Hard as a Rock

My cousin had her baby this morning at 3am. I have not. Had my baby that is. She is still snuggled comfortably in my uterus with no signs of emerging any time soon. I have an appointment tomorrow, but I'm sure it'll just be a check up and then I'll continue the waiting game.

I have spent the morning cleaning my apartment from top to bottom. My mom is on my way here so I blame her impending arrival on my sudden nesting instinct. This constant cleaning (all while listening to Harry Potter 6 on CD) had put my uterus in a constant state of Braxton Hicks. This might be exciting for some, but all they do for me is make my lower back ache and give me the urge to use the restroom (for the 100th time today). Am I complaining? Yes. I may have said this before, but I very much loved being pregnant until week 35. I'm not sure if it was the increasing uncomfortability or the growing PUPPPs, but whatever the case I stopped enjoying my pregnancy sometime in there.

My Braxton Hicks are not some fleeting muscle contraction either. No, they last a good 3 minutes and pass only if I am able to lay down. This makes driving any where for longer than 5 minutes quite a chore should one occur while in the car. Many times I have wanted to leap out of the car in hopes that the change in positions would make things feel better. But I digress, I hate to sound like a Negative Nancy when I have in fact had a very enjoyable pregnancy. I simply hope that my little girl will make an arrival sometime in the near future.

The Farmer is at the farm today cleaning up and also preparing the garden for us to plant the seeds we bought on Sunday. We plan (with the help of my mom, hehe) to plant a decent sized garden this year and are very excited about our purchases. We bought:

Snow Peas
Cherry Tomatoes
Regular Tomatoes

Grandpa has already planted potatoes and possibly onions so this will be a decent start to what we hope to eventually be a great garden. The Farmer also bought flowers to plant. I'm very excited about this task, much to his surprise. I think he worries about my excitement towards the farm because it dwindled quite a bit once I became pregnant. I was just nervous about making myself sick or something biting me out there so I didn't go out much. I know, lame excuse, but it's the truth.

Hopefully we'll both have a good blog for you after we plant on Thursday. That is unless of course we are at the hospital having a baby!

For the past few nights The Farmer has been quite the chef! Saturday he made calzones (which we ate immediately) and a pizza (which we had last night), Sunday afternoon he made fajita quesadillas (with green peppers, spinach, and mushrooms) and Sunday evening he made chili with white, black and red beans. In case you are unfamiliar, we are vegetarians and my husband is quite the cook. This is why when pregnancy books encourage you to make meals before delivery, I laugh--because I have an amazing cook of a husband. Sunday evening before the chili though, we made ourselves sick on Peanut Butter Popcorn. The reason for creating this concoction is because we have 6 open jars of peanut butter in our pantry from The Farmer's soccer teams first (and pretty much only) away game. I have been racking my brain for ways to use the peanut butter. I could have donated it to the food pantry at church had every single jar not been opened. Instead, I am coming up with ways to use it. So far we've made Thai Peanut Sauce, a few batches of peanut butter oatmeal cookies and Peanut Butter Popcorn. It was simple, easy and really good. Here is the recipe:

Pop 6-8 cups of popcorn (we use air popped, but microwave is fine)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c honey
2/3 c peanut butter
2 tbsp marshmallow creme (optional)

Heat sugar and honey on medium heat until boiling. Boil 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add peanut butter and marshmallow creme stirring continuously. Pour over popcorn and toss. Lay out on aluminum foil or wax paper and allow to cool. Break up and enjoy!

Not the most healthy of treats, but at least it uses honey instead of corn syrup, right?

Still barefoot and pregnant, not quite in the kitchen

My cousin and I are both pregnant.

For the life of me and my pregnant brain, I can't remember if she is due yesterday or tomorrow. I know it's not today. It was an even number 24 or 26. Either way, she has not yet had her baby. I am due on the 30th and if she's not careful I just might catch up to her! Although, it might be kind of neat to have them on the same day. She is having a boy, ours is a girl.

At least we hope it's a girl. Recently people have decided it is funny to tell us that we aren't having a girl, it's probably a boy. Gee, thanks. As if I don't have enough to worry about you'd like to throw that in there. Someone said last night, "Your baby is going to be born with a wiener." Uh, thanks fourth grader. It was not a fourth grader who said this. My mom (after hearing about my 3rd trimester rash issue) looked up symptoms, treatments, etc. online and found that 70% of women who have it are reacting to a hormone in their baby BOY. My mother now likes to think I'm having a boy. What about the other 30%? Is it not possible I am one of those? If it is a boy, he's going to be wearing a lot of pink.

Speaking of 3rd trimester rash: Rash is such an ugly word. People look at you like EWWWWWWWW did you just say rash? And they automatically think the worst which is who knows what. I am one of those people as well. In fact, The Farmer had poison ivy about 3 times last summer and I would hardly let him touch me because I was afraid he'd pass it on to me! But yes, I have a rash (and it's completely uncontagious) that is incredibly itchy and won't go away until my daughter makes her appearance in the world. I keep telling her it's time to come out, but she's either really stubborn or already acting like a teenager and not listening to her mother. Also, it disturbs me that as disturbing as I think the rash is--the dermatologist and midwives kind of shrug like it's no big deal. Maybe I have a mild case, maybe they've seen way worse, maybe they don't want to freak me out. Whatever the case, I just wish I could get a reaction out of them.

For all other mothers with PUPPP: Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plagues of Pregnancy (the 3rd trimester rash), here is what I have found useful (and not so useful) as far as treatment/remedies goes. NOTE: I'm in no way, shape or form a doctor. These suggestions are merely based on my own experience.

Triamcinolone 0.025% (prescribed by dermatologist): Does not help with the itching, but may help with the appearance of the rash. I am still testing this product.

Benadryl: This was ok'd after my dermatologist appointment. Needless to say it did not do a bit of good. Instead of being coherent, I was now a scratching zombie. I almost fell twice getting up to use the restroom because I was so out of it. Out of it, but itching nonetheless.

Aloe vera gel: I put this in the fridge to keep it cool. The coolness feels awesome on my skin and seems to help a bit with the itch. I only use it 1-2 times a day because I don't want it to lose it's effectiveness.

Gold Bond Medicated Powder: This worked for the itching for awhile for about an hour at a time. It started to lose it's effectiveness and so I decided to stop using it completely. Warning: if you use this at night, it will get powder on your sheets. We have black sheets so it was even more apparent.

Hydrocortisone: This seemed to help at the beginning, but again loses it's effectiveness. This may be due to the fact that I went through a tube in less than a week. I was desperate for a cure for the itch. Helped more when the rash was in it's infancy.

Rubbing alcohol: When I first noticed the rash I thought it was a heat rash so I thought drying it out would help. The rubbing alcohol really didn't do much for me except dry out my skin which is what was happening anyway.

Cold compress/ice pack: I wet a hand towel and put it in the freezer for awhile and then moved it to the fridge. This is by far the most soothing of the remedies. I wake up in the middle of the night and put it on my skin and have instant relief. It only quells the itching for about half an hour, but it is worth it. Also, if the weather is heating up, the rash may feel like it's getting worse. This coolness feels great when it's hot out. You can also use those gel ice packs or put ice in a baggy. I found frozen corn to be quite helpful as well.

Other helpful hints: Each person's experience is different so I suggest trying a few of these before making your own informed decision. I would suggest not using so much of whatever product at first so your rash doesn't become immune to it. Cold showers work best, for some reason the hot shower made me more itchy. Regular soap will dry out your skin even more so I stayed away from it. I also slept with socks on my hands. However, my brain is apparently pretty active while sleeping because I would take off the socks and scratch. Scratching may feel better, but it does not help. Do your best not to scratch. Also, do not freak out if you have this rash, according to my dermatologist and midwives, it is completely normal. It is found most often on the stomach (usually starts here), legs, chest and arms. It usually does not appear on your face, palms of your hands or feet. If you are experiencing this rash, I hope these suggestions have been somewhat helpful. Please remember that I am not a doctor and this is simply based on my own experience with PUPPP.

The most effective method I found was in fact the most natural which is nice to know that we really don't need all that stuff they try to sell us. All I really need is an aloe plant and an ice pack.

39 Weeks Today

One more week, but who's counting? Oh right, I am! I had a midwife appointment yesterday and she did an internal check. It was my first since the hospital visit at 28 weeks and much more uncomfortable this go round. I'm not sure I'd like another one until she's ready to be here! The news is that I am 2-3 cm dilated which is at least something, but women can walk around at 2-3 cm for weeks! Hopefully I'm progressing a bit though. My cervix is still long, but it's soft so that is a good thing. Now it just needs to start effacing and we can start really making progress!

My last day of work is tomorrow. It's a bitter sweet feeling. I am really excited about getting to stay home with the baby, but also a bit nervous about what that means for us financially. However, we do believe that God will provide and strongly believe that he led us to this decision. I know my daughter will benefit greatly from having her mom stay home with her.

I can't wait until Tuesday! My mom will be here! I was hoping the baby would have made an appearance by then, but I'm not sure now. I'm excited though because then I can show my mom around Des Moines a bit before the baby comes. Something I probably wouldn't get to do during the length of time that my mom would be here. I'm not sure how long she is staying, but I'm really excited that she is finally coming to visit!

My dear friend LeAnne sent me an Itzbeen and I'm excited to start using it. It is a baby monitor-type device that allows you to keep track of the last time your baby fed, slept, took medication, etc. I think it will be really useful for us around here. I will let you know more about it once it's out of the package and being used!

Ok, I'm off to get ready for the farmer's soccer game this evening.

Car Seat Installation

How many parents does it take to install a car seat? Well, apparently more than the two of us. We decided yesterday afternoon would be a good time to install the car seats, especially because she could arrive at any time. We were fortunate to receive a convertible Britax Marathon from my older sister and bought an infant car seat for The Farmer's car. The Britax was the bigger of the two, so we decided to tackle that one first.

One hour later...we were still trying to get the stupid thing in my car. My car was made before 2002 so unfortunately it did not have the "latch" system that was apparently the easiest way to connect the car seat. We looped that seatbelt through the car seat about 100 times before we gave up and decided to come inside and search for a demo video online. What the heck did people do before demo videos? We had to watch one for our stroller AND the Britax?! What kind of parents are we? We blame the Britax instructions. They were not very thorough and didn't make a lot of sense. However, once we watched the demo (and The Farmer got some food in his tummy) we went back out and had the thing installed in 2 minutes. Sheesh. And while it was a pain, I do love that Britax. I will, however, let you know more about it once I have a child to put in it and see if it as great as it looks.

The Graco base for the infant seat was a breeze. I think we only had to do it twice before it was set.

So here we are. We have our car seats installed, our co-sleeper put together, baby clothes washed and put away, diapers and wipes. Now all we need is a baby!

Ian's Visit

I was going to post about Ian's visit to Des Moines, but know that The Farmer's will be a much more enjoyable read. I know The Farmer was super excited about having someone to help him on the farm since we all know I've played the "I'm pregnant" card for the past 9 months. Visit The Farmer's blog for information on Ian's visit to Des Moines and the farm: Life on a Small Iowa Farm