Posts Tagged ‘Pregnancy – Zippy’

June 1, 2012

Baby’s Month!

Dear Zippy,

Happy Birth Month, Baby! Well, that is if you decide to come on or before your due date. Your dad and I think about your pending arrival all the time. I keep going back to the labor prediction calculator I wrote. You only have a 24% chance of being a Gemini now, a 16% chance of being born before father’s day, and have slightly better odds of being a July baby than a June baby at this point since you haven’t arrived yet!

Mommy apologizes in advance for being a math dork. I’m afraid you’re destined for geekdome too. I promise it’s more fun than it seems. You’re dad is looking forward to teaching you how to use the computer, even though it will probably be a few years yet before you’re interested. He brought you home a stuffed unicorn toy from the last conference he went to. Of course, if you want to be a data scientist like Mommy, instead of a hacker like Daddy, I’ll be cool with that!

We went to the doctor yesterday. You are doing great! You’re heart beat is good and you are getting so strong. In fact, she said if you were to come today, you would be treated as “full term” even though you’d be on the slightly early side. She doesn’t think you’re coming in the next two weeks, though. (My labor predictor agrees, and gives you a 13% chance of coming before then.) You’ve been head down for a few weeks, and seemed to have dropped on Thursday, but you’re in no hurry to make your appearance!

The doctor also predicted you will be on the average to small side. She estimated you at 5 and 1/2 lbs (the average for your number of weeks gestation is just shy of 6 lbs). She said we should get plenty of use out of our newborn onesies. Of course anything is possible; you may grow a lot this month. You may even turn out to be a boy!

She also predicted based on your position that you will be a cuddle bug, and love to be swaddled. Mommy and Daddy fully plan on obliging!

Your dad and I previously decided our goal was to have your nursery ready by the time we reach full term. Given that we’ve been together for 36 weeks already, and we only ordered a crib yesterday, I doubt that will happen! The good news is your crib did shipped today (as did all the rattles and teeters Mommy ordered for you), and is due to arrive next Friday, so there’s still a chance we can meet our self imposed deadline. Do me a favor, and don’t come this week, okay?

With Love,
Mommy (Aka, the big squishy thing you like to tenderize from the inside)

May 28, 2012

3 Day Weekend Recap

Domingo: It’s our last three day weekend before the baby comes, do you want to do something fun?
Sarah (excited): Let’s organize the filing cabinet!

Okay, so my definition of “fun” may not be the conventional one.

I finished my paper at about 2:45 am (due at 3:00 am!) Saturday morning. Actually, it wasn’t done, done. I wasn’t able to do as much during the past couple of weeks as I would have liked, so I had more ideas I never got a chance to try. It’s just something I have to accept, I guess. My energy level just isn’t the same as other graduate students.

Even though it was a late night, I still got up early Saturday morning (thanks Zippy!). I was so tired I took a three hour nap in the middle of the day. Sunday wasn’t much better. I was able to sleep a bit more Saturday night, but didn’t feel like going out until the end of the day Sunday. Then I was only able to shop for a couple of hours before heading home for an early bedtime.

Still, despite feeling a bit like zombie, we did manage to accomplish a fair amount. On Sunday night we went clothes shopping. We only had a couple onesies for Zippy, and needed more. Babies R Us was having a 50% off select brands, so it’s perfect timing. Every book I read said not to overload on newborn clothes, usually sized for 5-8 lbs, or 0-3 months, usually 8-11 lbs. Some babies are born at 10+ lbs, and skip those sizes. In fact, the two most recent babies in my circle of friends were both over 9 lbs!

While we’re not expecting a big baby, anything is possible. I bought a couple packages of newborn size onesies, so we now have 18 in total. Even with 2 or 3 changes a day, that should last us a week before running out of clean clothes. (I’m sure it’s optimistic/naïve to think we could go a full week without running a load of laundry since babies aren’t notoriously known for being clean!) The packs came with a lot of butterflies, hearts and flowers patterns, which aren’t really my style. But they are decent and I don’t want to spend too much time or money fixating on a size she may never wear. There were a couple of really adorable onesies that were my style, so I got those in 0-3 months and 3-6 months sizes. I’d hate for zippy to only be able to wear them once or twice before outgrowing them. I also figure keeping a couple on hand for growth spurts will be useful.

I have cut the tags off and will wash nine of the newborn onesies. I plan on keeping the receipt for the other nine (a five pack and a four pack), just in case. If Zippy is close to the size cutoff, I’ll try and make do with the first nine and return the last. If Zippy is too big for them right away, the washed onesies will go straight to charity. If she’s on the small side and I need more, I can always head back to the store!

While we were out, we also got burp clothes. Or rather cloth diaper tri-fold inserts to use as burp clothes. They’re kind of boring (plain white) but everyone online and my mom swears by them. After I opened the package I could see why, they’re large and super thick. I don’t have to worry about excess spittle seeping through! I’d go for functionality over appearance any day. The question in my mind now is “how many to get?”.

We also needed wipes and diapers. This one was harder for me, only because I like to buy in bulk to save. But we don’t know how big she’ll be, what will fit her, or what her skin sensitivity will be. I went with a three pack of wipes (to last two to three weeks) and a small pack of newborn diapers from three different brands. That way we can try the different brands, and go with the one that fits her best. I’m hoping to go the first two weeks without needing to go to the store for anything – clothes, wipes, diapers, etc. When we know what works for us, we’ll stock up!

Monday morning we made a couple of freezer meals (meat sauce for spaghetti, and chili). We’ve been freezing the spaghetti sauce in single servings throughout the pregnancy, since it’s been one of the things I’ve been able to consistently eat well, and with zippy sometimes compressing my stomach, it’s hard to predict when I’m hungry enough for a meal. I love the flexibility that single servings brings. It’s just as easy to thaw two as it is to thaw one! Our plan is to spend an hour or two each weekend before Zippy comes making more freezer meals. We’ll also stock up on frozen fish, chicken and vegetables.

Oh, and we also organized the filing cabinet! Good times.

May 25, 2012


I’m 35 weeks pregnant today, which means there’s only 35 days until my due date. I’m working towards a 3AM Saturday paper deadline, but I wanted to post some quick random thoughts for having a bun in my oven that’s 87.5% baked.

My current favorite maternity photo. I’ve improved, no?

Zippy’s movements have really changed the past couple of weeks. I know longer feel the flurry of kicks, but rather her flipping around and stretching. Sometimes it feels like she’s using my abdomen as a bench press. I love being able to make out her little feet! Or at least I think I’m feeling feet. Could be fists!

Zippy has been surprisingly good to my figure. Yes, I have stretch marks and varicose veins, but I haven’t been this happy with the shape of my figure in a long time. I can still fit into, button and sit in my pre-pregnancy jeans without the use of belly bands! Not that I would be comfortable wearing them out in public, but the point is I could.

My belly button reminds me of the bad spot in fruit. I’m still an innie, and my belly has gotten nice and hard lately, except for the belly button which is soft and squishy.

Infant car seats are ridiculously hard to install. Yes, I can write statistical models that predict when I will go into labor, but apparently I can’t install a car seat in a way that feels secure to me. Luckily, our local police department is happy to give it a quick look over (for free!). I’ll make an appointment next week.

It feels like forever since I’ve taken any photos or videos. Yes, we took a few photos on Mother’s day, but I was cold so it wasn’t very many. I also haven’t taken a classic bump style photo in quite a while. So happy a three day weekend is coming up!

May 18, 2012

Remarkable Progress

My parents visit this week has kicked my butt into high gear because I was embarrassed by the state of our house, and because they were coming explicitly to help. Extra hands make for light work.

In the past three days we:

Called a Hauler. We needed to get rid of all the old, broken down furniture, including the stuff that had piled up in order to make more space for the baby. I’ve been dreading it, especially once I hit seven months pregnant and my mobility and energy were greatly reduced. Domingo and my dad were able to gather up everything that needed to go, so all I had to do was call around and find a good company and schedule a time for them to come out.

Purchased a Car Seat. I kept going back and forth on which one I wanted. I was pretty settled on a brand since Baby Bargains recommended it, but there are so many different choices – Snugride 35 or the Snugride 30? And they come in so many different colors and quality of fabric. But with only !!6!! weeks left until my due date, we had to make a decision. We ended up with the 30. From what I’ve read online, we’re much more likely to out grow it height wise than weight wise anyway, and since both Domingo and I are short, I’m hopeful it will last for a full year. It’s slightly lighter, which will make it nicer for lugging around, and ended up being $30 cheaper than the 35 before coupon.

Purchased a Breast Pump. Despite the Medela Pump in Style recommendations I have been getting from seemingly everyone, I was leaning towards the Ameda Purely Yours since Baby Bargins said the two brands were comparable, and the Purely Yours was much cheaper online than the Pump in Style. That is, until I noticed Babies R Us had a 15% off coupon, and reduced the Pump In Style’s price by $30 online! With coupon, the final price ended up being $229 – about $10 cheaper than the current best Ameda price I could find. I’ve been watching the prices of both pumps for quite a while, and $229 is about as low as I could hope for. Since we will need a pump soon, I decided to purchase now, rather than wait for a possibly better deal.

Picked out a crib. Kind of. The crib has become more of a necessity now that I’m starting to question the safety of sleeping in the rock n’ play. (The warning label says not to leave the baby in it unattended, and isn’t night time sleeping considered unattended?) I want to have the option to use the crib, if I change my mind about the rock n’ play. We went around to Babies R’ Us, BuyBuyBaby, and Target. Babies R’ Us and BuyBuyBaby had really heavy cribs that were big and bulky. They’re great if you like that really heavy look and feel, but I didn’t really want that. Target had cribs I liked and in my price range, but nothing in stock. I hate paying shipping for something that was supposed to be in stock, so I was pretty grumpy. Then it occurred to me that Amazon might have have a few that qualify for free shipping, and sure enough they do! I picked out four that I liked and added them to the registry. We’re about 10 days away from our registry completion discount code, so I will wait until then and get which ever one is in stock and ready to be shipped.

So what’s left? In terms of expensive items, there’s the crib (obviously), stroller, swing and Ergo. The Ergo and swing I think are low priority. I plan to use the rock n’ play initially instead of the swing, and possibly the Moby instead of the ergo for the first couple of months. I’ve read the newborn insert for the Ergo can be very hot, and it’s already predicted to be one of the hottest summers on record for our area, so we’ll stick with a lighter carrier for the first couple of months.

But that’s it. We’ll need diapers, wipes and clothes. We have no diapers! We do have seven newborn onsies, but I’d like to get a couple sleepers. Everything else is optional, or not needed right away. Boy does it feel good to have some major things crossed off our list!


Happy Mothers day to all the moms out there – whether you’re babies be in your arms, in your bellies, or in your dreams!

We are still knee deep in an insane to-do list, but I wanted at least one good outdoor family photo. It was my only request for my first mother’s day!

April 30, 2012

List Overload

I love lists. Really I do. But my Pre-Baby To Do list is giving me heart palpitations. How is it we still have this much left to do?! Despite my panic, this was actually a pretty good weekend baby wise.

I scheduled the last of our pregnancy classes and our hospital tour of Labor and Delivery unit for next week. I’ve been holding off organizing my hospital bag until the tour, since I don’t know what they provide, and what they recommend I bring for myself and for zippy. In the gold old days hospitals use to get free samples from baby manufactures that they gave out to new moms. I’ve heard stories of free Halo SleepSack and nasal aspirators a couple years ago. Jealous! I’m not sure what we can expect in this economy, but I think they still have things like pacifiers, since the hospital keeps those on hand for the new babies anyway. After the tour we’ll go to a drug store and pick up a bunch of little things like a hair brush, first aid supplies, etc. I’ve found for this category of gear, local drug stores beat baby stores and online retailers. You have less choices, but how many choices do you need for a baby hair brush anyway?

We will have to skip the birthing class, since it doesn’t fit our schedule. The class is being offered only twice more before I’m due. The first is this Friday/Saturday, with Saturday being a full seven hours! It’s so last minute, that even if I put off all the things we need to do next weekend (and we were hoping to cross of quite a bit from our to-do list), I’m not sure we can be squeezed in. The class will be offered again a few days before Zippy’s due. Even if Zippy comes late, I’m not sure I’ll be up to sitting through 9 hours of pregnancy classes at 9 months pregnant! The good news is, of the classes that we were planning to take, I was most inclined to skip this one. At the hospital we’ll be surrounded by Doctors and nurses who know what they are doing and can tell us what to do. I also don’t feel totally unprepared. There’s also a lot of information online about breathing techniques, and what to expect. Our hospital also has a labor video that I’ve already watched. The other classes, breastfeeding and new born care, will help us learn what to do when we’re on our own. The birth is also one day, where we will be carrying for a nursing a newborn a lot longer!

We purchased a rocker for the nursery. We went with a rocker/recliner from JCPenney because it was so amazingly comfortable. I could spend hours a day in that chair (and I’m sure I will once zippy comes!). It seemed superior to the comparably priced ones at BabiesRUs and BuyBuyBaby, and JCPenney included free shipping. I was also able to get 20% off by opening a new charge card, so it was a great deal. I know – opening a new line of credit isn’t completely without cost, as it comes with a credit hit – but the temporary hit is worth it.

We also got the Motorola Video Baby Monitor from BuyBuyBaby using a 20% off coupon. It wasn’t until after I purchased it that I realized this particular unit doesn’t support a second parent device. (My fault – I didn’t do enough consumer research). We could have done a monitor with several parent devices if I was willing to give up video or willing to spend a lot more, both of which I was unwilling to do, so we would have ended up with the same monitor anyway.

Next we got a Dishwasher Basket for under $4 for Target as a spur of the moment decision. We were looking at the pacifiers and it suddenly occurred to me that we needed a way to clean them. If pacifiers end up not being dishwasher safe, I’m sure I can find a use for the tray (like cleaning my Wilton decorating tips or the corn on the cob grips). I went with blue, since I dislike hot pink and neon green. If I ever work up the courage to spend $50 for a bathtub, I will get the Blooming Bath in blue as well for the same reason.

So now we can clean baby’s (non existent) pacifiers, have a spot to clean her bottom (we still need diapers, wipes, etc), a spot for her to sleep and the technology to watch her as she does. It’s progress!

While we haven’t bought it yet, we did make a decision regarding strollers. We settled on the City Mini Stroller, since it’s easier and more comfortable for me than the other brands. Currently the Infant Car Seat Adaptor is actually more costly than the Single Snap N’ Go Stroller, so we’re planning on getting the Snap-N-Go. I’m just waiting for my registry completion coupon to make the purchase. If we get the Snap-N-Go, I might wait on the City Mini until the end of the year, when the city mini 2013 models come out. We won’t have use for the City Mini until then anyway, and if I wait I can get this year’s model at a discount! Double win!

Lastly – and I’m so proud of myself for this – I sent out thank you cards. A couple close friends and family members surprised us with gifts last weekend at my sister’s wedding, including some very nice handmade blankets. I was so bad with thank you cards after our wedding (they went out almost six months after!) so this time I thought I would send them out right away. It’s much easier to write four than forty.

Now that we’re at thirty one weeks (7 months) along I thought I would try some more interesting DIY maternity photography. My bump is pretty pronounced at this point, and while it will get bigger, I don’t (yet) have stretch marks or a popped belly button, so I thought I would take advantage of it! Don’t worry, there’s nothing risqué.

The most important thing I’ve learned so far is to remember where you’re light source is! Light is your friend! If you think of the camera, light source and you forming a triangle, I found it works best if the angle in the corner represented by you is not obtuse (either acute or right angles are fine). Otherwise I’m usually cast in too much shadow. I then face anywhere between the light source and the camera. My preferred light source is a window, but in a pinch a lamp can do.

I also strongly maintain that this is a time to experiment with your camera. You don’t have to share the photos you don’t like, so why not snap away and get as many as possible! I’m much more of a classic bump kind of gal, but it was fun to experiment.

Nothing but Belly!

This is a pretty standard maternity photo for a reason. It’s also super easy! I did this in front our living room window in early morning when the sun was streaming through, illuminating the curtain. If you have a tripod, set the camera height to be at about your navel. I’ve got a three quarters turn to the window (so the light is on the bump) and the camera is facing me.

One of the things that makes this shot so easy is you can easily lean over and see how the photos are turning out, and adjust the camera settings as need be. The sun kept going behind clouds, so I had to keep readjusting my exposure. I really like the overexposure in this setup.

If you don’t know how to do an over exposure, and easy way is to have your camera on ‘auto’. The camera will then select an appropriate f-stop and shutter speed. Next, switch over to manual and reduce shutter speed to have a longer exposure. You can always do several iterations of trial and error until you get the exposure you want.

I also did the overly cliché hands-in-the-shape-of-a-heart shot. You’re taking these shots for you, so who cares if you indulge in some clichés? Do whatever makes you happy!


* If you’re going to do this with a bare belly, change out of any full or partial panel maternity pants in advance. That way you won’t get any clothing lines in your photos. I’ve found I often have to change for about a half hour first, just to be on the safe side.
* I sometimes forget I’m holding the camera remote and end up with a clenched fist. I find it works much better if I set the remote down, or hide it in my pocket during the 2 second shutter delay.


The layout for this picture. The yellow triangle shows the angle the camera sees.

Inverted Perspective

Not going to lie, this one was much harder than I expected. For this shot I’m lying on the bed and the camera is on a tripod. The problem is I’m not as spry as I was thirty weeks ago. It takes a great deal of effort to get up off of the bed, and change the camera settings. I also don’t particularly love this shot, since my bump is much less pronounced.

In order to reduce the number of “bad shots” and thus trips to the camera I recommend using a piece of masking tape to mark the spot for your head. Domingo also helped me by letting me know where the image was being cropped so I could readjust without needing to get up all.the.time.


* Try not to tilt your head too far back when looking at the camera. At least for me, tilting my head too far back and an ear to ear grin caused my forehead to wrinkle.


The layout for this picture. Again, the yellow triangle shows the angle the camera sees. For the photo where I’m wearing the pink shirt, the camera is about 8 inches to a foot higher than I am, pointing down. It’s about 2 feet higher for the second image. The camera and the window are on the same side of me, so the light from the window will illuminate the bump.

I was happy to have been able to attend my sister’s wedding, but I realize how lucky I was that everything worked out. We gave ourselves a recovery day after flying out and before wedding activities started, and one for after the wedding and before flying back. Turns out I needed both rest days. I tired myself out at the rehearsal, and needed to go back to the hotel. The day after the wedding I got sick to my stomach. But the day of, I was alright, and lasted until the end of the night. I feel less guilty now about missing my college roommate’s wedding. It’s clear that this trip was right on the cusp of what I was capable of. Had my college roommate lived closer, and we could have made a day trip out of it, I think I could have managed.

The return trip was not as pleasant as the flight out. This time we were switching planes during our layover. The trip started out very positive. Tuesday is a light travel day, so both legs we got a row to ourselves. I could have the window seat, Domingo could have his aisle seat and I didn’t have to worry about disturbing anyone (other than him, of course).

I managed to fall asleep on the first flight during one of the only times the fasten seatbelt sign wasn’t illuminated. Poor timing on my part. When we started landing, we hit a bit of turbulence. Seven months pregnant + turbulence was pretty miserable. The layover ended up almost two hours, and, to be honest, I was glad to have a break. It was our only opportunity to eat real food, but I didn’t recover my appetite in time, so I stuck with fruit juice and a bagel. I just couldn’t stomach the thought of anything else. When we were standing in line to board for the second plane, all of a sudden zippy gave me a good kick and I needed to go RIGHT. NOW. I didn’t want to give up my spot in line, so I had to wait again.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be home.

We survived our flight to the east coast, at thirty weeks (plus!) pregnant no less. I admit I was nervous about it. Despite my assurances to Domingo to the contrary, I knew there was potential for problems. I still get pregnancy related migraines and nausea on occasion. A three lbs baby dancing on my bladder combined with turbulence cannot be a good combination. My goal was to never let my bladder get too full, which meant using the restroom early and often.

I wanted to sit close to the bathroom in the front of the plane, since turbulence is usually worse at the rear. In order to ensure this, we sprung for priority boarding. Southwest has open seating, so if you want to sit somewhere specific, you need to board early. The priority boarding was a complete waste of money. We checked in with boarding numbers A58 & A59. Once at the airport, the gate agent told us that pregnant woman can board with the family boarding (after A60) so the $20 we spent only moved us up 3 spots in line! We still ended up in the middle of the plane.

I’m not sure we could have depended on the family boarding, though. I tried to find the policy online, but the only mention of pregnant fliers was that southwest recommends flying prior to the 38th week. I think letting pregnant fliers board in family boarding might be the prerogative of the gate agent. I may have had a distressed look on my face (I’m not very good at hiding nerves) and she may have assumed I was more uncomfortable than I was, and taken pity on me.

Normally I would opt for a window seat, but this trip we went with the aisle so I wouldn’t have to disturb anyone with my frequent trips to the rest room. Well, actually Domingo was in the aisle seat, so I disturbed him, but he’s my husband so that’s allowed. We also packed a bit of extra food (especially protein bars) and bought a couple bottles of water at the airport.

The first leg of our trip had little turbulence and Zippy was pretty easy on me. She was bouncing around a lot, but stayed off my bladder for the most part. Much to my delight, most people recognized that I was pregnant too, and made some sort of comment about it. The stewardess referred to me as “momma”, and the person sitting next to me asked when I was due.

I did have one time when the woman in line in front of me, not only noticed, but asked if I “had to go, like, every five minutes?”. I made a joke out of it, and said that baby was being good to me, so it was more like every ten. I admit, I thought she’d let me go first, since she not only noticed I was pregnant, but also acknowledged I had to go badly. Had she offered to let me go first, I would have declined, since I didn’t have to go that badly. But she never offered.

Having the iphone also proved useful. The first leg of the flight I noticed some playing a word search game. That looked like fun! The plane had a layover, but we were continuing on the same plane so there was no time debark. I was able to use the time between flights to download a similar app, and kept myself busy for the second leg.

So the flight out was as good as we could hope for. I’m so glad. Had it been miserable I would would spend the whole trip dreading the return. Here’s hoping the return is equally good to me!

April 18, 2012


This evening I got out our suitcases to pack for our trip tomorrow and discovered this:

Looks like we have a stowaway hiding in our suitcase!

Tomorrow we’re flying to the east coast to see my sister get married. This will be my third trip flying with zippy. I was 4-5 weeks pregnant on our trip to Hawaii, and 12-13 weeks pregnant flying to Pennsylvania for Christmas. This trip, at 30 weeks, will be the first time I’ll be noticeably pregnant. (At least I think I’m noticeably pregnant.)

We were originally going to have a fourth trip in May. It was going to be a dual trip with two different east coast stops. One stop at my parents for my baby shower, and then another stop further south to see my college roommate get married. We decided pretty early on that the baby shower wasn’t going to happen. It was too much to cram into one weekend, especially given how late we will be in the pregnancy. But we were holding out to see if it would be possible to attend my former roommate’s wedding.

In the ended we decided I would just be too pregnant to make it practical. I’m already getting tired easily, and since I don’t bend too well in the middle anymore, I sometimes need a hand for doing even simple things. This trip for my sister’s wedding I have not only had Domingo to help me, but my parents as well. Having my parents around took a lot of stress off Domingo and I. If the fourth trip had happened, the return flight would have also be right at the cusp of when my doctor will give me the ok to fly.

I still feel guilty about not going to my college roommate’s wedding. We planned (or at least tried to plan) zippy around these events. Since airlines let you fly up to 36-38 weeks, I thought it would be no problem. Now naïve I was about how much pregnancy takes out of you.

I also feel guilty about leaving Lily in the kennel for a week. Now that the suitcases are out, she knows something’s up and isn’t happy about it. I can’t imagine how confusing this time is for her.

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