Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eight Months Pregnant...

Only one more month to go until Boy Cornett is due to arrive! We are still undecided as to what we will name The Boy. We have a list, but it changes all the time, and we can't agree on the order. The good news is that the indecision can't go on forever - eventually we'll have to just choose one. I expect it to happen sometime soon after he is born, although that may be wishful thinking given our track record so far.

The past two months of pregnancy have been fairly eventful. I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes in early June. After meeting with a diabetes counselor, modifying my diet, and checking my blood sugar four times a day for a couple of weeks, the problem was declared "under control", which means that I don't have to have any insulin shots. I still need to follow the diet and check my fasting (first thing in the morning) blood sugar for the rest of the pregnancy, but it looks like I had a relatively mild case. One of the first signs that GD is out of control is that the baby grows too large, but that does not seem to be the case. We had an ultrasound on June 24th, and the baby's weight was estimated at just under 4 pounds (67th percentile). Four weeks later (yesterday) he had grown to 6 pounds, 4 ounces, which is the 72nd percentile. He's a little larger than we'd like to see, but well within normal limits. Babies typically gain about a half pound a week from this point on, so if we go full-term he should be about 8.5 pounds.

Here's a capture from our ultrasound yesterday. It's hard to figure out what you're looking at in these late ultrasounds, since the baby too big to see the whole body at once. This is his spine and part of his head:

I've also been having fairly frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions starting at about 31 weeks. Sometimes it feels like they never stop! We were a little concerned about pre-term labor for a few weeks, but at this point the danger has most likely passed. The baby is developed enough that even if I went into labor at this point, we would not try to stop it. The only concern would be whether his lungs are developed enough since the lungs are the last organ to develop, typically completing at about 37 weeks, at which point the baby is considered full-term developmentally. Only another 9 days until we hit that milestone, then the baby can come whenever he wants, as far as I'm concerned!

Our friends Andrea and Alex Jones and E Ben's mother Terry Cornett threw us a baby shower last weekend. It was great to see everyone and we had lots of fun! E Ben opened most of the gifts. Our friends and family are so generous and we are so appreciative. Check out this link to see the photos from the shower.

The Boy is getting stronger every day, and he continues to be extremely active. Sometimes I think he's about to kick through my belly! Portland weather has been cooperative so far this summer, with plenty of cool days. Even on the hot ones, our downstairs stays relatively comfortable, which has been very helpful. This is my last week of work before my maternity leave begins. So pretty soon we'll just be waiting for the baby to arrive! We can't wait to meet him and see what he looks like finally!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wallowa County

We took a little vacation over the 4th of July weekend to a little corner of heaven in Northeastern Oregon - Wallowa County. Our friends G and E joined us for the drive out to see some Cornett family and breathe the fresh air.

The fresh air was clouded by grass pollen and hay, so we suffered a bit. It was worth it to sit there at the base of the mountains and take in the view. On the night of the 4th, we sat by Wallowa Lake and watched the local fireworks show.

I had a great time playing golf with my dad. The coming threat of fatherhood has led me to take my golf game much more seriously, and I am playing better. While this seems odd to me, I feel like it must be a natural response.

We stayed on a ranch close to the town of Enterprise. It was a hundred-year-old outfit for beef and horses, complete with a giant hay barn, dozens of acres of pasture, and two head of beef. The herd is a topic of much conversation and consternation.

Linden slept, read, and played with the farm dog. G and E went for a bike ride. And we drank beer. What a better way to celebrate our nation's independence?

Exhausted upon return, but satisfied with our efforts to visit the country life. I think our urban yuppie tendencies need a good dose of country hospitality to remind us where we came from.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Olympic Trials

As a competitor and athlete, there is no greater event than the world stage. The idea that every four years governments will lay down their arms to compete against each other for the honor and pursuit of human achievement, glory, and victory. The Olympic Games are magical.

As a distance runner, the simplest activity is taken to great heights. Who can run faster? The question is simple, but each athlete brings on their own answers.

On Monday, I was fortunate enough to visity Eugene, Oregon - Track Town, USA for the 4th day of the Olympic Trials in Track and Field. This is holy ground for distance runners. It is the home of Bill Bowerman, Nike, and Prefontaine. On the Hayward Field track, running and racing helped shape the sport into what it is today.

My friend Ben and I drove down early for a run on the local trails and spent the day around Eugene. We ran to Pre's Rock, jogged through Hendrick's Park, and ran along the Amazon Parkway trails. Everywhere there were distance runners. We are part of a tribe, and it was never more apparent.

The races were fantastic. Women's steeplechase prelims, Men's and Women's 800m finals, and the long and glorious 5,ooo meters all played out before us on the world stage. Nick Symmonds move and win in the 800m was the greatest race I have ever watched. Hayward Field exploded with the energy of human effort, impossible dreams, and inspiration.

Finally, I got a chance to meet a few of the distance greats. I shook Kenny Moore's hand and thanked him for all he'd done! If you haven't read his book, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon, get to it!