36 weeks

How Big is the Baby?

Most likely between 5.5 and 6 pounds, and 18-20 inches long. This is around the size of a Crenshaw melon, which I’ve never tried, but it sounds interesting.


How I’m Changing

talking to the cat gives me a duck face

Just keep getting bigger! My hands/fingers still swell in the morning, but once I start moving around for a few hours this goes away. Almost no swelling in my feet/ankles, so that is nice!


How I’m Feeling

My pelvis feels like it’s being ripped in half, and my tailbone is what is attacking it. My sciatic nerves are cranky too. This makes teaching super fun in case you were curious.


What I’m Eating

Lots of goodies from the garden!

And we cracked into the first of the freezer meals I made on Labor day: slow cooker beef burritos. Yum! I’m eating lots of things in wraps – grilled chicken, black beans, & beef. Fast and easy is my agenda these days. I’m also loving apples, watermelon, and Greek yogurt, but what’s new? And not food, but I started taking Evening Primrose Oil, (to help soften the uterus), yesterday, in addition to my raspberry red leaf tea.


Odds and Ends

In two days I’ll be full term! Ahhhhh! We’re almost all ready on the home front. This weekend the hubs and his dad installed the ceiling fan in her nursery, so now aside from the pictures from our maternity, birth, and newborn sessions, it’s done. We’ll obviously have to wait on those.


Our cars are ready too – we installed the car seat (Chicco Keyfit 30) in mine, and the extra base in the hubs. We need to get them inspected still, which we’ll do this coming weekend.


And yesterday I spent about 45 minutes listening to Baby Spinach’s heartbeat because I hadn’t felt her move much all day. Then when I arrived at my weekly appointment my blood pressure was high (it is usually very low). Between the two issues, my midwife sent me across the street to the hospital to get monitored for peace of mind. Baby Spinach was doing just fine! They had me drink 8oz of cranberry juice cocktail (it has the highest fructose content so baby’s really move after you drink it), and monitored her heartbeat and her movements. I also had a little clicker that I pushed each time she moved. The triage nurse told me she was moving more than any baby she’d seen all day and she was a perfect baby 🙂 So I was worried for no reason. I also had a contraction while there, but I didn’t feel it. Maybe labor contractions will be the same, haha. A girl can dream, right? 😉

Things I can’t wait to eat again: pumpkin beer!

# of times I get up to pee each night:  lots

Days until my next appointment:  3 until chiro and massage, a week until my next midwife appt.

Total weight gained: according to my scale at the beg of the day 22.5 pounds, and according to the scale at my midwife’s office at the end of the day 26 pounds. I’m inclined to believe mine, especially since I saw an expiration sticker on hers with a date of 9/2012.

Exercise: oi, umm walking as much as I can. I know it’ll be good for labor, but man, I have NO energy for exercise these days!

Cravings: none really, but the other day I saw a commercial for dove bars and had to have one. I told the hubs the next day and complained that they needed to not have commercials for things that taste good when I watch tv. He said he forgot to turn on the pregnancy blocking code. Bummer. He bought them for me, and the craving was fixed.

Aversions: being awake on my feet

What I miss: sleep

Birth plans for 80’s babies

When I was formulating my birth plan I discussed my hopes for a natural birth with my mom and discovered that I was the first baby born in  Longview, WA with a birth plan! Crazy, right? After some searching we were able to find the original birth plan, as well as all of the photos of my birth. I asked my mom to write a guest post about her experience using a birth plan, and she happily obliged.


Leila has asked me to write a guest post about her birth and our birthing contract. This will be an adventurous prospect for me, as my “public” writing has been confined to the annual Christmas missive and classroom assignments for my students.

Needs must, we start at the beginning. Leila and Tim’s daughter is due to make her appearance on October 4th.  If she’ll wait a day, she’ll show up thirty years to the day that her mother was conceived. A mother knows these things – given that it was a travel day during the 1982 World Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals.  Her father grew up in Milwaukee, a quietly obsessed fan. A break in the action led to a wee bit of action. But, I digress.

From that October 5th date, I counted back from the 5th and predicted her birth on July 5th. Dr. Stan Norquist, with his spinning gestation wheel, said June 28th.  Having a baby earlier, rather than later in the summer, sounded good to me.  I spent the winter and early spring doing what all expectant mothers do – buying the latest and greatest books on pregnancy and delivery and diving in.  Remember, this is all pre-Internet.  Research meant trips to the bookstore and the library, using tools like the hardbound (and the paperbound bi-weekly) green Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature. I date myself.

Stan Norquist was the perfect choice for me. A general practice doc, he was long established in the community and didn’t feel that he had to go along to get along with his peers. He was willing to be flexible and to negotiate the first written birthing contract in the community. Back in the day, the medical community in Longview, WA was, dare I say it, too conservative by half. I was reading about changes going on in the practice of obstetrics, but they were slow to arrive in this working class mill town.

Forest Grove, Oregon, near Portland, had a birthing center and midwife options, both of which I wanted.  No midwives, no birthing center in Longview.  Breakaway birthing beds and birthing chairs, allowing mothers to be up and walk around during labor, choosing not to have an episiotomy and having perineal massage instead, not being strapped to the delivery table, dad’s in the delivery room, un-medicated births, rooming in for the babies, were among the many changes being written about in the various mother-to-be publications, but not necessarily in practice where we lived.

Our community hospital was trying to keep up with the times. As I spent the spring reading, they were remodeling the maternity floor. Promises of the opening of the new birthing room were pushed back a time or two and I was fearful that it wouldn’t be available. Looking at the contract today, we really didn’t ask for very much – hardly a radical contract, but that was how it was perceived by the local OB/GYNs. The opening paragraph indicated that this pertained to a non-eventful birth and, regardless of what agreements had been made, in the event of emergency delivery conditions, all decisions would fall to Stan, who would explain the decisions only if there was time to do so.


What did we ask for? We wanted to use the birthing chair, if available and the birthing room bed (breakaway) if not.  Given the newness of the facility, Stan was uncomfortable actually performing a delivery in the new birthing room because, as he said, if things went south – he wouldn’t know with a sense of automaticity, where everything was. The chair or the bed was to be moved from the birthing room to the delivery room for the actual birth.  Negotiating contracts is all about the art of compromise…one for Stan. If neither the birthing chair, nor the birthing bed was an option, I was to be allowed to sit up and supported by Bob. Think about it – ALLOWED to sit up and supported by my husband during the delivery. We’ve come a long way, baby (Sorry, cliché intended).  Regardless of whether he was propping me up or not, Bob would be allowed in the delivery room.

We specified that my best friend, Trudy would be allowed in the delivery room in order to photograph the birth – standard today, new back then. We compromised on the episiotomy – only if Stan felt is was really necessary and even then – I got the 5 o’clock/7o’clock, not the straight shot down. He got the fetal monitor, I got to remain ambulatory as long as I felt comfortable.

  • I got no urine catheter unless there was an issue with the birth proceeding in an orderly fashion
  • I was allowed ice chips in limited quantities – when the standard was nothing by mouth for the entire labor and delivery.
  • I was allowed to nurse immediately after birth
  • I negotiated for a silver nitrate alternative to be used to prevent bacterial infections of the eyes.
  • I negotiated for no soap for washing nipples prior to nursing while in the hospital and, if there was any time that the baby was in the nursery, no sugar water, formula or other liquids were to be given via a bottle. This was to be a nursed baby – not exactly standard at that point. I could be present to nurse immediately after a circumcision.
  • I could leave after 12 hours. I negotiated for 24 hour rooming in for the baby.

In the event of a C-section, Bob would be allowed to be present, I would get a “bikini cut,” instead of the stem to stern incision in practice, I would be allowed to remain awake unless circumstances prohibited it and I would be allowed to nurse immediately after delivery.

Most of you reading this post will look at the list and shake your head because there isn’t anything on that list that isn’t standard fare today. But in the fall of 1983, when Leila was about 3 months old, I sat on a birthing forum panel put on by the American Association of University Women (AAUW).  The panel was comprised of a physician from the local OB/GYN practice (only one in town back then), a woman who had delivered at the Forest Grove birthing center and had a water birth, and a midwife from the Portland area who participated in home births and me – as someone who had used a birthing contract.  To say that the physician was somewhat hostile and condescending towards the rest of the panel members is something of an understatement.  Each in our own way, we flew in the face of standard medical practice and he clearly didn’t like it.  It was an interesting evening. Although he never said a word, I understand that Stan took some real heat for having participated in a contract.

The tale of the birth itself is a tale for another day.  However, I can’t resist saying – Leila was born on the date I said she would be – July 5th.  A mother knows these things!


Thanks mom! I’ll be expecting my birth story as a guest post soon 😉

Do you know the story of your birth? Are you an 80’s (or 70’s) baby born with a birth plan?


I survived my first week of school…barely! I can’t wait until our building is gutted and remodeled because then we’ll have air conditioning! If you follow me on instagram, you already saw this picture.

What a difference a year makes. This year I have 23 students, plus a stowaway 😉

Three weeks from today I’ll officially be on maternity leave, and I’m already behind. I forgot how much time practicing rules and procedures, and setting up notebooks and journals takes. So my 5 weeks worth of plans is more like 6. At least my sub will be happy 🙂

Before I doze off, (and then wake up 8 times with preggo insomnia), I have 2 exciting things to share:

1) another sneak peek at our maternity session is up on my photog’s facebook page (I’m DYING to see the rest!)


2) My second Preggie Pals post is up! Check it out!

Happy Friday!

Weeks 34 & 35

I completely missed posting last week due to my 10-12 hour days spent between The Rocket, where I planned, and my classroom, where I set up for the new year. Pictures are from 34 weeks, with the exception of the sneak peek at our maternity shoot!

 check out that pale belly! Gah!

How Big is the Baby?

The size of a large cantaloupe, which I find funny since I’m pretty sure a pineapple is bigger than a cantaloupe (which is what she was at 33 weeks).  She is somewhere between 18 and 20 inches long and 4.5-6 pounds. I feel like she is huge. Her rump fills my hand and she stretches from one side of my torso to the other. It is crazy to see her movements these days.


How I’m Changing

My pelvis is definitely shifting – my pelvis, tailbone, and hips are extremely sore and everything feels even more loosey goosey than before. I’ve almost fallen over a few times! Maybe this means she’s gearing up to come early. My chiro said she was in a great position for birth at my last appt, so we’ll see!


How I’m Feeling

Pretty exhausted! I’m really worried about this first week of school and how I’ll make it to 3 p.m. every day. Luckily I moved across the hall, so I no longer get direct sunlight until around 2 p.m., so the heat isn’t too bad.


What I’m Eating

Whatever is fast and easy! I’ve been downing more bars and protein shakes than I’d like, but at least they keep me from dying while I plan/work. I’ve also been snacking on lots of apples, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and trail mix with cashews, almonds, and macadamia nuts. I’ve also been drinking a mug of red raspberry leaf tea once a day for the past two weeks. I’m up for anything that might help during labor!


I also just busted out a 7-hour day in the kitchen to make 16 freezer meals. With leftovers this should last us through the end of October! I don’t think I’ll do that at 8 months pregnant next time around, as I had to keep taking rest breaks. But my plan from now on is to always make a double batch of whatever I cook so I can freeze half (if it is a freezable meal, of course). A full days recap will be available on the blog soon.


Odds and Ends

A few fun bullet points over the past couple weeks:

*I start school tomorrow – ahhh! I have the first 5 weeks of lesson plans done for all subjects, so I can leave at a moments notice without leaving my sub or my students in a lurch. Phew! That was no small task!

I am almost finished with the nursery! I still need to order oversize scrabble tiles to hang her name above her bed, and order a yellow rug if I can ever find one that is the correct size and color. I might have to give up on this dream becoming a reality. But the pinwheels I made are hung, as is the artwork made by my co-workers daughter. The hubs bought me a fish eye lens for my camera, so soon I’ll be able to post a nursery tour 🙂

We are fully stocked on cloth diapers! I think I have 27 newborn size (borrowed from a friend), and 30 one-size (new). I need to prep the new ones, but I’m not in a huge rush to do that since she won’t fit into them for a while. I bought an assortment of brands, because I wasn’t sure which ones I’d like the most. Based on favorites of my friends, and reading mommy blogs, I think I’ll like the rumparooz and bummies easy fits the most.

And finally, Saturday evening we had our maternity session with our fab photographer Laura Fifield. She posted a sneak peek on her facebook page, and will have more up on her website sometime this week.


I love this one and can’t wait to see the rest!

Things I can’t wait to eat again: I’m really ready for pumpkin latte season!

# of times I get up to pee each night:  6-8, boo!

Days until my next appointment: 7

Total weight gained: 19.5 at 34 weeks, 20 pounds at 35 weeks

Exercise: my walks have gotten shorter, and shorter. I can still bust out a mile, but it takes me nearly as long as 3 miles used to take! Plus lots of classroom set up – that is a total body work out!

Cravings: the watermelon craving came back, yum!

Aversions: handling raw meat still totally grosses me out

What I miss: having energy. I’m a total burn the candle at both ends ball of energy before school starts/during the school year. But my body is yelling at me for trying these days.

Crib Bedding for Dummies

If you’ve been a reader for a while you know I received an awesome sewing machine for Christmas.

You may have also noticed I haven’t posted any projects. There is a reason for that. Up until last week I hadn’t made any. My machine is so nice and has so many flashy upgrades that I was afraid I’d break it! But after an extensive bedding search, and really only being happy with the $312 pre-tax, pre-shipping option, I decided I needed to break down and finally learn how to use my machine.

After googling and browsing pinterest I was convinced I could do it, but that I’d like a bit of guidance. Luckily the hubs asked his mom for advice when purchasing my machine, and she recommended the new version of her machine. So I asked her if she’d be willing to help me, and she happily agreed. I ordered fabric through Amazon, not really thinking about the fact that my prime membership 2-day shipping wouldn’t apply to orders fulfilled by outside sources (darn!), and emailed Gayle the patterns I wanted to combine.

Once my fabric finally arrived we got started.

Thanks to a Jo-Anne’s 40% off coupon, I purchased the Nu-Foam baby bumper inserts, which are a breathable, washable, non-toxic foam alternative. They had a very easy pattern included, which I used. The only difference is I chose not to stitch the ties in at their half way point, which would have resulted in A LOT of bows. Instead we sewed them in at one end and tied two bumpers to the crib with each others ties, rather than each bumper being tied on individually, if that makes sense.

Turns out the yellow/white chevron I bought was a large weave, like linen, instead of a tight weave like the two grey/white fabrics #problemswithonlineshoppingaddiction. So after measuring, cutting, and ironing 24 2″x20″ pieces of fabric we determined the ties would stick straight out instead of laying nicely, and decided to abandon ship and switch to a softer/tighter weave. The in-laws live far enough from town that it wasn’t a quick trip to purchase new fabric. So we tried a closer fabric shop at Diamond Lake, owned by Gayle’s friend, and luckily she had a great alternative!

Round two of measuring, cutting, and ironing 24 2″x20″ pieces of fabric! This was by far the longest process of the entire project. Each swatch needed to be folded in 1/4 of an inch on both sides and ironed down. Then folded in half and ironed again. The ends of one side needed to tucked in, and then stitched around the perimeter. The other side was sewn into the bumper, so it didn’t need to be finished. I managed all the setting up, and Gayle did all of the sewing.

Then we moved on to the bumpers. We ironed, measured, and cut out 12 pieces of fabric, and called it a day. The two patterns I chose needed to be cut very presicely, otherwise the lines wouldn’t line up correctly and we’d have to start all over. It was a LONG process!

The next morning Gayle couldn’t sleep and got up at 4:30 and pinned all the bumpers and ties. When I arrived I sewed them all, she ironed the inside seams so they laid flat when turned inside out, and we stuffed the bumper inserts inside. The bottoms needed to be hand sewn, which Gayle tackled all but one. I am a reallllllly slow hand stitcher!

Then it was on to the crib skirt. I loved the idea of not having a center piece of fabric, and instead just sewing the sides and front. That way I’ll be able to easily adjust the length when we change the mattress height. So I decided on this super easy tutorial (and her crib dimensions are the same as mine, score!). But I decided I wanted a “window” of the second grey fabric, like this one. And I LOVED the idea of attaching the crib skirt with velcro. Brilliant!

We, again, ironed, measured, and cut the chevron fabric. Then we cut a 24″x24″ square of the link fabric for the center window. It was way more than we needed, but better to be safe than sorry. The window was sewn on first, and then we cut off the extra fabric. We decided where we wanted the top of the skirt to be, ironed and pinned it, and then sewed across the top. At this point I brought the skirt home and attached it to the crib so I could measure exactly where the hem would be, as well as where we needed to fold over and sew the ends.

Two days later I drove out to the in-laws again and we folded, ironed, pinned, and sewed the sides and bottom of the front panel. Then we ironed, measured, cut, folded, ironed, pinned, and sewed the sides. Phew!

Before starting this project I thought, oh, these directions are so easy, it is basically just sewing 4 sides of fabric under. And while that is the case, I had no idea how much time it would take! All in all I think we spent at least 15 hours on this project, spread over 3 days. Part of the issue was needing to run out for more fabric, and part of the issue was lining up the patterns so they didn’t wind up wonky. I spent $60 on fabric, but used only about $30-$40 of it (I overbought so I could make mistakes and not stress). And since I am on summer break and didn’t have to attempt this during the school year, I could take my time, not stress out, and do it right. Basically, it was a labor of love 🙂

While it isn’t the bedding I originally fell in love with, I have to say, I love this even more! I am SO happy with how it turned out. And I found the perfect yellow (after ordering 3 options) to match the ties.

Wow, that was a MUCH longer post than I thought it would be, haha. Woops!

Do you sew? What are your favorite easy projects?

33 weeks


How Big is the Baby?

Sources vary, but somewhere around 19 inches long (she may or may not still be growing length wise) and between 4.5 and 5 pounds. She is roughly the size of a pineapple. Yum, pineapple sounds SO good right now!


How I’m Changing

My belly button is almost flush with the rest of my tummy. I’ll be an outie soon. I’m starting to swell in my fingers, which I know is more heat related than water consumption related. I’m drinking somewhere around 130 ounces a day, possibly more. But the plus side to swelling is I am wearing my great-grandmother’s engagement ring because it now fits!


How I’m Feeling

My sciatic pain is more frequent, like a dull glute ache. Also, nausea is back! Gahhh, I thought I was free from it, but apparently not. And heartburn is intermittent. I’ve been having some pregnancy insomnia, which is killer by the way, and around 4 or 5 in the morning I’ll be starving. I can’t find something that works well as a snack to help me fall back to sleep. I’ve attempted nuts, which would be my top choice, but they give me killer heartburn (at least in the early morning hours, not in the afternoon or evening, weird!).


What I’m Eating

Lots of zucchini and yellow squash. And this week our tomatoes finally turned red! The hubs made a very tasty pasta sauce with them and I have some bruschetta plans in the very near future. But I honestly don’t have much of an appetite, which I think it mostly due to the heat. I’m slugging water like crazy!


Odds and Ends

My second baby shower was this weekend, and my parents came into town for it. I finally snapped a picture of me with Grandpa Spinach. I’m glad we did because otherwise we wouldn’t have one together with me pregnant.


I received the yellow rug I ordered for the nursery, only to be very disappointed. Online it looked like a buttery yellow, but in person it was more dish-water/mustard yellow. I love mustard yellow, but it isn’t the hue I’m going for. Luckily I ordered it from JC Penny, so I could return it to the store without a hassle or paying for return shipping. But the yellow rug hunt of 2012 continues.


And finally, I started setting up my classroom yesterday. I planned to meet up with the teacher who I’ll be job sharing with this year, but she texted me Sunday night to say she needed to reschedule because she had her baby! I moved into her classroom, so I spent the whole day trying to figure out where to put my stuff, and where her stuff was located. Hopefully I don’t screw up her organization system too much! Unfortunately I really overdid it. I was there from 9-4, in 97 degree heat and the building isn’t air-conditioned. Only three of my six windows open (the others are painted shut I think), so the heat was pretty stifling. I came home and had to lie down for 2 hours afterward. Luckily today I woke up to rain and 65 degrees! My classroom was much more bearable!

Things I can’t wait to eat again: I’m getting excited about pumpkin beer season 😉

# of times I get up to pee each night: varies, the other night it was 8 or 9! But usually 3-4

Days until my next appointment: 1 week

Total weight gained: 18.5 pounds

Exercise: setting up classroom and early morning walks are all I can handle with the heat

Cravings: water, bubble water made in my soda stream mixed with limeade

Aversions: most warm foods…too hot

What I miss: lying down without heartburn and sleeping through the night


Flash from the past

As previously mentioned, my parents were in town for my baby shower this weekend. My dad joined the boys for a round of golf, and my mom showered me with love. In addition to all the fun gifts for Baby Spinach, my parents also brought photo albums. I scanned a ton of pictures from back in the day, and, of course, had to share some of my favorites!

My mom about 6 months pregnant with me!

My parents with me when I was 5 days new.

1 week new, with my grandma who you’ve seen before 🙂

14 days new – I still sleep like this

6 months – oh chubby legs…only cute when you’re a baby 😉

Hanging in the pack n’ play at my moms studio.

Apparently I sat in my toy box a lot.

My dads favorite dress – mine too!

Running on a bridge with my mom.

Proof I’ve always loved elephants. And proof 80’s hair was BAD!

Throwing pots at my moms studio when I was 5.

I’m so anxious to meet Baby Spinach and see if she looks like me when I was a baby. I hope she has my chin dimple, but doesn’t wind up with my bad baby acne! Luckily, these days they know lactose passes through your breast milk, (they didn’t know that until I was 4 or so), so that will hopefully not be an issue 😉