Monday, November 17, 2014

Baby #4: 28 & 30 Weeks

I completely forgot to do a 28 week update post and am late posting my 30 week update but I haven't had a lot of time to get on the computer. I've been organizing/cleaning like a mad woman and trying hard to finish up my doula coursework. Better late than never though with the updates I guess, right? They should be every two weeks now, assuming I stay on schedule. (Note: big changes are coming to the blog soon but I'll update about that a little later.)

How many weeks pregnant: 31 weeks + 2 today (however this update covers weeks 28 until now)

Which trimester are you in: THIRD!

Bump photo: Two of them actually!

How big is baby: Average for 30 weeks is around 3 pounds & 16 inches long. So baby is about the size of a large eggplant!

Pregnancy symptoms: More heartburn which stinks, but luckily it hasn't been too bad. It's definitely getting to be more of a challenge getting comfortable in the bed. Growing belly of course. Some leg cramps in the night (which I remember vividly from my pregnancy with Zeke) but bananas seem to cure that.

Belly Button - In/Out: Still in. It's begun to look a bit like a crater now...

Cravings/Aversions: I've been trying to cut back on sugar and that has proven to be a bit of a challenge. I had a MAJOR craving for mint chocolate chip ice cream the other night which my husband dutifully fulfilled for me. (I didn't go overboard though.) No real aversions at the moment.

Sleep: It comes and goes. Most nights I try to read or watch a little TV and I don't even make it five minutes. The nights I'm awake are the ones where I'm fighting to get comfortable.

Nesting: For sure. I said the organizing bug had bitten me and I wasn't kidding. I've always kept the kids clothes that they've outgrown and realized that I am a bit of a clothes hoarder. I've been trying to decide just what to do with the baby clothes since we don't know the gender. I have a lot of specific stuff (frilly pinks, football blues, etc.) and don't really want to get it ALL out yet. My mother-in-law suggested getting out the gender neutral and a little bit of the boy and girl items, mainly the smaller things until baby is born.

Maternity Clothes: Do we even have to ask?!

Weight Gain: I've gained since my last update obviously. Many people keep making the "twins" comments or saying how they don't think I'll go until my due date, which I'm sure they don't mean rudely (most of them, anyway) but I can't help but feel a little like they're all saying, "WOW. YOU ARE HUGE." It also hit me like a ton of bricks when I stepped on the scale at my appointment. However my midwife reassured me that the weight I'm at now I had hit 4 weeks before in my last pregnancy. She also took my measurements and let me know that we are measuring right on target for where we should be.

Movement: Tons and tons and TONS. This is one active baby. It's changed from mainly at night time when I was trying to rest to now seeming like it's all the time. There's definitely resting periods but lots of activity. And hubby has gotten to feel & even see so much movement too!

Gender: Still a surprise, of course. Aren't you guys going to be excited when I finally have an answer to put here? :) The ease of my pregnancy and lower heart rate are really making me lean towards boy, even though my initial gut reaction was girl.

Concerns: Baby is breech and has been for my last 2 (3?) appointments. This isn't a huge big deal but now is the time when I'd like for him/her to be doing the acrobatics to get into the right position. I've been checking out SpinningBabies website (I almost said Flipping Babies, ha!) and I have been doing TONS of reading on breech positions/labor stories/research/etc. but with all this movement I've been feeling, I'm sure he/she will be flipped by our next appointment and I won't need to worry about it. I also had a health issue that came up but it's on it's way to being fixed.

Best moment this week: Hearing baby at the midwife last week was wonderful as always. Heart rate was in the 140's like usual.

Looking forward to: The holidays. Even though I'll be even more huge and probably waddling, I always enjoy the holidays and time with family.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why I Play Dungeons & Dragons

Recently I've gotten back into playing Dungeons and Dragons. For those of you staring blankly at the screen, Dungeons and Dragons is a tabletop fantasy role playing game. (Not the sexy kind, for you random perverts who may have accidentally wandered on to my actual turn-taking, dice-rolling type of game.) Each person plays a specific character with different abilities, personalities, races, and classes/jobs. Another person is the Dungeon Master (DM) and they are basically the storyteller, other characters or bad guys, and the referee/rule keeper.

My first introduction to D&D was as a young child. My Dad started out playing the original game with friends and family and when I was old enough, I went along with him. I poured over my his manuals and papers - especially the Monster Manual - and the game really intrigued me. I mainly watched, but occasionally played a monster or sidekick. When I was in High School, D&D became popular again amongst my group of geeky-minded friends. However, many of them became so concerned with the rules and legalities that it no longer became fun. I drifted away from it and basically forgot about D&D until some of my cousins started playing at a local library group. I couldn't join them since they meet during the week (and it's quite a drive) so another one of my cousins and I started talking about starting up our own little group within our family. I have four cousins who play, along with my Dad who DMs. (Hopefully I will eventually be able to DM as well...I just have to find some time to do some more studying and brushing up on my skills.)

So why do I play? I've had several people tell me recently that they can't believe that I as a mother and wife would be such a "geek." (They obviously do not know me very well. I have a whole section of posts on here related to the subject of geekery.) They cannot understand why I'd want to sit around for hours playing a game where you just roll dice and make up stories. I think they don't realize that D&D is a lot more than that, at least to me:

  • Dungeons and Dragons requires imagination. Your characters are explorers in a relatively unknown world, who get to go on fantastic adventures. You meet strange and sometimes scary creatures. Yes, we are sitting at a table, rolling dice, writing things down, looking at books or pictures...but we're also imagining those worlds and creatures in our mind's eye. We're discussing what we would do in that situation, given our resources. We get to make choices based on those and see what happens. 
  • In addition to requiring imagination, D&D also requires that you play a part, or act. Your character is going to have certain abilities or weaknesses and you get to act out what they do accordingly. You also learn to expect the unexpected. The character I've been playing recently is a rogue, or thief. She's pretty dexterous and nimble, but the dice aren't always in agreement. Upon sneaking through a castle, my rogue decided to quietly sneak into a room. I rolled a critical failure (i.e. a ONE) and ended up blowing the door open, somersaulting into the room, and alerting everyone in there to my presence. Not quite as stealthy as I had planned....
  • Throughout the game you get to solve problems, puzzles, or riddles. The quest you're on may require you to get information from someone, follow a map, or find a hidden treasure or tower. You may come up upon a trap and have to figure out how to get around it or through it. Or you have to figure out how to outsmart or out-move a creature blocking your path. You also learn battle/combat strategy - how you can use your abilities best, help out your fellow comrades, or how to overcome your weaknesses.
  • My cousins are getting older and although we all grew up basically within blocks of each other, we're spread out more now. We all have our own families, responsibilities, and activities so we don't get to see each all that much, sometimes only at holidays. This is a wonderful time for us to get together, visit with one another, and have fun.
  • The "have fun" part I mentioned? Yeah, we have a lot of that. We laugh, develop inside jokes, sometimes do completely off the wall things, and just enjoy playing the game together. After we got home from playing at my parents house one time, I was having this horrible pain in my stomach. I realized that part of it was probably from the seventeen cans of pop I consumed (a slight exaggeration), the pizza, the pretzels, the chips, the cake, and seven hundred cookies. (Probably not an exaggeration on that last one, though....) But it didn't feel like that type of pain really. I finally realized it was from laughing! Seriously...I pulled a muscle, laughing!
  • My eldest son has started playing with us. I like having him join in because it reminds me of me as a little kid. He doesn't get it completely but I love his enthusiasm. He's already a pretty imaginative kid and he really enjoys being with the "big kids" and getting to play along. I'd rather him sit and play with us and use his imagination rather than mindlessly sit in front of a television set.
Anyway, D&D is something that's not for everyone of course. But I hope this helps to explain why I enjoy playing it.