Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Aarti Party

This summer as my sleep schedule was disturbed even more than normal summers due to our impending bundle of joy, I became addicted to a couple of shows: Design Star and The Next Food Network Star. Since we already have a Sunday night line up (True Blood and Madmen) I would catch these treasures on their second showing in the middle of the night. It didn't take much to suck me in since I am already an HGTV and Food Network connoisseur. The winners of both were given their own shows! This allows the obsession to continue in what I consider a healthier fashion, during daylight hours. Aarti, the lovely Indian girl, won the Next Food Network Star! Her show, Aarti Party, is Indian food made easy and usually with some sort of comfort food twist. Last night, I am made her Bombay Sloppy Joes for Bkay and Eliot! One the side, I made my yummy coleslaw and some sweet potato fries. All and all it was pretty yummy. My first pseudo Indian meal went well. I am still not a big fan of ginger and I am surprised that the Serrano chile didn't spice things way up but it was tasty. All three of us ate like kings! BKay brought over a tasty dessert, pineapple mini cakes with fresh berries and homemade whip cream, which was the perfect end!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Seriously? Pain Management Options? Really?

An article from Parents.com just caught my eye: 20 Tips that Make Childbirth Easier. They sent it to me via email and of course I couldn't help clicking and reading because at this stage there is little else to really think about in regards to the pregnancy. My checklist is complete and even though I still have flashes of moments where I forget that I am pregnant which I usually take as an indication that things are going well and I feel great, those are fewer and lesser than in previous trimesters. I digress, I clicked and read.

First of all, there are only 8 Tips! Not 20! And out of those 8 Tips, three of them involve medication! Isn't that the whole idea that they would come up with something new! Innovative! As a teacher, I am urged every year to create new and interesting ways to present ancient topics. My god! I teach about Abraham, Sarah couldn't even have children but still somehow the story seems like new every time! Included in the other 5 tips that they attempted to sell were the kinds of tips that I assume make most women in labor want to punch some one: relax, breath, move around...come on! If Eliot looks at me while I am in the middle of a painful contraction, I am screaming and he says "Relax, honey!" I would recommend he ducks!

The other two tips though not new: massage and water therapy sound nice now but I think, could be hit or miss. Unfortunately, the new state of the art birthing medical hospital that just opened up where I am having my baby did not decide to include bath tubs, so not much of an option unless we invest in some water guns...which really adds a new violence, that I am uncomfortable with, to the most miraculous experience on earth. Massage though soothing and relaxing most of the time, at this very moment sounds suffocating.

My thoughts for you Parents.com writers is step it up! Get some new material! Think outside of the box! Push the envelope! Give me something I can use and don't try to sugar coat it! It's gonna hurt!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Charley the Horse

Off and on for the last couple of months I have been having Charley Horses in the middle of the night. I wake up as if a monster sea creature is gnawing on my calf. I drink water. Eat bananas. Still they come and they haunt my dreams like Freddie. In the past week, I had one that was so bad that my leg ached for several days after, then just when it seemed the pestering pain was fading another Charley appeared at the same spot. As I clenched my leg desperately cringing in pain, I managed to rub out the rock hard round horse that crawled under my skin and went to work yesterday morning. The persistent ache stayed there all day. When I got home I noticed that my left leg was swollen, so I elevated it. Eliot looked at the back of my legs and said that my left leg behind my knee was also a little swollen which was the site of my pain. We iced it.

At this point, we made the carnal mistake of referring to the internet and pregnancy books. This only led to thoughts of DVT and death. Then panic. So we called the midwife. She told us to go to the emergency room to get things checked. We got dressed. We got in the car. I did not want to go to the hospital. I am not a good patient. And if you know me I am not that keen on the medical community in general. My anti-hospital campaign started and successfully avoided going in to see doctors. We returned home with no medical intervention and went to bed. I ate another banana.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baby Nursery

Last night we officially finished the Baby Girl Gaurkee's nursery! As promised here are some pictures showing it off a bit. I attempted to put together a video, but the battery on my Flip died. If I can patch that up I will add it to the blog as well.

As you can see we went with pink! A bold design move but we thought we would embrace the girlishness. Instead of going with one particular theme we collected things that we loved that just went together fairly well. The first pictures on the wall are an alphabet list that uses cities from around the world as the inspiration and the other is little girls from around the world. 

On the other side we have a sticker mural of birds and owls along with the flying really pretty paper birds hanging from the ceiling. We also have a couple of smaller pieces that we found that have butterflies and animals.

The changing table and crib are from Crib 4 Life, as I have reported  before. We are thrilled with them both. The smell of real wood actually permeates from the drawers when you open them. And the drop down gate has already come in handy.

Since we have a small home, we had to maximize our space. This room was previous our guest room/office. The bookshelves here were filled from top to bottom with books that we have packed up and put in the attic. We slowly purchased these cube storage units and have randomly created an eye pleasing palette. Each cube holds baby items that have been categorized. I have also created a note card map to find the items in case I can't remember exactly where everything is all of the time.

The crib bumper and quilt are from Land of Nod and I decided that we didn't need a whole set, so we played off the colors for the sheets and crib skirt. We really like the way it turned out! Eliot picked out the dancing elephant mobile and she has already acquired an array of multicultural dolls and animals from all of the people that love her.

We are so excited to have her arrive! Yesterday's midwife appointment confirmed that everything looked great. We will have an ultrasound around Sept. 7th (39th week) in order to determine her size but there is no indication that she shouldn't be just right. I have gained less than 15 lbs at this point, so all of me is water and her.

I have nothing to complain about and I thank God for the many blessings and pleasantries of this pregnancy. Even that first contraction this weekend wasn't too uncomfortable, though I assure myself it may get a little worse before it gets life altering.

The last shot here is of our glider and lamp. It is comfy and cozy. In 2010, you see she already has herself a little IPod speaker and play list ready (my old IPhone was good for something). Come on down Baby Girl Gaurkee!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Full on nesting was on the rise last night. I had the label maker out and Eliot, who never passes up the chance to buy plastic tubs for organizational needs, reorganized our linen and storage closet. Thankful now, we can easily find oral medications versus the sewing kit. Band aids are easy access and the dental hygiene products are safely away from the soap. We can sleep soundly knowing this, can't we?

Everything is put away according to category and/or size, towel bin, sheet bin, toy bin, you get the idea, CHECK. Everything from 0-3 is washed and ready. CHECK. Sheets are washed and put on the various sleeping venues: bassinet, crib. CHECK. Car seat is installed. CHECK. Bags packed. CHECK. Now we wait.

Last week, I started back at school for these last few weeks of pregnancy before my sabbatical also known as my maternity leave. My department mates are taking on a couple of extra courses and have hired a young buck substitute to handle a condensed course load to accommodate my impending arrival. Students will be pouring on to the campus tomorrow and my to-do list is not as hefty as it normally is this time of year. Oddly disconcerting, but ultimately I am thankful.

Saturday night, I felt the very first full fledged contraction. Through the summer I have had a couple of Braxton Hicks contractions which my birthing teacher and midwife assures me is usually just an indication of dehydration. Normally, you feel a small crap in the very front of your belly, almost like a puppeteer is pulling on your belly button. On Saturday, my lower back had a dull ache that swung across to the front causing my entire belly to turn rock hard. I have always wanted rock hard abs before. It lasted about a minute and went away. Nothing else came of it. Is the day a coming sooner rather than later?

Tomorrow I will officially be in my 37th week of pregnancy. Full term here we are!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Belly Button

From my point of view, my belly button looks like Cletus.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Breastfeeding 101

Breastfeeding is really one of the most amazing things God thought of, seriously. Last night Eliot and I went to the Breastfeeding class and it was mind blowing.

Did you know?
  • That your milk changes from morning to afternoon to evening depending on the needs of the baby?
  • That the milk has so many antibodies that scientists have done testing about its impact on cancer and it has been promising?
  • That the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you should breastfeed for at least a year and that it repeatedly during this entire time continues to strengthen your child's body and brain?
  • Your child is less likely to have heart disease, obesity issues and diabetes if they are breast feed?
  • It reduces the mom's chances of breast and ovarian cancer?
  • It also burns an additional 500 calories a day!?
An though there are several hurdles to overcome initially, like having your baby latch on properly (which once again made me think of spaceships) and the importance of avoiding nipple confusion (never knew this was an issue) so, no bottles or pacifiers in the first 4 weeks. Less than 1% of woman do not produce milk and your body is smart enough to make the amount that your baby needs. Unbelievable! It is these moments of awe that always surprise me about our animalistic nature that we try so hard to ignore in our super-sized brainy world.

Now that the basics are taken care of, I wonder about what kind of breast feeding mom I will be. I see myself as the "publicly feeding my child with a discrete covering on" type. To me that is the middle way. I am not the "whip it out and expose" type nor the "hide under a bushel" type either. The negotiating time to pump at work thing is some what difficult to wrap my head around. I read yesterday they recommend you do it 8 times a day for 15 minutes. Now, that seems a little excessive and though, I am sure my rock hard pecks will signal the time, I can't imagine where I will find the time to do pump that much. I was hoping for once a day. (Another fun fact: not all women leak! Fingers crossed.)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

37 days and counting

Pregnancy is so close to the end. According to my official counter, there are 37 days and some odd hours left! The planner in me wishes that it worked like a cooking timer. Once she was ready I would hear a BING and I would have time to make all the appropriate phone calls and calmly head to the hospital. Even better, if that infamous stork could swing by with a telegram or a magic wand and zap her out that would be great too. I suppose the most difficult thing is the waiting and the unknown. Officially, this coming Tuesday I will be in my 37th week which is considered full term. After that 37th week, it can be go time at any time. We can't wait to meet her! Eliot is already all goofy about his little soccer girl!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Baby Land Update

Prenatal yoga on Wednesday at the Living Room Yoga studio was delightful. Three mamas to be and a thoughtful instructor embarked in an hour and fifteen of just great meditation and yogic practice. It was just want I needed. It is always nice to meet new expecting moms and share a couple of winks and smiles about the process of pregnancy. Everyone was very welcoming and encouraging as well. Definitely a place to visit!

Pediatrician interviewed and selected! Eliot and I went to the a prenatal interview with a local recommended pediatrician practice. Both my closest friends take their children there so it was a natural place to start. We met with Dr. Julie Johnson which is one of five doctors in the practice which has been established since 1950 though the original founding doctors have retired, they have continued the tradition. They believe in getting to know their patients so they only admit new patients as infants, they are supportive of the breastfeeding process, and they are the only practice in town that have privileges to practice at All Children's, Bay Front and St. Pete General, and St. Anthony's. They have on call nurses that answer the phones day and night to help with questions, Saturday sick hours and intentionally leave appointments open to fit in sick kids if needed. The1980s Disney murals on the walls provide for me a warm sense of nostalgia which sealed the deal. So the Cordes, Patranella & Winkler pedis are our choice.

There was a 4th birthing class and you may have noticed that I didn't blog about it. There was little to tell. It was less scary than the 3rd and really all I learned is that there are few real emergency c-sections which was comforting. What was not comforting was that the instructor had a representative from a cord banking center come and speak to us to get our business. I have done my research with cord banking and to be honest I am less concerned about the financial obligation and more concerned about the psychological impact. I could not live a normal life thinking my child could need a cord cell transplant at any given moment due to a severe disease that they may get at some point in their life. The presentation seem to cause a bit of panic around the room and all these first time parents asked a 1,000 questions. It was manipulative and I was ready to make our exit.

We also had our first shower this week at Eliot's work. It was so sweet and everyone was so generous. They decorated with pink and soccer balls. Eliot and I were touched by their thoughtfulness and thankful for their generosity. It is so wonderful and joyfully overwhelming to be cared for in such a way. We are blessed. Thank you UCH!

In the coming days we have a breastfeeding class and my ladies from Berkeley baby shower tea!