Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ponyo's first coffee...

So, I haven't had a whole cup of coffee since the week before I got pregnant. I gave up coffee for Lent last Easter season and decided that
1. I felt better without it and
2. since caffeine is bad for women with endometriosis it wasn't worth any deliciousness I was missing.

I have had a sip here and there from The Bee's coffee when we've gone out for brunch or with dessert out to dinner.

Well, today I walked to the Caribou a few blocks from my school after my last class of the day was dismissed (crazy 7th graders, ugh) and treated myself to a Pumpkin Latte. I looked up the nutrition facts before going, for peace of mind. Only 180mg of caffeine in a medium. This is well within the "moderate" range according to the American Pregnancy Association:

Experts have stated that moderate levels of caffeine have not been found to have a negative effect on pregnancy. The definition of moderate varies anywhere from 150 mg - 300 mg a day. source

Why do I need this pick me up?

1. The school year is in full swing.

2. I was asked by my principal to do a special project for our school's fall festival this morning. It needs to be finished by tomorrow morning.

3. I still have brushes to wash from YESTERDAY'S classes that painted with me in Art class.

4. I am trying to prepare sub plans for my Friday classes so I can attend the funeral of my husband's grandmother.

5. In the past 2 nights, I have gotten a total of 11 hours of sleep.

I should probably stop spending time on my blog, but I need a mental break from school and sadness! My husband and I were with his grandmother when she passed away Monday night. We knew it was going to happen that night and we were with 5 other family members at the care home. I have been to way too many funerals, but I had never been with anyone during their last moments. Friday's funeral will be the third funeral my husband has ever attended. He is grieving so much right now. His grandmother was an amazing woman with a kind heart and the most gentle nature. I knew her quite well because she lived with my husband's parents while we were in college and engaged. We played a lot of card games and we sat together on a plane to California to visit family there in 2004.

Back to work...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The name game

A few of you (okay, actually exactly 2 of you) asked about if we will be sharing names now that we know we are having a little girl (I still can't believe this most days!). We have 2 names at the top of our list, each with their own middle name. Our thought right now is to keep the names secret (I feel like a third grader saying that! ha!) until the birth. Here are our reasons:

1. We think we will narrow it to a favorite before January but wait to see her face before making anything official. We don't want people to say, "Hey, you said you were going to name her ________, not ________!" If we change our minds.

2. Being a teacher, I already have pretty strong opinions about many names. I'm going to be honest here, there are a few names I would NEVER consider due to the experiences I have had with some rather mean children. I am not about to name my daughter anything close to the biggest bully in our school (who happens to be a fourth grade girl!), for example. So, we don't want other people's opinions on the names we like on top of opinions we already hold. We really don't want to hear, "Oh, I knew a girl named Henrietta and she was just insufferable" if we want to name our daughter Henrietta. We figure that after people see our baby and hear her name, our daughter will be the one they remember, not the insufferable Henrietta of their past.

3. Since we have taken the mystery out of whether our little one is a boy or a girl, we want to have something to make an announcement about when she joins us in January. Of course the day, the time, and her size are all a mystery, but we are excited to share her name after it is given.

Here is some information about the names at the top of our list:

I thought of one of the names (first and middle) when I was in high school. After we got married, during a conversation about future children, I told my husband that I love this name for a little girl! He loved it, too, and now I think he feels more attached to it than I do! The first name is one that I have always just liked. It is an older, more classic name but is not too common (at least not around here).  However, we know someone (a friend of my sister's) who named a daughter this 3 years ago. The middle name is after my bff and is a pretty common middle name for girls right now.

The second name is a family name. It was my great-great-grandmother's middle name and my great-great-great-grandmother's first name. It has not been used in our family since. This name has special meaning to me because my grandma called me, out of the blue, at the beginning of the week that I ended up getting pregnant and told me that she had been praying for us and talking to her grandmother (so, my great-great-grandmother) and was told that this was the month for us, so "spend some time with your husband this week if possible." This is still so amazing to me and I know it sounds crazy to write, but my grandmother is very wise and she just seems to know things that the rest of us don't!

So, as the story goes, we conceived sometime that week, after almost 2 years of trying! When we told my grandma that I am pregnant, she said, "I TOLD you! I KNEW it!" and then she said that she thought it was a little girl. The meaning of the name seems perfect for the situation we have found ourselves in and I think my grandma here on earth and my great-great-grandma up there in heaven were both looking out for us. Also, my great-great-grandma was a teacher (she taught in a one room school house in North Dakota working with the children of French immigrants) and so am I (Art) and my grandma says that I remind her of herself and my great-great-grandma as well. Did any of that make sense? It is easier to say in a conversation than to type in a post, I guess :) The middle name is just one that I like and that I think sounds beautiful with the first name. My husband likes this first name and middle name, but thinks maybe we should use my bff's name as the middle so the whole name has important meaning to us.

Here is a "yearbook" from my great-great-grandmother's school back in 1913! My grandma gave it to me 5 years ago when I got my first teaching job and told me that she wanted me to have it because I am the only person in our family who has become a teacher since her grandmother and because I remind her so much of my great-great-grandmother:

And, no, the name is not Murray! That was my great-great-grandmother's last name after she married!

That is where we sit with names!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ponyo is...

a little miss!

The appointment went well this morning! Thank you all for the kind messages and prayers; they mean so much to us! Ponyo was very active during the ultrasound. Lots of kicks and somersaults! She had her hands up by her face most of the time so we got a few glimpses of her profile but we did not get any good images of her face. We got to see her rub her eyes and open and close her mouth. Her heart rate was measured at 162 beats per minute (which was probably caused by her activity level). She measured at the 46th percentile, so right on track. At 22 weeks, 4 days she weighs about 1lb 4oz already! Her heart, brain, kidneys, stomach, and other organs all look 'perfect' according to the ultrasound tech and our doctor. When she was not moving around, her feet were up by her head which gave of a good view that she is, indeed, a little girl:)  We are so thankful and relieved that she is healthy and growing! 

And, yes, obviously my husband convinced me to find out the gender! I am glad that we is so fun to be able to say "she" and "her" when we talk about our little one.

Other notes from the appointment:
  • I am on track to gain 34-35lbs by the end of this pregnancy (I am up 16lbs already), but Dr. D said that is what I should gain given my pre-pregnancy weight.
  • I got a prescription for some medical grade maternity support pantyhose. So, if you ever need them, ask your doctor and hopefully insurance will offset or cover the cost! Now I will have 4 pairs, which will be great!
  • I got my flu shot. I was uncertain about whether or not I wanted to, but given the "cesspool of germs" (those are Dr. D's words!) that I work in and the fact that the vaccine I received did not contain the preservative that is considered possibly controversial for pregnant women, I thought the benefits outweighed any risks.
  • We will have a follow-up ultrasound in 4 weeks because they couldn't get a good image of the umbilical cord entering Ponyo's abdomen even though from what they could see everything looked fine.
Again, thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers! I pray for all of my blogger friends everyday and am so glad to be part of this supportive community of women!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

By the 5th day of school...

By the fifth day of school (that was yesterday) we already had stomach flu, pink eye, strep throat, and hand, foot, and mouth disease going around. No joke. In September. Holy cow, I don't even want to know what that means for the rest of the year, especially when flu season hits! To make things seem even worse, while we were discussing these illnesses in the staff lunch room yesterday, a new teacher turned to me and said, "You'd better be careful. Some of those things can kill babies before they are born. Fifth Disease is a really bad one, too, so watch out for that..." All I could think was, Thanks, lady. I really need to get more nervous about every little thing!

I had never even heard of Fifth Disease! In my year of student teaching and my first 4 years as a teacher I have never heard of a student (or anyone for that matter) having this illness. So, right after lunch, I googled it. For once Dr. Google actually made me worry LESS about something! Can you believe it?! Sounds like it is not too terribly common, has pretty obvious symptoms, and doesn't pose a risk to pregnant women and their unborn children after early pregnancy (for those of you newly pregnant, I wouldn't even worry about this one...I see sooooo many kids and they are germy little buggers and have never had a kid get this! And I was newly pregnant at the end of the school year last year and everything has seemed fine so far!). Even so, I have been washing my hands as often as possible and using hand sanitizer between each class, given the crazy amount of sickness roaming the halls already this school year.

We have our appointment tomorrow. I am excited but also nervous! My subfertile self made (rather crappy) sub plans for my classes in case we get bad news and I can't make it to school tomorrow afternoon. In my heart I feel like things will be fine, but there is this little nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me to brace myself. I have still been able to feel Ponyo move since starting school but he/she is a lot less active since I started spending so much time on my feet. More than one person has told me that Ponyo is probably just sleeping more since he/she is being rocked by my movement all day. I have felt a few flips and kicks each night but nothing like I experienced the week before school started up again. We are praying that Ponyo is healthy and that everything is as it should be!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

First week of school!

The first week of school went so well! Maybe it is my years of experience finally making me realize how competent I am as a teacher or maybe it is my rapport with my students - this is my 5th year with many of them! Really, I suppose it is a combination of both of those things. I have been feeling well all day at school, but as soon as I take off my compression tights (still waiting on these ones, but they should arrive Monday so I don't feel like poor Ponyo is being crushed anymore), prepare dinner and sit down to eat, I am completely useless. My husband is having a hard time adjusting to me being exhausted because in the summer I would stay up with him, often until midnight or 1am. When I wasn't teaching, I could sleep in with him until he had to get up for work. Now I get up almost 3 hours earlier and am spending most of the day on my feet...I just can't function on 5 or less hours of sleep!

The kids at school are over the moon about Ponyo. My belly has received many hugs, rubs, and even kisses from my elementary students. One fourth grader made up a song that she sang to Ponyo, right up close to my belly, at recess yesterday. The most common questions/comments I have heard after the kids find out I am pregnant:

Will you RETIRE now?!

Is it a boy or a girl?

Do you want a boy or a girl more?

I think you should name the baby _________________! (in the blank they fill in their own name)

Will you bring the baby to school to visit us after it is born? 

When you bring the baby to school he/she can pose for us to draw!

I hope you have the baby on my birthday! (they say this no matter when their birthday falls...Ponyo, please don't try to come too early or too late!)

Who will be our art teacher after the baby is born?! 

I knew it! You are skinny everywhere except your stomach!  

Is the baby moving now? and 2 seconds later Is it now??

Here are some of the more uncommon funny things I have been asked/told:

You should take yoga classes from my mom! She teaches pregnant ladies. followed by another student with My sister teaches zumba! You should do that, too!

You should get a massage! (I like that idea!)

At lunch while I ate with my 4th graders yesterday, Do you always eat that healthy or is it for the baby? They might like a cookie, too, you know...

Some of the sweetest things:

A fifth grade girl, with teary eyes, I am so happy for you! I have always thought you would be a really great mom.

This 2nd grader at recess on the first day of school: Hey, Mrs. Bird, do you have a baby? Not yet, but I will in January! I KNEW it! I just KNEW it! Guys, guys...Mrs. Bird is having a baby! Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

I love your baby, Mrs. Bird!

Here's hoping that my energy can keep up with my 350 original kids :)

One more thing: Our anatomy scan is this coming Wednesday. When we scheduled it, I thought it would never come! We are praying that everything looks great and that we get to see a healthy Ponyo :) We are still undecided about finding out if Ponyo is a boy or a girl. I am fine with waiting until the birth, but The Bee wants to know now. So, we may find out if we are having a little mister or little miss in less than 5 days!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sexy and I know it

Thursday night was orientation at school! It was so fun to see all of my returning students and to meet some new ones (including my kindergartners who seem like spit fires this year!). After a day in my classroom, dinner with my co-workers (which included a lot of salty potato chips), and 3 hours on my feet handing out orientation folders in a very hot and humid, non-air conditioned school, I glanced down to see ankles twice the size they should be. My Mom always had swelling with her pregnancies so I knew it was a possibility that I would, too, but I wasn't expecting it this soon. So, when I got home at around 8:30pm I immediately put my feet up. When my husband got home about 2 hours later, my ankles and feet were still pretty awful looking. Thankfully, by the next morning they were back to regular size.

Friday, even though it was about 85 degrees out, I wore support hose to work. I have worn them on and off for about 5 years because I do have slightly bad circulation that can cause my feet and toes to get very cold in winter. The support hose work through compression and keep blood from pooling at my feet and ankles on long days at school (which, any teacher knows is spent entirely standing up and walking around!) which helps reduce swelling, pain, and fatigue. My regular support hose still fit but are pretty snug around my middle. So, I asked my Mom if I should order a size up for the school year. She laughed and said, "You just need to order maternity ones!" So, after much looking at online stores and checking actual store sites (like Kohls, Walgreens, Motherhood Maternity, etc) I found out that these hideous maternity compression pantyhose are pretty spendy. But, it is better than swollen ankles and even the possibility of permanent damage to my legs (my maternal grandmother who was a nurse (i.e. spent A LOT of hours on her feet)  and had 8 children has had multiple surgeries to strip veins, remove clots, and take care of other circulation related problems in her legs) so I ordered 2 pairs these:

My husband thinks they are HILARIOUS and said that I should stand like that whenever I wear them. He thought they were slightly less funny after I told him that I shelled out almost $70 for two pairs of these sexy things. So much for being one of those cute pregnant ladies, I guess!