baby on the go

Around 9:30pm last night I got the urge to start researching car seats and strollers. Three hours later I narrowed my car seat options down to the Chicco KeyFit 30 (based on Consumer Reports and Babble reviews) and the Britax Chaperone (I think Bethenny uses the Cowmooflage version), but Im still unsure what type of stroller I need. Traditional? Lightweight? Jogger?

So I started thinking: How often will we really use a stroller, and what will we use it for? Its not like we live a big city that requires us to do a lot of walking and use mass transportation. I dont run outside now; will I really feel the urge to jog while pushing a stroller? And isnt it best to get the lightest weight stroller if you will be maneuvering it in and out of a car trunk?

Too many choices!

The Chicco KeyFit 30 would work seamlessly with the Chicco Cortina stroller, but the stroller looks so bulky and plastic-y. I prefer the sleek and modern-looking UPPAbaby VISTA stroller, which includes an interchangeable bassinet and seat and has an available adapter to for the Chicco KeyFit infant car seat. Of course, UPPAbaby VISTA costs about $500 more than the Chicoo Cortina, so I would really need to be able to justify the price difference.

Britax has its own selection of stylish strollers, but they also cost more than the typical Babies R Us or Target find.

How did you choose a car seat and a stroller, and what do you recommend?

scary dreams about delivery

I recently had a dream about having the baby.

This wasnt my first delivery dream. Early in my first trimester, I dreamt I gave birth to a baby girl with enormous anime eyes and black pigtails in a room full of other women giving birth on metal tables. It was like something out of a science fiction movie.

My latest dream wasnt any more comforting. This time I was in a private room with a doctor, nurses and JB present, but it was February, and I was trying to tell the medical staff that my baby was due until July. They laughed and said my due date must have been wrong. No, thats impossible! I cried. Its too early!

I delivered a baby girl (yes, another girl) who weighed 14lbs and was 10 inches long. I didnt get to see her because they whisked her away immediately for some standard tests, but I could only imagine that, with those measurements, she resembled a bowling ball.

JB had to return to work right away but called the nurses station shortly after with concerns about the babys size. The nurse informed him that he would have to call the 800-number on the babys hospital band; an outside party handled all of the records for the hospital and she no longer had access to them.

The staff never brought the baby back to my room, which was probably a good thing, because when my family arrived more chaos ensued. They wheeled me down in my hospital gown to the hospitals indoor swimming pool and immediately began complaining about the humidity and the heat. But its an indoor pool! I cried. What do you expect?

I was devastated because nobody seemed to be concerned that I just gave birth to a bowling ball. It was all about them, them, them when I was expecting it to be all about me, me, me.

When I retold my dream to a friend, she laughed at its obvious meaning. It didnt take a dream analyst to pinpoint two of my biggest fears: One, that something is going to be wrong with the baby. And two, that having my extended family in Omaha when the baby is born is going to be stressful.

the bella band

My pants are definitely starting to get tighter. I can still button most of my pre-pregnancy jeans, but when I sit, the button presses against me uncomfortably. When I mentioned this to a friend who had her first baby in November, she brought down two Bella Bands from a plastic bin of maternity clothing she no longer needed.

What a life-saver! Now I can wear my pants unbuttoned without worrying that they will fall down. And I kind of like how I can pull the Bella Band up over my bulge because it smooths me out, sort of like Spanx.

The only annoying part is that is sometimes rides up the back when I bend over or get up from a seated position. I frequently have to readjust it. Still, for financial reasons, its better than having to buy maternity clothes right now, especially since I dont really think Im big enough for them yet.

When did you transition to maternity clothing?

plastic babies in cakes

JB and I met up with my mom, dad, sister and brother-in-law in New Orleans for a long weekend. It was my first time in the Big Easy, and I was excited to eat my way through the city. Im still daydreaming about the beignets and hot chocolate from Cafe du Monde

While we were there, we visited with family who live about an hour out of the city. After dinner, they served a traditional king cake for dessert. A king cake looks kind of like a bundt cake with purple, yellow and green icing, but inside there is a tiny, plastic baby waiting to be found. Whoever finds the baby has the privilege of hosting the next king cake party.

There were 10 of us at the table, and as we all got closer to finishing our slices, we began wondering where that dang baby was hiding. We laughed because we assumed it was in the sole piece that didnt get served what are the odds! until I took my next bite.

Yes, the only pregnant person at the table found the plastic baby in her piece of king cake.

We were hysterical. Literally, we had tears streaming down our cheeks from laughing so hard. It was a moment I think Ill remember for a long, long time.

i crave what i see

I always assumed cravings happened like this: All of a sudden, the need to eat something specific pops into your mind, and its all you can think about until you eat it.

I think my cravings work a bit differently. The urge to eat a particular type of food does not appear out of nowhere. Rather, I see something or hear about something that gets stuck in the back of mind, taunting my taste buds. Ive become extremely impressionable when it comes to food.

For example, I watched a fast food commercial and immediately wanted a hamburger. And seeing a Paul Ferney cake painting on Oh Happy Day! recently had me drooling over the thought of yellow cake with chocolate icing. If we had had cake mix in the house, I probably wouldve baked myself a cake.

my first craving

I think Im having my first craving.

Last night, somebody on Twitter mentioned strawberry ice cream, and I cant get the sweet, creamy dessert out of my head. Twenty-four hours later, I still want some!

I might have JB make his first emergency trip to the supermarket tonight.

Did you have any unusual cravings when you were pregnant?

the first ultrasound

This afternoon JB and I went in for a First Trimester Screening. They checked my blood and did an ultrasound to look for evidence of chromosomal disorders like Downs Syndrome. I was so nervous that they would find something wrong.

But when they turned on the ultrasound machine, there was a baby. A little baby with a little profile. A nose and a chin we could distinctly see. Two legs with two feet and two arms with two hands.

The doctor performing the ultrasound said that the baby had a strong heart and a properly developing brain. He also said it looked like the baby had all ten toes and all ten fingers. The ultrasound evaluation looked good, but well have to wait a couple of days to get the results of the blood work. Once we get the results, as long as they come back normal, well start telling friends the good news. Right now, only our immediate family knows.

When we were alone, JB started crying because he said we created a tiny, perfect creature. But I continued to feel ambivalent. Even though I just saw our baby on the monitor, I didnt feel an emotional connection yet. I felt nothing.

I dont understand how some women feel instantaneous love for their unborn children. I wonder when I will feel something.

*I was very hesitant about posting an ultrasound image and ultimately decided I wasnt comfortable sharing such a private image with the world.

morning sickness is a misnomer

For most of the first trimester, Ive felt as if I were on a boat. Ive been experiencing constant nausea, as if I were seasick.

I had morning sickness for the first time just two days after taking the home pregnancy test. According to BabyCenter, morning sickness starts at about six weeks, which is wouldve been accurate. But morning sickness is a misnomer since you can feel nauseated at any time of the day. That morning it hit me in the parking lot of Whole Foods. I suddenly felt like I might vomit. It passed in about 20 minutes, but I still felt off kinda queasy all over.

When we got home, JB made me a can of chicken soup for lunch, but even after he doctored it up, it tasted so bland that I couldnt eat it. My cherry 7-up also tasted funny, like it was mostly soda water. It was as if my taste buds has stopped working. Luckily, they returned to normal by dinner.

Still, Ive spent most of the last month and a half on the couch eating saltines and drinking ginger ale. Ive had no appetite for anything sweet, and carbs seem to be the only thing to help with the nausea. I guess I should feel grateful that at least I havent been throwing up yet.

the hives (not the band)

On Friday I notice a couple of bumps that looked like bug bites and small red splotches on my thighs. Since they itched, I called the dermatologist and made an appointment. Now that Im pregnant, Im even more paranoid than usual.

The dermatologist said it was probably just hives. I can recall her saying that 80% of hives are caused by unknown reasons but go away within 24 hours. If they didnt go away, I would need to come back for a biopsy to check for three things:

  1. Lupus
  2. I dont remember
  3. A pregnancy-related rash that usually occurs in the third trimester. My dermatologist has only seen it once in the second trimester but never in the first.

Perhaps I should have taken notes while she was talking.

Over the weekend the rash worsened. I was spotted up and down my legs, torso and arms. So on Sunday, while sitting in an oatmeal bath, I phoned the OB/GYN on call. She agreed that it was most likely hives but said they could take a few days to clear up. She didnt think I needed to come in to see my OB/GYN because I had already been to the dermatologist and should just follow up with that doctor. She also said that hot baths could make the rash worse (oops!). Instead, I could take Benadryl and use Calamine lotion.

By the end of the day, the red bites seemed to be going down, and I think I have fewer this morning, but they are definitely not gone, and Im still very itchy.

I have to say, I am not enjoying being pregnant yet.

its official

The Monday after I took the home pregnancy test, I called my gynecologists office. I figured shed want to see me right away to confirm that I was really pregnant. After all, the drugstore tests could be wrong, right?

That is not how it works.

My doctor did not want to see me until I was 8 weeks pregnant, which would be the week of Thanksgiving, and she was totally booked. The earliest she could see me was the Monday after the holiday.

I started crying on the phone with the scheduler. This is my first one! Im freaking out! What am I supposed to do? I cried. Politely, she told me I could ask the nurses my questions, and I could see my general practitioner for another pregnancy test.

So I got on the phone with a nurse, who was not as patient as the girl at the front desk and a bit condescending, if I may say so. When I asked her about what I should be eating, specifically about fish, she replied, Well, uh, theres mercury Basically, she was no help.

Thankfully, my G.P. was able to see me on Tuesday. I was surprised that they had me pee in a cup; I assumed it would be a blood test. As we waited for the results, I didnt feel nervous. I knew they would be positive. And they were.

The doctor came in to chat with us, and she was as personable and reassuring as ever. JB and I had printed a list of questions from the internet, and she happily answered every one, even answering some we hadnt thought to ask. When we walked out of the office, she congratulated us again.

Now that it was official, we stopped at Barnes & Noble to buy What to Expect When Youre Expecting. Oddly, I was prepared to tell the cashier that the book was a gift for a friend if she asked me when I was due.

I wondered: Was denial was of the things to expect?