Saturday, May 26, 2007

This is the hardest part

Now that we are getting closer to our due date (and now that I am not working) waiting is the hardest part. I spent this past week washing all of the gifts that we had received from our baby shower. Then I organized it all and put each item in it's proper place. On Friday we received Brandy's gift- the baby mattress for the crib. I was really excited since I was dying to see how the bedding set looked with the crib and room. Everything turned out looking really nice, so we are quite pleased with the way the nursery is shaping up. Thank you to Dennis for the bedding set and thanks to Diego, Julie, Laura and Nancy for the crib and dresser. Here are some photos that I took earlier today:

Christopher will be sleeping here!

Dresser with changing pad.

Newborn onesies, and t-shirts. Check out the baby socks!

More onesies

Onesies that are 6months and 12months, 2 swaddlers and bibs

Hooded bath towels, washclothes, extra sheets and mattress protector pads.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Pictures from our BBQ/Baby Shower

We had our baby shower last week at our community clubhouse. It was mostly Alfonso's co workers of whom have become our friends over the last couple of years. We had a very nonconventional baby shower- mostly we just hung out, talked, and ate hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken, and vegetables off of the grill. The night before Brandy and Alfonso helped me with preparing a very large potato salad (we still have leftovers) and the day of the shower I made baked beans and a very tasty fruit salad (strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, and banana). For a cake we had tres leches (three milks) which we bought at a Mexican grocery store. Here are some photos that Brandy had taken from the shower:

The guys (Dennis, Ro, and Alfonso) manning the grill. They did a wonderful job and everything came out tasting very good.

Flower arrangements that I had bought at Trader Joe's earlier in the day. I love the cheerfulness of sunflowers.

Steve giving Dennis a ride on his motorcycle.

Us opening our gifts together.

Christopher's tres leches cake. It reads: Congratulations for the new baby. It's a boy. :)

Our good friend Brandy helped with much of the baby shower- we owe our thanks to her. Dennis did a wonderful job with working the grill. R and his wife Veronica did their share as well with setting up and taking down. Thank you to everyone that attended and to those that have given us gifts, we really appreciate it.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

37 weeks!

We are approaching the end with nearly three weeks left. I am officially on maternity leave and so far it feels really good. I am still having quite a bit of swelling in my feet and hands, so I can rest when I need to and be active when I am able to tolerate it. I have been pretty busy this past week- we had our car seat installed and checked on Monday. So now I have Christopher's car seat in the back seat of my car. I like to look at it and think of when Christopher will be on the outside with us. I bought a new maternity nightgown and robe, and two nursing bras the other day. As Alfonso would put it, it's one of those bras that has the "windows." I have also been busy with changing everything over to my new name, so I am officially Rebecca Lynn Pil** Valenc** with Lynn and Pil** being my two middle names. For most of the time, I will just be Rebecca Valenc**.

I saw my OB doctor on Wednesday and everything seems to be okay. My blood pressure was 120/78 and my labs from two weeks ago were normal. She rechecked the positioning of the baby, and he has his head down. Christopher has been having the hiccups quite a bit lately, and it seems to be more frequent after meals and in the evening. I've been experiencing more heart burn at night, so I usually take two tums before I go to bed. I will be seeing my doctor once a week now and then twice a week if I go past June 15th. Hopefully that will not be the case.

We had our baby shower/BBQ last Sunday, and received a lot of gifts from our friends and co-workers. I will be having another baby shower next week with my co-workers, so I am looking forward to seeing them once again before I deliver. I will take some photos of the baby room in the next week or two. We are waiting for a couple of items that are being shipped, so the room is not complete.

Here is an update on baby's development: Congratulations! Your pregnancy is now considered full term — meaning your baby is developmentally ready to handle life outside the womb. (Babies born before 37 weeks are pre-term and those born after 42 weeks are post-term.) Your baby probably weighs a little over 6 pounds at this point and measures between 19 and 20 inches, head to heel.

Friday, May 18, 2007

36 weeks

We are almost full term with one more week left until 37 weeks. However, my due date is not until June 15th, so it could be another 4-5 weeks before Christopher makes his debut. We are not exactly ready- we still need to have the car seat installed and checked (it's the law), and we still need to stock up baby essentials (diapers, clothes, and receiving blankets). We are having our baby shower this Sunday, so I hope to knock off a couple of essential items from our list.

In the last month or two I have bought some used items from people on Craig's list, so that has helped us economically. I bought a mini co-sleeper with two sheets and extension legs for $95 (brand new= ~$170), Snugglenest delux $25 (new $50), Baby Bjorn Sporty Carrier $40 (new $120), Boppy Pillow with cover $15 (new $35) and infant carseat base $10 (new $40). We saved over $230 in buying the items slightly used.

My parents bought us an infant car seat and stroller along with a baby bouncer. We have our crib and dresser set up. Now we just need a mattress and bedding. We plan on having the baby sleep with us upstairs for a couple of months (during the day he will sleep in his crib downstairs) and before I start work we will have him sleep downstairs (hopefully).

Today we went to our breastfeeding class. The information was very helpful and we learned more from this class than at our infant care class. It's interesting to see all of the pregnant women and see how far along they are in their pregnancy. Also, it's just nice to see other pregnant women and know that they are going through the same thing as me. This one girl in our class had terrible edema in her feet and she was elevating her legs, so I could definitly sympathize. Two of the women in our class were having twins! The instructor had us play with our baby dolls and we practiced nursing them. I feel a little nervous about breastfeeding, but more confident after taking the class.

Tomorrow is my last day at work! I am so relieved to have it be over with. I worked on Tuesday, and in the last two hours of my shift I could hardly walk because my back and joints were hurting so much. :c owww

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Feeling swollen and sore

In the last week or two, the temperature in Los Angeles has been in the 90's. My body is not handling this too well and as a result my feet, ankles, and hands are swollen. At times it feels like I am walking on pins and needles. I cannot wear my wedding or engagement rings as a result of the swelling in my hands.

At my doctors appointment on Wednesday, I mentioned the swelling to my nurse and doctor. My doctor advised me to keep my legs elevated, stay in a cool room, and take it easy. I elevate my legs as often as I can, but the swelling has not been entirely alleviated. We talked for a little bit about preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and she recommended that I have my blood drawn to see if there is anything abnormal. Two weeks ago during a routine urine dip, they found a trace of protein in the urine. I came back the following week and did another urine specimen that turned out to be normal. For the most part my blood pressure has been pretty stable, but my baseline is 100/60 and recently it has been 120/80.

My doctor advised me to call her at anytime if I develop severe headaches, blurred vision, pain on my right side, or sudden weight gain (most noticeable in the face, hands, and feet). So far, so good.

I am supposed to call her tomorrow to check on my blood results. I hope that it will be ok. Here are some nice pictures of my pedal edema:

Picture of me at 30 weeks and then at 35 weeks:

Here are some updated house photos:

The guest bedroom before and after:

Guest bathroom before and after:

Desk area before and after: (we still need a desk chair)

Living room:

We still need a nice painting above the mantle. We haven't found the right one yet. The white glider chair will be going into the baby's room. It is in the living room for now until we have some boxes cleared from the baby's room.

Dining area with our two paintings that we bought in Venice, Italy two years ago.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why, thank you very much

People say the strangest things when you are pregnant. I have pretty much gotten used to the steady stream of comments that I recieve from co-workers and strangers. I realize that people are excited to see a pregnant woman and want to comment on it, but a degree of filtration would be appreciated.

For example, earlier today I was at Walmart looking for a mirror for the entranceway downstairs. As I am walking through the store, I realize that people are looking at me but I ignore their stares. That was until a woman approached me and asked me how far along I was. I said that I was 35 weeks. The woman then asked how many months that was (I guess not understanding that 35 weeks/4 equals 8 and 3/4 months). I told her that I would be starting my 9th month next week, so I am almost a full 8 months. She then proceeded to tell me that I am looking very big and wondered if this was my first. I told her that the baby was indeed my first. She once again exclaimed that I didn't look as big as other women, but I was sure looking big. I didn't say thank you, but just kind of half smiled and made a quick right down the bread aisle.

Before the comments I would recieve from my co-workers would annoy me. I understand they mean well, but it became annoying pretty early on. Nothing against my Filopino co-workers, but some of their superstitions and beliefs are a little strange.

Such as:

Co-worker: Are you sure that you are having a boy?
Me: Yes, it has been confirmed twice now through ultrasound.
Co-worker: We thought that you were having a girl because you became more beautiful.

Hmm.. would I become ugly if I was having a boy?

This was last week:
Co-worker: Can you still drive?
Me: Yeah, I don't have any difficulty driving.
Co-worker: Your stomach isn't touching the steering wheel?

Only if I drove with the steering wheel up to my chin!

Then of course the usual weekly comments that I am getting so big. I can't help that Christopher is gaining weight and growing. However, I know that I am getting bigger, so I am used to hearing that comment. It's just annoying to hear it multiple times everytime I work (from the same people).

Perhaps it's a cultural thing, but can't people follow the old saying of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"?

On a more positive note, most people are very polite and helpful. When I am out in public, I do recieve a lot of attention. While at the store, I have gotten into several conversations with women my age on raising children. Also, my patients and family members are very supportive and interested in hearing about my pregnancy. And I can't forget my dear husband, who continuously tells me how beautiful I look no matter how I feel. My family and friends have been amazing as well; supporting me through phone calls, emails, and words of understanding.

Thank you everyone!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Christopher has a middle name!

We have come full circle on this matter- we have finally chosen a middle name for Christopher. Choosing the first name was very easy for us, I think Alfonso liked it because Christopher means bearer of Christ. However, the middle name has taken quite a bit longer. Last night Alfonso called me from work, and during our conversation he mentioned that he would like the baby to be called Christopher Alfonso. Finally, after months and months of deliberation we have settled on a name that we both like. I originally wanted the baby to be called Christopher Alfonso back in December, and this was before we had found out that we were having a boy! I even mention it from my December 10th blog post "So we might have a little Christopher Alfonso after all. :)" This was in reference to wondering if we were having a boy or a girl. At the time I had a feeling that it would be a boy.

yaaay! :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Week 34

We are getting closer and closer to our due date. I can officially tell people that I am due next month! I have another 5 shifts left at St Joe's and then I am going on maternity leave. I can't wait to leave work- it's starting to become too much with all the moving around that I have to do. Not to mention I am extremely clumsy and always dropping stuff on the floor. My patients and family members (along with my co-workers) have been very understanding.

We are having our baby shower on Sunday, May 20th. It will be at the clubhouse in our neighborhood. The baby shower will be informal with BBQ and a dish to pass. There will be seating indoors and outdoors (it will likely be very warm). Brandy and Julie are helping out as well, so I feel better about that.

Today we were expecting our bookcase (currently we have all of the books in the baby's room) but we were unable to pick it up at the store. The stock room had too much stuff in the way, and there was no way to pull out the bookcase without removing the other items. Also, the store did not have anyone to help Alfonso with moving the items (the only employee there was a woman) so we are going to have it delivered it to us next week for free. We were both disappointed, since we were expecting to have it arrive today and then we were going to put the baby furniture together. I guess it will have to wait until next week.

At this moment, Christopher is moving like crazy. He is normally quite active, but today he has been especially busy. Here is an update on Christopher's development:
Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds and is probably almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers — which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born — are filling her out, making her rounder. Her central nervous system is still maturing and her lungs are well developed by now. If you've been nervous about going into preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that 99 percent of babies this age can survive outside the womb — and most have no major long-term problems related to prematurity. (This is according to