Monday, August 31, 2009

Meet-cute

Since Sophie seems to be growing more alert and aware of her surroundings with each passing day, Jude and I thought it'll be good to start buying her something to engage her developing senses. We've been meaning to buy her a mobile for the longest time and decided to make a trip to Little Seedling fully intending on getting something to hang over her crib. Nothing there struck our fancy, particularly because we really wanted a mobile that she can look at, which means positioned horizontally as opposed to hanging upright where's she's looking at the bottom of the mobile... Like, what's the point in that?

In the end, Jude picked out this most adorable Haba chicken instead (which pops out of it's own little cozy nest)- we're not even sure if Sophie can play with it yet but it was too cute to resist (I think we eventually bought it because *we* like it so much...) Here's the Sophie-Chickie meet-cute:



I'm going to be that unabashedly crazy-in-love mother and say this over and over (mostly because I'm still reeling from it), I can't believe between the two of us, we created someone this adorable... It still blows our mind! :)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our little squirm bug

Squirmy from serene koh on Vimeo.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why our little peanut is able to wiggle out of the tightest of swaddles. And let it be known that she's neither in full-flail mode nor exerting her full strength here...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Battle of wills

Date: 27 Aug 2009
Time: 6:48am

In this corner, weighing in at 200lbs and standing at 5ft 9in- Jude Yew. 37 years old. Armed with all the willpower and stamina a new father can muster, and the 5 S's from The Happiest Baby on the Block. He is determined to overcome what lays before him...

In the other corner, weighing 6lbs 10oz and measuring 20 inches while lying down- Sophie Yew. 3 weeks old. Equipped with lungs of steel and a wiggle that can squirm out of the toughest swaddle. She will not be defeated.

It was a non-bloody but long-drawn four-hour battle between father and daughter. Tears were shed, cries expended, nerves tested, Baby Tylenol contemplated. Sleep eluded all in the arena. Serene Koh, mother-wife-bystander, provided sustenance for both contenders- food for one and mental support for the other. She could not choose sides.

In the end, at the break of dawn, in the face of an interminable impasse, both contenders caved in to exhaustion. Sophie Yew passed out after the third feed of the night without much sleep, and Jude Yew retreated to the confines of the bed.

This battle may or may not resume tonight. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Top 10 signs you know you're a parent of a newborn

1) You wear your glasses to bed to save that few seconds when you wake up for the nth time to soothe your whimpering offspring.
2) You discover you're actually able to shower and be clean in half the time it used to take you.
3) You believe that diapering should be an Olympic sport.
4) As should swaddling.
5) You've mastered the art of being almost fully functional while half-asleep.
6) You're more diligent with recording the frequency of feeds and number of wet and dirty diapers than you've ever been with balancing your checkbook or doing your taxes.
7) You wonder why you ever needed to carry a separate purse when everything you need really fits into just one pocket of the diaper bag.
8) Your idea of a good night's sleep is when you wake up twice instead of four times.
9) When you say "Moby", you mean the baby sling, not Richard Melville Hall.
10) Staring at a person who can't quite communicate with you yet is the most satisfying thing in the world...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Deepest thanks!

One of the things Jude and I have been feeling these past two weeks apart from a profound sense of joy at being Sophie's parents, sleeplessness from the night feeds, and gratitude for all the help and food we've been receiving, is a sense of guilt. Yup, guilt. For all the times our friends have had babies and we didn't bring them something.

Because really, if not for the almost continuous stream of generous meals we've been getting from all you wonderful folks out there, I think Jude and I would be tearing our hair out trying to juggle making meals on top of taking care of Sophie and just adjusting to parenthood in general. It's such a wonderful gesture and something not conventional back home in Singapore I suppose, where mothers, relatives, or confinement ladies are the ones responsible for meals. Here, where perhaps parents may not live as close by or are less able to stay for extended periods, it's the kindness of friends that becomes such a lifesaver... And so to everyone below, a huge THANK YOU for your generosity and thoughtfulness- Jude, Sophie, and I think you're just the awesomest best! :)

Rick & Emilee who brought us dinner our second night at the hospital and saved us from another encounter with sad hotdogs and gloppy lasagna; and for the delicious Zingerman's sandwiches last weekend.

Eric, Amy, & Finn who not only brought a delicious pot-roast but also a huge box of diapers (which our resident Princess Poopypants went through in A WEEK) and a lovely outfit for Sophie.

Dan, Wendy, Tobin & Julianne for a scrumptiously moist blueberry coffee cake the first week we were home (we couldn't stop eating it!), a warming potato-leek-bacon soup yesterday, and an adorable toy for Sophie that Julianne helped pick out.

Libby (a.k.a. the newly minted Dr. Hemphill!!), her mom, & Naomi who came by with a huge bag of Zingerman's bagels and their house cream cheese, plus a "My Daddy's a Geek" onesie that we can't wait for Sophie to grow big enough to wear :)

Stephanie, Tom, Anders & Carsten who brought us an entire meal complete with tomato salad, green beans, potato salad, and BBQ pork, plus most importantly, the lovely quilt that Stephanie hand-sewed.

Molly, our doula-- who was so apologetic for missing Sophie's birth-- for the dozen all-butter croissants that basically was breakfast for a week.

Tanya, Wil, & Lily who brought a giant tray of spinach-beef lasagna-- I swear it could serve 8 people-- plus a baguette, a bag of salad, an apple tart, and a toy for Sophie tht Lily had picked out :)

Airong, our Korean-Chinese neighbor, for a huge pot of Korean seaweed-beef soup that the ladies in Korea take postpartum to help with recovery. It truly tasted deliciously nourishing...

Sarah, whose experiment with a tomatillo-chicken stew was our gain when she brought over a generous portion for us.

Julie who came over with what seemed like half of Plum Market and her own pantry! There was two portions of homemade grilled tarragon chicken, two large containers of salad, tarragon pesto, plums, two baked potato, ciabatta bread, ice-cream, and the most decadent brownies we've ever had! She basically single-handedly sustained us for close to two days! Oh, and she also had gifts for Sophie too- bath lotions and baby massage oils, which are perfect since we've been giving Sophie nightly massages that she seems to really enjoy (it's something Jude has carved out as his thing to do with Sophie- it's ridiculously sweet...)

Liz & Megan who also brought a generous tray of lasagna-- I think it's chicken or turkey this time-- which was equally delicious. Megan also walked into the house straight toward Sophie with a bag, calling out, "Baby Sophie, Baby Sophie!" Turns out, there was a pair of pink shoes in there that she really wanted to give to Sophie. It was an adorable moment :)

Serena whose giant portion of homemade Greek salad had so many bright and bold flavors, I was convinced she must have thrown half the produce section of the supermarket in there- lettuce, feta cheese, two kinds of peppers, red onions, cucumbers, chickpeas, and tomatoes.

And a huge thanks to Annelise, and Liz, Dan, Hannah, & Divya for visiting with us and for bringing even more gifts for Sophie- from a beautiful Tea blouse, to the lovely, I Love You Through and Through, to an adorable polka-dotted two piece swimsuit that we can't wait for Sophie to put on next summer! :)

You guys rock!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pinkie-promise

I now understand what people mean when they say it's heartbreaking to watch their babies cries, especially when you don't know what's bothering them and can't figure out how to make it better. Yesterday afternoon was so distressing for Jude and I when Sophie spent the most part of it fussing and crying so hard her little tear ducts were activated (I didn't think newborns could tear!...) The moment I saw her eyes well up, I started crying too and felt so bad that I couldn't make whatever it was that was bothering her go away. I literally felt a small piece of me die inside with each quivering wail...

She eventually calmed down and slept the rest of the afternoon away and while last night was still a little rough, with long feeds and short sleeps, I think she's gotten over it today and is taking her afternoon nap more or less like she used to. It got me thinking about the millions of times from now till she grows older when she'll cry over sometime that will hurt her-- a fall, a bully, a bad grade, a boyfriend-- and the thousands of times amongst those when we might not be there to protect her. My heart aches at the thought...

So here's a promise to you, Sophie- Mommy and Daddy may not be able to protect you from every fall you're going to take, every bully you might meet in school, or every bruise you might get, but we pinkie-promise to do our best to shield you from any kind of unhappiness we do have control over. And hopefully as parents, that's the best we can hope to do...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The many faces of Sophie

What we were doing at 7.30 tonight: having dinner, watching a recorded episode of No Reservations, spending some active awake time with Sophie (which at this stage is only like an hour or so a day...), and taking photos/videos of her. All at the same time.

No wonder people say parents become the world's greatest multi-taskers... :)

A yawn and a sneeze from serene koh on Vimeo.

**Note the kung-fu nose brush at 0:15- definitely channeling some Bruce Lee there... ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ode to Sophie's Daddy

If I had given birth to Sophie in Singapore, I'd not doubt would have had help from our families, a troopload of relatives, and friends. But since we're here and my parents aren't due to arrive for another couple of weeks (like us, they had anticipated that our little peanut was going to be late...), we've pretty much been coping on our own (with the help of delicious and generously prepared meals from so many of our friends- but that's for another post...) But things haven't been as crazy as I had expected and we've actually been coping really well considering the circumstances. For one, Sophie's been a real darling- not really fussy (except when you try pulling a onesie over her head or when she suckles on her hand and realizes that there's no milk there...), and right now, is pretty much just sleeping, nursing, and pooping all the time :)

But more importantly, I have Jude.

He's just been so wonderful in every way possible- father, husband, helper, confinement lady**, grocery-shopper, dish-washer, diaper-changer, all rolled into one. He did a really good job last week of making traditional confinement foods for me from recipes my mom had sent and seemed to really embrace the challenge of buying unfamiliar ingredients and cooking with them. We've had to slow that down this week just because it got a little overwhelming juggling elaborate recipes but he's still doing most of the cooking and I appreciate it so very very much. The nights would have been harrowing if not for him doing the diaper changes and soothing Sophie while I catch up on sleep between feeds. She was feeding incessantly the last two nights and I don't think I would have been able to survive them without Jude by my side. Just all in all, he's been doing everything else around the house on his own while trying to get his dissertation project up and running, AND being the most thoughtful husband, and doting father ever :) My heart melts every time I see him with Sophie, the way he coos at her little chirps and squeaks, and that look on his face when he looks at her... It's an expression that says, "I'm so in love with you that it's going to be physically impossible to say no to you, young lady..."

It's also a look that explains why in 18 years, when Sophie goes on her first date, Jude will be sitting on the porch with a shotgun and a shovel, and in the immortal words of John Ritter, declaring, "I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. You will not be missed." :)

Every time she blinks,
She strikes somebody blind
Every time she thinks,
Blows her tiny mind

That's my daughter in the water,
Who'd've ever thought her
Who'd've ever thought

That's my daughter in the water,
I lost every time I fought her
Yeah I lost every time.
-Loudon Wainwright III, "Daughter"
**A confinement lady is a woman hired during the immediate postpartum month to take care of the mother and baby. Her responsibilities include cooking special meals for the mother, tending to her recovery needs, and helping her take care of the baby.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Our birth story

Not that I remember everything very clearly but this time last week, I think I was in a fair amount of pain.. OK, that's an understatement. I was in-- in my cousin, Terri's words-- a crapload of pain. I had been in unmedicated labour for almost 18 hours and because my water broke in the middle of the night the day before, Jude and I hadn't had any sleep in close to 36 hours... I was exhausted.

I figured as Sophie turns a week old today, I should take some time to blog a little about our birth story- not in too much detail of course, but something to share with all of you who've been following our little journey from here to here these last 9 months or so :)

Friday (8/7/09)
2.45 am: Jude switches off bedside lamp to go to bed. My water breaks literally 2 minutes later. I scream, "Water, water, water!" First thing that crosses my mind was what a liar our childbirth instructor was- she said things never happen dramatically like in the movies and chances are, contractions will start even before my water breaks... NOT TRUE! Next thought: our doula's camping and not going to be back in town for a week!!! Looks like it's going to be just Jude and I. Here we go, people...

3.30am: We're out of the house after calling the hospital, our mothers, packing last-minute stuff into our already-packed hospital bag (thank god!), and throwing the sheets into the laundry (don't ask why we thought it as necessary to do that before leaving...) Oh, and downloading our unprinted birth plan onto Jude's iPhone. Let's hope someone reads Apple at the hospital...

4.20am: We're all checked into our Labor/Delivery/Recovery/Postpartum (LDRP) Room, a place I will not leave for the next 48 hours...

Sometime between pre-dawn and morning: A whole string of residents, medical students, attending physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists come trooping through our room asking me for my medical history- OK, hello, I'm having a baby and in some amount of pain- do I really need to be repeating my drug allergies to the 16 different people coming through that door?

8.30am: The attending OB comes in with a posse of medical students and unceremoniously announces to me that after 6 hours of labour, I'm only 1cm dilated and no where close to making the progress to the 10cm necessary for Sophie's birth. She highly recommends induction via Pitocin (or what Jude dubs the Bag of Pain) to speed up my contractions and hence dilation... I'm petrified by the process of any kind of medical intervention and ask for time to think about it.

Friday morning: Call every friend I know who's had a baby and ask for advice on artificial induction and the prospect of an epidural because of it. Feedback is to take the Pitocin. Since my water had already broken, we basically have 24-hours before Sophie was going to have to be delivered anyway or risk infection. If I didn't get the induction, and I'm not fully dilated by 24-hours of my water breaking, it might have to be a C-section and that was the last thing I wanted.

11.00am: Announce to the nurse that I'll take the Pitocin.

Noon: Have a very bad hospital hotdog for lunch. But it didn't look as bad as Jude's gloppy lasagna...

1.00pm- 4.00pm: Deal with what I think are some fairly painful contractions. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say they were 7s or 8s.

4.00: Pitocin arrives finally (there was an issue with some pump...). We brace ourselves for the onslaught...

4:00- 11:00: OK- so here's where it gets interesting. I knew what a wuss I am when it comes to pain and I was kind of proud of myself for bearing with the increasingly painful contractions (so we're talking 9s and 10s now...) quite well. Jude was an awesome birth coach and really supportive every step of the way. We tried all the different pain-relieving positions we learned at childbirth class and moved around the room as much as we could. I was convinced I might just be able to pull off a crunchy, unmedicated, natural-as-granola birth. Yay, the pain coward! Right? Wrong.

11.00: A resident comes in to check my dilation and sheepishly announces to me that even with the Pitocin and the added intensity of the contractions, I had only progressed by another... get ready for this... 1 cm! OK, people, 2 cm dilated after 18 hours- I thought I was ready to pass out. If I had to endure this amount of pain for goodness knows how long more before I was completely dilated, you may as well just rip the baby out of me right now. And like I said, because we checked into the hospital in the middle of the night, Jude and I essentially hadn't slept in 36 hours. Given more rest, I might have been able to cope with the pain, but coupled with the exhaustion, it was too much. I caved in and got the epidural. So much for a crunchy birth...

11.00pm- 2.00am (Saturday, 8/8/09): Jude and I finally get some sleep. The epidural takes almost all the pain away and I barely feel a thing. I remember drifting in and out of sleep, the sounds of Kate Bush and this video ringing through my ears. I think it might have to do with having just found out about John Hughes' death the night before and deciding to put "A Woman's Work" onto our labour and delivery playlist (which of course, we didn't get a chance to either 1) transfer onto our iPods, or 2) use even if we wanted to- listening to music was the last thing on my mind, honestly...)

2:00am: A resident comes in to check on my progress and lo and behold, she feels Sophie's head! The next 20 minutes is a blur- all the lights in the room come on, I hear stuff being carted in (I didn't have my glasses or contacts on and can't see a thing...), people flood the room, Jude squeezes my hands, and we prepare to push.

2:38am: Sophie's arrives! I hear her before I see her and immediately burst out crying... :) It was everything I had imagined it to be and it was wonderful. They laid her on my bare skin and I started crying even more... until I heard the doctor shoving the surgical scissors in Jude's hand, insisting he cut the cord. No way that's going to happen, I thought, but the doctor persisted and I started smiling, then laughing at Jude's look of horror-- I imagine-- when the nurse warned him, "Be careful of the spurting..." He eventually cuts it :)

And just as quickly as it happened, the doctors and nurses cleaned up and cleared out of the room in a jiffy too. The birth was uneventful to everyone else but us and in about 30 minutes, Jude, Sophie and I were left alone for some quality family time.

I think I'm putting all this down in words more for our benefit than anyone else's- it was an amazingly profound experience- and nothing exactly like it will ever happen again. Sophie's birth was a once in a lifetime event and despite the initial anxiety and fear, and the pain of the process itself, it's something I will always remember and embrace joyfully and lovingly :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

There really is no sweeter sound...



We could watch her hiccup all day... :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What do babies dream of?...


Mmmm... boobies...

I wonder if they'll crown me Princess Poopypants Face? Daddy calls me that all the time.

Mmmmm... is it dinner time? Mmmmmilk...

More burping please.

Must.Figure.Way.Out.Of.Swaddle.

More milk please. Please... Please people!

I love to sleep.

Did I say I love to sleep. And feed.

*Poop*

Mmmm... boobies.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

World, meet Sophie En Yew; Sophie, meet World


In the end, it was to be done *her* way :) Sophie En Yew arrived 3 weeks early (right on the dot of her 37th week), in the middle of the night, amidst much panic, excitement, anxiety, sleeplessness (which continues to plague us...), and profound, indescribable joy :) We're completely besotted with our little peanut (what all the nurses at the hospital called her because she's so tiny- birth weight: 5lbs, 12 oz), and can't believe it's actually possible that between the two of us, we created something so beautiful...

For those of you who've been asking about her name, I've actually loved the name Sophie for a long time now (as some of you loyal blog-readers would have astutely noticed), but it was actually Jude who picked it the day we found out we were having a girl right there in the ultrasound clinic. We've been calling her that ever since and can't imagine naming her anything else. As for her middle name, "En", it's actually her Chinese name (恩), meaning piety and kindness. If nothing else, we wish most that our daughter will grow up not only wise, but also kind and loving; that she will see the good in the world and all people and treat them with the respect, dignity, and heart that everyone all deserves...

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Three surprises

It was one of those days that happens once in a while- it starts off innocuously enough but ends up leaving a smile on your face :) I spent the day in school and came home in the evening to not one, not two, but THREE surprises! First, our sort-of new neighbor with whom we think we're having some issues (don't ask- we don't know why either... we've always prided ourselves on being very good neighbors if you ask me), saw me coming home and actually waved *and* smiled at me from her kitchen window. Not a "oops-she-caught-me-looking-at-her" half smile, but what seemed like a genuinely positive acknowledgment of my existence. It actually was kind of nice :) Who knows? next thing you know, she might be bringing us borscht soup (they're Russian)!

Then I was greeted at the door with two mystery packages. We've pretty much received all the gifts we were expecting and neither one of us had ordered anything else so I was kind of puzzled that there were more boxes to be opened. One was a little package of three cute little hair clips from this etsy shop. It arrived without any note and just a name card of the lady who makes and a message addressed to me saying something about my niece. Turns out, it was my sister who wanted to surprise me with hair accessories for Baby! It's probably the one thing we haven't bought since who knows how much hair the little girl's going to have?? :) It was the sweetest gesture and a really pleasant surprise too- thank you, thank you!! (Although all thanks to her, I then squandered almost an hour scouring etsy for other hair accessories vendors- see here and here in particular. So precious!...)

The other larger box contained-- and this almost knocked my socks off-- a Skip*Hop Dash Deluxe diaper bag! It was actually one of the first things Jude and I had wanted to get way back when because it came highly recommended from so many of our friends. But we ended up not buying a designated diaper bag since we figured we could just use our existing Timbuk2 messenger bag and save the money. My friend, Linda, was the one who sent the generous gift and we're truly, truly appreciative :) We really like the Dash because 1) it's designed to look like a hip messenger bag and not a diaper bag so Jude can feel comfortable carrying it- the last thing we want is to carry anything with frou-frou patterns or Winnie-the-Pooh emblazoned all over; 2) it attaches to the stroller so we don't have to be carrying it all the time; and 3) it's versatile such that in the event that we stop using it as a diaper bag, either one of us can just use it as a regular bag. Awesomeness!

Many thanks to the three people who made this day just that little brighter with your lovely gesture and gifts! Probably only one of you-- and you know who you are-- will read this post but it doesn't change the fact that each of you had a part in making today that much sunnier :)

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Love's labour's lost?

As Baby's arrival date looms before us, one of the greatest decisions we have to make is whether or not I'll be doing things au naturale or get an epidural. At this point, we really have no opinion and our friends have been pretty divided on the issue as well- some are of the "You don't have to be a martyr to be a mother" camp and say to just take the epidural and I might be able to sneak in a nap and actually "enjoy" the labour experience; others are of the "Women have been doing this for centuries without pain relief" opinion who believe that the naturally-occurring pain of labor is far more bearable than the potential side effects of an epidural, both on me as well as Baby.

Part of me wants to just try things intervention-free, at least for a while, just to be able to say I've experienced what labour feels like; the other part of me knows how much of a wuss I am and wants to be given the epidural the moment it's medically possible. So what does the grad student part of me do in a situation like this? Well, make use of the university's library resources and access the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology online archives of course... I was tired of reading through message boards filled with birth stories involving terms like "ring of fire", "flood of euphoria", "focusing on the gift", "ride of your life" and actually craved something more objective, more balanced, more... scientific. Give me real numbers, statistics and generalizability please. And to my rescue comes Volume 186, Issue 5, published in 2002, an entire issue of the journal devoted to pain management during childbirth. According to the Executive Summary:
An evidence-based framework, including commissioned papers prepared according to carefully specified scopes and guidelines for systematic review methods, was used to develop more definitive and authoritative answers to many questions in this field. The papers were presented at an invitational symposium jointly sponsored by the Maternity Center Association and the New York Academy of Medicine, were peer-reviewed, and are published in full in this issue of the journal. The results have implications for policy, practice, research, and the education of both health professionals and childbearing women.
And so for "leisure" reading this weekend, Serene Koh will be combing through:
1)"The nature of labor pain", Nancy K. Lowe
2) "Anesthesia for childbirth: Controversy and change", Donald Caton, Michael A. Frölich, Tammy Y. Euliano
3) "Unintended effects of epidural analgesia during labor: A systematic review", Ellice Lieberman, Carol O'Donoghue
4) "The effects of epidural analgesia on labor, maternal, and neonatal outcomes: A systematic review", Barbara L. Leighton, Stephen H. Halpern
5) "Epidural analgesia side effects, co-interventions, and care of women during childbirth: A systematic review", Linda J. Mayberry, Donna Clemmens, Anindya De
6) "Pain and women's satisfaction with the experience of childbirth: A systematic review", Ellen D. Hodnett
7) "Labor pain management in the United States: Understanding patterns and the issue of choice", Theodore R. Marmor, David M. Krol

Oooh... goody.

5 things...

...I miss most during pregnancy:
1) Food freedom
And I don't just mean sushi or caffeinated coffee (which boo-hoo, I can't stomach anymore!) I'm talking more the freedom to eat anything and not have to worry, like runny eggs, lunchmeats (even though I never was a huge lunchmeat person), seafood or cheeses (yes, you can eat fish-- you should eat fish-- but only some kinds of fish. And no soft cheese, but some soft cheese are fine... Shellfish is OK but it sometimes depends. Maine lobster or spiny???)

2) Breathing and laughing properly
This is happening more in the past 2 weeks as Baby gets exponentially larger. It seems as if just standing up from the couch requires an inordinate amount of oxygen. Don't even get me started on walking up and down the stairs. And I realized that I can't LOL as comfortably as I used to- why didn't anyone warn me about this? Jude was saying something crazy hilarious to me last night and it actually hurt to laugh- it then made me a little sad, which brings me to...

3) Emotional control
Actually, it's more just control over my state of mind in general. There are those moments of inexplicable weepiness (like over the Cheerios ad with the son waking his parents up with a bowl of Cheerios to lower their cholesterol- like hello???), panic (like last night when I went to bed convinced that if I got an epidural, Baby would spend her first month in a drug-induced blur), and all-round spaciness (I tried paying for groceries with my student ID.)

4) Cute shoes
I've been alternating between all of 3 pairs of shoes these past months- my Birkenstock sandals, my Chacos sandals, and a pair of PF Flyers tweed ballet flats (ok, those are kind of cute...). Nothing else makes sense or gives me any support. And while I would love to continue wearing my comfy Converse sneakers, I haven't been able to tie my own shoelaces for a while now...

5) All-round mobility
I should have known that the odd symmetry of a pregnant body was going to get in the way of movement in general- getting in and our of the car, the shower, the bed, off the couch, etc. I can't stand for too long, nor sit for too long. A regular chair isn't very comfy, but neither is our kneeling chair. And I miss sleeping on my tummy.


...I appreciate about pregnancy:
1) Food freedom
I've tried to be really good about what I've been eating during the pregnancy-- lots of whole grains, brown rice, fresh veggies, lean protein, and nuts. But I've also given in to that that extra scoop of ice-cream after dinner, just one more piece of chocolate, pancakes for supper, a funnel cake at Art Fair, a handful more chips than I should have with my sandwich, etc- just basically indulgences I wouldn't have otherwise allowed myself. I have to say, it *almost* makes up for not being able to have sushi.

2) Being pampered
And I don't mean spas or massages (although I have to say that I enjoyed the two guilt-free pedicures I've gotten in the past 3 months which is more than I usually get in a year). It's how people have just been watching out for you- Jude's been doing the laundry since I can't even remember when, people let me cut in line for bathrooms all the time, Mr Bus Driver Man made sure I'm safely seated before moving, and the guy at Trader Joe's helped me load groceries into the car without me even asking. I have to say, I might really miss all this kindness :)

3) Guilt-free sleep
I love to sleep. Ask Jude. Or my sisters. Or my parents. And since being pregnant, I've allowed myself the luxury of sleeping almost as much as I like. It used to be that every minute spent sleeping felt like a minute less work done or one chore less completed, but for the past few months, if I felt like sleeping in a little or taking that mid-afternoon nap, I've allowed myself to. Once Baby arrives, sleeping at all might be wishful thinking.

4) Being told I'm looking radiant
I don't get compliments on how I look very often but ever since getting pregnant, people have been saying nice things about my pregnancy glow :) I'm thankful that I've had none of the puffiness in my cheeks and nose or the ashen pallor I was expecting; in fact, my complexion has actually improved with the pregnancy. For that, I'm really grateful to the little one :)

5) Feeling Baby move
I complain about this sometimes, especially when she decides to jab my internal organs or perform extreme acrobatics just as I'm about to fall asleep; but it's also a most wondrous sensation that's hard to describe to anyone. Jude feels her move whenever we lay close together or when he has his hands on my tummy, but it isn't the same as feeling her actually move inside your body. She's a feisty one for sure and we love her all the more for it- it's like her way of reminding us that she's coming soon and we better be ready! :)