Monday, February 28, 2011

A Year of Sources

This week marks one year since I got analytics installed on my blog. This means that I can go to a website and find out how many people are visiting my blog, where they're coming from and how much time they're spending on it. Don't worry, all you lurkers, I can't tell who exactly is coming. Sure, I can see that there were X number of people from the Los Angeles area, but that doesn't really tell me much, so I don't really look there often. But I do like checking out which countries people come from, and laughing internally at the person from Lebabnon who accidentally stumbled across my page.

So to celebrate one year of blog knowledge, I thought I'd share with you my favorite traffic sources. Here are:

My Favorite 10 Things People Searched for that Landed Them on My Blog Somehow
Typed in just as they appear in my report (my notes in parenthesis and italics):
10. "love his button"

9. Keanu "that's a lot of blood"

8. Venice Beach guys speedos

7. Sassy+Julie+Scottsdale (I can only assume that my blog is exactly what they were looking for when they searched for this.)

6. Putting keys on your belly when there's an eclips (What was this all about?!)

5. Can you color your hair while taking zofran? (I know the answer to this question is not on my blog, but this person spent a whole 5 minutes looking for it!)

4. Submissive Julie Michael

3. Get oreo down face using only facial muscles (So proud that I know exactly what this one's talking about)

2. love freeballing in sweatpants

Who doesn't? And in case you don't believe me, here's a screen shot of the report:

I don't think I've ever written the word "freeballing" in my blog, so I have to assume that this pulled up because of all the times I mention sweatpants. Which is embarrasing.

And my Top Favorite of what a person searched for and somehow got routed to my blog:
1. "sweet champagne" anal

What am I to make of this? What was this person looking for? Did they ever find it? So many philospohical questions to be asked! And to never know the answers! I can only assume they landed on this blog post where I substituted "anal" for "detail-oriented. But still!

Hope you enjoyed! (Although I feel bad for the people who ended up on this blog post because I have the words 'anal,' 'freeballing' and 'submissive' all in one entry. Sorry you ended up on this lame blog instead of in strange erotica!)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

9 Months Along!

Today marks exactly one month until our due date!!

Whoa, guys. I can't believe how far along I am! I hope this month goes by quickly - I cannot wait to meet this little girl! But I also hope it goes by slowly - there is still a lot to do.

So here is my belly pic for the month!
If this baby doesn't come early, I'll plan on posting a comparison shot of me at 4 weeks vs. 38 weeks!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Thursday Hospital Drama - not Grey's Anatomy

Want to Tarantino it? I'm going to show you a little image of the end of the story, then I'm going to take you back to the beginning. Ready for it?
Bam.

Okay, so around 2:30pm yesterday I noticed that the babe was moving around a TON. She once made such a big and thrashing movement of limbs (my hand happened to be on my belly at the moment) that I actually heard a thud coming from my belly. This is not relevant to the story. Sorry. I'll try to avoid tangents, but you have to understand how hard that is for me.

3:00 rolls around and I'm starting to feel uterine cramps - a lot like menstrual cramps. They don't go away and I feel several practice pressure waves. 3:30 brings with it a pretty bad back pain. Now, I'm no stranger to back achiness in pregnancy, but this was different. It was very specific in site - it was located halfway up my back on the left side. It felt like a Charlie Horse muscle cramp except it was in my ribcage area. Was the baby wedging her toes in between my ribs?? The worst part was that there was nothing I could do to stop it. I got up and walked around. I went to the bathroom. I stretched at my desk. (Luckily my cube neighbor leaves early, lest she would have gotten a great show of modified downward facing dog, forward bend and triangle pose. Some of the tech guys walking past got a nice little view, though, but they already think I'm odd so it's okay?) I went to the bathroom again. Repeated my stretches in the handicap stall. Nothing alleviated my discomfort.

I left work around 4 and went to my car. I laid the seat all the way back and started making phone calls. First to Michael, then to my healthcare place. I really just wanted to know where I should go. I didn't think it was my birthing time, so should I go home and lay down? (The idea of my 40 minute commute with that back pain was pretty horrible.) My body was telling me something was wrong, so should I go to the nearest hospital? (Which is not my birthing hospital.) If I was in labor, should I head to my birthing hospital? I read a book by Jenny McCarthy once where she mentioned her baby's kicks put her ribs out of their sockets three times...should I go to a chiropractor? (Oh dear Lord, am I taking pregnancy advice from the girl who co-hosted Singled Out?)

After calling Michael again, I started driving to his work. Then I pulled over because I thought I was going to puke. Michael called the office and started making threats if I didn't get some advice quick (omgilovehimsomuch). I got a call from a Nurse Practitioner that told me to go to my birthing hospital and get checked into labor and delivery. Michael reached a midwife at the same time who said the same thing.

Now, I'd like it mentioned that at this point I could have started FREAKING OUT. I really think it says something for the hypnobabies techniques that I was able to remain very calm this whole time. Sure, in my mind I was thinking about how this was NOT optimal (hello! Didn't even have my fuzzy socks! Can one even give birth without fuzzy socks?! I had frickin' ballet flats on!) but I didn't start crying, nor did I have a meltdown on the phone with Michael. I drove to the hospital.

Checked into L+D by myself, which sucked. People kept asking if I was in labor and I honestly told them I didn't know, that my midwife told me to come in because I was in pain. ("This must be your first baby," I heard a lot.) In my heart of hearts I knew it wasn't my birthing time. It didn't feel like it, it just didn't feel right. They took me up to triage pretty quickly, took a urine sample, had me get in a gown and then hooked me up to some monitors. That's when Michael arrived...calm, collected, handsome and missing a work happy hour to be there.

The results: great baby movement ("Baby's got the hiccups!" Michelle in triage announced, "She does?" I asked. I, apparently, know nothing about pregnancy sensations - I also missed Braxton Hicks - DO I SUCK AT BEING PREGNANT?), not many contractions, but something was up with my urine sample. I have a bladder infection that's made its way into my kidneys. Which explains the back pain (only on one side) and why I felt so much better after just being able to lay down in the triage room. Oh, and the constant peeing.

I felt pretty silly for all of this hullabaloo about a bladder/kidney infection, but the nurse assured me that she was glad I came in. If untreated they can turn into very serious bacterial infections and my back pain indicated that it had already gotten far enough. It would not have cleared up on its own.

Which is how I ended up taking the above photo. And maybe why I can't sleep and sit here typing this out at 3:42 am.

Want to hear the best part? Michael got a ticket on the way to the hospital. ISN'T THAT SO ROMANTIC? (and sad?) He made an illegal left-hand turn off a road that allows left-hand turns, but not during rush hour. Yes, he told the officer that his wife was in labor. No, the officer didn't have a heart. Maybe he can take my hospital paperwork to court to fight it?

Anyway, there's a lesson to be learned somewhere in this, but I don't care to investigate further at the moment. It's almost 4am, I have to go to work tomorrow and everything's fine. Everything's just fine.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baby-Related Updates

I have graduated to weekly prenatal appointments. Wow! Once a week! That's a lot of blood pressure gauging and me shrugging and saying, "Still good." I remember when they first told me that we’d eventually get to that point (the final month of pregnancy) and feeling like it was so far away. I can’t believe I’m there. We’ve had a student midwife in on most of our recent appointments (in addition to the certified nurse midwife) and after talking about our birth plan she asked if she could be in the room during the birth. She also asked if we would be one of her parents she uses for her training. I guess she sees a lot of moms/couples, but she includes only 4 or 5 in her official reporting of treatment, observations, post-natal care, etc. I’m pretty flattered that she picked us, even if this is just part of her job.

I'm almost 36 weeks along, which (divide by four, carry the one, use fingers and toes) comes out to about 9 months pregnant! I'm starting to feel 9 months pregnant sometimes. In general I feel great, truly. I think maybe my body is trying to go easy on me to make up for those first 5 months of morning sickness? But sometimes I literally just went to the bathroom and feel like I have to go again. And bending over is just getting rude, since I have extra weight to lug around and I'm off balance and the belly gets in the way and I make unflattering noises when I try to stand back up.

Baby girl is active in there! Seems like her daily goal is to distract me as much as possible with kicks, squirms and somersaults. I know it's a good sign, so I try not to let my imagination conjure up images of the baby sending me Morse Code signals that she's in distress. I keep thinking someone's going to freak out in a meeting when they see my belly lurch, but so far no screaming has occurred.

Speaking of baby girl, I've had yet another person tell me that I'm carrying a boy. "Your belly is pointy. That's how a belly looks when there's a boy inside." My belly is pointy? Thank you? I don't give much credence to this old wives tale (wouldn't the shape of your belly depend on baby's position, maybe placenta position, amnio-fluid amounts maybe, your general fitness, etc?). I mean, I highly doubt that an additional 1" of reproductive organ would make my belly pointy. So I'm not very concerned that baby June is actually a Junior (buh-dum, ching!), but Michael and I did talk for a minute about reconsidering our whole Only-Get-One-Ultrasound plan.

My work seems to have made some adjustments in the bathroom safety-seat arena. Most notably, we have altered the brand of safety-seat we use. We have gone to a more flimsy and thin model. (Everyone knows what I mean when I say safety-seat, right? The little tissue liners you put on the toilet to avoid direct bum-to-toilet contact?) I feel that this is not the place to try to make cut backs and save money. And I realize that this isn't baby-related, but I feel strongly about this topic.

That is all for now.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pinkies Up, Ladies!

On Saturday I went to Afternoon Tea at the Phoenician! What was the occasion, you might ask? It was a Bridal Tea, to celebrate the impending nuptials of Lyndsey and Fabricio! This was really my first experience with a formal tea, but I thought it called for a fancy hair-do.
Eh, I tried.
I'm interested in making hair flowers a larger part of my life.

It was really fun and delicious. I wish we had some kind of device to record our conversation. We must have talked about Girl Scout cookies for 20 minutes. And a highlight was when Jaye - mid-conversation - had a sudden outburst of, "Is that candy?" while eyeing a bowl of what turned out to be flowers.

I must add, however, that going to tea with one Brit and one Canadian made me the subject of some comments about being the only one to not know what a real tea outing was like. BUT, after tasting everyone else's tea, I noticed that I took mine with considerably less sugar! Representing for the Yanks! No cream for me! Yes, I drank my tea as hardcore-ly as is possible to drink tea that looks like it has little flower bulbs floating around in it. Of course, I'm not exactly sure how one traditionally takes tea, so it very likely may turn out that your'e supposed to have cream and sugar. In that case, I humbly submit myself to comments about how we Yanks ruin everything, etc. etc.

Anyway, I totally went into it not wanting to look like a tourist. I didn't take pictures of the little sandwiches we ate for the first course (tiny chicken salads, asparagus, cucumber sandwiches, etc.) or the pastries we ate for the second one (served with delicious non-sweet whipped cream, jam and lemon curd). But once the dessert tray came around, I completely lost my cool and pulled out my camera.

The server came round with the platter of 8 different kinds of dessert and asked which ones we'd like to try. I told her to go ahead and leave the platter. She obviously doesn't know me because she laughed and then looked at us expectantly like I hadn't just given her a legitimate answer. So we just asked for one of each.
Let me tell you, that little dessert platter she carried looked pretty desolate once we were through with it! You can't blame us! One cannot expect three pregnant ladies to go easy on the dessert tray!

Having taken out the camera (and having outed myself as a tourist by my too-loud laughter, anyway), I was now allowed to take a picture of the adorable little tea pots we were each served.
My two gorgeous companions and me:
Out front, right after the picture-taker dropped my camera. Side-eye, Valet guy! Are you trying to tell me that taking pictures isn't part of your job description!?!?!
What a great time!

It's only been about 36 hours since tea was over and I've already wished I had a big old pot of Chamomile and some biscuits with jam! Er...surely I can think up some other reason for Michael to take me to afternoon tea next weekend, right?

Last Weekend of February Tea? You Went Out of Town Last Weekend, so Let's Catch-Up Tea? Possible Final Month of Being Baby-Free Tea?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Name that babe!

Sorry to be such a tease the other day. I posted a person's reaction to our baby name and didn't actually share the name!

Without further ado (and actually, I didn't mean for there to be any big ado), I present the name we've chosen:

June Elizabeth

We love both names, obviously. We didn't choose either for any one reason, but for several reasons each. I think I've said before that we tend to lean toward the classic/traditional names, which is why I was accused of choosing a "granny" name the other day. When I hear June I don't think of a granny. I think of a chubby baby, I think of a teenage girl, I think of a working woman - all of whom can be proud of their name.

I also think about calling her Juno and Junie (June E.) and Junebug, as Michael often addresses her in utero. Maybe I'll call her June Eliza when we're in character and feeling particularly dramatic.

(I hope I get a little girl who sometimes gets in character and feels particularly dramatic.)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentine's Veto

We were going to be romantic for Valentine’s Day. Really we were.

I had dinner reservations at sunset and everything. The gift situation was all arranged - we decided that the new Mac Book Pro we bought will be our gift to each other - and we were going to go out on the town on Sunday night.

But...

We just had such an active weekend! Michael had a quick out-of-town trip for work on Thursday, was gone all day Friday and got home at about 3am on Saturday morning. We got up and took maternity pictures with my friend Lyndsey. After that I went to my baby shower. After that I raced home just in time to change clothes and leave to meet friends and family out to celebrate my brother’s birthday. That night, as I was going to sleep, I kept thinking about how nice it would be to have a lazy Sunday and stay in. But the Valentine’s Day plans I'd made!

So Sunday morning, while we were getting ready to go to Hypnobabies class, I danced around the topic of asking him if he was excited about our plans until finally he asked me if I wanted to go. I had an outburst (“I DON’T THINK I DO! It’s just that, I love lazy Sundays and we’d have to get all dressed up and we’d spend a lot of money and I’d just as much like to sit with you on the couch in our sweatpants and this weekend has been so busy already!”) and then asked him if he wanted to go (“I feel like I’m walking into a trap. If I say I don’t want to go then you’ll be upset.”), which prompted me to quote Admiral Ackbar (“It’s a trap!”) until we finally hugged and thanked the heavens we were so compatible.
(If you didn't know, there is a whole cult following of Star Wars' Admiral Ackbar and his big scene where he proclaims, "It's a trap!" Seriously, you should Google Image Admiral Ackbar and see all the weird stuff that comes up. Some of my fave spoofs include "It's a cap!" with a picture of the Admiral in a jaunty cap, "It's a tarp!" with a picture of a tarp, and "It's a crap" with a picture of...well, you get the idea.)


So that’s how we came to cancel our reservations and celebrate Valentine’s Day in our sweats on the couch with me getting the occasional hair tickles. Oh wait, there was some excitement – Michael went to the grocery store while I bought a wall decal for the baby room! I know it doesn’t sound very romantic, but I really enjoyed it and was so glad we did what we did. We had a big night out the night before with JP and were fine with just hanging at home. At about 4:50 when I was half asleep on the couch with Michael, I was so glad I wasn’t getting ready to leave the house for our dinner reservations!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My Baby Shower!

My baby shower was on Saturday! Hosted by the wonderful Jaye. She really went above and beyond with all of the wonderful decorations and food! Check out these beautiful and tasty cupcakes!



I can't believe I didn't get a picture of all the ladies in attendance! But here's one of Jaye, me and Lyndsey - all three preggies lined up in a row! Due in June, March and April! It'll be one crazy summer!We played some baby shower games, including the one I requested, the guess the belly game. This is where you cut a ribbon to how long/wide you think the mama's belly is. It's almost without exception that people guess WAY over (it's a tough game!). I think there were about 15 people there and only one guessed low. Here's Mom modeling her guess:
(Photo by Jaye)

Then we opened gifts! At first I modeled this baby bikini right side up until I was reminded that our baby girl is actually head down, so this would be a more accurate depiction:
(Photo by Jaye)

And check out this adorable tutu that Cindy MADE!
(Picture by Jaye)

The reason why I'm posting Jaye's pictures and not my own is because my own are pretty unflattering. Despite my resolution to stop making ridiculous faces, I did my Marlon Brando impersonation again. (Does anyone remember why this came up??) And once again, I thought it'd be funny, but it just left me with tons of pictures with me looking absolutely hideous. Like so: (Actually, this is Jaye's photo also.)

Godfather faces aside, it was such a wonderful time! Everything pink and pretty and baby-sized!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Surrounded

These are all things coworkers have said to me in the past week:

“No. You’re not naming your daughter that. You’re kidding. Seriously? No, for real? That’s a granny’s name! That’s the name of the old lady that lives down the street and gardens all day!” (Yeah, and? I would much rather be gardening right now than listening to you slam my baby name.) “As in ‘Cleaver’?” (This took me a minute to recover from because when I hear ‘Cleaver’ I think of the fictional movie Christopher Moltisanti made in the Sopranos and couldn't make the connection.) “She’ll be a newborn 80 year old!”

“So…birth. Aren’t you, like, terrified?” (This one came from a man.)

"Did you just say you're going to try to continue breastfeeding while working? Yeah, that's what I said. Lasted two days."

“Yeah, X had her baby. She was SO ready, too. She was telling me about how the baby felt like it was falling out, and hemorrhoids, and how uncomfortable she was. I was like, lucky me! I didn’t go through that because I scheduled an early c-section! Lucky me! But yeah, that’s what you have to look forward to! Ha!”

“I used to be able to do fun things before I had a kid. I went to Super Bowl parties, I loved football. Having a kid changes all that. So that’s what you have to look forward to! Ha!” (These last two were from the same person on two different days, can you tell?)

“No pain meds? Good luck with that. I give you an hour of labor before you’re screaming for the epidural.” (This patronizing comment from a woman with no children was the most obnoxious. I should have told her, "You have no idea what I am capable of doing." Instead I said, "You saying that only provides me with extra motivation, and will make me that much happier to come back to work and tell you about my unmedicated birth." The entire feel of this conversation was tension masked by a thin layer of kidding around.)


Nothin' like a day at the office for some good old-fashioned Negative Nancy-isms.

Good thing I have my bubble of peace around me at all times now (Hypnobabies reference) and don't let their negative thoughts through to me. Which means that their feelings don't affect how I feel about having children, being pregnant or giving birth. Not that it doesn't bother me that they would say it.

I really don't get this. I would never, ever talk to someone this way. I would never bash someone's choice to name their child something (alright, I wouldn't do it to their face. I don't love every name a person chooses for their baby, but I would never tell them that! It's their choice. The name they've choosen for their unborn child. This decision is not [usually] made lightly.). I would never act like I know someone else's body better than they do themselves. I actually didn't mind the guy asking if I was terrified of birth because he was so sincerely interested in hearing my answer. I told him that I wasn't at all, that I was excited and couldn't wait. But I still think it's sad that the first thing someone does in this society is not congratulate them on new life, but ask if they are terrified to deliver it.

I usually come back at their comments with sarcasm or a blank, sweet face and "I am looking forward to it, thanks." I wonder what would happen if I ever spoke my mind.

It just feels like I have a joy. I carry this joy around with me. And people feel like they need to cast a shadow on it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Story behind the Video

Okay, now that my last post has been up for two days, I'd like to provide some back story.

I love to dance. Have you heard?

So, last Friday, when Michael had to work a game, I decided to do something. I decided to make a surprise pregnancy dance video for him. I was going to just press the record button on my camera and then dance around the living room for a few minutes, but I had this vision of my big opening being my belly poking out from around a corner, so I couldn't film the thing myself.

I enlisted the help of Remi. The voicemail I left her only teased "Surprise pregnancy dance video" and her phone call response was immediately "I'M IN." Except she and her husband Cole had their sights set much higher. Soon I was over at their place and we were scouting out different places I could dance ("Maybe get in the hot tub!" "We could record out in the orchard behind the house!").

Rem was in charge of the recording. Cole was in charge of the audio. I danced. Smith waved.

During one part where I danced down the hallway, Remi was on rollerblades with a phone tucked in her belt (from which the music was playing) and the camera in one hand and Cole was pulling her backwards WHILE holding an obliging Smith. See?

(He takes his waving very seriously.)

When we were done, they showed me how to use the iMovie software on their Mac and left me to my own devices when it came to editing. I was technically babysitting Smith at the time, but seeing as he only made a couple coo-ing sounds from his crib and then self-soothed back to sleep, I don't feel like I did much.

I was so excited to share the finished product with Michael. I sent him to the grocery store to get him out of the house. I put a note on the door saying, "Please proceed immediately to the couch and press PLAY." (The 'immediately' was neccessary because I had hidden the same camera on our bookshelf to record his reaction.) I had cued up the video on our TV and was hiding in the back bedroom...and nearly went insane with impatience as I listened to Michael put away all the groceries before going to the couch to watch.

How I loved listening to his laughter as he watched!

Anyway, we agreed that I might as well share the video with people. So if you haven't seen it yet, here is the link again. Hope you enjoyed it even half as much as I did making it with these friends!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

You (probably) won't regret watching this.

I would like to share something with you.

I would like to share something with you without giving any back story.

Let me just say that if you're interested in seeing more of this: Or at least why this is, please click here.

That is all.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hypnobabies Week IV

*Sorry, this post is a little late. I wrote it last Monday and forgot to post it!*

I was really excited to go to Hypnobabies this week…last week’s class was rescheduled because the instructor was sick. This might sound odd, but we’d been told that we would watch some actual Hypno birth videos in the class and I was pumped to see them!

This week’s class was mostly about early labor. Recognizing the signs of true early labor versus “practice” pressure waves (contractions), when to go to the birth center, how to (best attempt to) stay comfortable on the car ride there, etc. We watched the videos, which were fascinating. It’s so interesting to compare these birth videos to the ones you see in the movies and on TV. I mean, there was some moaning and some hard breathing, but mostly the women were just laying back, eyes closed, listening to the Hypnobabies CDs and getting lower back pressure from midwives and baby daddies. There wasn't any screaming, throwing things, cursing at husbands. I can see why they don’t include Hypno births in movies and on shows like A Baby Story. There isn’t much drama here.

I really hope I have a birthing experience like the ones they showed in the videos.

After class I laid down and had the instructor (also a doula) feel for how the baby is positioned. She felt around and had to stop because I was having a practice pressure wave! People have asked if I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions yet and I’ve always said no because I never noticed anything. Sure enough, she pointed out that you could see how hard and round my belly got (it was easier to see because I was laying down). It didn’t feel like anything yet! And since then I've been noticing them a ton.

The instructor said that BabyShock was head-down and probably laying off to one side a little. She had Michael come over and feel her head! It was really low, but he kind of felt in with his thumb and forefinger spread apart and jiggled it from side to side! He said he could feel her head moving a little! His reaction was priceless – I think he was a little weirded out at first but really thought it was cool. Supposedly she’s likely to stay head-down at this point in the pregnancy because it’s more comfortable that way for her. Let’s hope so!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

8 Months Along!

But still two to go...

I feel like I'm getting pretty big. Finding weather-appropriate outfits to wear to work is getting harder and harder to do.

Here I was last month:
And here I am this week:
As you can see, the belly button is still an innie, but I don't know how much longer that will last!
As of today, I can say that I'm due next month! Yowza! But I still think it's possible that we'll have an April baby. I'm not afraid of going a little late (a lot of my Hypnobabies affirmations are about being patient and letting my baby decide when she's ready), but I am sort of hoping not to have an April Fool's baby. (If she takes after me, the poor thing will be gullible to people's practical jokes for the rest of her life...on her birthday!)