Thursday, May 29, 2014

1 Week New

Today we have a special guest blogger: our little girl!  Emily turned 1 week old today and is so excited that she asked to write all about it in her own words.  OK, fine, she may have had some help from her daddy putting this post together but you didn't hear it from me!

Hey y'all. It's Emily.  Just celebrating my one week birthday today with the fam.  Gosh, I remember when I was only three days old, it seems like only yesterday....  Anyway, I got all jazzed up in my new onesie and headband (thanks to Megan for being my clothier tonight).  I also got some sweet new shoes from my grandma so I am ready to rock the pack 'n play tonight.  Laters!

This week Emily met her mommy and daddy face to face for the first time!  She also got visits while in the hospital from both grandmas, as well as her future pals Abbie & Jake's parents.  On Saturday, Emily not only had her first car ride but her first trip over state lines -- wow!  Mommy & daddy were a bit nervous about driving through the city on a holiday weekend but Emily was an excellent passenger.  She saw her home for the first time and has been in almost every room already!  Emily had a big day on Tuesday, in her stroller's maiden voyage, visiting her new doctor.  She got weighed and measured and handled her first shot like a champ!!!  She's been eating a lot, has given mommy and daddy lots of work changing almost an entire box full of diapers, has been sleeping sporadically throughout the days, has posed in numerous photos, received her first mail parcel with her very own name on it, and has completely mastered the fine art of being absolutely adorable!

We're totally gaga for this little lady and, though very sleepy, are loving our time together as a family of three.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's a . . .

. . . GIRL!!!!!!

Emily Genevieve made her debut on Thursday, May 22, 2014 @ 3:50 pm.  Weighing in at 7 pounds, 10.6 ounces, and 20 inches long, she is absolutely beautiful {though we may be biased}.

Mom, Dad & Emily arrived home from the hospital yesterday and are working on getting to know each other.  More updates and photos when we get the chance!!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


{Pardon the back-dating; I started to write this blog post on May 20th but never got the chance to publish it!}

Our friends and family are SO enthusiastic about the arrival of this little one.  A few in particular are so excited, that I'm hearing from them on a daily basis.  I honestly love that they care, and very much appreciate the support and encouragement!  But if I'm being 100% honest, some of the daily "any news yet?" check-ins  from people who know they are on our contact list -- ahem, mom! -- are starting to make me a bit anxious.  For one thing, my due date hasn't even come yet.... I don't know why everyone else is in such a rush to get this baby out of me while I'm content to wait until the baby is good and ready.  And secondly, it's not like we're going to accidentally forget to let our immediate families know that a baby has arrived!  I'm trying not to get frustrated by the constant check-ins.  Since laughter is the best medicine for many emotional ailments, each time I get a text asking whether I've had the baby yet I'm going to focus all my energy on humor...

I need to look into whether it's possible to set up an auto-response text message pointing to:   {<---- Click the link}


Happy Waiting to Me!

Monday, May 19, 2014

39 Week Check-Up

My blood pressure was normal and according to the office measurements I've gained 2 pounds since last week.  Dr. S said it's likely just bloat, so nothing to be concerned about, but I actually don't think I gained that much in a week.  I've been weighing myself in the morning undressed each week, which is a bit more reliable than getting weighed after a yummy lunch.  ;)

According to the doctor I'm 80% effaced, 2 cm dilated and station is between 0 and 1 {"nice and low"}.  She also said that according to my chart, I was only 1/2 cm dilated last week, not the full 1 cm I thought I was.  I guess Dr. H was trying to be generous last week.  ;)  Baby's heart rate is in the 140s/150s.

At my request, Dr. S felt around my abdomen to predict the baby's approximate size.  "It's not a small baby" was her response {gulp!}, and her guess was "a little over 7 pounds, maybe just 7 pounds".  We will see if she's right when baby appears!  {Though judging by the watermelon-sized tummy I'm sporting; my guess of baby's size would be much higher!}

My due date is coming up this Sunday, so if baby doesn't make an appearance before next Wednesday
5/28, I'll be getting a "non-stress test", which is an ultrasound and fetal monitoring, just to make sure everything looks good.  If by chance baby doesn't show him/herself by June 1, which will be 41 weeks, then they'll induce me that night.  According to Dr. S., she doubts this will happen.  While I've been feeling really nervous the past couple days about whether or not I'm ready for this baby to pop out, I realized when the doctor gave me the info that I certainly don't want to be induced.  So, hopefully baby will decide it's ready to get the show on the road before the end of the day on June 1!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

39 Weeks!

. . . and still in one piece!  For now.  ;)

Source: The Bump
Coincidentally, we saw a watermelon in Target today!  So of course Shep picked it up and we had to snap a photo.  Yeah, we're that weird couple.

See the resemblance?

It's just about the same size!

This may very well be my last week of pregnancy, and the not knowing is hard to handle!  All day Thursday I had a really weird really nervous feeling.  I couldn't even sit down and watch TV like a couch potato, despite numerous attempts!  I was pacing around and felt like I was going to jump out of my skin with suspense!  It felt like one of those thriller movies where the girl walks down a dark hallway with creepy music playing and a boogeyman jumps out from around the corner.  Except there was no music, and instead of a boogeyman we're expecting a really cute cuddly baby to make an appearance.  But you get the point.  ;)  I felt like I could have just screamed out loud, and I almost did!  I felt like I was walking around on egg shells all day!  I mean, I'm still nervous about the whole labor and delivery thing, but Thursday I felt like I was going to BURST.  Good thing that overwhelming fear has subsided a bit.  Don't get me wrong... I'm definitely looking forward to meeting this little guy or girl, I'm just not in any rush to do so!

No contractions so far {that I can feel anyway}!  I've had a little heartburn, and some more pelvic pressure though.  Since Thursday I've been really sluggish and tired every day, even though I've actually been sleeping pretty well these last few nights, surprisingly!  I haven't had the "nesting" burst of energy that I've read so much about though, so maybe it's not yet time.  Or maybe I won't get it?  It's anybody's guess really!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Today's To Do List

Thanks to getting up to pee a bunch of times, random bouts of insomnia throughout the night, and being uncomfortable while laying down, I didn't get much sleep last night.  There are probably at least a couple things I should try to get done at home, but I'm pretty tired today so I've decided to go with this to-do list instead...


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hurry Up and Wait

As of yesterday afternoon, I'm 80% effaced and 1 cm dilated.  Baby's head is at Station 0.  Labor could begin any day, or it could still be a couple weeks away.  I'm an information kind of person.  I need data, and lots of it -- the more, the better.  It makes me feel informed; helps me to know what to expect.  The funny thing about this information though, is it doesn't really mean anything!  Women have gone from 0 cm to 9 cm dilated in hours, while some women walk around 2 or 3 cm dilates for weeks.  It's a good sign that my body is starting to prepare for labor, but yet still there is no telling where or when it will be "show time"!  It could be tonight, tomorrow, or early June.  Talk about suspenseful!  ;)

I recently came across this blog post, which I thought was an interesting description of the last days or weeks of pregnancy:

The Last Days of Pregnancy: A Place of In-Between

While I can definitely relate to the painful pelvis, squished bladder and swollen ankles, I don't really feel "irrelevant".  I mean, now that almost everything on our to-do list is complete, and I'm in my third week of maternity leave, it's kind of odd sitting around just waiting to go into labor.  But I so appreciate this quiet time, and I'm so lucky to have a job that offers me this "waiting time" maternity leave.  I know I will not have this much time to myself for a very, very long while, if ever again.  :)  I savor each 20-minute shower I take each day.  And staying in bed in the morning after Shep has gone to work for the day.  Sure, it gets a little boring at times, but I won't complain.  In fact, I think it's good for me.  This afternoon I felt especially tired, and I'm thankful I get to be lazy on the couch when I need to be.  I'm trying to get in as much R&R as possible, while I still have the chance!

Monday, May 12, 2014

38 Weeks!

Hello, pumkpin!
Source: The Bump

In terms of symptoms, I still have a bit of swelling in my right foot, but I've noticed it's actually not as bad if I walk around outside for a bit or keep my foot elevated while sitting.  I'm also still having that PMS-achy feeling in my abdomen, mostly at night.  The doctor said last week that this might be my version of Braxton Hicks contractions.  I was surprised by this diagnosis because it doesn't actually feel like a tightening or contracting of my uterus though so much as a light ache, but this does make sense given that the body naturally releases more oxytocin at night, and that's when I typically feel it.  Though I'm thankfully down to about 3 potty breaks a night on average these days {from 6, phew!}, I'm still having a bit of difficulty sleeping because I can't get or stay comfortable for long thanks to these lovely aches.  I've been alternating between laying on my side and propping myself up against the wall using a husband pillow, trying my best not to wake hubby too much as I toss and turn around, since he's still got to get up for work every morning!  It helps a lot that I'm able to sleep late in the morning; I find this is when I get most of my sleep so I actually don't feel as exhausted as I was feeling a couple weeks ago.

Shockingly, baby is still very active and moving around a lot, despite the fact that it must be cramped quarters in there!  I'm glad this little one is still having a jolly good time in my belly; I just hope s/he keeps its head down!  I'm really curious to see how squirmy and squigly this baby is outside of the womb, and whether the "real world" activity level will be the same or totally different than in utero!

So far, no signs of labor that I can determine.  We'll see what the doc says tomorrow though!  I'm certainly not in a hurry; practically though I'm not sure how much longer I can walk waddle around carrying this pumpkin before I tip forward!  I'm huge!

Bump Watch Alert!

To-Do List:

In other news, we have made some EXCELLENT progress on our to-do list over the past several days.  Here's where things currently stand:

Baby Prep To-Do List:
  • Finish baby shower thank-you notes
  • Type out birth preferences sheet & put in hospital bag
  • Print out calming photos to use as focal points
  • Pack my hospital bag
  • Pack Shep's hospital bag
  • Install baby's car seat
  • Get postpartum supplies for me
  • Finish washing and putting away baby's clothes & linens
  • Assemble glider & ottoman
  • Assemble baby swing
  • Assemble baby stroller
  • Buy small bookshelf for baby's new library {it still needs to be painted but that can wait!}
  • Review childbirth class materials & practice breathing/relaxation techniques {in progress}
  • Prepare short list of baby names {in progress}
  • Create song play list for delivery room {in progress}

P.S. -- If anyone reading has yet to fill out your hunch about baby's gender and arrival information, time is ticking!  :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

To all the mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, friends and neighbors out there who have made a difference in the life of someone who depends on you...
On this special day, and in honor of all the many good mothers out there, I wanted to share a post I recently came across:  There is no one right or wrong way to be a mother.  The only requirement that's absolute is love.


As for me, I'm enjoying this beautifully sunny day with my hubby, prepping for baby to arrive any week now and looking forward to spending next Mother's Day with my little one!

Friday, May 9, 2014

We Don't Know What It's Like

Over the past year or so, we've thought a lot about what it would be like to have a baby of our own.  We have read about various parenting theories, we've listened to stories from friends and strangers alike, we've spied on watched families with babies and small children out in public...  We've done all of this "research" to prepare, as best as we can, for the life-changing journey we're about to start together as parents.  We think we've got a pretty good idea about the kind of changes we're in for, and we hope we have realistic expectations.  But the truth is, we don't KNOW what it will be like.

The thing about the unknown is that it can be scary.  For many of us {ahem}, change is simply terrifying.  You can prepare and prepare, but there are certain things or situations or factors that can't be predicted, practiced or accounted for.  I'm sure any soon-to-be or new parents out there can relate... everyone has a story for you and everyone has advice about what to do when X comes up, or you find yourself in Y situation with no advanced warning.  And though all of the advice is coming from a well-meaning place, it can be overwhelming to keep hearing about all the things that can or will be difficult or challenges that lay ahead, when you haven't even yet held that snuggly baby in your arms for the first time.  And so, at a certain point, we just need to try as best we can to make ourselves okay with the fact that we might not have a CLUE about what we're actually getting ourselves into, but leap into it wholeheartedly anyway, knowing we have the best intentions and are as prepared as realistically possible given the world of unknowns.  At this point is when the palms get sweaty, fears race through our brains like lightening, and we start to wonder:  Are we sure we're up for this life-long challenge?

With only a couple weeks left until our little one is due to arrive, I'm looking forward so much to meeting our newest little family member -- but all of these "what ifs" and thoughts and fears are at the front of my mind.  I think I started getting ahead of myself by focusing too much on them {what if our baby has colic? what if s/he isn't a good eater or sleeper?  what if we're terrible parents?} instead of the sheer anticipation and excitement of our little one's arrival!  Thinking about all of this, I remembered a video ad I'd seen back in December, so I looked it up and watched it again.  And lo and behold, it made me feel better....

By any account, that family's life is stressful!  The house is a mess, the parents look frazzled and exhausted, the kid {though adorable} is into everything.  And then they find out they're having another little miracle, and instead of feeling overwhelmed or scared, they're deliriously joyous.  The stress can {and will!} come later, but for right now, I'm going to soak up the last couple weeks of this pregnancy, coo over every little onesie or outfit as I wash and put it away in baby's new room, and think about how full of love and excitement our hearts were when we first found out we were pregnant.  Those are the feelings to savor and focus on.

Don't get me wrong... I'm generally not one for burying my head in the sand.  I know it's going to be challenging to enter the realm of parenthood, and that there will be some very difficult and sleep-deprived days and nights ahead, but I shouldn't get ahead of myself -- first we need to actually get there... to the point where we have our precious baby in our arms!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

When Will Baby Arrive???

Well, isn't that the question du jour!!!  We have a due date {Sunday, May 25th}, I'm going for weekly check-ups, we have a poll where friends and family can record their own hunches, but the funny thing about baby births is that despite all the miracles of modern medicine and all the "convictions" our loved ones have in their own minds, nobody REALLY knows when baby will be ready to make his or her debut!

For some reason it hit me this week -- Week 37 -- that I could go into labor at ANY minute.  YIKES!!!  I know I typically love surprises, but in this case it's terrifying not knowing WHEN or even WHERE baby or my body will decide "it's show time"!  Instead of wondering whether we'll need a boy name or a girl name to give baby, my mind is occupied with desperately trying to predict when we'll need a name at all and how I could potentially limit any humiliation by not being out in public at the wrong time!  If I feel a twinge, does that mean something's happening?  Should I not walk around too much "just in case"?  I've freaked myself so much that I've been sitting on a towel at home every day this week!

It's a well known fact that very few babies are born on their actual due date.  I think the last statistic I read said that only ~5% of babies enter the world exactly on their due date.  {Fun fact:  My hubby fits into this category!  Me?  I was late being born, and late every day since...}  I've also heard that it's most common for babies to be born anywhere from 2 weeks before to 2 weeks after their due date.  BUT THAT'S A FOUR WEEK SPAN!!!!  That's not a narrow enough window for me to mentally prepare!  I know in my head that there is no possible way for me to find this answer, but that doesn't stop me from looking for it!!!  :)

According to this Baby Center article:
The most popular day for babies to make their entrance is Tuesday, followed by Monday. Sunday is the slowest day, with 35.1 fewer births than average. Scheduled c-sections and induced labors have a big influence on the fact that far fewer babies are born on the weekend, but spontaneous (non-scheduled) deliveries occur less often on the weekend too.
Interestingly, I was born on a Tuesday, while Shep was born on a Wednesday!

I'm sure many of us have heard the old wives tale that there are more births during a full moon.  Though many scientific studies disprove that theory, it's worth pointing out the next full moon in NYC is May 14th!  Gulp... that's *less than a week away*, though technically during the relevant window of time!  {And for anyone curious, it's a Wednesday.}  I don't know though, that sounds much too soon!!!  I'd love a little more time if possible!

Then I stumbled upon, which is a prediction calculator that compares some self-reported demographic info to public birth certificate data from the CDC's Division of Vital Statistics on live births in 2009 and 2010.  {Read more about the calculated estimates here.}  According to this calculator, I'm most likely to give birth during week 39.


That seems a little less scary.  :)  One other tidbit from this prediction site:  Our best guess of your baby's birth weight: 7 pounds, 12 ounces.  Given my recently-developed wish for a "not too large" baby, I think I could live with that! ;)

Oh, and I can't leave out Madame Zaritska's prediction:
The day you deliver, outside will be cloudy. Your baby will arrive in the early morning. After a labor lasting approximately 10 hours, your child, a girl, will be born. Your baby will weigh about 5 pounds, 4 ounces, and will be 17-1/2 inches long. This child will have medium green eyes and fluffy blonde hair.

So there you have it folks! I could have this baby on a Tuesday, or a Monday, or on Wednesday May 14th, or anytime the week of May 18th - May 24th, or on a cloudy day...... or basically any other day from now to early June. How's that for a scientifically accurate prediction? ;)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Car Seat Fail

You may remember that I mentioned in my post from Saturday that I'd be getting our infant car seat installed today.  Our local police department provides free child car seat installations and inspections for residents, weekly on Wednesdays from 10 am - 2 pm.

So, I got up today, got myself dressed, lugged the car seat down to our car and drove over to the Police station.

Here's what our backseat looked like before...

And here's what it looks like now!

No, your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.... unfortunately, that is indeed the same photo, which means there's currently no car seat installed in our car.  As my luck would have it, all of the people experienced in car seat installation were away from the station today for a training.  But, the nice officer I spoke with did say I could come back tomorrow to get assistance with the seat instead of waiting until next Wednesday, since nobody was available today.  He then asked: "Can you hold off until tomorrow?", which I think he was honestly wondering after catching a glimpse of the size of my belly...

So, back tomorrow I will go!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

37 Weeks

37 weeks and still in one piece!

Source: The Bump
It's funny how wide of a span each different baby's weight could be at this point.  A 3 pound difference is a HUGE difference for a newborn!  The entire pregnancy, the one thing I've consistently wished for is a healthy baby.  But recently I also added "not too large" to that wish list.  ;)

  • I definitely feel increased pressure in my abdomen.  It doesn't seem there's much room at all left in there for this little one -- I'm pretty sure I feel every stretch, wiggle and turn from baby these days!  Lately I've felt some kicking up near my left rib, especially the past couple days, though I can't imagine there's much room in there for acrobatics at this point!
  • I'm still waking up to pee an average of 5-6 times a night, so haven't been getting much sleep {which explains why I look so, as Shep very gently put it last night, "tired and worn out"}.  I just keep telling myself that this is extra good practice for the sleep deprivation I'll be getting over the next several months once this little guy or girl makes an appearance, and practice makes perfect!
  • My right foot has been swelling on a daily basis over the past week.  According to my OB, it's common for women to experience swelling more on one side than the other, especially if the uterus is tilted toward that side, which can apparently happen.  I guess that makes sense since the baby's back and butt appear to be on my right side {which are the heavier parts} and the legs/feet appear to be on the left.  But, as long as there is no pain or tenderness in the calf, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.
  • I've been having a weird pressure feeling in my head when I lay down at night.  It almost feels like the kind of head rush you'd get from being upside down, even though my head is not actually lower than my body in the bed.  According to my OB, as long as I don't have any vision changes or increased blood pressure, it shouldn't be a concern.  Boy, is it a weird and slightly disconcerting feeling though!
This week's check-up was relatively uneventful, which is very good news at this point!  My blood pressure was nice and low, weight gain is good, GBS test was negative {hooray!}, fundal height measurement was "on target", baby's heart beat was a strong 140, and my cervix is still closed {phew!}... all in all a positive report!  After my appointment I treated myself to a manicure to celebrate.  ;)

Bump watch alert!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

To-Do List Update

We're making sloooow but steady progress on our to-do list!  Shep got the pack 'n play with changing station and mini rocker together:

And I got some tiny baby clothing laundry done!

I also washed the baby's crib skirt, sheets, changing pad covers, burp cloths and receiving blankets!

To-Dos Still On the Agenda:
  • Write and send out baby shower thank-you notes (1/2 way done)
  • Purchase remaining items for and pack my hospital bag
  • Install baby's car seat (Wednesday)
  • Review childbirth class materials & practice breathing/relaxation techniques  (in progress)
  • Fill out birth preferences sheet (in progress)
  • Prepare short list of baby names (in progress)
  • Wash baby's crib skirt, sheets and changing pad covers
  • Start washing baby's clothing!
  • Finish washing and putting away baby's clothes
  • Create song play list for delivery room

That's my to-do list.  Shep also needs to assemble the glider for me and the baby's swing.

You know what they say.... slow and steady wins the race.  Hopefully baby doesn't beat us to the finish line!  ;)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

One Regret...

"Be bold and courageous.  When you look back on your life, you'll regret the things you didn't do more than the ones you did."
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I'm annoyed at myself about a regret I have.  I regret that I let my fear about all the things that could potentially go wrong with this pregnancy prevent me from fully embracing, from day one, with nothing but complete excitement, the baby we are about to have.

I was a ball of nerves the entire first trimester, and most of the second as well if I'm being honest.  Even after getting great results at our NT scan, seeing with my own eyes a very healthy anatomy scan, and receiving clean bill of health after clean bill of health at all my many doctor's appointments, I never really allowed myself to relax and soak up the pure joy of being pregnant.  If I'm being totally honest, I envy the women I know who began their pregnancies with unfiltered hope in their eyes, and who shouted their blessed news from the rooftops to anyone who would listen as soon as the pee dried on the stick, without a second thought to it!  I wish with all my might that I had as much confidence in the outcome of my pregnancy, and didn't spend so many months worrying about worst case scenarios...

This cartoon sums it up so perfectly.  I spent so many months worrying that something bad would happen instead of diving head first into book reading, gift registries, nursery decor, name planning and all the other excitement that pregnancy brings.  I was too afraid to choose paint colors, sheets or little layettes too soon though.... and so instead I waited too long!  Now all of the things I could have, and should have, been doing to prepare all along are crammed into the span of a few weeks.  Not only does that increase my to-do list, but it takes away from the joy of planning and the anticipation.

If I could go back and change my outlook and my behavior, I would.  I'm glad that I finally had the courage to start believing sometime during this third trimester that our baby would continue growing on schedule and that she or he will hopefully make a healthy appearance in late May.  I just wish I'd adopted this completely positive attitude -- and banished my irrational fears -- sooner!
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