This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Governor's Square Mall

I spontaneously went to the mall today after dropping off Craig's laptop at the school for him. He had 2 classes back to back and wasn't coming home until after 10pm. I was hungry and craving Taco Bell again so I decided to just eat at the one in the food court and walk around the mall a bit for exercise. I went to Governor's Square Mall because it was kinda on the way home and I like that one better than the Tallahassee Mall, especially at night.

Remember me telling you about the minimal lighting inside that mall? Well, I took some pics for the heck of it. This time they had Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling. Very nice.

I like the windows that are all around above the stores. This is overlooking part of the food court:

It's nice to sit in the area with the round tables and trees (on the other side of the fountain in this pic) instead of the main food court area. Here is the largest fountain area (there are a few) and the performance stage near the food court:

This is a closeup of the lights around the mirrored section of the pole that I posted about earlier:

It happened to be pet picture day with Santa so I watched that for bit. I only saw dogs (no cats) sitting on Santa's lap. Some of the owners were in the pictures too, so I'm thinking it was a family photo to send out in a Christmas card.

Oh, about Taco Bell...I ordered a soft taco and a bean burrito and the guy said they were out of soft tacos. I laughed and said, "Really? How is that even possible?" I ALWAYS get a soft taco so I found it hard to believe that they couldn't serve me one (I consider that to be their main item). I ordered a side of nachos instead and they were tasty. I've decided it's a fine tuned skill to choose the correct amount of cheese for each chip so that you have no cheese left and no excess cheese once you run out of chips. It makes it even trickier that they give you a different amount of chips each time. Ha!

I wandered around the whole mall and into a few stores. I went in the Motherhood Maternity store and tried on some shirts. My belly seemed to be bulging even more than earlier today. That was probably just because I could see it so well because there was a mirror right in front of it and the dressing room was well lit. I ended up buying another t-shirt (I only have one maternity one from my first visit there a month ago) and a pregnancy workout DVD. Fun!

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Pregnancy Update

I first posted about my pregnancy on the 1st of last month so I decided it's time for an update (it just happens to be the 1st of this month).

I felt the baby move last week for the first time (the start of week 22)! All my friends said they felt their baby move at 19 weeks, but I read that some people don't feel movement until week 24 so I was trying not to worry that mine was later than my friends. The first time was just one quick flutter on my left side. It was 5:00am and I was trying to fall back asleep after Minga woke us up as she started puking. Then, the next day I felt her move a lot and it was different from that first flutter. It's kinda tickly like when you are starting to go down a big hill on a rollercoaster. Also feels like she is gently tumbling around inside me. No defined kicks yet...those will come as she grows, I'm sure. I've felt her many times throughout the day ever since that first time. Craig gets so excited every time I mention that she's moving. He can't wait until he can feel her movements too.

My belly has grown so much that I can no longer wear my normal jeans. I can still wear some of my normal workout pants if I position them under my belly. I went maternity shopping for the first time the day after my birthday and had a fun time. I never knew maternity clothes (pants in particular) were so comfortable! Sure, the cloth belly panel looks a little funny (when it's not covered up by a shirt), but it makes jeans sooooo comfy. No more zippers or buttons to mess with or to have pressing against your belly!

Even with this bigger rounded belly I sometimes forget I have it. The other day I was trying to lean around or peak over Craig's shoulder at the stove and I accidentally bumped him with my belly. Ha! When I'm sitting and looking at the computer I don't notice my belly because I don't see it or feel it. When I'm standing, I notice it some because it feels a bit tight just hanging there. Often when I'm sitting on the couch I look down at my belly and it looks really big and I can't believe I have it. I still find it hard to believe that I am pregnant! Seems like one of those things that happens to everyone else but not me. It's pretty trippy.

I've felt really good during this 2nd trimester, but I did puke one more time. It was after eating a slightly spicy dinner and then riding in the car for 30-40 minutes. I puked as soon as I got out of the car (before I went into the house). I think it was the car ride that did it because I've noticed that I get carsick pretty easily during pregnancy (especially in the 1st trimester when nausea was frequent anyway). Annoying!

I no longer have that stuffy nose feeling when I lie down for the night and I haven't had any round ligament pains in quite a while. I have had random occassions where I wake up in the night and my back hurts. It's always fine the next morning though. I still don't have to get up to go to the bathroom during the night even though I usually have some water within an hour of bedtime. That's good because I've noticed that if something does wake me up, it takes me a long time to fall back asleep (for no apparent reason).

Last week I was waking up about every 2-3 hours in the night with discomfort in my hip and thigh on whichever side I had been sleeping on. I'd roll over to the other side only to wake up again 2-3 hours later with discomfort on that side and have to roll over again for relief. I asked my doctor about it Monday at my appointment and based on his answer I was beginning to think it would continue throughout the rest of my pregnancy. He said the discomfort has to do with pregnancy changes to nerves and ligaments and how inflammation is common and the pressure of lying on my hip and thigh aggravates those conditions. He said I could try to pad my thighs more or lie at a slightly different angle (but still on my side) but that's about it. Well, I'm happy to say the past few nights I only had very mild discomfort and only once each night so there is hope that it will disappear completely.

Pregnancy definitely makes a gal more emotional. I cried about some bugs for the first time in my life. Yes, bugs have always given me the willies (especially worms) when they are inside the house, but I've never cried because of them. Well, Saturday night I got in bed around midnight. Craig wasn't ready for bed yet (he was playing on the computer) so I was alone. I was thinking about what big items we will need to buy for the baby first and I was almost asleep when I felt something on my ear. I dismissed it at first because the comforter was also right by my ear and I thought it must have been that. I thought I felt movement again and I touched my ear to move the comforter away from it at least so I wouldn't be so paranoid. I definitely felt something moving under my fingers though so I gently grabbed it and threw it to the floor and I screamed.

I keep a flashlight by the bed now since I may eventually need to get up in the night to pee and it's so dark I'd trip over Minga if she happened to be lying on the floor instead of her bed. I turned it on but didn't see anything. I jumped out of bed thinking maybe I didn't actually throw the bug off of it. I turned on the bedroom light and searched all around the floor for the intruder.

I found a wriggling centipede between my nightstand and Craig's dresser! I tried to pick it up with a kleenex but was so freaked out about it touching me that I ended up getting several more because it was so long and wriggly. I tried stepping on it with my slipper so it would stop moving but it didn't (I didn't want to step so hard that it would make a mess). I finally got it with a huge wad of kleenex and I rushed it to the toilet.

I went back to the room to look for more bugs because I was pretty sure that guy wasn't the one on me. I checked all the covers on the bed and everywhere on the floor. I finally saw a big cockroach in the nook area clear across the room. I stepped on him gently a few times so he couldn't get away. Those guys have lots of guts that gush out if you step too hard--nasty! I picked him up with a kleenex and threw him in the toilet with the centipede and flushed them goodbye.

Then I started crying. I washed my hands and just kept on sobbing, wondering why I was sobbing about it. My crying persisted so I decided to just go ahead and have a good cry. Craig heard me and came down the 2 flights of stairs to see what was up. I told him everything and he ended up getting ready for bed and going to bed with me then. I was glad because I was still paranoid about bugs. By that time it was 1:00am.

I'm mad that we've seen a few cockroaches recently. We bombed the whole house one weekend and saw lots of carnage from that so we knew it worked. Then we put traps all around each room. I guess the cockroaches we've seen since have snuck in to get out of the cold and hadn't found the traps yet. Ugh. If Minga sees them she will play with them with her mouth and paw until they stop moving. Then we pick up the bodies with a kleenex and throw them away. Saves us from trying to catch and squish them (they are fast and can fly so you have to be quick!) and Minga has a good time.

Back to my eating habits have taken a turn for the worse. In the 1st trimester, I felt like eating healthy foods the majority of the time. Well, the 2nd trimester has returned me to my normal eating habits. I've been eating more sweets (made some really delicious chocolatey brownies and ate them with vanilla ice cream) and things like buttery biscuits and many meals without veggies. I often crave Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (the cheap stuff) and Taco Bell (soft tacos, nachos and bean burritos) and I've been giving in to those cravings. I have gained a little too much weight because of this--doh! I must go on daily walks and start eating better again or I will have tons of weight to lose after the birth (which I hear is pretty darn hard to do)!

As I mentioned before, my first visit to the doctor after I moved to Florida was just an informational session. They asked questions about my (and my family's) health history and then gave me a folder of information and a book called "Your Pregnancy & Birth." In the folder was a magazine called "As Your Baby Grows: From Conception to Birth". This magazine has the most amazing photos of babies in the womb! They were taken from the 4th edition of the book "A Child is Born." The magazine describes what is happening during each month of pregnancy and shows detailed pictures of the baby at that phase.

Here's some interesting stuff I learned by reading the magazine and a couple of books....

It's interesting to know that a female is born with all the eggs she will ever have in her lifetime. It's amazing that a man deposits several hundred million sperm in a woman during intercourse and only one or two hundred actually reach the waiting egg. As soon as one sperm breaks through the clear membrane surrounding the egg, the membrane toughens so that no other sperm can enter.

In the 3rd month of pregnancy, the intestines form outside the baby's body (within the umbilical cord) because for the time being his abdomen it too small to hold them all. They will move entirely into the abdomen in the 4th month. Crazy!

Also, the eyelids grow over developing eyes (which have shifted to their proper positions on the face) and will fuse together and stay closed until the 7th month. The baby's skin is transparent and will remain so for many months.

By the 2nd half of the 3rd month, the baby's umbilical cord is well formed. It contains two arteries (which carry waste away from the baby through the placenta to the mother) and one vein (which brings nourishment and oxygen from the mother through the placenta to the baby). Blood flows so rapidly through the umbilical cord that it only takes seconds to make the round trip.

In the 5th month, the mother can recognize the baby's movements. The baby floats and tumbles freely in about a pint of amniotic fluid. Most of the fluid is made up of fetal urine and most of it is removed by the baby's swallowing (this urine doesn't harm the baby). The amniotic fluid, which is constantly made and absorbed, is completely replaced about every 24 hours.

Babies do all sorts of things in the womb, such as suck their thumbs, do somersaults, make facial expressions, raise their arms to their face and tuck in their legs in response to loud noises, and even hiccup.

Breakdown of Weight Gain During Pregnancy:
Baby - 7.5 lbs
Placenta - 1.5 lbs
Amniotic fluid - 2 lbs
Uterus - 2 lbs
Breasts - 2 lbs
Blood - 4 lbs
Body Fluids - 4 lbs
Maternal Stores of Fat, Proteins, Nutrients - 7 lbs
Total Weight Gain - 30 lbs

Now that I'm pregnant it seems pretty crazy that I'm supposed to gain 25-35 lbs in 9 months. At least most of it isn't fat so it's not so noticeable (the belly sure is noticeable though!).

I was surprised at how much harder it is to breathe and how easily I get winded during pregnancy (no one ever told me about that and how it starts even in the 1st trimester before you've gained weight). I read that early in pregnancy, the increase of the hormone progesterone causes you to feel short of breath. And, pregnancy hormones stimulate the respiratory center to increase the frequency and depth of the breaths, giving you the feeling you're "breathing hard." They also swell the capillaries of the respiratory tract and other places in the body, and relax the muscles of the lungs, bronchial tubes and other muscles. Later in pregnancy, that deep breath becomes even harder to take as the growing uterus pushes up against the diaphragm, crowding the lungs and making it difficult for them to expand fully.

I also learned that you are not supposed to lie on your back after the 1st trimester because the weight of your growing uterus rests on your back, intestines and 2 major blood vessels: the aorta (the vein responsible for bringing blood from the heart to the rest of your body) and the inferior vena cava (the vein responsible for returning blood from the lower body to the heart). Lying on your back can aggravate back aches and hemorrhoids, make digestion less efficient, interfere with breathing and circulation and possibly cause low blood pressure.

There are so many things that can happen to a pregnant woman that it's quite crazy! Problems/discomforts come and go as your body is rapidly changing. You just gotta take one thing at a time and focus on the "prize". Everyone's body reacts differently to pregnancy...even the same person has different pregnancy experiences each time they are pregnant. Thankfully, there are a lot of books on the subject that can give you an idea of what might happen (or is happening) to you. The best thing is to be educated, but at the same time not worry about the negative posibilities. Most pregnancies aren't too problematic and most babies are born totally healthy. Yeah!