Monday, June 29, 2009

Lots and lots of pictures from our shower yesterday so I'm just going to jump right in! After almost 3 weeks of nonstop rain (and a HORRIBLE storm Friday night that knocked out the power at my work), Saturday dawned bright and beautiful!
I think my Dad had a hand in that. ;-)
And the shower was an incredible and fun time, reinforcing to both Daryl and I how truly blessed we are by family and friend!!
Mommy, (Hunter) and Daddy!

Big D and I with his Mom and step-dad, John.

Mom and Daryl and I.

Everyone being silly!

Let's try this again!

Who's got a bigger belly?

I think it's a tie!!

Love you, honey!

Ok, this is me bawling my eyes out and Daryl trying to comfort me. My aunt Karen who lives in Ohio could not make the shower so she mailed her gift. She gave us something for the baby, some slippers and lotion for Mommy...and the best gift of all...she made a memory photo box for me with pictures of my Daddy and his family. The whole outside of the box is covered with pictures of Dad as a baby and inside are pics of him and his family as kids, my grandparents when they were young, my Pop-Pop in the army, my Nana when she was a teenager at the beach, and a couple more of me with MY, Sean and my parents from back in the 70's.
I couldn't even begin to explain what this gift meant to me. As you can probably tell by my expression! This is something I can not WAIT to share with my child someday....a link to his very OWN Pop-Pop, and his great and great-great parents and relatives. I loved it.

This is only SOME of our bounty, after opening gifts for what felt like hours! LOL

We had some help...Daryl's cute cousins Rian on the left and Shayne on the right.

Big D really, really loved all the adorable baby things we got!!

My Grammie feeling Hunter.

My Big Boy was pressing out hard that afternoon to say hello to his Great-Grammie!

Some of the little ones, excited after a day of partying!

Daryl and I were blindfolded and had to change our "babies" while being timed and while being "peed on". And I won!

But damn if Big D didn't give it his best shot!!

My two cousins, Olivia and AJ, and little Emily (Julie's daughter) getting ready to head down the slide!

Cake time!!

Friends and family having a good time.
I can't even begin to explain how thankful we are to Daryl's mom, Dory, and step-dad John, as well as his Aunt Valerie and Uncle Rob who hosted this whole party at Rob and Val's house. It was amazing and they put so much thought and love into it! Uncle Rob took his daughter's plastic toy box and spray painted it green and painted Hunter's name on it. And all the guests brought a small rattle or small toy to put in it with a message attached on parenting, advice, etc. It was such a sweet idea! I think the pictures speak volumes...all of our loved ones had a great time.
Hunter is SO lucky to be this loved before he is even born!
34 weeks: Our baby Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby now measures about 20.25 inches (45cm) in total length and weighs around 5.5 lbs (2550g). Crown to rump measurement is about 13.2 inches (33cm).
He continues to grow and fatten up, especially in the shoulder area, and kicks regularly.
The fine lanugo hair that covered your baby is shedding, though some may still be present when your baby is born.
Your baby's eyes are blue, though this may change soon after birth or much later after birth.
Your baby's fingernails are growing. They already reach the tips of his fingers and they may even look quite long and pointy by the time he is born. Your baby may even have some scratch marks from scratching his face with his fingernails.
Your baby is probably feeling quite cramped right now and his movements are restricted by his growing size.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bullets today, cuz I have absolutely no energy to come up with anything even remotely witty.

  • Went to the doctor's yesterday and everything going well. Doctor assured me (based on last u/s) that my fluid levels are fine. I've gained a 1/2 pound since my last visit, a total shocker since I feel like all I've been doing is eating crap. Albeit, smaller portions of crap, but crap nonetheless. At my next appointment in two weeks, when I'm 35 weeks, I'll be having the test for Group B Streptococcus.
  • I am super moody lately. I use the term 'moody' very loosely. I don't know how else to condense it down from cranky/tired/overwhelmed/feel like crying/irritable/low on patience/uncomfortable.
  • And I think Daryl has a similar form of this...maybe his is Men's PMS?
  • When I let the dogs out this morning, Timber (who I put a long rope lead on even though our yard is fenced in...this way I can "reel" him in if he is not cooperating and coming when I call him) decided he couldn't wait for me to untangle his lead and he took off running. I let go of the rope so as not to have it slide hotly through my hands and in the process it wrapped around a few items. Timber dragged the grill halfway across the deck, gave me rope burn across my ankle (ouch!) and knocked over a wrought iron chair that in turn shattered a blue dog water bowl. Shattered--as in itty bitty pieces of bright blue glass ALL OVER the yard and deck. I had to leave for work so I left the glass where it lay.
  • We have our 3rd birthing class tonight and while I'm looking forward to it, as always (I think tonight the teacher will be discussing pain relief in the forms of DRUGS!) I am freakin' exhausted and kinda bummed about the fact that I wont get home till about 9:15pm tonight (we go to class straight from work).
  • Is it too soon for the baby to be dropping? Anyone know? Bueller? Bueller? My body feels slightly different lately and it started about a day and a half ago. Almost all the baby's movements I feel now are from my belly button down, and definitely lot's of low movements. Also, my belly just looks a bit lower...not terribly...but my belly doesn't seem to sprout from right beneath my boobs anymore. And the pressure, most specifically around my lady bits, oh the pressure...I felt like I was going to (pardon me) crap out a bowling ball last night!
  • Oh and speaking of boobs, I'm up to a size F bra now. Daryl is in awe. And I'm surprised I can walk between the weight of my belly and boobs now tipping me forward.
  • Our baby shower is this weekend. I'm thrilled it's supposed to not rain (no lie, we've had rain for like THREE WEEKS, almost nonstop now) however, it's supposed to be 86 degrees and humid. I'm scared. And the totally cute shirt I bought to wear...well, I just don't know how easy it "breathes".
  • Yesterday for the first time I started feeling a very, unfamilar achiness in my belly. And then the aches were followed by a low-ish cramping which sort of reminded me of PMS-cramps. This is like nothing I've felt before so far. Thankfully they didn't last long.
  • My coworkers are driving me absolutely, insanely BONKERS. They make mountains out of molehills for EVERYTHING and I'm just so sick of it. I don't need the extra added (unnecessary!) stress. Oh, and now there is talk I might have to train someone to cover my maternity, yeah, after I already TRAINED SOMEONE ELSE. Dude, I'm f*cking eight months pregnant and miserable and can't focus and you want me to do something that I've already DONE?
  • Next week I will have a 3 (possibly 4!!) day weekend and I can't freakin' wait. Lots to do. My mom is going to come over and help me clean the house. And I'm going to attempt to finally organize in Hunter's nursery. We'll see how that goes. And most likely Big D and I will grill out on the back porch.
  • My Dunkin Donuts decaf iced coffee is totally hitting the spot right now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Crazy dog-night, last night.

I seriously thought I was going to have a panic-attack!

And the two culprits? Timber and Daisy.

First a little background: Daryl and I have been contemplating giving Timber back, which means for his remaining 5+ months or so he'd live with a different foster family. Now that I'm so hugely and uncomfortably pregnant, and not to mention not so steady on my feet, it's been pretty trying to coral a 65+ puppy. By no fault of his own (I mean, after all, he IS a puppy) Timber has OODLES of energy and with the craziness that is our life right now planning and preparing for baby Hunter, we just don't have the time and energy of our own to devote to his training. We've missed like the last 3-4 puppy training classes which we both feel horrible about but Big D has been working OT on the weekends, something we desperately need with a baby (and an almost completely unpaid maternity leave) on the way and I just can not handle him for the classes on my own anymore.

And then throw into the mix the fact that when Daryl is NOT home, I'm (while exhausted and with a sore back and an annoying waddling walk) trying to deal with three crazy dogs who feed off of each other. As in, if one barks, the other barks. If one is hyper, they all are hyper. It's gotten to the point when I let them outside to do their business that I do it in shifts. First shift is Daisy and Tucker (and Timber meanwhile goes WILD in his crate knowing that they are outside but he is not...he barks and moans and cries at the top of his lungs...something that will NOT be cool when there is a newborn in the house) and THEN I take out Timber. Otherwise if I let Timber out with the other dogs, he won't focus on doing his business...he just wants to play. And then he ends up tinkling on our damn living room carpet. Hence the reason we need to steam-clean it!

And I now only take him outside, in our fenced-in yard, on his leash or on a long lead, becuz he still has the bad habit of barking (crazily) at our neighbors' puppy and when this happens, he is back in the bushes and completely loses control and doesn't pay attention to me. So I have to keep him away from that back area now...BUT the problem with that is he is a very STRONG 65+ pounds and I'm a very tipsy-topsy pregnant lady...not a good combination as I've almost been pulled off my feet a handful of times.

And then there is Daisy. I'm sure you all remember my issues with her, becuz I've written about her numerous times and our dilemma in trying to find her a new home. She is aggressive and she has always been the alpha-dog of the house with her and Tucker but when Timber came along, and especially once he started to grow, he would continually challenge her. They've had some tiffs before (almost all started by Daisy, the 20 pounder, going after Timber) and as Timber got older he stopped backing down and started standing up to her. Not good. This only infuriates her more and instead of the brief "spat" being over, it would sometimes continue.

Well, last night was the worst.

I was home alone with the dogs, as Daryl had to work over-time. They were all pretty much behaving, hanging out in the living room as I went back and forth between the living room and kitchen, cooking dinner. Timber had his bone (only he and Tucker are allowed these bones becuz Daisy gets EVIL with any kind of edible treat, rawhide, marrow bone, whatever and will bite ANYONE who comes near her, dog or human) and I always stay nearby just to make sure Daisy doesn't try to steal it. She "knows" that we don't let her have them, so what she does is wait till Daryl or I are not looking and she will steal the bone right from Timber and Tucker who do not resist. HOW a little tiny dog can have so much power over two BIG dogs is beyond me!

Anyway, Timber must have dropped the bone and lost interest in it trying to see what I was doing and so Daisy did her "guarding" stance...she'll stand over something and growl and show teeth to anyone who comes near it, even if she does not have the item herself. And before I even knew what was happening, Timber decided to go retrieve his bone....

...and all hell broke loose.

Daisy attacked him (and she is tall enough that she is right at the level of always going for and attaching herself to the scruff of his neck) and Timber immediately bristled and fought back. I say "fight" but usually I don't think he is super rough. I think it's more of him just trying to show her that she is NOT his boss, and that he is NOT afraid of her.

But instead of Daisy just moving away as she normally does, she continually kept fighting back. And Timber continued to go at her. I screamed at them to stop (which I know my fear must have escalated it but it was horrible and I was afraid that Timber would kill Daisy, even though she was the instigator, he is MUCH bigger, stronger and with LARGER teeth). At the same time I was panicking becuz Daisy would NOT BACK DOWN.

I did something really stupid. I tried to step in the middle of a dog fight. I grabbed Timber by the collar, hoisting his upper body up and away, thinking that if Daisy couldn't reach his neck, she'd finally back down. Meanwhile he was twisting and turning trying to go back at her and for a moment I freaked out thinking 'What if he accidentally bit ME in his haste to get at Daisy?' so I contemplated dropping him but Daisy was still advancing, so I backed away with Timber.

I know you are never, ever supposed to try to separate fighting dogs like that. My father had instilled that in mine and my brother's brains since we were very young (we grew up with many dogs) but yet I was panicking, I couldn't see anything to smack at them with, I couldn't distract them and I didn't know what to do.

And at this, my gentle-docile-teddy-bear-of-a-yellow-lab, Tucker, joined in the fray. I know he must have thought his Mama was being hurt in the ruckus (and never mind that it was probably like a pack mentality at that point of "Attack!"), becuz all he saw was my wrestling with Timber and he immediately dove in and tried to bite Timber's neck! I swear I almost peed in my pants and saw my hand get THISCLOSE to a set of teeth...I'm not even sure at this point whose teeth cuz it all was happening so fast! And one of the big dogs came down hard on my poor foot, which did NOT feel good.

I screamed at them again and finally, good-lord-FINALLY, Daisy took a step back but Timber was totally pumped up and seemed confused at this point, still lunging, so I quickly ushered him into his crate, then Daisy into her crate, and when I came back out to the living room, poor Tucker was racing frantically all around, wagging his tail anxiously, like "What next, Mama??" and I just burst into tears and started shaking.

I think the reality of it all just set it and and throw in the fact that here I am pregnant and I realized how they could have easily knocked me off of my already-clumsy feet? Well it did not sit well.

So this is the final straw that broke the camel's back. We have to give Timber back and we have to remove Daisy from the house before the baby arrives. Tears and sadness be damned, I have to do it. It's not a safe environment for me while pregnant and it definitely won't be a safe place for a little bitty newborn. And I just want to reiterate that I don't NOT trust Timber around the's just that he is still young and high-energy and we have a small house and I think he needs a different kind of environment right now. But Daisy? Yeah, she can't be trusted. :-(


Monday, June 22, 2009

33 weeks: Our baby Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby weighs almost 5 lbs (2250 g) and is 12.8 inches (32cm) from crown to rump and about 19.8 inches (44cm) long.

If your baby were born now, he would be considered "pre-term" rather than premature. This distinction is based on fetal maturity, particularly the maturity of the fetal lungs. A pre-term baby, unlike a premature baby, is likely to have well-developed lungs and is less likely to need intensive care.

Your baby is surrounded by a red glow when sunlight shines on your belly and may be aware of this as he is able to differentiate between light and dark.

Your baby's hair is getting thicker, though it may be a different color when he is older.
He is currently shedding his lanugo, the fine downy hair that previously covered her body.
More vernix, the waxy coating that protects your baby's skin while submerged in amniotic fluid, is building up.

Your baby's adrenal glands are producing more steroid hormone, the androgen-like hormone that indirectly aids your milk production. Your baby is currently producing ten times more of this hormone than a normal adult and the adrenal glands are currently the same size as those of an adolescent. They will shrink after birth.

Your baby is laying down bone. To do this, he will draw calcium from you.
Your baby has taste buds and it has been suggested that he can taste and develop tastes for flavors found in the amniotic fluid, particularly flavors that you eat on a regular basis.

33 weeks!!
The anxiety over the "unknown" of birth has finally and truly set in for me. I'd say at least once a week, and always when I've just crawled into bed for the night, this unexplainable fear envelops me becuz I can't "picture" how labor and delivery will go. It's like a blank slate, with nothing to see, except for that cute baby at the end. Am I afraid of the pain? Yes and's not just the idea of pain that gets me.

I am a planner. But I can only plan so much and then nature takes it's course. For me, that's giving up the reigns! SCARY! But I feel like I'm as ready as I can be. I've done so much reading, talked to so many friends who are Mom's, and we are currently mid-way through our birthing classes. Daryl and I have discussed what I want/don't want during labor and I feel soothed that he (and my Mom) will be there for me! I guess that's all I CAN do and I need to let that anxiety go! Easier said than done, of course.

In less stressful news, Daryl and I had a hugely funny moment yesterday. We were both tired mid-day and wanted to nap but my Mom was coming around four so we just decided to watch tv in the bedroom and relax. While in there, he began tickling me and generally being a pest. While I was laughing hysterically and trying to roll away (and mind you, I was not wearing a shirt, just my sweat pants and bra. I am so HOT lately!!) we both suddenly looked down at my belly.

Or more specifically, my belly BUTTON.

Holy crap!!! It was like there really WAS an alien in my stomach! Half of my belly button was popped out (and weirdly stretched-looking) and every time I would gasp at the sight of it and laugh HARDER, almost ALL of it would pop out! I was momentarily completely grossed out and kept saying, "Ewww! Pop it back in! I don't want an outie!" I thought Daryl was going to pee his pants from laughing so hard. Then when I rolled back over, the OTHER side of my belly button only kept popping out.

It was crazy!

We did break out the Flip and videoed it and I thought of sharing it with you guys, but the sight of my scary belly button would probably frighten most of you away. Ha ha. Daryl said it looked like a worm hole. NICE.

Now that I've gotten over the grossness factor of it all, I can't stop laughing about it. And it's not fully an outie yet. It still pops back in. It's only when I exert pressure on my belly that it "comes out to play". We'll see if my turkey-timer decides to make a permanant appearance before this baby is born!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A letter to my baby boy...

Dear Hunter:

You have the hiccups, kid. AGAIN. Is this going to be a daily occurrence? Not that it bothers me, I mean, it kinda tickles in an annoying-seizure-twitching kind of way. Heh. It just makes me laugh to realize I have no control over my own belly as the rhythmic motion of your hiccups shakes it!

Anyway, you've been an active little man in my belly lately. Lots of body parts have been randomly poking out but I think my favorite (weirdest) feeling was last night. I was rubbing my bare belly as I often do while watching TV, when I realized my belly button felt "off". Since I can no longer SEE my belly button--ahem--I kindly asked your father if my "innie" was on it's way to becoming an "outie", perhaps?

"Nope," He replied, "It looks the same." So I pressed down right above my belly button and realized with a start that I could feel something small-ish pressing out right above the upper rim of my belly button. It came up almost in a sharp peak.

"What is that?" I asked curiously of your Dad. He smiled and said, "That's the baby's foot or a hand, something small!"

Up until point, buddy, we were never sure what was pressing out at us (although I do think I've felt your little hiney stretching out many times before) but last night we think you were saying hello. Maybe you were even waving?

It's getting so close, honey, and we can't wait to meet you in person! I know it's all starting to seem more real and exciting to your Daddy.

He loves to feel you move and roll under his hand, like our own personal ocean wave. The other night I went to bed early and your Daddy said when he finally came in, I was sound asleep. He started to rub my belly as he often times will do, and to his surprise, you were in the middle of an intense acrobatics work-out in there! To the point where he was so surprised it didn't wake your Mommy up! So Daddy got his own bonding moment with you, his one-on-one time, and that made me so happy to hear. I can not WAIT till I get to see him hold you and kiss you for the first time. You are a lucky boy to have such an awesome Daddy...I know he will do a great job!

Anyway, things are simultaneously moving swiftly and slowly for us. We're so anxoius to meet you but at the same time, I am hoping we get everything accomplished that we need to before your arrival. Your nursery is coming along great and as you get bigger and grow, I know you'll love pointing out all the safari animals on the wall. And I'll tell you how Daddy remodeled and painted your room with love. I keep randomly walking into your room and find myself staring at the progress we've made so far. It's inspiring! And soon, we'll have you, our sweet little bundle, tucked safe and snug in your crib. I can hardly wait!

So for now, little (big) man, continue to grow and thrive and hiccup away! We can't wait to meet you soon!
Love Always,

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Okay, it's list time.

I am a compulsive list-maker when it comes to most things: grocery shopping, vacation packing, house organization projects, things-to-do, etc.

I don't know why, but it helps me to maintain a little bit of sanity. My brain is such mush usually that I feel like I will end up forgetting everything, without it all written down.

And now as we get closer and closer to the 33 week mark of this pregnancy, it dawns on me that I only have (providing our big boy doesn't come early!) about seven weeks left, give or take.


How can that simultaneously seem like SO much time and NOT ENOUGH time?

Still left to do:
1. Order dresser and combo changing table for Hunter's nursery. It takes approximately 2 weeks to come in, so even though I "have time", I'm still sweating it. I have piles and piles of absolutely adorable (already washed and neatly folded) hand-me-down clothes with absolutely nowhere to put them. They are piled up in laundry baskets on the floor, making me crazy.

2. Purchase a tall bookshelf for Hunter's nursery. I'm thinking I'd like to check out Ikea, Target and Walmart. I don't want/can't spend an arm and a leg on it, but I also don't want it to look like crap either. So I'm not going to settle. If I don't see anything I like, I'll try to hold off. It's not like Hunter will care that his cute little stuffed animals, books and framed photos are not set up when he's born. Only Mom will care. Ha!

3. Empty all the CRAP (i.e. my old clothes that used to live in the closet in our "spare room", winter coats, winter shoes that I'm currently not wearing, etc) out of Hunter's room BEFORE our baby shower which is coming up quickly...June 27th!!

4. Find a cute, yet inexpensive, outfit to wear to above baby shower! It's going to be an outdoor BBQ for our family and friends (men and children invited too) so I'm thinking of a cute sundress. But if I look like a giant, walking tented-whale in a sun dress, maybe I'll do my black Capri's and then I'd just have to find a cute shirt. And my prerequisite flip-flops, of course.

5. Purchase at least one nursing bra for now...I'm currently growing (okay, I won't lie, pretty much HAVE GROWN) out of my current 40E size (and have been still squishing into them) and I'm desperate to get a new bra. And with how heavy these babies are, I won't wear anything less than a nursing bra for support (I've been wearing one for the past 3-ish months now. The lady at Motherhood Maternity, at that time, originally tried to talk me into buying a "cheap" bra from Target until I was closer to my due date but my biggest complaint with cheap bras, is that I need MAJOR support in holding up my chest. And honestly? I only spent like $20, max, on this bra! I thought that was a great price!)

6. Okay, this is more Big D's job than mine, but I need to add it to the list, cuz it makes me anxious. We need to purchase (and him put up) a closet door still in Hunter's nursery. Once that is done, he can finish putting up the last wall's trim and chair rail. And the crown moulding needs to go up, but we have to get D's Uncle Rob over to help with that. He makes it so much easier to do! Oh and Big D still needs to put the sealer over the stain he painted on the bench for the nursery.

7. Put up and hang the new curtain rods and curtains for Hunter's room. Oh! And we still gotta get blinds for the baby's room!

8. Clean out the hallway linen closet. I know this technically has nothing whatsoever to do with the new baby's arrival, however, it's driving me absolutely bonkers. The closet is skinny and tiny and can barely fit all the towels, sheets, blankets, curtains and misc. bathroom supplies in it right now, so every time I open the door, something falls on me. This will not fly for me once baby is here so now is my time to clean it up and reorganize the contents!

9. Steam-clean the living room and hallway carpets.

10. Completely scrub down the kitchen, including the inside of the fridge.

11. Pack bag for the hospital. I was going to wait till like 37-38 weeks to do this, however, you just never know what life may throw your way, so I think I'll probably end up starting to pack it closer to 35-36 weeks.

12. Cry and freak out becuz I STILL have no idea what to do about our little dog, Daisy. We haven't been able to find her a home and I just can't bare to put her to sleep (some of Daisy's story can be read about here and also here). But the closer we get to baby Hunter's arrival, the more worried I get about having little Daisy in the house. I will never be able to trust her. And don't get me wrong, I know a dog is a dog, but seriously? I could leave Tucker (our lab-teddy bear), the baby and a steak in the middle of the living room floor with no worries (NOT that I would! LOL) becuz he has such a gentle and non-aggressive personality and nature and yet here is Daisy, the (often times) mean, aggressive, biting 20-pounder who I can't even trust with my CAT(S) never mind my child. It's so tough and it will be a hard and emotional decision, but I have to do what's right for my family.

And as if this isn't bad enough, we have to find a new home for one of our cats now too. I've had Bailey a long time...maybe like 9 or 10 years? And in all of this time, she has had an issue with randomly pissing and shitting on living room furniture and on our bed (we can no longer allow the cats in the bedroom when we're not in there IN bed), on piles of clothes (or even in filled or empty laundry baskets). And the most annoying part is that it doesn't happen ALL the time, otherwise I probably would have tried to find her a home a long time ago. It happens with a vengeance a couple times a year (as in, she'll start up and for a brief period, she keeps doing it). I've tried everything: numerous vet visits through the year--during all of which she was given a clean bill of health, changing kitty litter brands in case she didn't like one, changing the litter on a more regular basis (becuz she doesn't like a dirty litter box), and adding an additional litter box to the house thinking maybe there wasn't enough for all three kitties. People have asked if there was "change" that maybe brought this on but honestly it always seems to have no rhyme or reason when it starts. Bailey has ruined, in the past, a queen sized mattress, a beautiful couch, she's peed on our rug that is less than a year old (but thankfully we were able to salvage that with crazy cleaning and then steam-cleaning...just hoping it hasn't sopped through to the hardwood underneath). Well, our current couch was given to us by Daryl's mom last Christmas when she bought a new one....we were SO excited cuz our old couch still smelled of pee in certain spots and it was especially worse in hot and humid weather, so we were eager to get rid of it. I LOVE our couch cuz on each end, it reclines so both Big D and I can stretch out and not be on top of each other if we weren't in a cuddling mood.

WELL...within the past week, Bailey has shit on the couch 3 times and pissed on it once. I am livid. We can NOT get the urine smell out no matter how many cleansers we have used. Daryl even tried vinegar. I stuffed fabric softeners sheets into the creases hoping it would suck up some of the pee smell but NO. I refuse to lay on the couch. I have a pretty keen sniffer as it is, but add in pregnancy? I can smell cat urine a mile away. And as a pregnant woman who is nesting and striving to get this place as clean as possible before the baby arrives, I've sat down and CRIED that we will now have to get rid of this couch and we DO NOT have the money to buy a new one. Daryl and I have argued about Bailey in the past, when she's done this. He's wanted to bring her to the Humane Society but I fought him tooth and nail. Well, now? Something has changed. I just can't deal with it anymore...I start to well up at the thought of no longer having her here, but at the same time, I can't live in a house that smells like cat urine anymore! And constantly have to worry about "Oh shoot, I left a laundry basket full of clothes in the living room, will Bailey piss in it today?" *SIGH*...I am so torn...

13. Pick up bassinet from B's house and put it in our bedroom.

14. Put away/find a home for (after the shower) the shower gifts we will receive June 27th.

15. Buy a night light for the nursery and I still also want to buy a rug to put in the middle of the hardwood floor.

16. Try to remember the rest of the things I wanted to do/have done before baby is born, but have currently flown out of my crazed brain. When I start to focus on it too much, I feel completely overwhelmed!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Busy weekend, as always (when aren't they busy??).

Friday night we had my Mom over for dinner to celebrate (belatedly) her birthday. Saturday Daryl had to work so I was on my own cleaning the house. I moved the furniture around in our bedroom (don't worry, it's hardwood floors and I'm talking a bed on wheels and a super light dresser and night stand...I didn't overdo it!) and vacuumed every square inch of the floor to suck up any stray cat/dog hair hiding in corners. I needed to change the set-up of furniture also, not for cosmetic reasons, but to make room for a bassinet! My friend Crystal's mother is giving us the bassinet she has used for her grand-babies when they slept over HER house. She's been waiting (im)patiently for us to take it becuz they are in the process of listing their house on the market, but of course with our teeny-tiny house I first had to make sure we had somewhere to PUT it!

Mission accomplished!

Anyway, we were set to babysit Daryl's cousins (10 and 5 year old girls) around 3:30pm for an overnight sleepover and I was making a mad-dash to get all my cleaning done in time PLUS shower. It didn't happen. I called Daryl hours later, my wet hair wrapped up in a towel turban, feet raised on the recliner, and bawled my eyes out that I couldn't finish it all in time. If this isn't nesting, then I'm just plain insane!

The kids showed up around 4:00-ish and we settled them in with their sleeping bags and stuff before dinner time. We took them out to a nearby pizza place for dinner where Shayne, the 5 year old, had to pee FOUR TIMES in the short time span we were there. Luckily I AM pregnant and I didn't mind the excess pee breaks. What I DID mind, however, was the tiny booth to sit in...where my belly was pressed up uncomfortably against the table the entire meal and I had to keep readjusting. Hunter must not have liked it either becuz he keep pressing outward nad randomly kicking, most likely trying to make room!

Afterward, we were going to surprise the kids and take them to a movie, but timing was off from dinner, so instead we opted for movie night at home. Since we now had extra time, we stopped at a nearby HUGE pet store to troll around in (Daryl chased about Shayne who was a whirlwind, while I lagged behind with her dilly-dallying sister). Then we rented our flick, got pop corn and stopped for ice cream to bring home. During the movie, Daryl passed out on the carpet. LOL Better get used to the hectic pace, honey!!

Sunday morning we took the kids to breakfast at a local diner and then up to see Castle Craig in town. Castle Craig is basically just a tower and by the time I made it up the 4 or 5 short flights of stairs to the top, both kids were moaning about being chilly and wanted to go back down. So down, down, down the slow-moving pregnant lady went! Brought the kids back home, had lunch with their parents then we were off to grocery shop. Of course we made the mistake of going to BJ's (warehouse store) first and I must admit, I picked up some things I probably (okay, definitely) did NOT need...a gigantic box of Tootsie Pops, an equally huge box of Pop Tarts...anyway! Big D and I spent the remainder of our night/weekend eating leftover pizza and watching Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood. I liked it, although it was much different than I thought it would be!

Is it nap time yet??

32 weeks: Our baby Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby now weighs about 4.4 lbs (2000g) and measures about 12 inches (30cm) from crown to rump and about 19.4 inches (43cm) in total.

Now that your baby is running out of room in your womb, you can probably see your belly moving as your baby kicks.

Your baby may dream as he sleeps and when awake he may be alert, listening, feeling and even seeing dim shapes.

Though your baby is still inside the womb, he is learning all the time as billions of neurons are making connections.

Your baby is probably in his birth position by now.

Your baby's lungs may be sufficiently developed by now, though if he were born now, he would probably still need an incubator to stay warm.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Belly Shots, Ultrasounds and Naps...oh my!

So first and foremost, I had my ultrasound on Thursday morning and it went great! My doctor was only slightly concerned with the fact that I was measuring bigger. (At the time of my last appointment I was 31w2d but she had me measuring at 36 weeks.) And just a brief background, my fluid level has been measuring on the high side of normal since approximately 20 weeks so she wanted to have them check on that.

The u/s tech immediately put our mind at ease after a bunch of measurements were taken. Not only is my fluid level good--normal range is between 8-24% and I'm at 21% so again I'm on the higher side of normal--but baby Hunter is only measuring about 2 weeks ahead. He is currently 4 lbs. 7 oz. and the estimated due date based on his growth to date is July 29th. Wowzas! I like that better than my original EDD of August 9th. (and yes, I'm aware, both dates really mean nothing...I know he'll come out when he's good and ready to! But hearing "Hey, maybe he'll be a little early!" is definitely not a bad thing to hear!).

And he is no longer breech so that is exciting to me! I won't say that my belly has "dropped" but I definitely notice that it doesn't look so high and that my boy's big 'ol head is down low where it should be! Good boy.

Oh and last thing about the u/s before we move on to belly shots...Hunter looked SO incredibly cute on that screen! I know it was a bit harder for her to get a good clear image of him now that he is bigger and there is less room in my (huge) "oven" but she tried her best to get us a photo. This boy was moving his head from side to side and kept putting his hand up near his mouth--not quite sucking his thumb but he had his fisted little hand resting against his lips at times. He was yawning, sticking out his tongue and smacking his lips and it was probably the CLEAREST we had seen him do all those things. I was completely enthralled! Unfortunately the u/s shot I'm posting is NOT the clearest BECUZ of all his head movements. And the u/s tech was cute after she showed us, making sure to say that the first shot was not a direct SIDE shot, but more from an angle so his nose may look funny to me. Both Daryl and I told her we could care less what his nose looks like...he looked GREAT on that screen to us! :-)

Now onto belly shots...not the best I will admit. Our Nikon has a dead battery so we used our smaller, not-so-good camera...and Big D was in SUCH a freakin' rush to take these cuz he had a TV program to attend to. *BIG EYE ROLL* So sorry for the blurry quality. And please, please disregard how utterly CRAPPY I look! This is after a long-ass day of work, and I look so pale and worn out it's ridiculous!

(These pics were taken at the beginning of the week, by the way.)

And I can't believe I'm gonna do this, but I'm even including a bare belly shot for you, something I've never done before! And yes, those are stretch marks peeking out from my sweat pants. I'm not gonna lie and I'm not gonna photoshop 'em out...I'm keeping it real people!

Oh and you're probably wondering where the napping comes into play? I'm always so, so tired that on almost every lunch break at work I now take a quick nap. Granted, the nap itself is probably only about 20-30 minutes in duration depending on how noisy traffic is or how uncomfortable I am only partially reclined in the truck, but still that extra 20 minutes seems to make all the difference to me! And today, I didn't get a nap. So that means it's time for bed cuz I'm freakin' BEAT! Goodnight!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Today I'm paying homage to the woman who brought me into this world...


You were born 55 years ago, today, a happy bouncing baby girl--the second oldest child in a family of three brothers!

And cute as a button!
I know life has had it's ups and downs, Mom, but through-out it all you've taught me to have a sense of humor. One of my favorite past times with you, is drinking tea and just laughing. Do you remember the time we sat in my new tiny apartment on Center Street, struggling to piece together shelves you had just bought for me, and giggling so hard that I actually peed my pants?

Life hasn't always been easy to you with your illnesses, but you always manage to plug through it all with your typical spunk and color that I've come to expect. You're the woman who will wear pig tails, or fake tattoos, and who isn't afraid of what people will think of ARE your own person and I admire that!

You love your pets as if they are your own children and from you, I've learned to appreciate and cultivate a special love of my own for animals. You taught me how to bake and Daryl continually thanks you for that! :-)

And you've also taught me how to be the kind of Mom that MY child will come to for advice, for comfort, for love. I always know you are there for me!!

Because of you and the love you shared with my Dad, I've always searched long and hard for that special someone of my own. As a child, I watched you and Daddy continue to hold hands, kiss each other hello and goodbye, work out your disagreements and never go to bed angry and just BE there for one another as a complete union.
You have taught me what a marriage is and should be and I know Daryl and I will continue to be successful at it due to the values you instilled!

And one of my most favorite things to watch within the past four years, is the relationship and the love that has blossomed between you and Daryl. I always wondered how it would be, that mother/son-in-law relationship, and it gives me happy goosebumps to see you (and him to you!) tease and love him as your own.

Thank you for being the best Mom ever!
Daryl and I, both, love you and hope your
birthday is magical!

P.S. You will be a FANTASTIC Nana to little Hunter (and no doubt, spoil him rotten) and I can't wait to see you hold him for the first time!!!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Well, it's crazy to think about.

I'm 31 weeks (as of this past Sunday)!

Time is zipping along.

I just had a doctor's appointment this morning where we discussed a couple of things. First, I am measuring ahead, still. I'm 31w2d currently but measuring at 36 weeks! Holy crow! No wonder everyone thinks I look "huge"!

What the hell am I going to look like at 40 weeks, a blimp???

So, the doctor is only slightly concerned about it. She wants me to go for an ultrasound this week (and since their tech is on vacation, I'll have to get it done at the hospital) to check on the level of the amniotic fluid. Like I've mentioned in the past (and at my last u/s) my fluid level was measuring at the higher range of normal. Which is not bad. I think my doctor just wants to be proactive and keep track of it. (If there WAS too much excess fluid, it would have to be drained.)

And who am I to argue another u/s where I get to see my baby boy? :-) Plus, I'm curious to see if he is still breech...really hoping he has turned. I have been feeling him more in the middle of my belly, like behind my belly button, with his firm "presses"...where it feels like he is sticking some body part out. Sometimes it feels like a tiny, hard little foot (or more specifically a heel...ouch! Daryl got to feel that from the outside last night and thought it was the COOLEST thing ever!) and other times off to the side of my belly on the right, I feel the press of something that is bigger and harder, so maybe a head or a butt.

The doctor also asked how my PUPPPS rash was doing and I showed her that it seemed to be spreading to my arms. I showed her the rash on my hips, thighs and legs (She wasn't the same doctor I saw last week when I first mentioned it)...and she asked if I had it on my belly. I told her I couldn't see my lower belly to know, heh, so she looked and was surprised to NOT see it there. That is where PUPPPS usually forms first. So I guess we don't know for sure if it is PUPPPS (although after looking at pictures on the Internet, I'm pretty positive). I can take Benedryl for the itchiness factor though, which I fully intend to take advantage of.

THANK GOD, cuz I know scratching my skin raw is NOT an option.

31 Weeks (as of last Sunday): Our Baby Hunter
Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby's total length is 18.9 inches (42cm) and he is perfectly formed! He measures about 11.6 inches (29cm) from crown to rump. All he has to do is fill out more. Your baby weighs almost 4 pounds (1800g). If he were to be born now, he would still need to be incubated as he has insufficient fat stores to keep it warm.

Your baby can distinguish between light and dark.

Your baby can hear the outside world quite well now, and can also hear the sounds of your heartbeat, your digestion and the blood rushing in the umbilical cord. The pitch of women's voices are in the range babies are most able to hear over all the internal background noise.

Your baby is already familiar with your voice and will be able to recognize it after birth.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Normally, on Sundays/Mondays I like to post my weekly update on the baby's growth, but I'll do that tomorrow instead.

Today I'd like to share a story about my Dad.

I recently reconnected (via facebook, GO FIGURE??) with a woman who made a very important impact in my family's lives, in a very brief amount of time. A is the hospice social worker who started coming over to my parents house and sitting down with my Dad and then at different times with my Mom, as well as my brother and I (and sometimes all together) to talk about the elephant in the room--my father's illness and impending death. She was there first and foremost for Dad, but at the same time, hospice is about family as well, and helping all of us deal with such a painful time in our lives. She had suggested readings for me and printed out articles, and told me to call her anytime I needed her, day or night.

And what really got to me, was that I could tell she really CARED for my father as a person and not just as a patient/client.

She is such a genuinely compassionate and caring woman, and it was so obvious from the start that this was more than just a "job" to her. It was a calling. She was meant to be that extra support hand/shoulder/ear to families and patients in need, and she was GOOD at it.

I think we stayed in touch via email approximately a year (on and off) after my Dad passed, especially when my Pop-Pop (my Dad's father) became ill and bed-ridden at home and was slowly dying. Like a beacon of light, A made another debut in our lives and helped smooth out a very rough, very emotional, experience. And after my Pop-Pop passed away, we still emailed here and there, but like all things, Life happened and we eventually lost touch. I have definitely thought about her as the years have passed.

So here we are today, when about 2 weeks ago, I helped my Mom sign up to Facebook. She was interested to see what the hub was all about. Almost immediately, since Mom still had A's email in her email address book, a link popped up as a friend suggestion.

It was A!!

Then once A saw my profile picture through Mom's facebook page, she instantly sent ME a friend request. We emailed back and forth briefly with how things were going in our lives and A mentioned how thankful she was to see that my Mom and I were so happy in our lives! She then said she had a story she wanted to share with me about Dad, but since it would take her a while to type it, she would share it later in the week.

A few days passed and here it was Saturday morning when I decided out of the blue to try to pull out some old photo albums and see if I could scan some pictures of my father onto the computer. The first photos I stumbled across were some that were taken of my Dad while he was working. He was a lineman for almost his entire life. He started at 18 years old as an apprentice and a meter reader and went up the ladder from there.

My father had a very dangerous job but he knew his stuff, and he did it WELL. So I eagerly posted a couple of these pictures on my facebook, totally forgetting that A still hadn't emailed me her "story" that she wanted to share. The next day I opened up facebook again, and here was the email from her, which brought me back to a sad, painful place seven years ago, but at the same time made me smile and appreciate all the more the fact that A was sharing this story with me....


When I saw the pictures of your dad in his work as a lineman I knew I had to write. You may not realize this, but before I became a social worker I sold utility equipment, including the transformers and circuit breakers your dad worked on. I was working down south, so no direct connection. Anyway, as your dad was in his last days he had bad pain at times, as I know you remember. That is why he had on the pump for his pan meds. That pump was a love-hate relationship for him. It was a pain in the butt to have to carry it around all the time, to be tethered to it, yet it was such a help for the pain. One day I went to visit and your dad was pretty much out of it, resting comfortably because he had enough pain meds going. Your mom said to me, "I'm worried--Richie keeps saying he wants to disconnect and the pump is the only thing that has kept him comfortable. What are we going to do?" That's when the lightbulb went on for me. Disconnect. Like a circuit breaker. You throw the disconnect to stop the power so you can service the breaker. I told your mom that I thought he was not talking about the pain pump but was instead using language that was very comfortable to him to tell her (and the family) that he was ready to die. To disconnect from this life. He died within a week.

I do talks on symbolic language for nursing home staff, training new volunteers, etc. I always tell the story of my beloved Richie and how he told us something important which he couldn't say in plain English. People who are dying often talk in symbolic language and it often is in the context of traveling (I need to pack my bags, do I have my ticket?, etc) and in the language of their work, which is very comfortable to them. Your dad was the ultimate example of that. Fortunately with my odd-ball background in selling high voltage utility equipment many years ago I recognized the words he used and was able to reassure your mom that he was OK with the pain pump, and that he was trying to prepare her for what was very rapidly approaching.

So....... your dad lives on for me in a very clear and present way. I talk about him at least 4 times a year as I do my talks. I'll never him, your family. I hope it brings you joy and pride to know that he is a part of my everyday practice as a hospice social worker! :)

That's my story, girl. Sorry it took so long to sit down and write it out to you. :)

Love, A"

I still get kinda choked up as I re-read through A's email to me. But at the same time, I feel so honored and privileged to have known this man who not only touched my life as my FATHER, but touched the life of a hospice worker who was "just doing her job". Here it is seven years later, and she still talks about him.

That makes me feel so good. And so thankful.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Me as a baby, being held by my Mother. I need to keep looking thru for better pics of Mom's whole face. LOL

I was having some fun this morning going through old(er) photo albums (before digital!) and uploading pictures of family and friends.
I was a total chub!!

And always smiling!!

Looking at the pictures of me as a baby makes me wonder, what will Hunter look like? Will he have my smile? Or my squinty brown eyes? Or Daryl's nose or cute round cheeks? It makes me kinda sad that we don't/won't have any baby pictures of Big D to compare little Hunter to.

Photos are SO important to me.

I will continue to make lots of photographic memories of Daryl so even though we don't pictures of him as a small child, we'll have plenty of him holding HIS child.

Pictures ARE memories!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Ugh. I am sick.

I don't really know if it's a cold/allergies/whatever...I did see some friends Saturday night and found out (after already being there for an hour) that both their 7 year old and 3 month old baby have colds. I've been really good almost this entire pregnancy with steering clear (as much as I can anyway with work, etc) of sick people. Oops. So, not sure if I inherited their cold or what. Sore throat, runny nose, head ache...blah, blah...

I ended up calling out of work yesterday between that, my tummy issues this weekend (and the only culprit I can see is...Doritos? Cuz I had the SAME issues again last night and it was after dinner where I had with it, what else, Doritos. Hmmm....) and also for one other very important ANNOYING reason.

My damn PUPPPS rash. (PUPPPS stands forPruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy. Now THAT'S a mouthful, huh?). Yep, the doctor confirmed it yesterday at my prenatal appointment. I had already read enough about it during this pregnancy (and even done some research when I first developed a rash with small-red bumps, and which has now morphed from just bumps into an almost blotchy, red hive-like appearance) but had almost talked myself out of it. You know, "Oh no, April, that's not what you have. It's probably just a dang heat rash." But no heat rash is going to last for going on two weeks!

It started on my legs (specifically my upper thighs, on the outside of my leg) and since this weekend it has spread to my hips and down one leg, mid-thigh. It is itchy as all HELL.

No, wait, that doesn't give it enough credit. It is insanely, annoyingly, uncomfortably, painfully, "scratch-your-skin-until-it-almost-shreds-and-still-don't-get-any-relief" kind of itchy. Yeah, it's that bad. Last night I was even woken up a couple of times to scratch. And that annoyed me becuz #1, I knew that scratching would bring me no relief. And #2 that I wake up ENOUGH to pee and now there is something ELSE getting me up at all hours of night. Argh. So just to make these wake-up's worth my while, I added in a pee break. ;-)

Needless to say, I'm feeling like a hunk o' crap today. I had to come back into work cuz I had too much stuff to get done otherwise I'd still be on the couch, under a blanket, scratching away.

Yesterday I went for my prenatal appointment. It was actually supposed to be today but since I called out from work, I asked to switch days. I've gained two pounds the past two weeks which normally might sound bad, but since I had gained FOUR pounds the previous two weeks before...LOL...I'll gladly take just the two pound gain and not question it! Baby Hunter's heartbeat sounds great, as usual. The doctor told me to pick up some OTC 1% hydrocortisone cream for the itchy rash but basically said "The only cure for PUPPPS is...birth of the baby!" with a big smile on his face. Thanks, buster. Heh.

Also, good news I'm sure you all were dying to find out...I CAN have sex again! WOO HOO! Of course funny enough, I find this out yesterday when I felt so crappy. Convenient. I did, also, bring up briefly with him that I've been feeling "down" (for lack of a better term) for the past two weeks or so and while I do NOT necessarily think it's depression creeping in, I did just want to mention it becuz my own doctor said it's something to keep an eye on (considering I suffered from depression and/or anxiety multiple times in the past and they like to be aware of it to be on the alert for PPD after the baby is born). Eh. I don't *think* I'm at that point. I seem to be in a slightly better frame of mind the past couple of days so I'm going to try to run with it! But I certainly don't see the harm in being hyper-aware.

So that being said, I have NOT been a good blogging buddy lately and I apologize for that. I just haven't felt the "energy" to do much comment-posting. Plus when you are in a funk, it's kinda hard to pull it together to sound all peachy keen, ya know? So I'm sorry for being a slacker. Don't hate me (becuz I'm grumpy)! Heh.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Good weekend.

I left work on a sour note on Friday night, so luckily Big D was up for pizza for dinner. The idea of cooking/cleaning up afterward seemed way too daunting to this tired Preggo chick. After dinner we vegged out on the couch, but not for long, since I went to bed pretty early.

Saturday, knowing we were supposed to have company that night, I began cleaning and Daryl put up the new shelves in Hunter's nursery closet (I LOVE how it came out!). While in the process, our friend Sean called to cancel becuz his dog was having seizures (poor baby!). Realizing I didn't have to go crazy cleaning after all, I contemplated laying down. But then something crazy clicked in my brain and instead I cleaned out and reorganized every cabinet in the kitchen! Hours later, when my belly hardened uncomfortably, I took a break and sat on the couch with my feet reclined. But I soon became antsy, so off I went to clean the bathroom! Cleaning the tub now is SO freakin' hard. I kept getting frustrated becuz I either couldn't lean over far enough with my belly in the way, couldn't scrub as hard as usual, or after a while kneeling, I had to get up off the floor as my body ached. I told Daryl this is probably the MOST half-assed job I've done yet in scrubbing the tub. Daryl went fishing in the late afternoon with his friend Todd, so after I finished cleaning, I really DID take a good long break on the couch. After a shower and clean clothes, Daryl called to see if I wanted to go to dinner at Todd and Mindy's so he came home and picked me up. We spent a few hours there but by nine, I was REALLY beat.

Sunday was a GORGEOUS day...sunny, warm, breezy...just beautiful! After going to Panera for bagels and coffee with Timber, we went to a nearby park to eat our breakfast. Timber did great, although he did bark a bit at some people but once we distracted him and he was back to paying attention to Daryl, he stopped the bad barking behavior (this is an ongoing problem we've been having to work on with him). After that we went back home and let all three dogs play outside while Daryl mowed the lawn and I lounged in a lawn chair with a book and a glass of iced tea. It was SO relaxing! We filled up the dog's baby pool and watched them splash around a while (and I even got my own feet wet!). Later, after a puppy-play date with another Fidelco foster family in town (where I continued to sit in a lounge chair, chilling out!) we headed back home to eat an early dinner and watch some tv, during the sudden brief rain that blew in. The only LOW point of my Sunday was the bad stomach ache I got and my (TMI) million bathroom breaks. I haven't really suffered from constipation too badly so far but yesterday was NOT fun. My tummy still slightly hurts today.

And speaking of today, I ended up calling out sick after still having my stomach hurt, and not getting a lot of sleep. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow but hoping I can have them squeeze me in today, instead. Two weeks ago, I developed a rash on my upper (outer) thighs and it itches SO bad. At first I thought maybe it was a rash that I read about caused by pregnancy (it's called PUPPS) but after reading how PUPPS starts, usually on the stretch marks on your belly, now I'm not so sure. This is ONLY on my upper thighs and even as of today, spreading to my hips. Part of me wondered if it was just a heat rash that won't go away, but two weeks later? It's red, little bumps all in the same area...SO itchy. I wanna see what the doctor will let me take for it so I can get some relief! After reading up on PUPPS, I just don't think it is that...PUPPS is so bad for pregnant women that it often wakes them up at night. Mine is not that bad, however, when it DOES start really itching, I just want to scratch my skin off!!

30 Weeks: Our baby Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby now weighs about 3.5 lbs (1600g) (although baby Hunter was weighing 3.3 lbs. two weeks ago, so lucky guess, I'm thinking he's bigger than 3.5 lbs. THIS week!) and measures about 18 inches (40cm) in total and about 11.2 inches (28cm) from crown to rump.

Your baby's increasing size means that she has less room to move around in your uterus.
Your baby could already be moving into the head-down position.

Your baby's lungs are maturing and their lining, which prevents air sacs from collapsing, is growing. This lung development means that your baby would have a much greater chance of survival if he were born prematurely.

About 16 fluid ounces of blood are flowing through the wall of your uterus to the site of the placenta, though your blood never mixes with your baby's blood. It is separated by the placental barrier which is a very thin wall. Water, nutrients and waste are exchanged across this barrier at a rate of 0.3 fluid ounces per second.

Your baby swallows amniotic fluid and urinates.
Your baby's ears are sufficiently developed to hear and recognize your voice, the voices of other family members as well as familiar musical tunes. (Hunter definitely recognizes his Daddy's voice! Anytime Daryl starts talking--especially when close to my belly--I feel an answering kick or punch!)