Archive for September, 2008

Pottery Barn Kids, redeemed

September 30, 2008

After I got home from the doctor’s office and my husband and I jointly inspected our broken crib (he confirmed that it was indeed unfit for use, and this is the man who doesn’t understand why we need a Pack N Play and why we can’t just let the small one lay on the couch when we go somewhere), I decided to give Pottery Barn Kids a call back.

I requested a manager in the Furniture department and that’s exactly where they sent me – no forcing me to speak with an associate first to vet me, but directly to a supervisor, which I greatly appreciate. 

I explained the situation from earlier (and made it a point to emphasize that the phone rep was very understanding), and how I didn’t understand why the new crib couldn’t be FedEx’d or expedited in some way (I think the phrase I used was “so you’re telling me that there is only one truck heading from California to the East Coast in the next 30 days?”).  The supervisor held firm their inability to ship the replacement crib any faster, but offered me a free bassinet so that I would have something for the small one to sleep in the first few weeks (retail value $350).  She assured me the bassinet would be shipped this week (as they could FedEx that – it should arrive on Friday) and let me pick out the color I wanted.  So I accepted.

The upside is that a bassinet is actually a more ideal sleeping situation than the crib would be for the first few weeks anyway – especially if I by chance need a C-section.  I can place it right next to the bed in the baby’s room or the bed in the master bedroom if my parents need to stay with us in the baby’s room, and I simply need to lean over to collect the small one for middle of the night feedings instead of getting out of bed (even if the crib was only a mere 4 feet away).  Also, the bassinet is quite handsome and we could use it instead of the Pack N Play as the downstairs crib once the replacement crib has arrived.  Not bad.

The downside is that the baby’s room will be quite cramped with the broken crib, bassinet and full sized bed all in one small room.  Also, in all my eco-insanity, the bassinet is not organic, uses conventional cotton sheets, has a poly fill to the sides and (gasp) a PVC-based mattress pad.  I hunted the internet to see if I could find any less chemical alternatives, but the Pottery Barn Kids bassinet does not appear to be a standard size and part of me refuses to spend money on something I never intended to purchase in the first place (as I would be all set with my organic sheets and natural mattress if the crib weren’t busted). 

So while I still wouldn’t describe this mishap as a boon of any sorts, the grudge against Pottery Barn is officially dropped.  If anything, I find it hilarious that it is more cost effective for them to ship me a free bassinet than expedite a replacement crib, but I guess that just says a lot about retail mark up.

Week 36, aka 1 month to go!

September 30, 2008

Baby: Your baby measures about 20.7 inches from head to toe and weighs about 6 pounds. The baby may drop lower in your abdomen, usually assuming the head-down position after having frequently assumed other positions during early pregnancy. The brain has been developing rapidly, and your baby is practicing blinking.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus has grown bigger these last few weeks and is probably up under your ribs. But you’re in the home stretch; after this week you’ll be seeing your doctor weekly. You may be alternating between fatigue and extra bursts of energy. You may also be experiencing increased backache and heaviness, constipation, heartburn and discomfort in your buttocks and pelvis.

and?

Now that we have weekly doctor’s appointments, I’ll actually have updates about the small one – yippee!  The doc estimates he’s about 6 lbs and that if I make it to my due date, he’ll be around 7.5 lbs.  His head is still down and he’s facing sideways (his butt faces my right side and he’s curled up so his feet kick my left side).  From the quick exam, he also said it feels like his head is fitting “nicely” in my pelvis and isn’t concerned that the baby won’t make it through the birth canal.  The small one is currently at Station -1.  For those of you who need a definition, here’s what www.gynob.com has to say on the matter:

The station is based on how far down the head has dropped in relation to two bony prominences (called the ischial spines) that mark the midpelvis (halfway out). In a pelvic exam, the examiner can feel where these spines are, protruding from the pelvic sidewalls. Then, the position of the “presenting part,” i.e., that part of the baby(hopefully, the top of the head) that will be the first to deliver, is felt as compared to the ischial spines.  If the very top of the head is at the ischial spines, it’s called a zero station. And for every centimeter distance from the spines, either above or below, the presenting part can be said to be anywhere between -3 and +3.

So all that is to say, he is descending into position, which explains why I need to pee if I even think about water let alone drink any.  It also explains the slight “basketball between my legs” feeling I have going on at times, as there is just more downward pressure on my cervix and pelvis in general… but all that’s worth it to know we are making progress!

Other good news is that my cervix is approximately 40% effaced.  Now time for another definition, this time care of www.americanpregnancy.org :

Effacement is the process by which the cervix prepares for delivery. After the baby has engaged in the pelvis, it gradually drops closer to the cervix; the cervix gradually softens, shortens and becomes thinner. You may hear phrases like “ripens,” or “cervical thinning” which refer to effacement.

Effacement is measured in percentages. For example, your health care provider may tell you that you are effaced 50%, which means you are half way to being completely effaced. When you are 100% effaced or completely effaced, your cervix is paper-thin and labor is right around the corner.

Since I’m not yet dilated, we’ll save that definition for another post (hopefully one next week that involves my using the phrase “I’m one centimeter dilated” as it would imply that we really are getting this show on the road).  That being said, the doctor thinks that I could make it to my due date, but that he’d be surprised if I was late, which completely made my day yesterday.  I am all about having this baby in two weeks vs. four. 

Otherwise, I was tested for Group B Strep, which is standard for all pregnant women between week 35 and 37, so I’ll have those results next week (as well as a definition for that, too – this is certainly getting more technical as we approach go time).  In the meanwhile, I think it is officially time to start packing that hospital bag…

Pottery Barn Kids is on my shit list

September 29, 2008

So the crib arrived, and within the time frame I was given (they said between 9 and noon and the delivery guys showed up at 10 and were finished assembling everything before 11).  That being said, they broke it in the process of putting it together and didn’t happen to mention this fact before leaving the house and heading back to Richmond.

Yup.

I discovered this hit and run when I went upstairs to admire my new furniture and tried to lower the front drop-down rail – it wouldn’t budge.  I consulted the instructions and tried again to no avail, at which point I checked out the mechanism only to see a piece of plastic bent out at a completely unnatural angle and a significant amount of scratch marks on the wood around the guide.  I removed the front rail and upon closer inspection saw that on both sides the plastic of the guides were cracked and the springs were completely squashed.  Yeah, that would explain my inability to lower the railing.

And so I called Pottery Barn Kids.  And the woman I got on the phone was extremely gracious.  She said that the plastic guide pieces were part of the manufactured door, so she couldn’t just send me either a new guide or a new front railing, but instead would have to send a new crib.  Sure.  And then when she went to place the order, she says “wait, that can’t be right… the system says the new estimated delivery date is October 30th…” as which point she put me on hold to check into things. 

It turns out the crib I have is only stored in California.  When the rep got back on the phone to tell me this, I asked her if they were hitchhiking it across country, as 30+ days seems like an egregious amount of time in the age of FedEx and airplanes and the invention of the wheel.  She agreed, but said there wasn’t anything she could do.  I said that I honestly had no where to put the baby and that I could agree to this if Pottery Barn were able to throw in a co-sleeper or something I could use until the great crib debacle was worked out and she went back to check with her manager.  Off hold again, she apologized and said her boss suggested that I just use the broken crib even though I wouldn’t be able to use the drop down rail, to which I responded that that was all well and good unless I have a C-section and can’t actually reach into the crib.  She was so nice about it, but said she just didn’t know what she could do, so we went ahead and placed the order for the new crib (as it wouldn’t help anything to delay the order) and mentioned that I would receive a merchandice gift card for my troubles (no dollar amount was specified), and gave me her contact info including her direct extensionand said she would be in touch with updates and we left it at that.

Once I hung up the phone, I struggled for twenty minutes to get the front rail back on the crib, which seemed to hang there shaky at best and would only remain on at the lowest setting, making it completely unacceptable for use.  I am now gathering my thoughts before calling them back, insisting on a manager and reminding them about this neat thing called FedEx, not to mention emphasizing the fact that the delivery guys must have known they broke the crib in the first place or completely failed to test the crib at all after assembly, which is so beyond the bounds of unacceptable that any possibility that this will be negotiated on their terms is officially off the table. 

You just don’t fuck with someone who’s 9 months pregnant and payed nearly $1000 when you include the $200 shipping and handling for a crib that does not work and will not be replaced before I go into labor.  Not to mention the fact that I was already a type A bitch from NJ to begin with.

a good excuse to avoid dinner with the father-in-law

September 25, 2008

Actually, I generally enjoy the company of my father-in-law, but the fact of the matter is, I’ll be avoiding him for the next 5 weeks.  Why, you ask?  Because the poor guy has shingles, and I just read the following on WebMD:

Maternal chickenpox poses some risk to the unborn child, depending upon the stage of pregnancy during which the mother contracts the disease. During the first 30 weeks, maternal chickenpox may, in some cases, lead to congenital malformations. Such cases are rare and experts differ in their opinions on how great the risk is.

If the mother gets chickenpox from 21 to 5 days before giving birth, the newborn may have chickenpox at birth or develop it within a few days, as noted earlier. But the time lapse between the start of the mother’s illness and the birth of the baby generally allows the mother’s immune system to react and produce antibodies to fight the virus. These antibodies can be transmitted to the unborn child and thus help fight the infection. Still, a third of the babies exposed to chickenpox in the 21 to 5 days before birth develop shingles in the first 5 years of life because the virus must also be fought by immune cells.

What if the mother contracts chickenpox at precisely the time of birth? In that case the mother’s immune system has not had a chance to mobilize its forces. And although some of the mother’s antibodies will be transmitted to the newborn via the placenta, the newborn will have precious little ability to fight off the attack because the immune system is immature. For these babies chickenpox can be fatal. They must be given “zoster immune globulin,” a preparation made from the antibody-rich blood of adults who have recently recovered from chickenpox or shingles.

The husband is getting put through quarentine-level decontamination when he gets home tonight after visiting his dad – clothes go straight into the washing machine and he goes straight into the shower. 

Bite it

September 25, 2008

Sure, it could be the complete lack of grace and/or balance I inherited from my mother, or the fact that I was wearing clogs, but I’m going to blame being pregnant on this morning’s epic trip.

This was one for the records, folks.  It started on the sidewalk but by the time the stumbling and flalling was over I was laying in the road in the left lane of traffic on a two lane thoroughfare.  Luckily, there were no cars in sight, both for the sake of my not having been run over and my ego. , so I waddled to the median to catch my breath and regroup before attempting to cross the remaining two lanes.  Oy.

And now, here I sit with bruised palms and bloody knees, amused at how instinctively I would have lead with anything other than my midsection – in fact, I recall the point mid-tumble when I contemplated using my face to slow my momentum but opted to go with my hands instead. 

When I told my husband, his response was “are you okay?  how’s the boy?” to which I responded “I didn’t have the dog with me – oh, you mean the baby… we’re both fine.”

Ring no more

September 24, 2008

I’m officially swollen enough that my rings no longer fit (well, I can get them on, but it certainly isn’t comfortable so I’ve thrown in the towel as of this morning).  I’ve been wearing my wedding ring for nearly 2 years and the engagement ring for over 3 years, and I feel completely naked without them. 

And I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I feel a bit conspicuous with this big belly and a distinct lack of left hand adornments.  Who knew I was so old fashioned?

NYT Modern Love column – not today

September 22, 2008

So most Mondays I read the Modern Love column from the weekend’s Style section while sitting on conference calls.  Not today.

The title?  “Getting to know my stillborn son”

Yeah, I don’t need that running around my brain right now, thank you very much.

Week 35

September 22, 2008

Baby: Your baby measures about 20.25 inches from head to toe and weighs more than 5.5 pounds. Lungs are almost fully developed, but if born now the baby would probably be put in an incubator. It still doesn’t have enough fat deposits beneath its skin to keep warm outside your womb.

Mom-to-be: Your uterus is about six inches above your navel. By now your weight gain is probably between 24 and 29 pounds. Your doctor will test you for Group B streptococcus bacteria between now and 37 weeks. You may be getting more uncomfortable and not sleeping very well. You also may be getting more anxious about the labor and delivery, and you may even be moodier and more irritable.

and?

Well, besides the horrors of last Tuesday, I have been feeling pretty good, surprisingly good.  No more Braxton Hicks this weekend, and I’m still able to fall back to sleep after I get up to pee the requisite 4+ times a night so I can’t complain.  I don’t think I’m more anxious as much as I’m just plain ready.  The husband and I kept talking about it all weekend – how October’s going to feel like waiting in line and how both of us want to “just do this thing.” 

So now we wait.  For five more weeks. 

Are we there yet?

To Do List

September 18, 2008

There’s nothing like the last minute (or in my case, the last month) to get everything done. Nobody said having a baby would be easy, but this is starting to rival planning my wedding.  My goal is to get everything done by October 1 so I have plenty of time to drive myself crazy (as there’s no way this baby is coming early if I actually pull my shit together and get all of this done in a timely fashion).

Finish amassing baby stuff
I feel like I deserve an honorary degree in logistics after this great sourcing debacle, but that’s what I get for being particular…

  • Crib should show up late next week or at the very latest, before the end of the month.
  • No word yet on the crib mattress, as I bought it (read: got my little brother to buy it) from this hippie company that uses all organic cotton and apparently their latest shipment of cotton wasn’t up to par, so it hasn’t actually been made yet (although they are throwing in a free shirt as a thank you for being patient).
  • Mattress covers and puddle pads (from the same hippie company) just shipped, as did the wool diaper covers (from Canada, no less).
  • The last of the Pottery Barn Kids stuff (the changing table pads) should arrive this week, as most of it (the baskets and changing table pad covers) arrived last night.
  • Stroller arrived yesterday

Which means this weekend I get to pick up the following:

  • Car seat
  • Ergo baby carrier with infant insert
  • Breast pump (the local natural baby store has Medela pumps on sale)
  • Towels and wash clothes
  • Long and short sleeved 0-3 month tee shirts and some other clothing
  • Medical necessaries like baby Tylenol
  • Glass bottles
  • Pacifiers (I know, this can be controversial, but I’d rather have a few on hand than find myself with an inconsolable child at 4 in the morning with no option to give the little enablers a try)
  • Lanolin to clean the wool diaper covers
  • Nursing bras and camis

Not a bad list thanks to the generosity of friends and family at our showers. My American Express card will get quite a workout this weekend, despite having been tucked away safely in my wallet for the past year.

Post Shop-a-thon, set up the house
This includes the following hilarity – yes, I am a touch OCD:

  • Have my folks come down to deliver the remainder of the baby stuff from NJ and get my dad to make the few minor installations for the crib and changing table (i.e. bolting it to the wall so it doesn’t topple over – this thing is enormous)
  • Get the couch professionally cleaned – turns out it’s only about $125, and not the $300+ I was dreading. Considering I just dropped over $400 taking the dog to the vet, this feels like a steal.
  • Clean all the baby stuff – clothing, blankets, sheets, towels, you name it. I’m already armed with the baby-friendly natural laundry detergent. Did I mention I haven’t actually gotten around to regular laundry in the past two weeks? Oy.
  • Put all the baby stuff away in an organized fashion – did I mention that I have 8 baskets worth of space in which to get completely type A?  Awesome.

Miscellaneous
Oh yeah, and then there’s everything else:

  • Get the cars cleaned and install the car set bases (and have them inspected by the Fire Department)
  • Set up the cloth diaper service
  • Meet with the Pediatrician (scheduled for next week)
  • Go to Breastfeeding class (next week)
  • Write thank you cards from showers and buy more for post delivery help/gifts/food
  • Finalize work details about going on leave for three months (like setting up COBRA coverage, etc.)
  • Pack the bag for the hospital
  • Go into labor, give birth, manage to hide my insanity such that the nurses actually let me take the small one home and survive the car ride from the hospital to the house without incident

This could get ugly, not to mention expensive.

So much better

September 18, 2008

I don’t know what the turning point was, but I am back to a solid B- today.  Not something to brag about, but still honor roll.

For comparison, yesterday was a C and Tuesday was a D+.

Looking back, I think there was definitely a GI thing going on, as today’s contractions aren’t stopping me in my tracks.  And my appetite is coming back – not that I’m hungry per say, but I don’t dread drinking a glass of water and I was able to polish off a bowl of cereal this morning without any nausea.  Am I looking forward to five more weeks?  No.  But I do believe I can do it and hopefully keep working. 

I am so relieved.