28 Weeks and Welcoming the Third Trimester

28 weeks and counting down! Is it too soon to say that? Probably but I am.

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2 more weeks down and still feeling pretty good. Baby boy is still breaking his momma’s back. He is sitting high and I think that’s contributing to my daily back pain. I’ve started switching between two chairs at work. Each offer different lumbar support so when my back is aching from one, I switch to the other.

Baby boy is really active…but that seems unfair to say as I’ve never done this before so I have nothing to compare it with. There are definite times when he is awake and when he is sleeping. He usually is quiet for a while after I run. I tell myself I’m rocking him to sleep so I’m hoping that he’ll enjoy a bouncer as it will remind him of the miles we’ve covered together while in the womb. But feel free to tell me that’s hopeful wishing.

I’m currently (4/8/17) sitting in the hospital lab to complete the glucose test and get my rhogam shot. I’m apart of the unlucky portion of people who are RH negative. This means I don’t carry a protein in my blood that most people do. This doesn’t effect my life at any other time except pregnancy. Since most people are positive–Mike included– the doctor assumes the baby will be positive. Since there’s a chance that we’re opposite RH factors, if our blood were to mix my body would recognize the baby as a type of infection and start attacking him. Obviously, this is a problem. So I have to get a shot which will help my prevent my body from developing the antibody which would attack him. Typically this doesn’t effect first pregnancies but can be a serious problem in later pregnancies if the antibody is developed. At birth, they’ll test baby boy and if he’s negative, then I get off scotch free. If he is indeed positive, then I get to have another shot. Lucky me, I know.

–Update– This shot was such a pain to get. 3 trips to the hospital and all but begging the nurse to give it to me because I was running out of time to get it. After your blood draw you have 72 hours to get the shot or they have to retest your blood. It was so frustrating but the actual shot was no big deal. Glad it’s over.

I was dreading drinking the glucose mixture having heard how awful it is. But I didn’t think it was all that awful–except that it was orange flavored which is in my top 3 least favorite flavors. I don’t drink soda but I can’t imagine it’s any more sweet than drinking  one of those–again, correct me if I’m wrong. Now it’s over, I’m dreading the blood draw more than the drink.

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The last two weeks have continued to go well. I saw my Dr and he said everything is going well. Baby boy was measuring a week ahead but that shouldn’t be a surprise as his daddy is a giant.

I have been really congested all the time but especially at night. Apparently this is a very normal symptom of pregnancy that no one talks about! This is causing me to become quite the drool monster at night as it forces me to breath with my mouth open–you wanted to know that I’m sure :).

Running is still going well. I’m having some trouble with my hip flexor — I think I strained it a few weeks back and it’s taking forever to heal. Running each morning is still one of my favorite things to do. I have more energy when I run. (I’ve never quite understood how exerting yourself in exercise, using energy, somehow gives you more energy. My back doesn’t ache as much when I run. And it helps me feel like me. Everything in pregnancy is about helping your baby grow and develop that it’s nice to have something that is mine.  Yes exercise is good for him, but it’s really great for his momma.

At some point though I am going to have to quit running and be forced to find some other form of exercise…any suggestions?

Quick update on Mike–he is in his last month of architecture school and yes we’re counting down the days!!! He graduates in less than a month! But that also means he’ll be extremely busy for the next month. He’s designing a school with apartments on top in Vancouver (the site is real but his building won’t be built). “It looks great!”, says the wife who knows nothing about architecture 🙂 . I am seriously the proudest wife! The last several years of our life have revolved around his never-ending school schedule/projects and being able to see the end in sight is such a great feeling! (So many exclamation points in this paragraph and yes, they’re all necessary.)

I’m excited to be moving into the 3rd trimester. Every now and then it hits me that he’ll be here before we know it. This is really exciting but there is so much to do before he gets here. We’ve put off a lot of the baby shopping due to Mike needing to focus all his energy on his final project.  Wish him luck–he’ll be done soon!

 

Ramblings of an Architecture Student

A few weeks ago while I was at church I got into a conversation with a group of my neighbors about what I do for a living. Well, right now I work part-time at an architecture firm in Salt Lake City as a… how do I describe what I do…? intern architect who spends most of my time producing drawings for several different projects in various design phases. I’m also a full-time Graduate Student at the University of Utah’s College of Architecture. In about 2 months I’ll have my Masters degree and then I have 6 licensing tests to look forward to and the completion of a couple thousand internship hours.

If I were describe what Architecture school is like, it would be something like this… “If I’m not at work I’m at school…I don’t get to see my wife or my dog very often and I don’t really get to sleep much.” I usually look like (or at least feel like) a zombie who hasn’t slept in days. Recently, KSL did a news story about a guy here in the program who sleeps in his car to save money. The funny/sad-but-true fact is that, sure, it saves him money, but also we rarely have time to go home because we are so entrenched in the architectural education process… almost to a fault. Have I ever slept in my car at night in the University parking lot..? Sure, more times than I can count… it’s not uncommon.

Jessie has been quite patient with me and the process, and I can’t thank her enough for putting up with the craziness and uncertainty of it all. A couple weeks ago an article was published entitled something like “The most time-consuming master’s degrees” and you better believe Architecture was numero UNO! It averaged that students spent 22.8 hours outside of class-time on school work… but we all know that on some weeks that is a low-ball number. It doesn’t help that we live 45 miles south of campus so I also have many hours of commuting each week.

Now, back to my conversation at church. One of the guys said, “Oh, I’ve worked with architects before… and you know what they would always say?… well, what do you think it should look like?” This came across to me as if he thought architects just lackadaisically went about their work and didn’t put much thought into it. Another guy, on a different occasion had something interesting to say too. We were discussing how I was currently working on the new Provo High School and had told him that the design process took about 6 months before construction even started. He replied, “6 months! Shouldn’t it only take a couple of days to draw it up?” (Insert laughing hysterically)

Design is mentally exhausting work and sometimes the Construction Document packages are YUGE! Imagine hundreds of sheets of paper, 3 feet by 4 feet wide, stacked as thick as Harry Potter book. Now imagine that each one of those sheets has up to twenty detailed drawings explaining exactly how a very complicated building system is pieced together to create an amazing, well functioning building. Add a few hundred more pages of written material specifications to that document. Don’t forget the lengthy contracts either, those are important. When construction is delayed or money runs out, who is getting sued? Oh, and you can’t forget amount the weekly meetings with the project owners and consultants; they need to be involved all along the way so that they can get a building customized exactly for their needs.

The reason why we ask owners so many questions is because we don’t know what is best for them. They know what they need, but have no idea how to make it all happen. The profession of architecture is so much more than imagining and drawing buildings. We are professionals who literally build and manage teams of skilled, talented people who will all work together to produce the built environment. Not only do we officiate all that goes on in this process, but we are liable and responsible to protect the health and safety of the public. Our ethical responsibility is that we create buildings that won’t kill people. How many buildings have you heard of caving in and killing people in the last couple decades? (not including terrorism or extreme acts of nature). Not many. As architects we have to know and understand building codes. Have you ever seen the code book? It’s big. Do you know what minimum width of a door must be if you are trying to get 750 people out of a building in an emergency? Probably not. I do, and if I don’t I know where to look to find out.

Architects seem to get a bad rap these days, and I’m not sure why. Back in Greek and Roman times, and for hundreds of years after, architects (or Master Builders as they were known by then) were considered as some of the most prestigious people in the world. Did you know that Michelangelo was an architect? or da Vinci, or Raphael, or Brunelleschi? They are all names we know from the history books, but usually they are discussed as artists and inventors. So I find it interesting when people trivialize the profession as something that anyone could do. The fact is, the practice of architecture isn’t easy…and sometimes it’s not that fun, but it is extremely fulfilling.

It’s challenging to become an architect, but it is the only thing I can see myself doing as a career. I love a lot of things, like, for instance, finish carpentry, but I couldn’t do that day in and day out. I decided to endure the hectic life of an architecture student because I believe I can make a difference in the world. I believe I have the ability to enhance the environment that you and I live in. I believe that by putting in a lot of hard work up front it will pay off for me in the end. There have been weeks that I have been so stressed out and sleep deprived that I’ve considered just giving up, but thankfully I have good friends and mentors by my side who keep me going. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting very close, and I’m so glad I’ve stuck to it.

Hopefully soon I can find some time to write a post about the final project i’m working on here at school. It’s a work in progress, but it’ll all get done in time. Until then, see ya later!