Thursday, May 31, 2012


How Far Along: 28 weeks! I'm now in my third trimester, and the seventh month of my pregnancy! It will be 12 weeks until my little guy makes his debut in the world, assuming if he goes to full term and arrives on time...crazy, isn't it? 

How Big Is Baby: Little guy is about 2.5 to 3 pounds, and measuring between 13.6 to 14.8 inches. He's gaining more fat on his bones! His lungs are finally done developing. The next step is have his brain to be fully developed. Baby Russ is as big as an Eggplant! 

Total Weight Gain: 28 lbs. A quick geek moment; I find it funny that I am 28 weeks and have gained 28 pounds at this point. Yeah I like finding the patterns in random things. Okay, geek moment over.

I had gained 9 pounds in a month! Looking around at myself.....where does all this weight go to though? It's all in my belly! I had no idea how that happened....oh wait, those cupcakes from the baby shower? Some of it probably, but mostly it is just my little guy growing! I've noticed that I go through "spurts" with Baby Russ where some months I don't gain much then next, I gain more. Overall, I do hope I won't end up gaining over 45 pounds, but it is what it is. 

Stretch Marks: None! I have no idea how that is possible with my recent crazy weight gain. 

Maternity Clothes: I recently purchased a plain black swimsuit from Target for $30...and it was on sale! Originally it was $45. I totally rocked that purchase! I also got a cute maternity dress from Target and got a chance to rock it at the Russ Baby Shower this recent Sunday. Yay. And the dress I wore was the same one as pictured above! 

Sleep: I am starting to tuck pillow under my belly because if I don't then my round ligament pain increases a bit from the baby's weight. I find it helpful to support my belly while I sleep. 

Best Moment(s) of the Week: Russ Baby shower; that was so much fun and we got a lot of neat stuff for our little guy! I bought 7 frames, which my dad took pictures of me fingerspelling Baby Russ's first name, from Dollar store and it only cost me $7. I had a visit with a good friend and got more big boy baby clothes from her! The best part...I passed my Prenatal Glucose test! 

Food Craving(s): Berries and Strawberries along with meat and cheese are still high on my list. 

Food Aversion(s): Same. Same (greasy food). 

Symptoms: Feeling dizzy and out of breath. What helps is that I walk around and it seems to pull up my blood pressure enough to cause the dizziness to go away. What else also help is slowly getting up or moving to my other side. For feeling out of breath...that has to wait until Baby Russ drops! Rib pain is still there thanks to my little guy's foot or head. 

Recently, I had a Charley Horse cramp from hell at 4:30 am and scared the living wits out of Stu. He thought I was in premature labor....but no, it was my leg seizing up into an awful cramp. Fortunately, he knew what to do and relieved the leg cramp. Whew! No more sitting crossed-legged for me from now on until this little guy gets out of his home! 

Movements: My little guy scared me a bit last week since he was not moving as strongly as he was previously. I ended up getting an advice from my doctor's office. I drank a glass of OJ and laid on my  left side and sure enough; he started bumping around, and was perfectly fine! I think I was so busy last week running around that I simply did not pay attention to his movements. After that he was back to his old self; jabbing at my side (which I do not find very feels like he is tickling from the inside), rolling, kicking, and feeling his way around. 

What Do I Miss: Being able to walk through a narrow space or  between other people without my belly bumping into anything! 

Belly Button In or Out: OUT. People have been noticing my belly button through my shirts! 

Wedding Ring On or Off: OFF especially with this hot weather going on. **Well, for past 2 days; it has been cold again, why Wisconsin you are being a tease, I am able to wear my wedding ring again. At least I know when summer arrives and stays here for good then I won't be able to wear my wedding ring regularly anymore.

Looking Forward To: Aiken Baby shower on my side this weekend! I have a good feeling that we will get bulk of everything we need/want for Baby Russ, and we will only need to get a few remaining things for nursery room plus hospital bag. Starting my search for the baby doctor!!! 

Next Appointment: I am now starting to see Dr. Mbah every 2 weeks! My next appointment is June 12th at 10:30 am. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Our silly Basset loved to rest her front paws on the console between our seats while Stu drove up to the Farm for Memorial Day weekend. One thing we both greatly appreciated about Layla was that she always traveled great in the car and knew her place in the moving car. 

We had plenty of fresh air, exercise, and quality time with our family. My favorite moment was spent over a crackling fire, roasting our marshmallows with our nephews and niece, and enjoying the serenity that came with spending time with family. It was a real contentment to sit under the stars, watching soft fire flaming, having kids enjoy a s'more or two (including myself!), laughing and smiling while enjoying soft cool evening summer breezes. 

My mother-in-law, Bobbie, and sister-in-law, Jenny hosted a baby shower for Stu and me on Sunday. It was a wonderful time had by everybody. In the morning; it stormed badly, and the clouds finally broke free mid-morning to allow sun to shine through. It reminded me of our wedding day; how cold and dread-like it was in the morning only to turn out to be a beautiful 70 degrees June weather in time for our ceremony to begin. I had to smile. After all, rain was always considered to be a good luck. So many people came and plenty of delicious food was eaten. Bobbie made countless cupcakes and my favorite was pumpkin cupcakes! I must have eaten at least 5 of those little suckers on Sunday!! 

We were really blessed to get so many things for Baby Russ that day. I didn't have a chance to take pictures of our gifts that day seeing that Stu and I were the guests of honor at the party! Fortunately, I was able to take pictures at home: 

Ready to be washed! Clothes, burping cloths, receiving blankets,
crib blankets, & socks. We are about to get more from my upcoming shower this weekend!

Uncle Spencer made this for Baby Russ.
And yes, there's a mock pee stain. 

Our niece, Ainsley, who is going to be 4 later in the fall,
said it is a red butterfly.

I'm absolutely geeked about this! I'm really
excited to use this for Baby Russ! 

A bumbo seat! It can be used in the regular bathtub when
Baby Russ gets to be a bit older. 

A boppy pillow! I've been wanting one! 

Every Wisconsinite boy needs one!
The next step is to find a Packers shirt! 

I have been wanting DR. Brown bottle because
it has the best review from the parents and parenting magazines. 

You should recognize this if you are born in 80s!
It is my childhood toy that I hope Baby Russ
will come to love too. 

Bobbie gave me this adorable bracelet. I really love it
since it is very nature-like and the best part is the meaning
behind the tree. It means: Family, a link to our past, and a bridge
to our future. What a beautiful message. 

Later in the evening; we went for a walk with Layla, Bobbie and the boys. The boys raced their bikes down the winding road under long stretch of canopy trees. Layla ended up with several ticks, and was a trooper when we plucked the little stinkers off her. After a long walk, I suggested that we should have one more campfire and enjoy S'mores. It was well-received request. Once again, we sat under the stars, relieving a wonderful day of having Russ family come together, and allowing contentment to sink in all once again. 

A visit up to the Farm always refreshed me. What was there not to love about the country living? Or perhaps, it was always somewhat magical about the country to this city girl especially during the summers. 

All this made me eager for my next baby shower with Aiken Family.

Cherish your family for that they are a link to our past and a bridge to our future.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


For the last sentence; I mean WE not they.....
really, being pregnant can cause you be absent-minded from
time to time. *winks*
How Far Along: 27 weeks! Next week, it will be officially 3rd trimester!!!! Holy bats! To some people; 3rd trimester starts this week, but I am following what my doctor tells me, and she says 3rd trimester starts next week. I will also be 7 months pregnant! That means every 2 weeks doctor appointment until our little guy gets here! 

How Big Is Baby: Baby Russ is between 13.6 to 14.8 inches long, and between 2 to 2.5 pounds! He is as big as a Rutabaga vegetable. For those who aren't sure what Rutabaga is (I was not sure either until I found out via Google); it is an European version of a cabbage, and it looks kind of like an overgrown Radish. 

Total Weight Gain: 19 pounds. I feel like I have gained a bit more from this recent weekend! My family fed me too much yummy food. 

Stretch Marks: Feeling pretty good for almost reaching 30 weeks without a single of stripe on my belly! Watch me, I might have jinxed myself by typing this though! 

Maternity Clothes: I still mix my pre-pregnancy shirts with my maternity shirts. I need to get new tank top; I am starting to outgrow my small maternity tank top because the lower part of my stomach is starting to be exposed. I feel like I have a beer belly now. *winks* My pre-pregnancy pants are definitely OUT. My belly is too low and my hips got wider so I don't feel comfortable wearing my regular jeans anymore. Thank goodness for spandex leggings and comfortable yoga pants! 

Sleep: My hips have started to hurt again despite me switching my positions all night along and getting up to stretch for my bathroom trips. Dr. Mbah says that it is because my bones are receiving more relaxin hormones to loose them up especially in the third trimester to prepare for labor and delivery.

Best Moment(s) of the Week: Touring the maternity wing at the hospital where I plan on giving birth, Seeing Baby Russ's room slowly being filled with all the things we will be using for him, visiting my family this recent weekend, enjoying this beautiful weather, my goofy pets making me smile, getting pictures that my Dad took printed and hopefully framed this week, my baby quilt completed,  & visiting my family earlier this week.

Food Craving(s): Strawberries is still very big on my menu along with cheese and crackers. I am almost out on my step-dad's homemade strawberry jams. I may have to bring back empty jars and ask him for more! I still crave for meat, french fries, and a bit of sweet food. 

Food Aversion(s): Same, really, anything greasy or oily makes my tummy upset. I love eating Sudden Pasta by Betty Crocker, but lately, the oil in it upsets my stomach. So I try to avoid anything that includes oil in the dishes. 

Symptoms: Rib pain is back with full vengeance. Yay. Sometimes I have to push Baby Russ down to just get some relief for my ribs. The newest thing lately is that if I laugh too hard or sneeze, I end trickling a bit of pee and yes, that's not very fun! Starting to feel really big with my pregnancy. I have to eat frequent smaller meals now because right now, the baby is pressing all of my organs up and there's not much space in my stomach to expand now. So there's no way I can eat a large meal in one sitting anymore. 

Movements: My favorite thing about this pregnancy is feeling my little guy. He's a bit stubborn though. If people want to feel him move then he moves away or stop moving. I can feel his butt or head! Stu loves to feel my stomach for his butt or head (you can tell because there's something very hard pressing against my belly and it feels round). 

What Do I Miss: My energy. I think I can officially say good-bye to my second trimester burst of energy. Just gotta take it easy these days now. 

Belly Button In or Out: It is out! It is not inverted completely enough to be irritated by my shirts. It's just flat outtie. I have a feeling that toward the end; my belly button will be poking against my shirts, and I may be covering it with band-aid. 

Wedding Ring On or Off: I keep it off during night and still wearing it during the day. 

Looking Forward To: The baby shower with Russ family! I'm excited about getting together over Memorial Weekend to eat great food, hang out with a wonderful company, having Stu home for a long weekend and relax. I love visiting our families. They're bunch of fun! 

Next Appointment: May 30th at 1 pm. It's coming up fast! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Deaf Identity: My Journey Of Self-Acceptance

My Journey Of Discovering My Deaf Identity
Since birth, I have not heard a single sound. As a Deaf person, I had varying responses from people both Deaf and Hearing. Deaf people felt I was not Deaf enough while hearing people viewed me with sympathy or pity that I was unable to hear. Tears have been shed so many times. My anger reared its ugly head every time when I faced ignorance from both sides. I did what I knew the best; I held up my head and confront the faces of misunderstanding, oppression, overwhelming pity, and fear. 

I never formally attended a school for the Deaf. I rarely attended any Deaf social functions while I was growing up. I had several bad experiences with Deaf culture among my peer while I was growing up. 

I was often told by Deaf people that I looked, and behaved like hearing people. They asked me why I had so many hearing friends and so few Deaf friends. Why did I not attend Deaf school? Why did I just date hearing boys? Why did I move my lips while I signed? Why didn't I act Deaf while signing? Why did my signs appeared to be mixed of ASL (American Sign Language) and ESL (English Sign Language) instead of being fully ASL? Was I too good for them? 

Some Deaf militants said I was not Deaf enough to be a part of the Deaf world. 

I allowed those bad experiences to turn me away from wanting to learn more my culture. 

I attributed some of my dislike of Deaf culture to the fact that I grew up in a community whereas I had to adapt to their culture in order to survive in their world.  The more I tried to understand the world of hearing, the more confused I became. I aspired to become a part of the hearing world because it was all I really knew, and the perceived rejection that I had gotten from the Deaf community. 

My Deafness was (and still is) considered to be an invisible disability. I was perceived to be normal until my hands started moving. People's lips began moving in a rapid pace. I was unable to keep up with what they were telling me. I ended up smiling shyly while shrugging and pointing at my ear to indicate my Deafness. They got the message and began to walk away as if me being Deaf was contagious. 

I attended a public school with other hearing people all of my life. Very often, I ended up being the only Deaf person in the entire school. On the first day of classes, I often felt very apprehensive every time when I entered my new classroom. A thousand different thoughts swarmed through my head. Anxiously, I looked around while wondering how my Deafness was going to be perceived in the classroom. 

This led me to feeling this way: 

I am not Deaf enough to belong in the Deaf world yet I am not a part of the hearing world because I am Deaf. 

Ultimately, I began to feel as if I was living in between both worlds; hearing and Deaf. Hearing people looked at me with sympathy because I had a disability. Deaf people looked at me with some resentment that I was not fully embracing my Deaf identity and adopting hearing people's attitude toward Deafness. I had to, in a degree, in order to survive in the hearing world. I wanted nothing to do with my Deafness. I was deeply ashamed of being Deaf. I viewed my Deafness as a failure. I refused to allow it become my limitation. I pushed boundaries. I fought against my Deafness. It came to the point of me hating this part of who I was. 
For the longest time, I felt I was stuck between both worlds. I struggled whether if I was Deaf enough or hearing enough. I did not belong anywhere. It was a very lonely time for me. Fortunately, I had several close Deaf friends that were going through similar situation. We were able to relate with each other. 
I avoided Deaf world for as long as I could. Then something inside me changed. I realized my experiences I had in my life brought me so many valuable lessons. By focusing the negativity and rejecting my Deafness; I was not truly embracing the lessons I have learned. I realized I wanted to immerse myself in Deaf world and leave the hearing world to learn more about this huge part of who I Deafness. I graduated from a small hearing college only to end up attending a graduate program at large metropolitan Deaf University.
It was a huge learning experience for me. It was when I learned that there was so many Deaf people, who came from different walks of life, and they all carried different thoughts about what Deaf culture was all about. I became less disillusioned as I learned more about cliques, for lack of a better term, in Deaf world. I realized that negative attitude of not being Deaf enough originated from Deaf militants (they felt Deaf culture should be reserved only for those who are heavily ASL, attend Deaf schools, should have nothing to do with hearing people and fit a precise standard of what is to be Deaf). Many Deaf people were just like me
I became more confident with my Deaf identity. I became no longer ashamed of that part of who I was. This experience brought me deep understanding of both worlds. I no longer felt out of the place or stuck. I formed a bridge between both worlds. 
I love everything about Deaf culture; the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's part of my culture. Fortunately, Many Deaf people I meet are wonderful and welcoming.
Matter of fact, the other day; my husband and I walked into Baskin-Robin for ice cream, there was this sweet older Deaf couple that saw us signing. They asked us if we were Deaf. I explained that I was the Deaf one and introduced my husband to them. We spent good 10 minutes talking as if we were already old friends. 
I am okay with being a Deaf woman. I am okay with being married to a hearing guy. I am perfectly okay with having a hearing family. I am okay with having BOTH hearing and Deaf friends. I would not care less if my child is born Deaf or hearing. I am quite content with who I am and where I am in my life. When a Deaf militant tells me that I am not Deaf enough or appear to be hearing, I shrug and no longer care because I know that I am Deaf enough for me and my Deaf friends. When a hearing person tries to sympathize me, I correct him/her and explain that there's no reason to be sympathizing me. I am happy even though I am unable to hear. There is no void inside me. I have nothing that I want to fix about myself.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


How Far Along: 26 weeks! Only 2 more weeks until I'm officially in 3rd trimester! Home stretch is amazing to think that we will be parents in such short period of time! 

How Big Is Baby: My little boy is anywhere between 13.6 to 14.8 inches long, and tipping over into 2-pounds range! I certainly can feel him getting fatter in my belly. He's about the size of a head lettuce--that totally reminds me of Cabbage Patch Kids...creepy little dolls, aren't they? 

Total Weight Gain: 19 pounds! 

Stretch Marks: I'm still kissing my lucky stars, knocking on the wood, and thanking my great genes because I still have not earned any of tiger stripes yet. 

Maternity Clothes: You know what is difficult? To find a maternity swimsuit at a reasonable price! Dang. I don't want to spend $100 on a swimsuit that I will only wear for the last 3 months of being pregnant. Ridiculous. Okay, rant over! Update: I found some reasonable priced swim-suits at Old Navy and Target.....

Sleep: According to my standard; it is fair despite peeing a lot during the night, and tossing around to find a comfortable spot. I can feel Baby Russ moving down with the gravity when I turn over to find a comfortable spot for my sore hip. He is pretty a good boy for letting me sleep through the night though. 

Best Moment(s) of the Week: Getting Mother's Day cards and wishes from people I love, an absolutely sweet card from Stu (he always write the most heartfelt messages), drinking yummy Vanilla Bean Decaf Frap coffee, having beautiful weather stay around for more than a day, Stu signing us up at Y--that means I'll be able to swim this summer--rock on, and feeling Baby Russ getting stronger with his movements. 

Food Craving(s): Still the same especially the French Fries thing. I'm doing a good job of curbing my craving for French Fries though! Strawberries seem to be a big thing lately. I can't seem to get enough of delicious strawberries! It makes me want to go to strawberry-picking...seriously. 

Food Aversion(s): Still the same. 

Symptoms: My rib pain is still there...but the pain seem to have lessen which is good! Round ligament pain especially when I am walking Layla; I highly doubt it is Braxton hicks though. I think it is still too early for BH symptoms, but I could be wrong. Heartburn. Klutzy. A bit of headache if I don't keep myself hydrated enough. My belly gets itchy from time to time and thank goodness for lotion to help it to go away.  

Movements: Baby Russ has his lazy days when he doesn't move as much which is very common on the days when I am always on go go go go doing errands, walking, and etc. On most days, he is very active. He likes to kick and jab when I am about to wake up--demanding little boy, isn't he? He also move like crazy if I eat something he really likes like strawberries, ice cream, french fries, or hamburgers--a typical boy! Sometimes, my stomach move by itself which is really weird to see! 

What Do I Miss: Sushi! I have been wanting Sushi lately, but I can't eat raw sushi. I can eat vegetable or cooked ones, but it's not the same as the REAL thing.

Belly Button In or Out: It has been turning inside out lately. It's not out completely so it's like half-outtie? 

Wedding Ring On or Off: I take my ring off during the night because it gets way too snug on my finger when I wake up in the morning. I don't want to risk one day of not being able to take my ring off at all. So it is better to be safe than sorry to take my ring off for the night. 

Looking Forward To: This weekend! I'm excited to be heading down to my hometown and visiting some of my family that I have not seen in a while. 

Next Appointment: May 30th at 1 pm. I'm thinking about eating at Panera's Bread for my healthy meal 2 hours prior the appointment. Yum Yum. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

History of Marriage

This picture has been circulating on Facebook lately and it definitely got me thinking about what to write for my "It's The Deaf Thing" post. 

This post is a bit different than my usual style for Deaf posts that I enjoy writing about. It is not very often that I get to write about history or political aspects of Deaf Culture and tie it to current political news that is happening in our country. When I do have the opportunity to somehow tie current events in our country with history of Deaf culture, my fingers begin to itch and I just have to type about it. 

Do you know that once upon a time that Deaf people were not allowed to get married? 


True business

It came from the fear among hearing people if they allowed Deaf people to marry each other then Deaf couples would go on to have Deaf children. Naturally, what hearing people of authority did not know back then was that Deaf couple often did not end up having Deaf children. 

According to WHO (World Health Organization) approximately 93% of Deaf children are born to hearing parents...and GET THIS...only 7% of Deaf children are born to Deaf parents! So how did hearing folks develop the fear of Deaf people having Deaf children?

Other quick tidbit of history; deaf dynasties (those who have had at least five to six generations of Deaf people in the families) came from Martha's Vineyard in early 19th century. Martha's Vineyard was a sanctuary for Deaf people because it was a place where all Deaf people lived, worked, and used American Sign Language to communicate. Even hearing people who lived there signed and lived in harmony with Deaf people and they did not see any difference with each other. There was acceptance, understanding, and respect. This was where the term,  "Deaf Dynasties",  originated from; Deaf couples that married ended up having Deaf children and Deaf children ended up having Deaf children. What they had was an unique gene that caused a mutation which led to Deafness. The thing is....Deaf dynasties were exceptionally rare, and found among at least five families during this time while rest of Deaf couples went on to have hearing children. 

Sadly, this fear was compounded in so many areas which impacted Deaf culture and American Sign Language. What many people did not know was that during World War two; Deaf people were not spared among Jewish people, Blacks, Gays/Lesbians, Gypsies, Freemasons, those who opposed Hitler, Poles, Jehovah's Witnesses, those who were Cognitively Disabled, and social misfits. Deaf people were actually one of the first victims in Holocaust to be forced into sterilization. If Deaf women were found to be pregnant then they were forced to have abortions no matter how far along they were. 1,600 Deaf people were killed immediately because they refused to go with the procedure. They were not allowed to have children, period, out of fear of having Deaf children. 

Credited to DNA Learning Center

The scary part? Hitler didn't come up with this idea. We did. 

It is an ugly side to United States that many choose to sweep under the rug. 

Forced Sterilization among Deaf people began in 1907. 30 States immediately took up on the suit and began sterilizing Deaf people among the social misfits. The sterilization process began to lose its hold in 1930s....yet unfortunately, Deaf people continued to be forced sterilized until late 1970s. Surprised? Even though in the fifties, the idea of allowing Deaf people to marry was beginning to be slowly accepted (as long if they both were white..interracial Deaf marriages were still a big NO-NO), and Deaf couples were warned not to have children. Sex education was barred from Deaf people in schools out of fear that they will be interested in having sex. Sad, right? 

The fear of having Deaf children from Deaf parents or Deaf marrying a hearing person still exists. In some countries, Deaf people are still not allowed to marry (it doesn't matter if the spouse is Deaf or hearing). In some countries; forced sterilization still does exist. 

Funny how all this has not been mentioned in our history textbooks, right? This is why I can understand the frustration among minority groups that their histories are also intentionally left out or skewed/limited to certain number of pages in the textbooks. 

I am fortunate that not many people question my marriage to a hearing person. It has become acceptable in our country for Deaf person to marry a hearing person or other Deaf person. I still encounter some people who are ignorant and believe that I should not be married. Those moments are far rare though.  But me being pregnant is a whole different story...

Now I am pregnant; once in while, I have been asked outrageous questions by people and the questions/comments are: 

Are you married? 
Is your husband Deaf or hearing? 
Are you having a Deaf child? 

Oh, I hope you don't have a Deaf child. 
You don't want a Deaf kid, do you? 
I hope for your husband's sake that you don't have a Deaf gene to pass on to your baby.
Having a Deaf child is going to be a lot of work for you. 

Would you be unhappy if you have a hearing child?
I hope you'll love your son if he's not Deaf. 

Do I find those comments and questions offensive? Absolutely. It is very subtle form of oppression and fear. What on the earth makes them think that my husband and I won't love my child, Deaf or not? I just want my son to be born healthy and happy. I am going to do my hardest to raise him the right way; to be tolerant, loving, respectful and independent. 

If people only knew about the true history about minority groups then perhaps it would change how our society view marriage.

Our histories are riddled with a lot of unspoken pain, anger, and deep sadness that cannot be erased until our country recognizes that what had happened to us are wrong then correct the wrongs that have occurred in our histories. Don't brush the wrongs that have done to us under the rug and pretend that it does not exist. 

It happened. 

So let's fix the wrongs and turn them into rights. 

This is why I feel so strongly when it comes to equality for human rights. Let people marry whoever they wish. 

*Disclaimer; the last sentence is my own opinion, and you, my dear readers, do not have to agree with my stance. I thank you for simply reading and understanding where I stand.* 

Thursday, May 10, 2012


How Far Along: 25 weeks! About 3 more weeks until I get into third trimester and start going to DR every 2 weeks! 

How Big Is Baby: Baby Russ is anywhere from 13.6 to 14.8 inches long, and tipping over into being 2 pounds! He's as big as a Cauliflower vegetable. 

Total Weight Gain: From the doctor visit on Monday; I gained 4 pounds in a month since the last visit, and in total, that meant that I gained 19 pounds. Dr. Mbah said that I am on a great track with weight gain and thinks that the month of April must have been Baby Russ's growth spurt...and I also blame it on the Easter food! *winks* 

Stretch Marks: Yet other week has gone by without a single stretch mark.  *knocks on the wood* 

Maternity Clothes: I've been wearing more maternity clothes and comfortable loose pants/shirts that I own pre-pregnancy. I don't even wear my regular blue jeans's just dang too uncomfortable even with belly bands and rubber band trick. I think my hips have spread a bit too. I feel like I have a plumber butt if I wear my regular blue jeans and bend over. So I tend to wear Pajamas Jeans (It has come in super handy) when I go out (hee hee). 

Sleep: Still fair. I do get more tired these days...I guess my second trimester energy is waning off now. Boo. I still get up a lot to pee during the night--my little stinker likes to bounce on my bladder a lot at the night. 

Best Moment(s) of the Week: Feeling Baby Russ's heart beat--his heart rate was pegged at he was doing healthy and great. Dr. Mbah was also sweet and said that pregnancy looked great for me and that I had a cute little bump. Too nice of her! Knowing that I was measuring right on the time. Meeting old and new friends at the dinner at Olive Garden. Getting cards from wonderful people to wish me a happy mother's day--at first, I was confused then it hit me--I was already a mommy even though Baby Russ was still baking! 

Food Craving(s): Aside from my same old cravings; I recently developed two new cravings...ICE CREAM and french fries! Along with cheese and ice cream; I am guessing that either Baby Russ or I need more calcium in my diet. As for french fries; it is just yummy and salty! This is not my craving, but I am happy to announce that coffee is back in my diet! Finally, this little guy is letting me enjoy my cup of joe....albeit decaf one though. 

Food Aversion(s): Unchanged from last week and week before that and week before that......greasy food/grease. The smell of liquor store or liquor department in the food store makes me want to barf. 

Symptoms: Rib pain. I finally talked to Dr. Mbah about it. She ruled out gallbladder stones (thank goodness--it would have sucked if I had them). She explained that either my rib pain was resulting from Baby Russ's foot pressing up against my ribs OR his foot was pressing my liver up against my lower rib and causing my liver to be all mushed up which could have affected the nerves along my ribs. Sleeping alright. Still klutzy. Linear Nigra becoming even darker--it looks like someone drew a mark vertically on my belly. Short fuse if I am irritated. Out of breath easily these days. Ah, the joys of being pregnant. *I hope I didn't scare anyone out of wanting to be pregnant!* 

Movements: Oh definitely. I feel Baby Russ nearly all of the time now especially in the morning, after I've eaten, and in evenings. He will move like crazy if I eat something he really likes (ice cream, to name one). 

What Do I Miss: Pain-free body. The rib pain will not be resolved until after Baby Russ is born. 

Belly Button In or Out: It is still the same. When Baby Russ moves then my belly button is on verge of popping out. It is the weirdest sight ever. 

Wedding Ring On or Off: It is still on even though I am discovering that my ring feels super snug on my finger in the mornings when I wake up, but my ring feels more loose during the day (I think it has something to do with drinking water). 

Looking Forward To: My baby showers, visiting my family & friends, and approaching third trimester! 

Next Appointment: Wednesday May 30th at 1 pm. It is a BIG DEAL appointment because it is Glucose test to rule out Gestational Diabetes. It means I'll have to show up, take a big swig of super sweet drink, and sit on my butt for an hour before having my blood drawn out. Fun. I suppose I'll bring a good book along with to read while I'm waiting. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012


How Far Along: 24 weeks! According to the pregnancy book I have; it says that babies at this point can survive outside the womb even though their lungs have not fully matured, while it is interesting to know, but Baby Russ needs to stay in there to bake longer! 

How Big Is Baby: My Lil' guy is between 10.5-11.8 inches long (he's on the smaller side according to my ultrasound technician), and between 1.3-1.4 pounds (he is probably on the heavier side). This makes him to be as big as a Grapefruit! 

Total Weight Gain: 15 lbs in total. 

Stretch Marks: I'm still thanking my lucky stars. None at all! I've been keeping myself very hydrated (drinking a lot of water), avoiding from itching at my belly, & using Cocoa Palmer lotion to keep my skin moist. 

Maternity Clothes: I like to grab anything that is cute on the sale especially at Target. I prefer to keep the maternity clothes at limit because I know I will get bigger this come summer so why waste money on too many clothes that won't fit me in a month or two from now? I'm investing in cute summer dresses though! 

Sleep: Fair. I get too stiff if I stay in one position for too long so I often have to flip over to other side throughout the night. I also get up to pee a lot. People who says that peeing thing will be reduced during second trimester does not ring true for me. Darn. Stu has been pretty nice to me lately by letting me sleep in and not having me to get up to make him breakfast/lunch before he heads out to work so I get a bit of extra uninterrupted sleep. 

Best Moment(s) of the Week: Slowly having things fill up Baby Russ's room, decorating Baby Russ's room, organizing his clothes and blankets to be washed, organizing the books, and toys for Baby Russ! Enjoying glimpses of this beautiful weather.  

Food Craving(s): Still same stuff; plenty of yummy fruits, cheese and crackers, & meat is still pretty high on my list. 

Food Aversion: Still the same old--grease/greasy food. 

Symptoms: Heartburn. What's new? My ribs have been bugging me lately; I plan on asking Dr. Mbah about the deal regarding my sore ribs because I'm not sure if Baby Russ is tucked under my ribs or my ribs are being expanded due to my pregnancy. Klutz-y behavior. Nosebleed thanks to this constant shifting weather. Linear Nigra becoming darker--I am recently told that it is more common in women who are pregnant with boys than women who are pregnant with girls. I am not really sure if it's even true and think it may really depend on each woman's body...but who knows? 

Movements: It is my favorite thing in the whole world now. Baby Russ likes to jab, punch, kick, and roll. 

What Do I Miss: Not being pregnant sometimes. Don't get me wrong; I love being pregnant and it is a joyous experience. It is so much fun carrying my little boy. I just love it. I feel pretty lucky because I had almost non-existent morning sickness in first trimester, and smooth sailing so far in my second trimester. At the same time, I feel I've been pregnant forever!! 

Belly Button In Or Out: Semi-inside, semi-outside. I'm waiting for it to pop out...but it has not done so yet. 

Wedding Ring On or Off: Still on. I guess signing helps to keep my fingers slender.....HA. We will see if that will be true this come summer when the humidity hits! 

Gender: A boy. 

Looking Forward To: Our first childbirth class tonight (It went well--and Stu made me laugh the entire time)!  Maybe meeting some great friends from out of the town for dinner this weekend (We did meet and had fun).  Setting up lunch/dinner dates with my friends before I get way too big to travel and enjoy anything! Scheduling events to do for this month is one of my favorite things to do...yeah I'm a bit geeky like that! 

Next Appointment: Monday May 7th. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Confessions of a Pregnant Mama

This week on my blog is all about pregnancy since I am going to write about my confessions of being pregnant today and posting my weekly update about my pregnancy tomorrow. So feel free to roll your eyes at, or laugh at, or skip this post and come back tomorrow for the weekly update! 

Confessions of a Pregnant Mama

Ever since I got pregnant, advice-giving has become a big part of my life, and it is something that I have come to accept that all pregnant women have to deal with this. There are some great advice. Some really kooky advice. Some annoying advice. I find them EVERYWHERE. It's impossible to run away from advice-giving topic! It's in my pregnancy books. It is online on the internet. My friends, who have had children, likes to help me out by telling me what to expect. Hell, even strangers in food store tell me what I should buy for my unborn baby! The sad thing is? This advice-giving tendency that people have won't go away once I give birth to my will be from why hello, you are pregnant, here's what you should why hello, you are a mother, here's what you should do for your son.....

NEVER...I mean, NEVER...comment on how I look unless if it is something along with the line of saying oh my gosh, you are so beautiful, your belly is beautiful, and you look great! Don't even dare to say anything else besides that. If you have to lie through your teeth then go ahead. The golden rule is to not say anything about weight, size or appearance of any pregnant woman you come across to. Don't tell me that I look small for having a boy. What makes you think I will care what you have to say about my size? The only person I will listen to my OB-GYN doctor. Don't tell me that I will "pop out" and hate being pregnant. You are not me. If you want to tell me that I look beautiful then KARMA to you! :) 
A good example of lying through your teeth or telling the truth depending on the pregnant mama you encounter...that is if you want to live: 

It can be overwhelming to be a pregnant mama especially if you are going through it for the very first time. I find myself being bombarded by baby products, baby clothes, baby strollers, baby cribs, and baby this or baby that. Sometimes I sit back and have no clue what pregnant women or mothers are talking about online about the products they have purchased for their little ones. Honestly, I really don't care. Just give me something that works. If the stroller rolls and folds up easily then great. Give me that. I don't care about how pretty the crib looks. Just give me a practical crib that can be converted into a toddler bed and eventually a twin sized bed. Save me some money from having to purchase toddler bed and a twin-sized bed for my grown boy one day, right? I don't care if I go with Moby Wrap or fancy baby carrier as long as I can get some use out of it. I smile and nod my head when people start chitter-chatter about how cool this product is because frankly, I don't care. Just because I am pregnant doesn't mean I am a walking dictionary of all baby products or I know exactly what brand I want.

Ever since I got pregnant, I really don't care much about what comes out of my mouth..or, er rather my hands since I sign and type. I find that I am easily irritated and sarcastic quite often. You have a life problem? Do something about it! Don't whine to me because I don't care especially if this is the same old problem but just on a different day! I am not a sweet and patient friend anymore thanks to my lovely raging hormones. Fear not, I am a lot more stable now than I was in my first trimester, but I am not afraid to say how I feel about your situation.  Don't get me wrong; I do listen patiently, and give my shoulder for you to cry on. I am still that same sweet nice person/friend that you have known prior me getting pregnant. At the same time, don't be so shocked if I say something uncharacteristically not me. I may keep this once the baby is born though. 

Just because I have a visible bump now doesn't mean it is open for an invitation to be touched!!!!
I don't mind an occasional pat on my belly....but for someone I don't know to come up to me and 
scream then touch my belly for good 5 minutes isn't that cool. It is one of those moments when I wish I have ultra-long fake fingernails to scratch your eyes out. 

I still get hit on and be told that I am very attractive as a pregnant mama. 
I am not sure if I should be freaked out or flattered. 
Still figuring it out. 

Trust me, your pets know when you are knocked up. 
Missy, my cat, seem to really hate my belly. Every time she sits on my belly then wants to 
jump off--she doesn't jump off gracefully, but rather sink her claws in and bounce off. Thanks cat. 
My other cat, Mr. Jinxy, is thankfully more kind. He loves my belly and rubs his head on my bump. 
He has to sleep right next to me on the sofa or on the bed. Mr. Jinxy likes to knead his paws against my belly to elicit some movements from Baby Russ. Layla, our dog, does not really care.
Make sure your pets are trained or prepared before your little one arrives though!!

I grit my teeth when people tell me that giving birth will really hurt if I opt for drug-free
delivery (barring any medical complications or emergency c-section). 
No shit Sherlock, do you think I don't know that already prior deciding on drug-free delivery?! 
I am one of those open-minded mamas that is willing to keep her birth plan flexible....even though
I am going to try as hell to have a drug-free delivery. If you want to live then just smile and nod your head while thinking that I am nuts. Be my guest. 

My pregnancy is not like your pregnancy. 
Keep that in your mind. 
You may hate being pregnant. You may have bad experience with being pregnant.
Fine. I respect that. 
Just don't tell me that my pregnancy is like yours. 
Because it is definitely not. 

Last, but not the least.........

Be conscious. 
I do post weekly pregnancy updates on my Facebook and 
try to keep it at there. 
There are people out there who may be affected by your pregnancy
(struggling to conceive, death of their baby, & infertility to name a few). 
Even so, by constantly talking about being pregnant can get old fast for some people. 
That's why I find my outlets outside blogging such as 
mommy boards, friends/family especially grandmas-to-be who are open to talking about babies, 
pregnancy magazines or books. 
It can bug some people when pregnant women toss their care to the wind and not being aware of 
how much their talk of being pregnant (albeit negative or positive) can affect others.