Saturday, February 28, 2009

33 weeks

So today I am 33 weeks--7 weeks to go! It feels good to know that I am so near the end, although there's a million things to worry about in regards to that also (house repairs not complete, still need tons of stuff for the baby, the whole delivery thing, etc).

Turning in bed is still quite a chore, getting out of bed is work, & getting up off the couch is getting harder & harder. I still get very short of breath with any exertion.

Not a whole lot else to report--I've been getting into positions that are supposed to encourage the baby to head south (& not remain breech). So far the only results I see is that the baby is way more active than usual. It's been moving all over the place, laying sideways sometimes (both directions) & then back to breech. I will continue to try the positions though, it can't hurt & it just might help, you never know.

As far as the size of the baby--my email for the 33rd week will come much later today so I don't really know yet. But I would definitely bet that it's well over 4 lbs by now.

I am still resting a lot--as much as I can. I had to go grocery shopping this morning. I limit myself to 2 stores at a time max (went to whole foods & costco today) & after I get it all put away I get my feet up & rest.

A week ago yesterday my stepson came home early from school because he was sick. And he was REALLY sick. On Sunday I had picked up a slight cough from him. On Monday hubby was super sick. We all ended up really sick, but while hubby & stepson had REALLY bad fevers & chills I never got a fever. I was coughing, had tons of phlegm, was very achey & did not feel well, but never once had a fever. Just like in December when I got the flu but never had a fever, once again the Lord was protecting this baby.

I think that's all the updates I have for now--sorry it's a boring week!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Just a little bit more ranting about docs

So about a month ago hubby felt like he had something stuck in his throat. He had eaten fish for dinner, but he hadn't seen any bones. We eat fish quite often & are always really good at noticing bones. This fish didn't have ANY bones as far as we saw. It was so bad that he felt pain, felt like he was choking, & was actually coughing up blood.

I think it happened over a weekend & I had asked hubby to call our doc on Monday but by Monday it had pretty much resolved. BUT several times since then the pain has returned & hubby feels like he is choking. It happened again yesterday & so this morning I called our doc to try to get him in.

I know I have raved about our doc before & yes, I'm gonna do it again. First let me say that hubby was taking off work early today cuz he's sick & also cuz he wanted to go with me to my OB appointment. So he thought it was a perfect day for him to see our doc about this.

So I called our doc this morning & they said they were totally booked, but they could squeeze us in first after their lunch (2:00), BUT my OB appointment was at 2:15, so that wouldn't work. Then they said they would speak with the doc & call one of us back.

So they finally told us just to come around 3:00, but it could be earlier or later, they really didn't care. We got there around 2:45 & didn't wait long at all. He said he wanted to refer hubby to an ENT specialist. Hubby asked how long this would take cuz it's hard for him to get off work. Our doc asked us to wait in the waiting room & he would see what he could do. He came out about 5 minutes later with the referral form in hand & said he called the doc himself & the doc has agreed to see us right now, his office was right up the street.

So we headed over there & the waiting room was packed & people were grumbling about waiting HOURS past their actual appointment time & others were saying that that's how it ALWAYS is here. Still others were arguing that he was such a good doc that he was totally worth the wait. I would bet that he's the ONLY ENT available on our insurance & is totally swamped with too many patients. This system is just totally insane & unacceptable. There were also people grumbling about the fact that they had to wait 2 months just to get an appointment!!

I actually felt a little guilty cuz we just walked in as brand new patients with no appointment & got seen in about an hour. He looked in hubby's throat with a mirror & insisted there is nothing there. He started rambling on about acid reflux, blah blah blah. Hubby insisted that it isn't acid reflux & reminded him of the bleeding, etc. He finally agreed to order a CT scan of his throat to take a closer look. So for now we're waiting for the authorization for the CT scan & then we'll go from there.......

Oh, one more report: we asked our doc if he recommended any pediatricians on our insurance & we pointed to my belly. He said that he sees all ages & even comes to the hospital when they are born. I had suspected that he saw babies, but I wasn't certain & didn't want to assume. He gave us a quick tour & showed us the baby room they have. I told him I'd bring the hospital form I needed him to sign by soon. Hubby agreed completely--we feel really good about choosing him as our baby's doc after all he's done for us.

My OB appointment today

So I went to see my OB doc today. Hubby went with me, even though he's sick as a dog right now. He is such a trooper, I owe him big-time! He was sitting there with fever & chills the whole time. And she's usually very prompt, never late, but today of all days we had to wait a little bit.

So she listened to the baby's heart with the doppler like always. We brought up my work issue & at first she didn't answer, just brushed us off & talked about the ultrasound, heart rate, etc. I asked her if the baby remains breech if it's an automatic C-section & she said yes, it is. She said we will have to have more ultrasounds near the end of pregnancy to determine if it's turned or not.

At the very end she told me to ask them at the desk for the disability forms. She said she would take me off work until after the baby is born. After the actual delivery I get 6 weeks for vaginal delivery & 8 weeks for C-section. Plus I want to take to take my 6 week bonding time after my medical leave. I still have to figure out how to arrange the bonding time. And hubby is entitled to bonding time as well. There is no one to do his job while he's off, so taking a straight 6 weeks would be totally out of the question for him, BUT you can split it up & you have the whole first year of the baby's life to take it in. I told him he could take a week off every other month for the first year of the baby's life. He doesn't think he could take that much time off, but he is planning to take at least some. He said he's probably gonna take a few days off when the baby makes it's arrival for sure, & then we'll see how things go from there.

So I must say that is a HUGE load of stress off of me--to not have to worry about getting through another day of work.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

32 weeks

So today I am 32 weeks--8 months. 8 more weeks to go........

My 32 week email I get that tells me the size of the baby will come much later today, so I don't have that info yet. But I had the ultrasound done on Tuesday & at that time the baby was close to 4 lbs. It might already be 4 lbs now, I'm not sure.

I'm still tired, very short of breath with any activity, & feeling absolutely HUGE. Turning in bed has become a challenge, as has getting up from bed & even getting up from the couch.

There's not much else going on that's new.........with the exception of my baby shower that is tomorrow. I am really excited about that.

My next OB appointment is Monday. I am dragging hubby with me cuz we're gonna discuss whether or not I go back to work. Even in the 2 weeks I've been off if I stay on my feet too much I start having issues, so I really don't think it's a good idea for me to go back. I'm not trying to be lazy or anything like that, I am just trying to do what's best for the baby & hubby is in total agreement.

My UTI is getting better now cuz I'm self medicating with emergency antibiotics I had in the house. The prescription my OB gives me (probably on Monday) I will keep for future emergency use. I was able to stop taking the pyridium (which is stricltly for the pain & it only lessens it somewhat, never relieves it completely) after I was on the antibiotics for 24 hours, which is the usual, so I know I'm responding well to the antibiotics. And I'm still taking the d-mannose (& plan to continue for preventative reasons) & drinking the barley water.

As for our house--there is no news, nothing has been accomplished as of yet with the homeowner insurance--hubby is on the phone with them as I type this. He is telling them he has already spoken to the insurance commissioner & is ready to hire an attorney regarding the matter. We shall see............

I had wanted to have the repairs done before the baby arrived. I now am just asking for the paint & carpet to be completed before the baby arrives.

random thoughts on grocery shopping.....

So back in the day when I was single (gosh that seems soooo long ago when I think of it) grocery shopping was very simple. Not to mention, I was going to school & working which means I was on an extremely tight budget, so I couldn't splurge a lot on food, just the bare bones to get by on.

I did shop at the healthy food stores, just like I still do now that I'm married. I would come home with anywhere between 1-3 bags of groceries on average (3 usually meant I had bought a big bottle of juice or something like that). If memory serves me correctly I believe I used to try to shop for 2 week periods since that was when I got paid....

Ever since I got married I was astonished at how much work grocery shopping had become. For one thing we just cannot manage to get everything we need at only one store--we regularly visit Costco, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, & Henry's. And then there are occasional visits to a few others: Clarks, Goodwins, Mothers, I'm probably forgetting something here............ But the main reason it's so much work is just how much food I have to buy on a regular basis.

At the time I married I had a small pickup truck. It was fine when I did my single life grocery shopping, but it was not practical at all once I married. That was my biggest issue, grocery shopping with such a small vehicle to pack it all in. And people would often tell me to just put it in the bed of the truck--sometimes I had to, but I didn't like to. I was often visiting more than one store & couldn't just leave groceries sitting out in the back like that where people could steal them. And if it was raining the food would get wet & if it was hot the food might go bad. It was a never-ending problem. Never mind the fact that I now had a husband & 2 kids that I could not fit into my vehicle--it was not a family car at all.

Needless to say once I graduated from school & got my Hummer I've been a very happy camper--I can now fit the tons of groceries in my vehicle & I can also fit my family in my vehicle. And it's a safe vehicle (since I've been rear-ended so many times) & I just love it all the way around. I often stop to think about this when I am loading the Hummer with groceries.

These days I leave the heavy shopping (dog food, water bottles, etc) for hubby since I'm preggo, but I still do most of the rest of the grocery shopping--I just have to split it up a lot, no more than 2 stores in one trip.

So yesterday I stopped at Costco & Trader Joes. As I was dragging it all into the kitchen I stopped to think about how much food it is compared to when I was single. It suddenly occurred to me that for most people this probably doesn't happen. Most people get married & then have one more person to feed besides themselves--not such a huge increase. And then at some point they probably have a kid, but it starts out only taking baby formula & then eats very small portions & increases gradually, etc. So most people probably don't find themselves in grocery-shopping-shock, because it creeps up on them gradually.

But when I married I gained a husband, a 17 year old & an 11 year old; not to mention the 17 year old's boyfriend who ate here on a very regular basis. So yeah, that was a huge increase that sort of happened overnight for me.

Not really a profound blog. Maybe not even an interesting blog to most. Just somethin' that I have thought about a lot over the past few years.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

my rant of the day: doctors

So on Sunday night I felt like I had a UTI coming on. The pain, urgency, & frequency were unbelievable. I even saw visible blood in my urine. This is a chronic problem for me, so I am very good at recognizing this. And it is a chronic problem for A LOT of women.

I worry most about my kidneys, if you delay treatment it can spread up into the kidneys & that is a MAJOR deal, you can even die from that. And I certainly don't want to be dealing with a kidney infection while I'm pregnant, much less any other time.

Almost every doc I've ever been to knows that it's frequently a chronic problem for some women & they know that that woman knows her body & knows when she has a UTI. Now, granted, some docs will still make you supply a urine sample, at least the first time they see you for a UTI, just to make sure you do know what you're talking about. But then they give you an antibiotic right away. And once they know they can trust the woman they will sometimes just give her an antibiotic for it without requiring a urine specimen.

Just about every doc I've ever been to has been like this, even Kaiser was like this! (No offense to those who have & actually like Kaiser, we just had really bad experiences with them)

And yet I spent Monday drinking tons of water hoping to flush out whatever bacteria was there & possibly not need an antibiotic. I know it never works, sometimes it will temporarily, but later on it will return full force. But I still always try. So on Tuesday I was in so much pain I gave up & called my OB. I went early that morning & gave them a urine sample. They said they require that before they can prescribe anything.

So I waited all day Tuesday & all day Wednesday & heard nothing. I called this morning demanding to know what's taking so long & was told they'll call me back sometime this afternoon.

Now as a nurse I know you can get urinalysis results (which will confirm bacteria in urine) in less than 5 minutes. The culture (which shows which specific bacteria it is) does take longer to grow, but you can usually have a preliminary within 24 hours. It's now been over 48 hours............. And they usually just start antibiotics once the presence of bacteria is confirmed and then if the culture happens to show something that that antibiotic doesn't work for (which has never happened to me) they can always switch it. But once I've been on antibiotics for 24 hours the pain starts to go away, so YES I want to start them as soon as possible (not to mention that I want to start them early before it spreads to my kidneys).

I cannot believe the lack of consideration I am receiving with this from my OB's office. And I know if I call my primary doc he's gonna tell me to go through my OB right now cuz I'm pregnant.

So what am I to do?? I remembered that I have a backup UTI prescription in the house--macrobid!! I looked it up, it's safe during pregnancy unless you're near the end--greater than 38 weeks. So I started it on my own. Then when they finally get around to prescribing something I'll just keep that one as my emergency backup. :)

Pretty clever, huh?? I'm sure some reading this will frown upon this sort of thing, but those are probably people who don't suffer from UTIs. ;) Please have mercy on me & know that I do EVERYTHING known to prevent getting UTIs & it doesn't work for me (I have been told by several docs that I have some sort of anatomical defect that causes it).

So I think I'm gonna try a new experiment & just continue taking d-mannose every single day of my life & see if that will prevent future UTI's. My naturopathic doc that recommended it to me told me I didn't need to do this, but I'm gonna give it a shot & see what happens..............

some more ranting about docs

I know I have mentioned several times in the past in my blogs how there are only THREE OB docs to choose from with my insurance. I find this lack of choices totally ridiculous, impractical, & totally unacceptable. What tends to happen in situations like this is the docs know they are guaranteed patients based on their insurance & they know that those patients have nowhere else to go, so they can just do whatever & not care & not even do their jobs & the patients just have to sit back & take it (this was one of my big issues with Kaiser when we had Kaiser & it is an issue I have with all the propositions of government regulated/paid healthcare).

So anyways, if you've been following my blogs you may recall that the very first OB I went to I was totally upset with the office & staff & PA (never actually got to meet the doc himself) & I promptly switched over to my only other choice (there is one other choice technically, a guy that works with the OB I'm seeing, but I've been to him in the past & did not like him at all). So these two OB docs are really technically one on insurance forms because they are in the same office. And knowing my luck when the baby decides to arrive my OB will probably not be on call, but the guy I don't like probably will.

So today I get a letter in the mail from the first OB doc I went to. I thought that was odd & opened it to read it. He is hereby notifying me that he no longer takes my insurance. It states that there has "always" been only ONE OB doc on my insurance & because that particular doc was getting overwhelmed with the number of patients that had this insurance group they asked this other guy to step in temporarily. And, well, now the volume of patients has gone down so he is no longer needed & will no longer be available to anyone with my insurance.

So #1--Anyone with this insurance group is now down to only TWO (technically one) OB docs to choose from--even more ridiculous & outrageous than only THREE.
And #2--Had I chosen to continue with this doc for my prenatal care & delivery of my child from my first visit I would now, in my final trimester, be forced to switch over to another doc.

Unbelievable is all I can say......................we really gotta get some PPO insurance................I can already foresee all the issues we're gonna have with pediatricians & lack of choices..........

And just one more rant before I go: in my last blog I stated that I called my OB's office this morning (the very minute they opened by the way) & I was told I would receive a call back this afternoon.............well it's now closing time for them &--yep, I bet you guessed it--no call back. I am sooooo glad I decided to treat myself & I'm gonna call them tomorrow & give them a piece of my mind. And I'll probably still be grumbling about it when I'm there on Monday for my next appointment.

Update for 2/20: So again I called my OB's office the moment they opened this morning & I explained to them how I had called yesterday & was told I would get a call back yet I never did. She promised she would check into it & call me back. About 20 minutes later the same gal called me back & tells me they JUST NOW received the UA results (the results that take less than 5 minutes to obtain & I gave this urine sample on Tuesday morning & it's now FRIDAY!!). She said the doc will not prescribe antibiotics until the culture is received & they haven't yet received it. I reminded her that I am IN PAIN & have been since the beginning of the week (& it's now the end of the week & the weekend is here & I know no one is going to do diddly-squat over the weekend) & she didn't care in the least & insisted that I would hear from them as soon as they receive the culture results from the lab.

As of the time I am updating this the office is now closed & it's offiicially the weekend & nothing will be done til Monday.

I am absolutely speechless................

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ultrasound, car seat class, & other updates....

So yesterday morning I went for what will most likely be my final ultrasound. They said all is well, baby is 3 lbs 14 oz (almost 4 lbs now!). They gave me a couple of pics from it, but so far I can't make anything out, so I may just not post them (I have a whole bunch like that already, I was really hoping for a good one yesterday). The baby is indeed still in breech position. I knew it felt like it--there's an area on my upper right abdomen where I feel something big, rounded, & hard moving around & I have become convinced that that is it's head & the US tech said yes, I'm right. And also way down low by the pubic bone I feel these little wiggly movements (those were the first movements I was feeling regularly) & it occurred to me that a head won't feel like that, but little feet & toes would & I am indeed correct on that as well. So then the stuff I feel on the sides (not very often though) must be the arms. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring that out. Originally when I first felt the head I told hubby I wasn't sure if it was a head or butt, but that it was rounded & hard. As time went on I realized it was too big & too hard to be a butt--babies always have the big head & little body, their butts are actually pretty small & they aren't hard, LOL!!

Then last night I went to the car seat safety class. It was a good class, I'm really glad I went, very informative, although they rushed through a lot of stuff that I have no clue no about. But that was all stuff for later on--I do at least have the info down for the first 4 years of years of the baby's life. I learned a lot & yes, hubby is right, A LOT has changed since he had his kids.

I discovered I was right about them being in the back seat facing the rear, BUT it doesn't necessarily have to be the middle seat, as I had heard. That is really up to each vehicle & how they did in crash tests, so you are supposed to consult your owner's manual for that specific info. I have noticed in the back seat of my Hummer that on 2 of the seats back there (not the middle spot) there are these metals bars slightly sticking out & I had assumed they have something to do with folding the seats forward..........but I learned last night that they are anchors for car seats!! And my big question about how long they have to remain rear facing--they must be at least one year old & weigh at least 20 lbs before they can face forward. Any fines for children not properly restrained in a vehicle will go to the DRIVER, not the parent even if the parent is a passenger in the car (so think twice before a friend brings their kids in your car while your driving--the law states car seats are supposed to go up to age 6!!) & it's a BIG fine--minimum $324 per child. And not only do you have to pay the fine, you also have to pay to take a carseat class & you also must spend time attending the class.

So during the class the lady was using this really ugly beigeish/yellow car seat & I was thinking to myself "yeah, they give you a free car seat, but it's a really ugly one" At the end of class she was ready to hand out the free carseats & she offered that one first (& of course no one went for it). I had actually assumed they would all look the same, but I was hoping for one in a box, cuz I can see we're not gonna use it right away & I don't want it sitting in the garage getting all dusty. So then we went out to her van & she asked "any color is good?" Someone requested blue & she had it. I saw more of the ugly ones & more blue & some pink/rose colored. Then I saw one that looked grey (it was really dark outside, hard to tell). I asked if she had grey & she said no, but she did have black & so I grabbed a black one & took off. At least it's neutral & the interior on my hummer is grey & black, so it'll match.

I do have to say it's a REALLY nice car seat. And it's designed to hold a child up to 4 years old & 40 lbs. So I feel really blessed to have gotten this, especially for free. There were a couple of people there getting the free one & then paying $30 for another one, but I never saw what type they were paying for, so I don't know what that deal was about....

However, it's big & doesn't have a carry handle on it. So I don't think it'll be good for in the beginning, when you carry them around in their car seat alot & put them into shopping carts & strollers in their car seats cuz they can't really sit up yet. In the class they recommended moving them into this seat around age 9 months, which sounds about right to me. So we still need to get a smaller one for early on. I also really like the ones where you leave the base hooked in the car & just snap the car seat in & out of the base. That's the way the one we registered for is. So hopefully we can still get that one.

As for other news: my headcold & slight cough appear to be completely gone. But my UTI is tremendous. I called my OB yesterday & stopped by to give them a urine sample. I'm waiting to hear back from them. In the meantime I had to start taking pyridium for the pain of it, it's soooooo bad. I looked it up myself in my nursing drug guide & it said it was safe in 2nd & 3rd trimester, but I also asked them just to double check (since that's their specialty) before I actually took it & they also said it was safe. I am soooo irritated that I get such frequent UTIs, my last one was in August--I always say it's roughly every 6 months & I get one, so I guess I'm right on schedule. I've had several docs tell me that there's an anatomical reason for me getting them, but it's still really irritating & I do EVERYTHING on that list of stuff you're supposed to do to not get them & yet I still get them.............ho hum.................I'll stop before I share something that is TMI & grosses someone out.

Monday, February 16, 2009

31 weeks Saturday

We had a crazy busy weekend--so I couldn't get to posting this blog until now. I tried yesterday a couple of times, but kept getting interrupted.

So I am now 31 weeks. One more week & I'll be 8 months! I was struggling with a sore throat & slight head cold, got the sore throat kicked, but now the head cold is worse (phlegm is bright yellow, so I do know it's a cold & not just excess mucus due to pregnancy hormones) & I have a slight cough. The cough is really not that bad, but the head cold is getting bad & all last night I felt like I was starting to get a UTI. I didn't get much sleep. I'm certainly hoping I can flush it out before it gets really bad.

So the baby is now well over 3 lbs. I've been off work for a week now. As long as I rest I am fine. If I am on my feet too much I start to have cramping/pressure/pain, etc. On Thursday night I couldn't get any sleep (baby was moving around all night & is getting very strong now) & then on Friday I was exhausted & also extremely dizzy, but that has gone away, thank God. We had a big birthday party on Saturday for my stepson & I was making cupcakes, etc in the kitchen all morning. I brought one of our stools in there & was able to sit for most of it, which was good. And then when I was done I took a nap & then headed back to see what I could help hubby with. But I never really did much aside from the cupcakes & washing/drying some dishes. I made over 40 cupcakes, though, it took me over 4 hours (3 different cupcake batters & 3 different frostings!)!! I was worried we wouldn't have enough, but we did & had a handful left over, so all went well. We had bought 6 whole chickens & all but 1 were finished off!

Anyways, back to the baby--tomorrow morning I have my ultrasound appointment. This will probably be my last ultrasound. I do think the baby is still breech due to how it feels when it's moving around. I am hoping they give me a picture from the ultrasound--then I'll have 3--one from each trimester.

And then a week from today I go back to see my OB & we'll discuss my work status. Hubby says he's going to go with me, he does not want me returning to work & I agree. I'm sure it'll be a financial strain, not sure how much disability will pay, but we need to think of what's best for the baby.

The baby is extremely active anytime we are in a moving car--not sure if it's because it likes or dislikes this movement. And the last few nights it's been extremely active for most of the night, making it hard to sleep--it used to get really active when I first laid down but would settle down soon after. Not sure why it's decided night-time is play time now. Hubby says it's a night-owl like him, LOL. Actually now that I think about it, if I had to guess my guess would be that it is enjoying the car ride, because it isn't the frantic movement the baby makes when it touches the cold sink counter or when I get stressed out at work--there does seem to be a difference in the way it's movements feel when it's unhappy or startled.

Tomorrow evening I have my car seat safety class. Hubby said he wanted to go & I didn't tell him ahead of time & he won't be able to get off in time, so he told me to take notes. I told him I didn't think he was interested in going, figured he knew it all cuz he's done this twice before, but he says he is certain laws have changed since then, LOL, cuz it's been so long. So I'll be taking notes for him & at the end of class I'm supposed to get a free car seat! That will be exciting to have. I do know the car seat is supposed to be in the back seat, in the middle spot, & facing backwards. My question I keep asking (that so far no one has known the answer to) is how long do they have to face backwards? I am definitely wanting to get a mirror to put up so I can see the baby even though it's turned around!! I registered for one, but if noone gets it for me I'll definitely be buying that myself, LOL!!

I received a gift of baby bottles in the mail from an out-of-state relative & it's so exciting to me to actually have baby bottles in the house. They are so adorable to look at. My shower is this coming weekend--I am sooo excited, can't wait!! We are trying little by little to get our bedroom situated for putting the baby in here--we don't have a bedroom available for the baby, will need to go house-hunting in about a year. But mostly we're waiting for all the repairs to be done--mostly the painting & carpeting now. We don't see the point of moving our furniture, etc only to have to move it all again for the workers. But we have an idea of how we want it, though I'm sure once we start putting it that way we'll probably make some changes to those plans.

I've been telling hubby that I really want a rocking chair that I can sit in & rock the baby to sleep in. I did register for one that matches the furniture for the baby's room (crib & changing table), but it's pretty pricey & I doubt anyone will get that for us. Hubby agrees that it's a good thing to have. We have received checks for the baby from 3 relatives out of state so far. We have decided to go looking at rocking chairs sometime soon & maybe we can put that money towards one.

I think the number one question we've been asked throughout the pregnancy is "is it a boy or girl?" My answer is always "it's a surprise!" Hubby's answer is always "it's a baby!" LOL, I can't believe how irritated people get & so many have told me that's just not reasonable--how on earth can I plan a shower or anything else like that. To that I remind them that until very recently there was no technology to determine the sex ahead of time--how on earth did those people do it??? Yeah, I get a lot of dirty looks over this issue, LOL. The second most popular question--names. We've had quite a lot of stress in our lives since last summer & honestly haven't had much time to sit down & do stuff like this. A while back we had agreed on a girl name, but I didn't want to announce it until we had a boy name picked out also. We both agreed from the getgo that we wanted Biblical names. I think the reason we picked the girl name first is because there aren't quite as many to choose from. The boy name was hard for hubby, there were lots of them that I liked, but hubby kept shooting them down. So if it's a girl we are planning to name her Esther Emma. And if it's a boy we are planning to name him Jeremiah Daniel.

I was also able to get caught up on my journal to the baby this past week, which I am extremely pleased about. My brother & sister in law gave me a journal to write letters to the baby for my last birthday & I wrote one right away, but for all of my first trimester & the beginning of the second I totally felt like crap & just didn't feel like writing. And so I got way behind. Then everytime I would look at it it seemed like soooo much work to get caught up now. I have kept up on taking photos to put in there (that's the main reason I take these monthly photos--for the journal). This past week while I was doing a lot of resting I finally started to do some writing & I am now totally caught up. I still need to print out the photos I have for it & put them in there, but that's easy enough to do.

I think that's all the updates I have for now................will post a 8 month photo next week!! It's getting bigger every day! Can't wait for it to come out--I feel like someone has hijacked my body & I want it back already, LOL!!!

my rant of the day: bogus FDA "protection"

The FDA really gets on my nerves very often. They try to act like they are there to protect us, yet all they really look out for is their pockets. Their entire agenda is dictated by the almighty dollar & who they stand to profit the most from. And who do they stand to profit from the most? Well whoever is willing to pay them off to get whatever they want--so that would be big companies with deep pockets most of the time. Whoever is in their way of making a profit they are going to try to make look really bad & try to convince the public are really bad.

They also don't enforce all sorts of stuff & look the other way all the time & then if something goes wrong they will certainly make sure they are not at fault, they will make sure someone else takes the fall for it. NEVER will you see the FDA looking like the bad guy, they are very good & very clever when it comes to this sort of thing.

Case #1 on my mind recently: this whole salmonella-tainted peanut butter deal. Now I don't know specifics for peanuts per se, but I do know with the beef industry the FDA doesn't want a lot of safety testing done, & they were actually fining a guy who wanted to test EVERY SINGLE COW for mad cow disease a while back. Why should the FDA care at all if this guy wants to spend his own money paying to have every single cow tested? This clearly tells me that they know mad cow disease is already here in America & the risk is huge & real, but until they are forced to deal with it they don't want to (cuz a lot of people will stand to lose a lot of money & most of those people are paying off the FDA to make sure they don't enforce a lot of testing, etc.). And of course mad cow disease won't show itself for many years & then there's also the chance of them making sure it doesn't get diagnosed as such when it does initially appear, which will further prolong the issue. But I have wandered off the peanut topic--I would bet some serious money that the FDA was well aware of the lack of testing & all the other stuff going on. You see--the FDA doesn't really care if peanut butter tainted with salmonella is being sold SO LONG AS NO ONE GETS SICK OR DIES & IT'S NOT A BIG DEAL IN THE EYES OF THE MEDIA. And now that people have actually died & it is a big deal the FDA is gonna make sure they don't take the fall. And that's exactly what been's going on.

Case #2 on my mind recently--raw milk. This whole issue reminds me very much of the whole herb issue. No one stands to make a big profit off of natural remedies, such as herbs. So the FDA likes to make them seem really risky & potentially dangerous, pushing people to trust medications more than natural stuff. Medications are patented, so someone stands to make a lot of money on them--natural stuff cannot be patented & little money stands to be made becasue of that. And those pharmaceutical companies have very deep pockets that dump plenty into the FDA's pockets. It's a similar case for raw milk. I have done a lot of research in this area lately & find it absolutely fascinating. There are people who want to consume raw milk & the FDA is trying it's best to prevent this. Why, you may ask? Because more profit stands to be made from pasteurized milk & the big industrial farms. And those big industrial farms are paying off the FDA to get whatever they want--to put the small farms out of business. They make all their claims about how dangerous raw milk is, etc to try to scare people away from it. But I must admit the more I look at the facts the more it makes me wonder. The pro-raw milk side is claiming how much more nutritional value there stands to be gained from raw milk, nutrients that are killed when milk is heated at such high temperatures for pasteuriztion--makes perfect sense to me. The most shocking part of all this is the fact that they have actually BANNED (made illegal) the sale of raw milk in many states. California is one of the few states that it is still legal in & even here it can be challenging at times to get it. Not only have they made that law, but they are actually enforcing it in full force. Even here in California I have read stories of them arresting people for selling raw milk--you have to have a special license to do so & they often arrest & detain people until they have made sure they have the right license. I just have a really hard time with this--they are willing to legally sell cigarettes, alcohol, & tons of other stuff that is proven harmful to us. They are willing to approve medical marijuana even. But not raw milk????? This is just sooooooo wrong & sooooo bizarre to me. Why not just make them put a disclaimer on it when they sell it (like with cigarettes & alcohol). With all the salmonella & e. coli tainted stuff that they are supposed to be regulating, how much riskier can raw milk really be????? As a side note I've even read articles on how they are arresting all sorts of small farmers for selling (& even for giving away for free) eggs & other such goods--I have read that they often have to set up some sort of deal where the people who want their goods have to be a partner in ownership of the farm or something like that in order to do so legally. I'm sorry, but I feel we have much bigger issues & certainly more dangerous issues at hand to be spending money paying officials to deal with than these sort of issues. So I'm assuming you're asking yourself WHY this goes on? Of course it comes back to the almighty dollar & the payoffs they get from the big industrial farms.

I'm sure most people reading this won't care at all, but I needed a good "rant", it REALLY pisses me off.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Distant Thunder

This is a movie that hubby bought a while back, not really sure when. We had watched it when we first got it, but recently we wanted to watch a movie & neither of us could remember this one, so we decided to watch it again.

I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it, so I won't go into it too much. It is quite a short film & not a big budget movie. But I still think it's very well made & makes an amazing point. It's also done in a very artistic manner, lots of things in it have lots of symbolism & you really have to think about it. Some of the things I still don't fully get & some things appear to have more than one interpretation actually.

So when hubby & I recently watched it we were surprised & disappointed how short it was. We were discussing it & then put it on again & the second time through we started to understand a lot more than we did the first time through. It's definitely very touching & meaningful. I can't recommend it highly enough for anyone & everyone to watch. It's funny cuz I normally don't like symbolism-type stuff in books or movies, but for some reason the way it's done in this movie I really like it.

The DVD also contained lots of bonus material like interviews & commentaries, etc. I really enjoy that sort of thing.......definitely worth watching for this film I must say.

So go find this movie & watch it, at least twice...........and then pass it on to others. :)

A Distant Thunder on

Monday, February 9, 2009

OB appointment today

So hubby called my OB's office this morning to discuss my issues at work, specifically Friday's issues. The past couple of visits I keep telling her I'm having a hard time at work & she just brushes me off.

They put me down for a 2pm appointment to come in & discuss it with my OB. At the appointment it was clear she had no clue that I was not due for an appointment yet, she just thought it was a routine appointment. So then I brought up my work issue & she wouldn't even let me finish telling her what happened & she didn't even offer any explanation or anything--she just cut me off & said she would write me a note for 2 weeks off work & then we could reevaluate in 2 weeks & see what needs to be done.

I know that the earliest I've seen people go off is 8 weeks prior to their due date, which I will be in 2 weeks. So I'm wondering if she needs to do it this way & then in 2 more weeks she will be able to put me off work on disability or if she just doesn't want to be bothered with putting me off for good yet. I'm not exactly sure how the system works........

In any case I am now off for the next 2 weeks & shall be doing lots of resting during that time. My ultrasound is on the 17th & I go back to my OB on the 23rd.

I believe that's all I have to report at this time.................

Saturday, February 7, 2009

30 week update...

So today I am 30 weeks pregnant. 10 weeks more is the expected norm. This is like the big countdown in my eyes. Although I'm still betting this baby won't wait til 40 weeks. It seems rather impatient, much like both of it's parents, LOL.

I again did not workout this week, I was trying really hard to take it as easy as I can. The baby is getting extremely active now & is getting stronger & stronger all the time. According to my email updates it's now over 3 lbs & is around 16 inches long. I saw my OB this past Monday--she said she wanted me to have another ultrasound at the high risk OB office. She wanted to check on the location of the placenta (it had been low in the past) & she wanted to check on my ovaries (cuz I've been bugging her about removing the right one).

Work is still extremely hard for me. I don't know what it takes to get the medical ok to go on maternity leave, but I'm praying I get it soon. Yesterday I had an issue at work, where I really thought I was possibly going to go into labor. I was very scared. I called my OB's office, but for liability reasons they will not talk to you, they will only tell you to contact the labor & delivery dept at the hospital. So I called the triage line at the hospital & explained to them what was going on & they told me to take a relaxing shower & lay down (which I couldn't do at work) & to stay in bed the next day also.

When I got home from work I went to take a shower, but honestly couldn't stay on my feet for even that (which shocked hubby, cuz he knows how much I love my showers). So I crawled into bed & stayed there for a few hours before I braved getting up & taking a shower. Then I went back to bed. I have spent all of today so far in bed, with the exception of a quick shower this morning & bathroom priveleges. Hubby says he's gonna call my OB's office tomorrow himself & ask about getting me on medical leave from work. I'm planning to call the high risk OB & beg to get the ultrasound done sooner (they have it scheduled for the 17th, but my next OB appt is the 16th, so it's kinda pointless, I'll have to wait til the NEXT OB appt to find out what's going on).

When I do get up (to use the bathroom) I am still feeling a lot of pressure & the urge to bear down & push, which is part of what was going on yesterday. I know in another 2 weeks the baby's lungs will be safely developed, so at that point I won't be quite as worried about it arriving early, but for now I am VERY concerned. I have no doubt that it would survive at this point, but it could be on a ventilator for a while & I just worry about it's future respiratory status having been born without the lungs fully developing first. I would rather keep it in there at least 2 more weeks.

As for Casa Buendia: still no action going on here. The insurance said they would pay more than they already agreed to, but it still doesn't cover everything. And we are still waiting to receive the money. The check for the smoke damage was issued to both us & the mortgage company (this seems to be the policy for most insurance companies if the amount is greater than $10K). So we had to send it to the mortgage company & then they sent us a bunch of paperwork to fill out regarding it & so we are still waiting for that as well.

I guess that's all the updates I have for now..............

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My rant of the day: banks

I've been doing a lot of dealing with multiple banks lately & have made some odd discoveries. Well, at least they seem odd to me.....perhaps someone else will read this & think nothing of it..........but I'm getting quite irritated with it all.

I guess I haven't really banked with A LOT of banks in the past. My very first accounts were with Cal Fed, which I believe later became something else, but I can't remember what they became & I can't remember if it happened while I was still banking with them or if I had already left when it happened. After Cal Fed I moved to Wells Fargo. That bank really made a lot of mistakes & irritated me a lot & I ended up moving to WaMu until I married & we consolidated all of our account into joint accounts at a local credit union. In addition to my personal accounts back when I was a manager of a fast food place I paid bills & did various banking stuff & dealt a lot with Foothill Independent Bank for that--it may not have been my own personal account, but it might as well have been for as much as I did & was at the bank for it.

So overall, that's really not A LOT of banks that I've dealt with. But recently we've had a lot of weird financial goings-on around here. I have been moving money around from bank to bank--some of it our own personal accounts & some of it other people's accounts. My list of recent banks includes: our credit union, wells fargo, bank of america, union bank of CA, wamu, citizen's business bank, & citibank.

Overall most of the dealings have been fine. They all seem to have their own odd & somewhat irritating policies, but most are not a major problem. HOWEVER, today I went to citibank with a check made out to ME. This check was from a citibank account. I had ID to prove it was really me & they were willing to tell me that the funds were in the account, so the check was good, BUT they absolutely positively would not do anything with this check because I do not bank at Citibank. This is absolutely outrageous in my opinion. I was told I had to take the check to my own bank. The problem is that this was a bit of an urgent matter & if I took that check to my own bank they would put a 14 day hold on the funds. I needed 99% of the check in a cashier's check payable to another party. I spoke with a manager, etc, all to no avail. I walked out & called hubby to see what his thoughts were (he was at the auction for work). His first suggestion was to ask for a manager, which I already had. He then called up citibank himself to complain & find a way around it--no such luck, they absolutely would not budge on their policy of me not being a citibank customer.

So hubby & I put our brains together & came up with a plan: I went to another citibank branch (cuz I couldn't bare to show my face in that one again after I made such a fuss) & I opened a savings account with the check & I then pulled the cashier's check out of that account. Voila! No hold on the funds & I didn't even have to pay for a cashier's check!!

Tomorrow I will go close out that account & put the remainder into another account at one of our current banks. We are currently banking at 2 banks (3 if you include this bogus temporary account) now.

Another recent issue has been with hubby trying to cash his paychecks. He went to the bank where the check is drawn & they also will not cash his check because he is not a customer. Totally ridiculous & outrageous if you ask me!!!

Anywho, as for irritations with banks...........generally speaking, across the board including all banks, checks are really a major hassle. Our credit union never puts holds on payroll checks no matter the amount, so I guess we're just spoiled & don't realize what's going on at other banks until now. I'm really surprised that there isn't a faster way to clear checks & have funds available. It forces me to constantly be pulling cash & moving cash around rather than checks, which would be much simpler. Part of me understands that there's always the risk of checks bouncing, but part of me thinks it's also a plot--to make checks so inconvenient that no one will want to use them anymore. It reminds me of a commercial I've seen on TV (not recently though, not even sure if it's still being run) for some bank or ATM card or somethin' like that--where it has happy music playing & everyone in line at a cash register is all happy paying with their ATM cards & then someone pulls out cash or maybe a check (I can't remember right now) & the music stops & all the smiles on everyone's faces goes away. There is definitely a big push towards being a cashless society. And I would imagine the govt (or whoever it is that is monitoring money stuff) would much prefer that cuz wire transfers, etc make tracing the money & where it came from so much easier (or so I would think).

Anyways, that's my rant..........maybe it's just me, maybe someone else will read this & see absolutely nothing wrong with all the check hassles & the various stupid policies at various banks.

Here comes Uncle Sam.....

Here we are again, coming up on April 15th, that infamous deadline day for filing your income tax.

Back in the day when I was young & single I always did my own income tax. I didn't have a mortgage, didn't own a house, etc. It was very simple, cut, & dry. I had no itemized deductions, just took the standard deduction. I saw no point in paying someone to do my taxes for me.

Back then if your form didn't arrive in the mail you went to the post office to get it. In the book that went with the form it would tell you what bracket you were in. It's really very simple--based on your income bracket you have to pay a set certain amount of tax. From that amount you would subtract your standard deduction & then see how much you had already paid (what they've withheld from your paychekcs) & from that you determine if you overpaid (get a refund) or underpaid (owe more money). I know the last couple of years it was getting harder to get the forms. I think I had finally given in & was doing the phone version, which I didn't like cuz you couldn't see the brackets & what you owed--how did you know the phone deal was being honest & not overcharging you???? Although I would bet you could print the forms from the internet these days & find the books online too.

Anyways, my point is that it's a very cut & dry process (unless you are itemizing or have some other complicatied stuff going on). My point is also that looking up your brakcet in a book was a helpful thing that helped you visibly see & understand the whole process. And what I'm seeing today in the young genenration is that they don't have a clue about this process. They have this idea that the govt just makes up a random amount for each person to pay or that the amount they pay should depend on circumstances (not just the amount of income you earned, which is how it really works). They have this idea that who you go to to get your taxes done can somehow magically change all the rules. There are so many variables involved in withholdings & dependents, etc that you really can't be comparing yourself to others & yet that's what I see the young people doing all the time.

Ho hum........I suppose I'm just being old fashioned & resistant to the changing of the times & how taxes are there anyone out there still doing their taxes with the books & paper forms?????? Does the 1040EZ still exist????

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My rant of the day: yet another food industry scandal....

I would imagine by now that anyone reading this had heard the latest news: High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) has been found to contain mercury in it. I am hearing this news everywhere myself, so I wouldn't think it would come as a surprise to anyone by now.

And of course the FDA has known about this for a while now, but has been keeping quiet about it. How typical. And then there's the recent corny commercials (no pun intended) paid for by the Corn Refiner's Association telling you that HFCS really isn't bad for you.

Now I do have to say that when I hear this I am not too worried. Both trans-fat (hydrogenated & partially hydrogenated fats) & HFCS are not in our home. Those are things we make it a point to never buy. Unfortunately when you eat out though you can't monitor your ingredients as closely & I am sure we do consume them then. But at least that isn't often.

But most people I know say that those two ingredients are impossible to avoid & they actually give up trying to avoid them. Where you choose to do your shopping has a lot to do with it, though. Whole Foods Market made a commitment a long time to not sell ANYTHING with trans-fat. That was still a problem at Trader Joe's for a while, but they have really cleaned up in that area a lot. I'm honestly not sure if they sell anything with HFCS in it, I don't recall ever seeing it, but I'm can't say for sure that they don't sell it at all, only that I haven't bought it there & I can at least say that I don't recall ever seeing it.

Anywho, I could go on & on with my irritation, but I will refrain. Off I go to church now & I will be back later to post my latest pregnancy blog.........

29 weeks

So yesterday marked 29 weeks for my pregnancy. We had some computer issues that prevented me from logging in yesterday, so I had to wait until today to get on here to post this.

So in reading my weekly email the baby is close to 3 pounds now. It's bones are hardening, so it's sucking all my calcium. So that explains why I am craving so much dairy foods lately. It's really been crazy how much I've been craving & consuming them. The lungs & brain are continuing to mature as well.

We took our tour at Riverside Community Hospital last Wednesday. We decided to go with RCH. It's a little farther from home than Parkview, but it has a higher level NICU (just in case it's needed) & the whole OB unit is separated from the rest of the hospital (OB is generally a "clean" unit & the rest of the hospital is not, so mixing them is not a good idea, which Parkview does) & very secure, & because I worked there before I would bet I could be treated very well & possibly even get a private room if they aren't overwhelmed with too many patients while I'm there. Hubby is in total agreement.

The pain I was having before has definitely lessened, but my days at work are still tough. I am really hoping I can go off on maternity leave soon. Everyone is commenting that the baby has dropped much lower in the past week or so. A lot of people are saying it's REALLY low for 7 months & they are predicting will come early. We shall see...........

So later this month I have the carseat safety class & the baby shower. I can't wait for those to get here. I did get the final ingredients needed to make the baby formula & I made a batch of it & put it in the freezer. So whenever the baby decides to arrive we just have to thaw it out & we are ready to go. And it really wasn't even hard to make at all. I believe I made enough to last about 4 days, but that will certainly vary depending on the baby's appetite.

I definitely need to start looking for a pediatrician. The hospital expects me to have one chosen prior to the baby's arrival. I am even supposed to have them sign a form stating they will accept my baby as a patient.

As for our house, there is no change as of yet. We are still waiting on the insurance. We are still considering possibly hiring either a public adjuster or a lawyer. We have already retained 3 lawyers (for 3 different issues) recently. It seems funny to me--how many lawyers could one family possibly need?? But perhaps one more to help out with this issue is needed.

I think that's all the updates for now.............