Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nested and Rested

I definitely feel like I went through the nesting phase with lots of energy and a compulsive need to do really random tasks and projects, but that phase left a while ago and now I'm just content resting because I'm tired!!  Three weeks ago, I was already starting to dilate and efface so I've become incredibly impatient despite the total irrelevance of those numbers.  Every once in a while I'll get these really crampy/spasmy back pains for several hours which makes me wonder if it is the start of something real.  Then it stops and the joke is on me.  No baby yet.  I hate waiting around wondering if she will come tomorrow or in 2 weeks.

I had my last day of work yesterday and thanks to a very generous graduation gift, I booked a spa day for my "resting phase."  Not just one massage, but a whole afternoon of pampering at a real spa!  Let me just tell you about the bliss!

Enter spa.  Slip into a comfy robe and make yourself comfortable in the dimly lit "Relaxation Room" where you are served a beverage and you get a warm neck wrap/foot soak/rub while you wait for your real massage.  Really?!  A foot massage while you wait for your....massage!  I had the pregnancy massage followed by a manicure and ULTIMATE pedicure.  (What makes it an ultimate pedicure?  You are reclined,  wrapped in warm blankets surrounded by aromatherapy, peaceful music, 80 minutes of scrubbing, rubbing and polishing etc. etc. etc.)   I think every woman should be pampered like this at least once in her life.  I have it on high authority that if everyone got an ultimate pedicure once in a while, we would be well on our way to achieving world peace.

One of my patients this week told me that their daughter got a pregnancy massage and her water broke on the massage table.  I'm not going to lie, I was secretly wishing for this possibility.  But here I am still waiting (did I mention I'm not a very patient person?)

Ok are welcome any time now.  Don't be shy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day Date to Santa Barbara

While we are so excited to add to our family, we have truly enjoyed our time together as a couple.  We wanted to relish our last opportunity for a special day date before our life totally changes so we planned a day of nothing but fun in Santa Barbara.

We started the day with breakfast at Chick Fil A.  Really, you can't go wrong there.

Then we hit some unexpected dead stop traffic between Ventura and Carpinteria.  If you are familiar with that stretch of road, you know there aren't any potty stops.  My poor 9 month pregnant bladder nearly exploded.  I was very seriously considering peeing into my Chick Fil A cup or dropping my trousers in front of all the stopped cars along the 101.  Luckily I made it to a bathroom with my internal organs and dignity still intact.

Then we toured the Santa Barbara Mission.  I had never been and really enjoyed the gardens and history.  Did you know Juana Maria (woman who was abandoned on an island for 18 years....the book Island of the Blue Dolphin is about her) is buried in the cemetery there?
My belly in all my 9 month pregnant glory!
We enjoyed mariachi music and church bells ringing for a wedding at the church.
These cacti are so cute!

Skulls on the mission wall?!

Next we headed to the SB Museum of Art.  Its a pretty small museum so you don't need a lot of time to see the collection.  They do have a few Impressionist greats that were fun to see.  Plus the hobo in front of the museum shouting that "Art is Evil" was pretty entertaining.

We wandered for a short while along State Street.  We perused overpriced Paris themed baby shops (uh....$50 for a onesie anyone?) and discovered Chocolats du Cali Bressan.  That little chocolate Buddha is heaven on earth!!!
Poor Buddha lost an arm before we could take a photo!
Fun on State St.

Our favorite part of the day was dinner.  We went to The Palace Grill for Cajun food.  We waited in line listening to a Creole Band with an accordian and sampling appetizers.  We ate Jambalaya and Chicken Marsala...delicious!  We also had Louisiana Bread Pudding Souffle while the whole restaurant broke into singing Louis Armstrong and toasting one another.  Great food, amazing service and a fun atmosphere!  Perfect top off for our fun day!

Free Date Idea

I'm still on my quest to reduce expenses and thought I'd share our latest free date.  Something Luke and I do occasionally is go to free movie screenings for films that have not yet been released.  There is a certain level of hassle and spontaneity required for these dates.  Luke gets e-mails notifying him of free screenings in the area, we have to RSVP and show up to the location about an hour early to wait in a really long line.  You fill out some paperwork and wait.  There is no guarantee you'll get in to see the movie, it depends on space and I guess the demographics they are looking for, but we've been to several screenings and never been turned away.  We don't mind waiting in the line because it gives you a chance to actually talk and people watch which adds to the date experience we think.

Then you get to watch a free movie on the big screen!  After the movie, you spend about 5 minutes filling out a marketing questionnaire about the movie.  You rate the actors, music, list your favorite/least favorite scenes, etc.  It can spark some good post-film conversation!  Sometimes they'll even give you free movie tickets for coming to the event.  Our last screening we got 2 movie tickets each in addition to the free movie we watched.  CHA-CHING!  That's 2 more free movie dates for us...did I mention I was married to a movie fanatic?

To register for these emails, go to

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I decided to read Hypnobirthing by Marie Mongan and take the accompanying course in preparation for labor.  I have to admit I've been torn in regards to my thoughts on birthing.

Part of my brain thinks:

I'm a woman!  God made my body especially for the bearing of children.  This is a natural process that millions of women have gone through (multiple times) without intervention, so why can't I?  

The other part of my brain thinks:

I'm a nurse!  I've seen medical interventions work!  Healthy babies are brought into the world using C-sections, epidurals, Pitocin, etc.  In fact, the birth I witnessed was a woman who was set on a natural labor, but ended up getting an epidural and using Pitocin.  Minutes after the birth of her baby she said to her husband, "I'm so glad I got that epidural!"

And since I've never been in labor before, its really hard to know what to expect.  Not to mention, birthing can be a unpredictable experience where my control might be limited.  So I'm cherry-picking the parts of Hypnobirthing that I like and agree with (some of it is a little too hardcore granola for my taste) and keeping an open mind for where reality may actually take me.

I've gotten a lot of questions about Hypnobirthing and the classes so after that long introduction let's talk about it!

Basically we have been most likely been conditioned to believe that birthing is a extremely painful and undesirable experience.  Consider all the movies and horror stories you've seen/ many positive stories have you heard?  So we go into labor already in fear.  According to hypnobirthing,  FEAR>TENSION>PAIN.  So if we release our fears, relax our bodies and minds, we can let our bodies work the way they were designed.  The uterus is a muscle with a job to do!  It needs oxygen like any other muscle, but if we are in fear or tense, our body sends oxygen to parts of our body that have a higher priority for survival (fight vs flight mode.)  This increases our labor time or our discomfort.  Physiologically, this makes sense to me.

The book and the classes teach you how to overcome your fears and use self-hypnosis techniques to put yourself into relaxed state.  No freaky trances or walking around clucking like a chicken because I'm "hypnotized."  I listen to relaxation CDs and positive affirmations and practice with Luke (he's nice enough to put up with this hoopla.)  They also teach you good positions for birthing, breathing and massage techniques to keep you relaxed.  I think the power of mind is very strong.  For a person who is a high strung as I am, I can already tell that these classes have been helpful in keeping me calm for what is to come.  As my body prepares for real labor, I sometimes get painful back spasms/contractions and I can usually get back to sleep using these techniques.  Win.

How its a little too "granola" for me:

-Birthing vocabulary is changed to be more "friendly."  A contraction is called a surge or a wave.  Personally,  the word contraction doesn't offend me, but whatever.

-They push the au naturel agenda too much for me.  I want to have my baby in the hospital.  I'm ok with getting my blood pressure taken and fetal heart rate monitoring....I WANT to know if my baby is in distress.  I respect the need for medical interventions.  You just have to weigh the risks/benefits and be able to advocate for what you want.

-That babies remember their birth and that it can have a traumatizing lifelong effect if it isn't a calm, relaxed environment.  I don't discount that birth is a big transition for a baby, but lifelong effects?  That's a bit out there for me.

Anyways, this could also all be a load of crap and I'll be screaming for that epidural the moment I get to the hospital. ;)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Job, Nesting and Baby Shower!!

I ended up taking a per diem job after getting my license back in February.  So the job isn't really new or exciting, so it just hasn't made the blog yet.  I'm doing health screenings on a extremely part-time basis...I think I'm working 8 days this month.  But hey, I figured some money was better than no money and my pregnant body definitely isn't putting up a fight about working more!

Since I've been pregnant, I've pretty much been wrapped up in nursing school, graduation, licensing exam studying, etc. so I've left all the baby prepping for the end.  And I've been in a heavy nesting mode lately.  Since I'm crazy and I love lists, I created a most beautiful to-do list in Excel.  It spans 4 workbooks...I'm so proud!  I simply cannot have this baby if I don't have hoards of freezer food, dust my baseboards or have a ridiculous amount of baby wipes from Costco.  (Did you know they sell them in packs of 900?!!!  I never have to leave my baby cave!)  Unfortunately, Luke made the mistake of messing with Momma Bear's stash of freezer muffins that were "obviously" being saved for after baby.  Poor Luke...he is so good to put up with my crazy!
33 weeks

My family and friends also threw me a dream of a baby shower!  I had visions of a "Pink Paris" theme and they delivered!!  We celebrated with croissant sandwiches and dessert crepes.  It was such a special day and made me feel so grateful for all the people in my life who support Luke and I.  This baby is going to be so spoiled!
Wonderful in laws!

3.5 generations!