Monday, February 09, 2004

30 weeks!

Erik and I are exhausted after a busy weekend and unwinding before bed. Erik's reading his "Birth Partner Guide" for the Hypnobabies course we're taking. It's telling him all the stuff he's supposed to be doing to help me, and what he'll be responsible for during labor.

Big day today: We bought a dresser/changing table and a crib for our little nursery, that is, the 1/3 of our bedroom that we managed to clear our own junk out of. They were listed on Craigslist for $500 as Bellini, which is a high-end brand of baby furniture. We drove to the north side of Berkeley this afternoon to look at them. It turned out that the crib was not Bellini brand but something called Pali, an Italian company that also gets good reviews but is not quite as expensive. I wasn't hung up on the brand name, but I wished they had posted the accurate name of the manufacturer because I had done a search for recalled cribs and found that there were no Bellini recalls, and I had no idea about Pali. But after we got home I searched for Pali recalls and found none of them either.
Both pieces were about what we wanted: The dresser is what's called a high-low, with three drawers and a taller cabinet next to them, so you have a surface to change the baby on as well as a second surface to set your baby lotion, etc. on. The crib looked safe, with close together rails and nothing on it seemed broken. They're both made of beechwood, in a natural finish, which is good because we wanted a light color for our bedroom. We offered them $400 for both, and we settled on $450. They acted like we were getting such a good deal, because they paid over $1,000 for the set 5 years ago, but really, not that many people will buy a used crib, so I think they were lucky to get anything at all for that. The dresser, on the other hand, is in nearly new condition, and ones just like it sell for over $400 themselves new.
The couple who sold them were packing up their house to move, and they gave us a few other things too -- a crate of infant toys and a bed-side rail for when the baby sleeps in bed with us. We managed to get it all in the Subaru, which quite impressed me. We could have used the luggage rack on top for the little crib mattress, but we didn't think to bring any rope or bungee cords.

It was a lot of fun putting all of the Monkey's clothes away in the dresser after we cleaned it up. I put all her newborn-size things in the top drawer, 3-6 in the middle, and bigger things in the bottom drawer. All the blankets and towels -- she has a lot-- went in the shelves of the cabinet part. Erik and I were both so relieved to have it, because before all the baby clothes were heaped up in boxes and on the floor. Now we feel like we're finally getting ready to have a baby here. We took down the pictures from that area of the room. In their place will go some cute hooks I bought, on which I will hang the homemade sweaters her Grandma Janice made her. Once we have the Pack N Play set up next to our bed, I guess there will be just a narrow aisle between that and the dresser, but hopefully enough to open the drawers easily. What I don't know is how the crib will fit up here. We're not going to set it up yet until she's too big to sleep in the Pack N Play. The space between our bed and the changing table right now is not wide enough to fit the crib into. But if we get rid of one of our bedside tables we can always move the bed a little, and hopefully we'll get everything in. When we get a rocking chair, I think it will have to go in the living room, which is fine because it would allow me to take the monkey in there if she's crying at night and then we could let Daddy sleep.

The crib had a sticker on the inside listing the model number and date of manufacture, so I will use that to do a little more double checking to make sure there have been no recalls before we use it. I can also call Pali. We tried to look up the model, called "Vanessa," to see how much they cost new, but I guess they don't sell that exact crib anymore. Other Pali cribs range from $300 to $1,000. We looked at the Baby Bargains book when we got home, to see what they said about selecting cribs (after we already bought one, real good), and they advised against ever buying a used crib. I felt bad about that at first, but their reasons for not buying a used crib were that 1) cribs made in the '70s and early '80s don't meet modern safety standards and 2) You might not know if the crib you're getting was recalled. But since we have the model number and date of manufacture, which was in the late '90s, those concerns don't really apply.

We also went on the Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt this weekend, which involves more than 3 hours of running around North Beach, Chinatown and the Financial District looking for the answers to cryptic questions. Our team did better than we had done in the past, answering 14 out of 16 correctly (we think), but we didn't win anything. I was quite pleased with myself because I kept up with the rest of the team for most of the night. There were two moments when the clue led the team up steep sets of stairs , and I stayed at the bottom with another teammember. And at the very end the group decided to really run to try to get to one clue that we couldn't get to before because the Chinese New Year parade was blocking us, and Erik and I just went back to the meeting place and waited for the rest of them. I was sooo tired and sore, especially my lower back and my feet, but everyone else was sore too. So I felt not so out of shape after all.

I'm weighing in at about 156, 16 pounds above my prepregnancy weight. That's about right, if I gain a pound every week for the rest of the pregnancy I'll be just above the recommended minimum weight gain of 25 pounds. Then again, you don't usually gain much in the last few weeks, but a few pounds shy of that would be just fine too. I asked Jack if he would know I was pregnant now, when I'm wearing my jacket, and he said, "No, just fat." Thanks Jack.

Oh, we found out that another couple we know is expecting a baby! I'm really excited -- now we have 2 sets of parents we can hang out with. Neither live in the city, but still, it's good. We also saw several parents carrying their babies in carriers at the treasure hunt, so maybe the Monkey will come along on that next year.

I'm seeing my doctor once every 2 weeks now. I saw her this week, and she asked if we were taking childbirth classes. I told her we're taking the UCSF class and a home course in hypnosis, and she said that was great. She also told me I passed the gestational diabetes test, in fact my blood sugar was a little low instead of high. Apparently I didn't need to fast before the test after all.

Last week was really killer at work. I ended up working a few hours overtime, and taking really short lunch breaks because I was on deadline. The result was that my back was killing me much of the week. I guess I can't take any extra hours sitting in my desk chair anymore. Hopefully this week I can get everything done during regular hours. The bosses aren't too keen on overtime these days anyway, but a couple times this week it was unavoidable.

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