A compliment & a slight?

Yesterday, as I was leaving work, the ladies at the front desk of the building were all standing about as I made my way through the lobby.

One lady stopped me and said "ohhhh congratulation! Do you know what you are having?"

I replied "actually we don't know yet!"

She smiled broadly and knowingly said "a Boy! You are most definitely having a boy!"

I smiled back and said "yea, most people are guessing boy!"

She quickly interjected "its because you are glowing...with boys you glow! If it was a girl, you'd be ugly bc girls make you ugly!" (This goes back to the wive's tale that daughters steal their mother's beauty in utero-which I know for a fact is untrue bc I have friends who were gorgeous w/their girls)

I just smiled and said "thank you!" (Bc I think it was a compliment)

She said "how exciting, I can't wait to see if the baby is a boy...when are you due?"

I replied "in about 4.5 weeks, end of January"

She quickly jumped in "um hmmmm...yup, you are about to pop! That baby is ready to come outta ya any day now! Um hmmm that baby is ready!"

I just smiled and laughed a little but thought...wait a second, am I really THAT big? Was I waddling through the lobby? What's she saying?

Up until that point, I've been feeling not too large but I guess maybe I am? Lol. I didn't take it negatively, just thought it was funny she complimented in one breath and then said something I could have taken negatively in the next...

Whaddya think? Am I ready to pop?

Baby Led Weaning

I recently read this post on The Stir CafeMom: Your baby doesn't need Purees and was taken a back a bit. The post discusses Baby Led Weaning - or Baby led Solids, i.e., going from breast to actual solids instead of breast to purees to solids. This means, that you simply feed your child  (6+ months or older and after the tongue thrust reflex is gone) with bits of solids veggies and fruits. The idea is that " Babies are biologically ready to eat when they can pick up, chew, and swallow food all by themselves." (sourced from this post)

The post goes to discuss the history of how purees came about, i.e., a period of time there was a push for formula, however back then formula isn't what it is today, thus they realized babies need to supplement with vitamin rich food. However, b/c they still had a gag reflect, they pureed these foods so that they could supplement the formula (Read the post, she is much more eloquent that I am). Then with enough aggressive marketing and a passing of generations, purees were just considered the norm for babies 4-6 months or so. However, there is many reasons to avoid starting solids too early... 10 reasons to delay solids stated in this post with links to different studies. And what is considered the norm has changed.

Our plan is that I will exclusively breastfeed for a period of time. What that time frame is, I'm still unsure. I'm continuing to do my research on baby led weaning, which the more i learn about, the more i realize makes sense. Babies will eat solids when they can pick it up themselves and put it in their mouth, mush it around a bit and then swallow it. Makes sense, no? I mean what did they do 100's of years ago before the ninja or a food processor came about?

Have you looked into alternative feeding ideas? (things not considered the "norm" these days but may have been the "norm" back then). What's your plan and Why?

Baby Watch: 36 Weeks

This week we completed our FULL 35 weeks and we are marching strong into our next week. We celebrated Christmas and took our LAST trip to visit the In-Laws while baby is in utero. Our next trip will be with the baby!!! I can say i'm a bit relieved to not have to do that drive again for a little bit as it was getting a little more difficult as i got bigger, my bladder got smaller and my discomfort is starting to grow.

I have to give my back n belly pillow big ups for being awesome. When I sleep without it, I realize how much it helps me sleep comfortably... 35 full weeks in and i'm sleeping through the night (aside from the pee visits) and its all due to this pillow. I highly recommend one if you are pregnant!

So here we are. The baby this week will be the weight of a honeydew melon!!!
Source: Baby Center

35 days and counting... OMG this time has flown by, i'm loving every second still and my excitement to meet our baby is growing as well. While many women feel "tired of being pregnant", I'm still enjoying it fully - however, i am getting anxious to find out if this baby is a boy or a girl, what s/he looks like and just meeting our child.

Baby's Welcome Home Outfit

We received the onesie I ordered for our baby's coming home outfit... check it out...

We wanted to make sure his/her big brothers were included in the welcome home... so we had this baby's onesie created for our little one to have his/her big brothers as part of the fun from the very beginning.

34th Week midwife appointment

The appointment with the midwife went well this week as we completed our 34th FULL week. I think i've met all but one who are part of the practice, which is great - so i will feel comfortable with whomever is on call when I go into labor.

We went over some information the back up OB gave me regarding my gestational diabetes. The midwife seemed happy with the OB's prognosis of how well I was doing with the GD.

We went over my illness. I caught something Thanksgiving Weekend, and it went from sniffles for 2 + weeks to a sore throat, to a sore throat with some funky phlegm, to now a dry throat, a small cough and a little bit of phlegm.

I'm taking some emergen-c (spaced out throughout the day so the sugar doesn't effect my GD) and a salt water gurgle and its getting better :)

We discussed my blood pressure, which was very high when i first arrived but was well within normal by the time the appointment ended.

We checked the baby's position - which is traverse - and listened to the baby's heartbeat. This was difficult to find (yet again) but no worries b/c all the while we are looking for it, the baby is frolicking inside the belly.

My fundal height measured 33cm. While it should measure 34cm, they said it should coincide with the weeks + or - 2cm, so she said i'm safe and its good i'm not measuring big.

My weight gain is still hovering around 15.5 lbs total weight gain, so it hasn't increased but the baby is growing (yay!) :)

Overall the appointment went really well. I love meeting with the midwives and being greeted personally by name when I walk in. It's such a lovely atmosphere, i really don't mind going at all. And because its so comfortable, the Husband has been off the hook to go with LOL. But starting in January, he's going to be coming to each appointment again, although I really feel so comfy with the midwives, I don't "need" him there.

Baby Watch: Week 35

So this week was a busy one. As we started to get our list together of all the things our baby needs and sift through the bundles of gifts we got from loved ones, we realized - wow, do babies really need all this?

Saturday, we spend the day at Babies R Us and I am feeling accomplished! :)

So here we are. Today marks the completion of our 34th FULL week, and we enter our 35th week. With only 42 days left (O M FRICKING goodness), we are in the final stretch. I'm very excited but also very nervous...

Our baby is about the weight of a canteloupe (i love Canteloupes!!!)

Source: Baby Center

I am still about the 15-18lbs range (it fluctuates) although today I was at about 15.5 lbs of total weight gain. Haven't had too much back ache (knock on wood) but I am feeling heavy and cramped. No swelling yet either (or very minimal, phew).  And all my emotions are pretty positive and excited - with some nervousness on top!

I can't believe how quickly this pregnancy has flown!

NJ Baby Shower {Family & Friends}

So my shower last weekend was great. I got to see many folks I haven't seen in a while, and although I didn't get a chance to really sit and talk with everybody - just seeing their faces made me happy.
Here are some pics of family and friends from the shower!

My MIL with some neighbors... they've all known each other for many years!

My Cousin... palming the belly!

My close friend from Law school and beyond!

Photos with the cake
That bump is ginormous!!! :)
My SIL who worked hard on the shower!
My MIL who also was another master mind behind the shower!
My friend's daughter and my two nieces!
My nieces!
A wife of a "brother" to my husband and friend with my SIL.

Isn't she adorable?

Aren't they adorable?
And to think, in about 2 years, i'll have my own little 2 year old... OMG!

The husband showed up to load up the car... isn't he dressed fancy? LOL...

I had a great time at my shower... it was fun to see old friends and family and to spend time with many of my MIL's friends. I loved hearing stories and snippets from their own preganancies and birth stories. It's amazing how so much has changed, yet so much is still the same too...

Feelin' very blessed during this pregnancy, and can't be more grateful to my family and friends coast to coast who really made me and our baby feel so loved!

NJ Baby Shower {Details & Games}

So, this little FryBean is uber spoiled... and in the process, yes I admit, I am spoiled as well! Our third baby shower, yes, one two three baby showers for this little one!!! My MIL and SIL threw this shower in NJ at a local restaurant that has great food.

Here are a few pics of the details and the games :)

I was so sad not to be able to eat this delicious cake... strawberry and banana creme filling... I'm drooling just thinking about it!

The gift table with my adorable niece.

Some people were not nice with the measurements LOL

I missed 3 on the word scramble... :(

Stay tuned for the next post which is more pics of family and Friends from the shower! :)

Doctor's Appointment

So today, I went in to meet with my back up doctor/OB... it was more of a consultation for my glucose scores and gestational diabetes but we still did the whole Blood pressure, urine analysis, heartbeat monitor.

The appointment went smooth enough, with my blood pressure at 114 / 62 and the baby's heartbeat was 146.

After looking over my scores, the OB said that my scores are "great" and that she could even advise the midwives that I don't need to take my scores 4x a day. Because the only values that are out of range are typically my night values, she advised to do my exercise in the evenings. This will not only keep me in range after dinner, but also make my fasting scores a little less sporadic.

The OB also advised that the baby should be checked for his/her glucose within the hour of birth to make sure the baby isn't hypoglycemic.

She repeatedly told me how great my scores were and that i should keep up the great job :) She also said that we really do want the baby to be born by January 30th, since GD can cause babies to get really big.

Since she was my back up doctor, I also asked about circumcision. If we have a boy, this is something we need to think about and most likely end up doing (for personal reasons) and our back up doctor/OB would be the one to attend to this procedure within a week of the baby's birth.

So it was good to finally meet our back up doctor face to face, she was very nice and very encouraging. And it was good to get a few housekeeping lists checked off with this visit!

Baby Watch: Week 34

Completed our 33rd full week and now onto our next week... time is still flying and the weekend was spent in NJ for FryBean's third and FINAL baby shower! Talk about a spoiled little kid :)

With only 49 (+/-) days left, we are in the final countdown.... and with the baby weighing about the same as a pineapple...
Source: Baby Center

One big Regret

I had been harassing my Husband about the possibility of taking maternity photos. I figured it'd be a great time to document this phase in our life while we are still DINKs (Double Income No Kids) and living the life of a newlywed couple with their two dogs and a baby on the way. However, it was hard for me to find the type of session I wanted, the time frame for which I really wanted to take the photos (in my 8-9th month) would mean colder weather, and with the dogs - going outdoors would be difficult with the leashes, etc. Plenty of reasons to put it off or not to do it...

We played around with the idea, but ultimately it was my decision to just say "well let's get someone to take a family photo of us at Thanksgiving, and hopefully when my mom comes in January, we'll have her take a ton of photos with us and the pups at home". And so I let it go. And of course we failed to have any photo taken of us at Thanksgiving.

With Juneau's recent passing, this is my regret. That we don't have a recent family photo of the 4.5 of us all together. It would have been a wonderful memory and keepsake to show our child years down the road and it would have been a great reminder to us to always have that photo.

There's not a lot I can do about this regret now... but to remind myself of the resolution i made over 10  years ago to live my life with no regret. And in the simplest moment of having a photo taken (or not taken in our case), I have this regret that I need to let go of.
I'm Asian, and as the cliche goes, we take photos OF EVERYTHING. I've gotten lazy and have taken it for granted that at any time I can have photos taken. So I need to get back on track - b/c these are days that we will never get back and hopefully a long way into the future when our memory starts to fade, we will have photos to look back on.

To make myself feel a little better, I found a family photo that I'd like to share... we got mocked/teased for doing these glamour shots for the boys, but I really don't care b/c looking at this photo makes every joke disappear. We had taken photos with Houndstooth Photography and while it was a small splurge it was priceless!

 All my photos bring a smile back to my face. While my pups and Husband sometimes would tire of me constantly snapping away at them, I'm even happier now that i've done so - b/c i have so many fond memories captured and it was worth every whiny "I dont want to do this" moment to have the memories!!!

Korean Post-Partum Care Traditions

Today i got a text from a good friend... she just had a baby and was warning me - depending on how traditional my mom was going to be - about what to expect with my post partum care. You see as with any culture, there are certain traditions, superstitions and wives' tales that moms will pass on to their daughters. Seeing as the Husband and I are not of the same culture, I was prepared for this and already quizzed my mother about what kind of hell on earth she was planning to put me through... luckily for me, her response was simple "you are a smart girl, i know you do your own research and will do what you need to make sure you and the baby get the appropriate post partum care needed." Jigga what?

She also tried to tell me she was only hanging out for about 10-14 days post baby!!! Double JIGGA WHA??  Well, to prove her wrong, we booked her a flight to be here from January 24 (6 days before estimated due date) until February 27...just in case baby is really late, i want my mom time. I mean who else can take care of me the way my mom can!!! Serves her right!

Anyways, this is very Atypical of Korean moms, when it comes to traditions and superstitions, even the best of them follow them strictly... and here are a few things that I won't be missing out on...
  • Restrict cold air from touching the mom's body post-partum. Any cold air, regardless of the temperature outside. I.e., No air conditioning, no opening of refrigerators.
    In many non-Western cultures, blood is considered "hot." Therefore, after giving birth, when the woman has lost blood she is considered to be in a cold state. Accordingly, postpartum care in these cultures is aimed at keeping the new mother warm; it is believed that this will restore her humoral balance. Source
  • Mom must stay covered up. This includes pants, socks all the time all day, every day. (Mom's ligaments/joints are looser, less stable - keep them warm to protect her)
  • Do not touch or eat anything cold. (Mom's teeth and gums are weaker, so to protect them, avoid the cold)
  • Avoid hard and crunchy foods. (same reason as above)
  • Do not shower for at least a week.
  • Mother is to stay indoors/confinement for at least 21 days (samchilil) and have a special caretaker to assist with household duties. The mother should not do a single thing but rest and be cared for - I dig this and its not too far off what the midwives advised me which is 14 days.
  • Baby does not go anywhere until his/her 100 day (Baek Il) and only immediate family can see baby until then as well. (Due to the high # of deaths back in the day) - this is more outdated and not as often followed today.
  • Eat a lot of Miyuk Guk - Traditional Korean Seaweed Soup- I will be doing this and happily so!
    The belief is that it cleanses the body and assists in contracting the uterus Source
Those are just a few that i've been told of, but my mom says she trusts me to do as I see fit.
So I plan to
  • stay comfortable, not cold or hot. It will be winter time, so i'm sure we will be bundled up regardless, but i'm quite aware the appropriate temp is about 67-72 degrees in our condo to avoid SIDS, so the baby and I will be comfy regardless temperature wise.
  • eat Miyukguk b/c i like it and i know it will assist in providing nutrients and healing properties. it also should help with breastfeeding.
  • Rest the full 14 days as the midwives advised... seeing how i feel, maybe it'll go 21 days :)  That's right, no laundry, no dishes, no food prep ... NOTHING. Just rest and care for the baby.
Did your family or culture pass on any traditions to you about what you should do for post partum care? Any advice you actually plan to take? Ignore?

32 Week Appointment

The 32 Week appointment with the midwife went well. At this appointment, I met a different mid-wfe and we went over my glucose numbers. She looked it over and in the month that i've been logging my results, I've had 2 randomly weird high results 150+, a few that were over 120 but under 130, and the rest were below 120.  The normal person is under 120 and a diabetic would be under 130. The oddest thing was the 2 odd high results happened while i was taking my blood sugar at my Bradley class - go figure. But other than that, my scores have been "normal." The midwife said to me "these aren't 'OK' scores, these are GREAT scores!"

So Kudos to me (not literally, b/c Kudos would make my blood sugar soar) for keeping things in check.

We also discussed how I should pack my birth bag, since I won't be able to take fruit juices or normal foods due to the diabetes, I wasn't sure what to take. The paper work says don't skimp - no low sugar, no low carb - but for me that could be detrimental. So I think we decided V8/vegetable juice and other foods I'm normally eating now... and bland may be the best option since most women during labor don't want to eat.

We then checked for FryBean's positioning. Still head down, facing my right side and in GREAT position  :). During the appointment, there was a lot of movement going on - so when the midwife didn't find a heartbeat right away with the doppler, I wasn't too worried. The baby was kicking and punching me, so i just laid calmly until we found it. The midwife seemed worried that I would be worried, but I wasn't. The heartrate was in the 130's and of course was all over the place while she was trying to get a steady sound.

The fundal height of the baby is 32, which coincides with the 32nd week. And although i checked into this appointment with total weight gain at 15.6 lbs (which is slightly lower than it was last week), we aren't worried since I was pre-padded to being with and the baby is still growing!

Overall, my appointment was great. The midwife was thorough, answering all my questions. I left feeling good.

Although this past week has been emotionally difficult, I'm confident FryBean did not mind that we greived a little and paid a little less attention to him/her. I think s/he wouldn't have it any other way.

Baby Watch: Week 33

This past week has been pretty crazy and difficult. We were extremely busy with the Husband's birthday and then our last birth class, our birth center's birth day planning meeting and the death of our beautiful and beloved Juneau. With all that was going on, I 'll be honest and say i haven't been focusing on the baby towards the end of the week and been slacking with my exercise. I've been watching my blood sugar, but i think some numbers have been elevated due to the stress. I'm trying to stay positive and not stress out... but I also need time to greive.

My weight gain has stayed about 15-17lbs depending on the day... but that hasn't been my focus to keep it down, i think its a side effect of the diabetes diet. But i won't complain about it either :)

so here we are, already completed a full 32 weeks and entering the 33rd week. The baby weighs about the weight of a Jicama according to Baby Center.
Source: Baby Center

A lot of tears today...

as we had to say "good bye" to our beloved Juneau at 4am this morning. The eldest fur-baby in our family, he was a great dog. He'd great you with rabbles, stare up at you with his blue eyes and you knew he wanted love. His fear of hard-wood floors would make him rabble louder if you didn't pet him right as you walked through the door. While he was a "big" dog, he was all fluff. He was a softie to the core - loved other dogs, children and people so much.

At 11 years and 2 months old, he didn't live as long as we had hoped. He left this world abruptly, but the last faces and voices he heard were of my and my husbands.

We are so heartbroken. Devastated by this loss. But we know we were lucky to have him as long as we did. To be blessed by his presence. His smiling face. He made life better and for that we are grateful.  And while he did not get to meet his little sibling in person, the rabbles will always be familiar to our little FryBean b/c its a sound s/he heard daily for 32 weeks.

We love you Juneau. May you rest in peace and know that your daddy, mommy, little brother Kota and little sibling will always remember how you brightened our day with a simple wag of your tail!

We miss you already... rest in peace our beloved friend!