24 January 2012

still here, still pregnant

Well, in case you were wondering (like everybody else) . . . nope.  No baby yet.  Due date was yesterday.

We're starting to try a few old wives' tales to induce, but only the fun ones.  Walks are fun, eating eggplant parmesan is fun, and a few other techniques may or may not be fun (you know the one).  I decided against making labor cookies because just reading the recipe made me wanna throw up.

I have a few predictions here.  First of all, I came a week or so late and was born on the 1st of the month.  Maybe Baby W just wants to be like her momma?  I also have a guess of the 29th, due to some family history of babies (my own mother, in particular) born on the 29th.

My other prediction is that she's waiting for me to finish reading Gone With the Wind.  I checked this book out from the library around Thanksgiving and obviously intended to finish it before giving birth.  Well, I'm just over 800 pages into the thousand-page tome.  I've already maxed out the renewals and had to check it in and check it back out again.  I even tried skipping ahead and just reading the last sentence, but she wasn't fooled.

We're trying to figure out when to schedule an induction, and my doctor will let me go all the way to 42 weeks (Feb. 6) if I want.  I'm trying to figure out if that is what I want.  I mostly want to avoid a c-section, and that would probably be my best bet against it (and completely out of my control if it does take that turn).  B got out of his monthly travel for this week since it was close to my due date, but he couldn't get out of the entire week he has to be gone from Feb. 13-17.  I've been trying to figure out if I'm going to get stuck with a one-week-old baby alone or not--it's a delicate balancing act between my mom's visit and when my mother-in-law will come.  I'm so confused.  If baby just came this week, it wouldn't be an issue!!  Sigh.  I know I shouldn't complain a lick since I know a lot of people whose husbands were deployed when they gave birth.  But we waited until shore tour to avoid that!  Oh well, this is the only Navy baby we'll be having, so whatever.

I'm not that tired of being pregnant yet, except for the development of PUPP (basically a really itchy rash on the belly!).  My doctor gave me some cream for it today, thank God.  The other thing I'm tired of is everyone "checking in" or asking if I've had the baby yet.  You will know when she comes, I promise!  For you out in blog-land (who have been very good to me and not pests at all), here is how you will know: look at my sidebar.  See the Twitter feed?  You can even click on it to get to my actual Twitter account if you want, but it gives the last two tweets there in the widget.  If it doesn't say "Baby W is here!" or something like that as the top message, then she isn't here and I'm still sitting on my bum waiting.  No, I don't have a smartphone and the hospital doesn't have wifi, so I won't be uploading pics from the hospital, but I found that I can text in a Twitter status.  I can even hashtag it in such a way that it will be my FB status.  So there ya go.  Everybody, just chill out already!!

(Okay, I just looked and in the 2 minutes that I wrote those previous sentences, one of my bigger nuisances just left another message on my FB wall asking if baby was here yet. *headdesk*)


18 January 2012

pregnancy update: the stuff that has helped me the most

This past Monday, I hit my 39 week mark!

This was my goal, especially when my doctor told me she'd be out of town last week!  I saw a different doctor last Thursday who could tell that I dropped both by measurements and just by looking.  She did my exam (um, ouch), told me I was 1cm and said she felt the head.  She also could feel me having a contraction just by touching my stomach.  She said I probably wouldn't make it through the weekend.

Well, she was wrong, but that's probably because I didn't do squat other than sit on the couch the whole weekend.  I can only feel my contractions when I stand up, and they don't hurt a lick.  I'm definitely ready now, and I just got the call that my car is fixed so I can turn in the rental.  I might bust out some Dance Dance Revolution tonight just to see if that does anything.

Here's the latest week-by-week look:
Next time I will teach my photographer a bit about consistency!
Today, I wanted to tell you about some items that have helped me the most throughout this pregnancy.  Most were actually things we already owned.

First up, the ball.
NordicTrack StayBall 65cm
I actually got this for free from doing an online survey.  I had kinda wanted one anyway, but probably wouldn't have ever forked over the $20 for it.  Sometimes the ball is the only place I can get comfortable.  B has gotten some use out of it as well, since it's the same exercise balls they have at the gym.  This one has some sort of bean bag in it though, so it's not constantly rolling across the room.

Now for my "every day around the house items"

Throw pillow - this was from our guest-room bedding set (formerly B's bachelor bedding).  My chest was hurting (sometimes sorta burning) upon waking some time early in the second trimester.  I found that if I just wedged this pillow under there, I could sleep soundly on my side and not have any pain.

Yoga pants - I've had these forever, but I don't think they had seen very much use until this pregnancy.  Basically, my stupid maternity jeans are always falling down, especially when I stand up and sit down a lot (which I do when I'm at home).  So I just change into these to bum around the house, and they sit below my bump and stay in place.  (I did end up having to take the drawstring out.)  I always change into my jeans when leaving the house, though, because I'm just not that big of a slob.  And when these get dirty, I'll often switch to just regular pajama bottoms.  Elastic waistbands have been much more of a friend than full-panel maternity stuff.

Red flashlight - B used this on the sub.  I use it to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and not ruin my night vision.  I needed it a bit in the first trimester and these past few weeks.

Shoes without laces - These are still my go-to shoes for pretty much any time I leave the house.  Luckily, I volunteer in a pretty laid-back place, so I can wear these to the office.  I would probably still be wearing flip flops if I was due any other time of year.  I do live in Florida, y'know.

Size-up t-shirts - Seriously, just one size up from my normal size fits me fine.  I only own one shirt in that size (my "Camp Like a Champ" shirt from the summer I worked on a ropes course at a Catholic camp), but luckily B is that size as well.  Also, the blue tank top I'm wearing in all of my belly pics is an Old Navy long and lean tank top in size M (regular, not maternity) that I got right after I took the pregnancy test.  I do obviously own some maternity tops--cute ones that I wear while out and about.  Many were thrifted.  I also found that some of my regular shirts were long enough to continue wearing.  The purple shirt below is a Merona size S from the clearance rack at Target that I've had over a year now, and it still fits fine!

Yeah, that's a picture of my unmentionables on the internet.  Get over it.
Nursing bras without underwires that don't have cup sizes - these have been great.  My cup size never went up (and I had a weird size to begin with), but the bras I was wearing (all had underwires) were causing a burning sensation underneath my bust.  I tried just using my sports bras for a bit, but they were getting too tight.  The white bra above is my favorite, and I got it at Burlington Coat Factory for $10 while traveling during Thanksgiving (we don't have Burlington here).  Unfortunately, it doesn't have a brand listed on it anywhere!  (It might be Lamaze brand?)  But it does have removable pads in it, and was sized S/M/L with lots of elastic.  That's a M, but it seems with every nursing bra (even some of the same brand), I have to try on every single one.  I went to Target a few weeks back to get some other nursing bras and tanks (used my registry completion discount) and walked out of the store with a tank top in S, a bra in M, and another bra in L.  I have tags still hanging on two of those, just in case I hit a growth spurt when my milk comes in.  The nude bra above came from that trip, and let's just say it has been nice to have options.

Also, see that white thing in the left corner of the picture above?  Yeah, that's a changing pad for baby that I've been taking around with me just in case my water breaks!


13 January 2012

milspouse q&a

Since I only have a few months left of being considered a "milspouse," I figured I would answer some questions on it now.  (Yep, joining the bandwagon!)  Mine might be a bit different from others you have read lately, since we're on our way out of this interesting lifestyle.  This was looking like a major wall of text, so I added some pictures :)

How did you and your spouse meet?  Via the internet, specifically okcupid.com.  I had been using this free dating site my last semester of college and found B on there right around the time I graduated.  We met in person after I moved to Jacksonville, FL, a few months later.
This was taken by one of my new AmeriCorps friends on the night we met
How old were you when you two met?  I was 22, he was 23.

How long have you been together?  Dating since fall of 2006, married since fall 2008.  So, together for 5 years now!  (That still kinda blows my mind sometimes because I still feel like I'm 23.)

Where are you and your spouse originally from?  I'm from Lawrenceville, GA (read: suburban Atlanta), where I lived in the same house for as long as I could remember.  B's hometown is Zionsville, IN (read: suburban Indianapolis), but he moved around a bit as a child.  His family settled in Z-ville when he started middle school.

How did you feel about him joining the military?  We hadn't met yet, so I had no say in the matter.  I didn't grow up around military, so I didn't really understand it until I met him.

Where did your spouse go to Basic Training?  He was commissioned through OCS here in Pensacola.  I don't think he ever thought he'd be coming back here to live!

Has your spouse ever been deployed?  Yep, twice with the same sub.

Ever been to his promotion ceremony?  Nope.  I was a girlfriend when he was promoted to LTJG, and he didn't know he was allowed to bring me (his command at the time was pretty anti-girlfriend).  He got his dolphins while on deployment, and he was promoted to LT while on an underway right after we got married.  In the grand scheme of things, this is all not a big deal since we're trading it in for him to be home for things like his daughter's first day of Kindergarten.
His first homecoming.  I'm pointing to his newly-earned dolphins!
How long have you been a military wife?  2 years and some change.  And I won't make it to 3!

Did you marry him before or after he joined?  After he joined.

How did your husband propose?  We took a long weekend trip to Charlottesville, VA, to celebrate the end of his first deployment.  I told him to pick a nice restaurant for one of the nights, and he made reservations.  He proposed in the restaurant, after dessert.  I honestly did not expect it that night!  If you want to read the long version of the story, here it is.

Where did you get married?  My home parish in Lilburn, GA (same place I was baptized and hit every other Catholic milestone).  I think that was the one stipulation my dad gave B when he called a few days before proposing to "ask" for my hand.

How old were you two when you got married?  I was 25 and he was 26.

Did he wear his uniform on your wedding day?  Nope; B wore a rented tux.  The only person in uniform there was our friend who helped as Eucharistic minister, whom I had known since high school and was one of the enlisteds on B's sub (small world, huh?).
Our wedding day: no ribbons or swords
Where are you and your spouse currently stationed?  NAS Pensacola.  And no, he's not in the aviation community!  (His command is NSTC Great Lakes Pensacola.  Confusing?  Yes.)

Do you live on base?  No, but we live 2 minutes from the back gate.  I like the buffer.  And the monthly profit we make from BAH.

How long were you married when you had to go through your first separation?  I think about 10 days.  He went on an underway for a few weeks, missing Halloween and a fun party where I somehow got involved in a ridiculous dance-off.  During that underway, I also moved us into our 2-bed apartment (we didn't live together beforehand), and he had sent me an email about how late he'd be home when he got back, so I didn't leave keys to the new place.  His version of "late" was different from mine (I usually got home from work at 6), and he ended up hanging out at a local pizza joint until I got there because there was nothing at all left in the old apartment.

What is your favorite base so far?  It's really hard to compare Norfolk to Pensacola, since I did most of my time in Norfolk as a full civilian, not a milspouse.  The community I had in Norfolk was amazing, but I never really even felt welcome on the base there.  In a pure aesthetic sense, the base here in Pensacola is beautiful, but I haven't been forced to make friends in the same way, so the community is a bit lacking and people don't stay here for as long.
NAS Pensacola jogging trail with sandbar and bay behind it.  Picture taken from the passenger's seat of B's car.
Does your spouse look good in his uniform?  We both think he looks ridiculous in NWUs, but he only had to wear those for a brief time.  He looks good in the khakis he wears every day here, though!

Do you think military life is more advanced than civilian life?  I think it can make things move faster, as I see people get married and grow up a bit quicker than they may be ready for.  But if you're thinking of "advanced" as in "more forward," no.  I think military life can be a bit backwards at times--hell, sometimes I blame it for turning me into a 1950's housewife.  I don't think one way is better than the other, however.

Do you like the benefits you receive as a military dependent? For a frugal gal like myself, of course.  The top 3 parts I will miss when my dependent ID expires: 1) Free healthcare.  This keeps me awake some nights, but then I remember that both B and I grew up in civilian households and our families didn't go bankrupt from  our civilian insurance.  2) Commissary.  Even though the cost of housing is way lower here in Pensacola than it was in Norfolk, groceries are the same price.  And most FL stores don't double coupons, so the best way to shop without spending 30 hours a week trying to find the best deals at each store is to use the freakin' commissary.  3) Free gym.  I've budgeted in a gym membership for after we leave, but we even have a gym here at the other base that has free childcare.

Do you have a lot of military wife friends?  Yes and no?  I volunteer on base, so almost everyone there is a milspouse (or a retiree).  I click a bit better with milspouses right now, but just don't have a lot of friends in this area.  I'm planning on joining some mommy groups that will hopefully have a variety of women.

What is the hardest part of being a military wife?  It used to be the deployment "work-ups" (underway times) when he was on the boat.  Yes, the years he wasn't deployed were harder than the years he was.  And we somehow planned our out-of-town wedding around that blasted work-up schedule, which was a feat in and of itself.  I don't think there's anything hard about our life right now though.  This shore tour is so easy.

Do you own any military wife stuff?  I don't think so.  I have one shirt that just says NAVY across it.  Oh wait, my mother-in-law gave me this rock thingy when B was deployed that says, "God bless my sailor" that's on our bookshelf next to some trinkets B brought back from his port calls.
Bookshelf pic from old apt with the rock-thingy in the top middle.  Left of it, genie lamp from Bahrain; bull from Spain.
Do you support your spouse as a member of the military?  Of course.  And if he had any desire to be a "lifer" or even a reservist, I would be behind him 100%.  I'm definitely not the one who made him want to get out.


11 January 2012

our holiday stay-cation

Even though my protruding belly made it impossible to travel for Christmas this year, B still took two weeks off (the boy has too much leave I guess?) and I planned out a few fun things to do around the area. I even made an itinerary (albeit a very flexible one).

Here are some pictures of the fun things we did around Pensacola:
Museum Day at the Pensacola Museum of Art.  Tinier than I expected.
They had a beautiful exhibit of kimonos, and I loved this  one.
Across the street from the art museum is the T.T. Wentworth, Jr. Florida State Museum.  Lots of interesting Pensacola history in here!
One night we went to a Christmas celebration at the Pensacola Lighthouse on base.  Free cocoa and cookies!
B climbed the lighthouse (free!) while I took pictures.
Haven't been to a zoo in a while!  At the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores.
B made lots of new friends at the zoo.
And after this, a pelican tried to attack him.  Not kidding.
We took a day trip to Mobile, AL, since we've never been.  This is the USS Alabama Battleship.
Next to the battleship was the USS DRUM pre-nuke submarine.  Haven't looked through a periscope in a while!
B didn't let anyone there know he was on subs.  He wasn't nostalgic at all.
We also walked down Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile.
Beautiful cathedral in Mobile.
Inside of beautiful cathedral.
We grabbed some friends and attended a minor league hockey game--Pensacola Ice Flyers.  Gotta love a fight.
I'm mad because I told B to get us a drink to share and he came back with Dr. Pepper.  You would think after 2 years of marriage he would know I hate that stuff!!

Have you ever taken a "stay-cation"?

08 January 2012

when life comes at you fast

Nothing says "fun Friday" like being 37 weeks pregnant and then getting rear-ended!

This past Friday afternoon, I had been out doing some last-minute baby shopping.  After I left Toys R Us (our pitiful excuse for a Babies R Us around these parts), I decided to call my mom and give her an update from my Wednesday doctor appointment and joke about some of the guesses in my online baby pool (my dad thinks my baby will be 25"--LOL!).  I stopped at a red light, still chatting away, then BAM!  I hollered into the phone, "I've just been rear-ended!" but I realized the phone had slid down and hung up.  The light was still red, so I called her back, but I started crying as I said the same thing and I guess the phone dropped the call right after.  Mom said she sorta panicked (and her office mates even asked if everything was okay), so she called B.

The guy and I pulled over into a restaurant parking lot, and my crazy pregnancy hormones had me crying as I got out of the car.  The guy, who was in some type of Army uniform, was so pissed at himself.  He kicked the remaining pieces of the cover off his front license plate, and I think he kicked his bumper, too.  I was trying to calm myself down, assuring him I was okay, but just crazy pregnant.  Neither of us really knew exactly what to do, and I was shaking as I copied down the info from his insurance card.  I called my mom back to update her and ask her if we should call the police.  She said I should, mostly because of the pregnancy.  EMS came out and didn't lay a finger on me, but offered to drive me to the hospital (which I declined).
My poor baby with a hole in her bumper!
We waited a bit longer for Florida Highway Patrol to come.  It didn't even cross my mind that the guy was gonna get a citation.  I felt kinda bad about this because as we waited, he told me that he's in the National Guard and has been having trouble finding a job since coming back from deployment last year.  He said he's seriously considering going active duty full-time, and this might have been the push he needed.  I guess I can't feel too bad, though, because I gotta look out for #1 here (and Baby W, of course).  I also decided that even though I turned down EMS, I should give Labor & Delivery a call and see if I should come in (answer was an easy yes--apparently big jolts may cause your placenta to detach).
Close-up of the hole.
After we got our police report filed, I headed to the Naval Hospital to get checked out.  It was right around the time B was getting off work, and I thought it was gonna be a quick thing, so I told him not to come.  Well, when I checked in, they told me they were gonna monitor me and baby for at least 4 hours!  Well, crap.  So B came to the hospital, and there went our plans to attend the Twelfth Night celebration downtown.  I had really been looking forward to that!  They also wouldn't let me eat anything as a precautionary measure.  I had hardly eaten any lunch, and it was nearing 5pm now.  And my 'labor popsicles' were still at home in our freezer, since I was pretty sure this baby wasn't coming yet.  They put me in the nice triage room with a TV, poked me with needles, took an ultrasound, and had me strapped to monitors and such.  I learned that I've actually been having contractions but not feeling them yet.  Very interesting!
Did I mention the bumper is falling off?
My doctor's husband was actually the doctor on duty, and my doctor dropped by to bring him dinner at one point so she came in when she heard I was there.  I think it was her who asked me if the other driver had been texting.  I actually don't know, but why hadn't I thought of that?  (Probably because I don't text that much and never while driving.)  All I know is that he said he looked away for a second, and then braked but his brakes locked.  So, hmm, I don't know, and probably never will.

There were a few upsides to this eventful day:

  • Obviously, Baby W is okay and still happy in utero.
  • I got a small taste of what it will be like the day I actually come in laboring.  My butt hurt sitting in that bed, and the hospital only has a handful of TV stations (at least in triage).  Luckily, we were able to watch some football.
  • It was a beautiful day!  In the 70's, I think.  This made it a lot more bearable to sit around and wait for the cop.
  • I didn't get everything on my to-do list accomplished.  I had actually planned to install the car seat that morning, but the fire station near me doesn't do those and you have to make an appointment.  I'm so glad that the car seat was sitting safely in the apartment, so that's one less thing we have to do.
  • My car is drive-able.  No airbags deployed.  I was wearing my seatbelt (always) and had the lap strap below the bump.  And I wasn't at fault, so I don't have to pay anything for repairs.  There's a lot to be said for all of that.

Also, I'm hoping to keep this baby inside this week because my doctor (and her husband) are on leave!  We'll see how that pans out :)