton, just about gave the tech carpal tunnel for having to follow him around with the wand, but cooperated. The doctor came in afterwards for another peak and confirmed it. She said that with a shot like the above, she would be really concerned with her detection skills if this child came out to be a girl.

    It’s interesting that either way, I would have been happy just to know. Now, I get to say phrases like “our son”. It’s strange. It’s cool. It’s frightening. It’s awesome!!!
    I have no clue what to do with boys! I’ve never been a girlie girl and always preferred playing with boys. Some of my best friends are boys, but I know how to hang out with them… not how to teach them to use the potty.

    Either way, I have months to prepare for the basics and years to learn the rest.

    So… get ready for Baby Griffin (referred to as Baby G going forward)!

    S can relax now though: he doesn’t have to buy a shotgun in preparation for date nights 🙂

    … you have no idea!

    April 5th, 2008

    We went out for dinner tonight to our favorite Italian restaurant. When we lived in the city, their SF location was two blocks away from our place so we were there quite frequently and got to know the owners (and they us) pretty well. Since we moved away they shut down their SF location and focused on the two others they had in the Bay Area. As such we don’t see them as often, but we do go a few times a year.

    Tonight was the first time we’d been there since the early days of our BFP. It’s clear now that they are some changes in our life to come. The owners were thrilled for us and we spent a good time tonight catching up with them. What was funny, though, was one of their comments : “Oh, NOW we know what you two have been up to! [wink]” at which point I couldn’t help but smile, and nod, but in the back of my head think:
    “Lady… you have no idea!”

    3 inches shorter, 12 lbs heavier and inches girthier

    April 5th, 2008

    I am dumbfounded by how much my body has changed over the last 4 months. I look at my belly, which is awesome by the way, asking myself where all this extra skin has come from? I mean who knew that in such a short period of time this thing can keep growing, and growing, and did I mention growing? It’s phenomenal!

    Me -- 19w

    Me -- 19w

    I’ve been weighing myself pretty regularly ever since we started this process. Depending on how you look at it, I’ve either gained 12 or 14 lbs since this process started. At the “first day of my last period” I was 12lbs lighter than I am today. However, I lost about 2 lbs prior to the retrieval, so you can argue I’m 14lbs heavier now. It’s a little higher than I’d like to be coming up on the mid-point of the pregnancy. I was hoping for an overall 20lb gain, but this is looking like I might be closer to 30. On the bonus side the weight seems to be going entirely to my mid section, which makes me feel a bit better.

    I’ve come to terms with my new wardrobe. This wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, and physically showing now to the world has helped me get over all the cute jeans and shirts (I own) that I won’t be fitting into the very near future. Last week I had to give up my boots. This was in fact a sad day. My belly is now protruding quite noticeably, changing the stress points on my body, and standing in high heels is certainly not helping that. So I had to get some flats. I’m now 3 inches shorter, but my back is a much happier being.

    There are other things about pregnancy I find strangely cute:

    • Putting socks on is not the same anymore. Obviously I can’t bend my legs up the same way because Belly is in the way. I wonder if I’ll come to a point where socks will no longer be an option.
    • Rocking myself out of a vehicle will soon be the only way out. We live up on a hill. When S drives, I have to get out on the side of the sidewalk, and it’s amazing how much those 4 inches of sidewalk can make a difference on the leverage and momentum you have while getting out of a car…. especially when doing it against gravity. Sigh — these are the starting moments of my “penguinism” future.
    • People now give me their chairs. In a meeting earlier this week, I walked into a packed conference room. I mean, people were already sitting on the floor. Perfectly content to do the same, I headed to the back of the room, where a group of gentlemen immediately went into a scurry of who was going to give up their seat. I found it both sweet and hurtful at the same time. Hard to explain on the second part: I felt like I am still able to take care of myself and didn’t need their pity. At the same time also really relieved and happy that I work around people that care. Then about 30 minutes into the meeting I was thrilled I wasn’t still standing, nor were my butt-cheeks falling asleep while sitting on the hard floor. Yep, feel free to give me your chair any time.

    I haven’t felt the baby move yet, which is a little disappointing, but also a good reminder that this baby is in control of it’s development and that my impatience needs to conform to it’s schedule and not the other way around.

    We find out the gender next week. I think it’s a boy. My mom does too. S goes back and forth, and I’ve had several people tell me it will be a girl. All in all, pretty even. Well, I guess we’ll find out in just a few days.