Monday, August 26, 2013

38 Weeks and progressing!

Come on little lady! I had my doctor's appointment this week and got some good news. I am 50% effaced and about 2 cm dilated! Much better than where I was two weeks ago! She also predicted that our little babe is about 6.5 lbs right now. She said that all I need is a really strong set of contractions and I could be in labor any day now which is crazy!

From previous posts, you probably know that I work at a University and this past weekend was one of our busiest-Move-in weekend! My office was jammed packed with things going on for the weekend and I was on my feet A LOT during one of the hottest weekends of the summer thus far-go figure! Early Sunday morning around 4:00 am, I woke up and started to feel some cramping through my abdomen and lower back. I was able to go back to bed and woke up again at 8:00 with the same cramping. Adam and I decided to time them to see if they were something to keep track of. They were too irregular and eventually stopped.

Sunday afternoon, after being outside and on my feet for about 4.5 hours in the 95 degree heat, I started to feel much stronger, more regular contractions on my drive home. The continued for about 2 hours and then stopped after sitting down for a while and drinking water. 

Since I was having noticeable contractions, my doctor decided to "check" me and determined that I had started dilation and effacement. She also said that she could actually feel the baby's head (which is kind of weird, kind of cool) and that I am getting really close!

Its nice to finally be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I cannot believe we are just two weeks (hopefully less!) out. 

Some 38 Week updates
  • Total weight gain-19 lbs
  • Swollen to the max! No more wedding ring and my feet look terrible!
  •  Been craving COLD food-Applesauce, fruit, lemonade!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Preparing for baby goes beyond childbirth class and nesting...Happy 37 Weeks (Still!)

Recently, Adam and I attended a Baptism preparation class. While the class was a little (ok, a lot) dry and I knew most of what was being discussed, it did put some things in perspective for me.

I will be the first to admit that I get annoyed with screaming/crying/loud babies and children at Mass. I always question why they don't utilize the "cry room" at the back of the church in order to allow others to focus on the Mass. Without expecting it, the woman teaching the Baptism preparation class addressed this. She encouraged new parents to sit towards the front of the church and don't be ashamed by a child who is, in fact, being a child. They won't be the first who acts out, and they won't be the last. But, in the future, they will be more engaged and attentive because the parents gave them the opportunity to SEE what was happening. I never really thought about it that way and in the future I am going to try to be more patient. Plus, I am sure once I am one of "those" parents, I will gain much more of an understanding an appreciation for what they go through on a weekly basis.

Another topic discussed was why, we as Catholics, baptize our children at such a young age. There have been times where I have been challenged by this question and the answer is two-fold. While it is hard to believe that a sweet little baby could be anything but innocent, we believe they are still born with original sin and baptism allows them to be reborn as children of God. The common argument that is presented is that we are forcing them to do something they cannot comprehend or agree with and they haven't had that "born again" experience. Not only is the sacrament of baptism for the infant, but also for the parents, Godparents, and other family members. Baptism also serves as a symbol and a display showing "Yes, we are committed to raising this child in accordance with the beliefs and values of the Church." Additionally, the point has to be made that, if we don't give our a children an option of going to school, brushing their teeth, doing their homework, why should it be different when it comes to their spiritual upbringing?

One other layer to this is that when a child is older (and it depends on the parish the family belongs to) they will have an opportunity get confirmed. This is their opportunity to renew the baptism promises that their parents and Godparents made for them when they were infants. They are "confirming" what they believe in.

By no means does this serve as me "lecturing" others on what is right and wrong but simply explaining one more decision Adam and I are making on raising our child. As the title states, preparing for a baby goes beyond getting the nursery ready and childbirth prep classes but also making informed, important decisions which is why I feel I should share all aspects to preparing ourselves for parenthood.

We made the decision to baptize Baby C in Missouri for a variety of reasons. First, we don't anticipate being in Nebraska for very much longer so the church she is baptized in I want to have some meaning. We just don't feel as "connected" to this parish as we do in our old one in Missouri. Additionally, with the exception of Baptism, all of my sacraments were performed at St. Patrick's, Adam made the decision to become Catholic and was confirmed at that Parish, and we were married there. That parish has much more meaning to us than the one we belong to here.

Since we are coming from out of town and Adam is in school, and we have so many out of town family, we have already scheduled the baptism for the later part of October. We are fortunate to have so many people attending the baptism which shows we are truly blessed as a couple and she is truly blessed to be loved so much already by her family.

And, because I can, a 37 Week photo. I kind of despise how I look right now. It is next to a picture taken at 35 Weeks. Enjoy!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Preparing for Labor...Happy 37 Weeks

Well, we are officially full-term. If she comes she will not be considered a preemie!

At my 36 week appointment, my doctor started asking me questions about my birth plan. Adam and I had already discussed our preferences for labor and what is to come after the baby is here. A lot of what we discussed were really preferences that I would want during the birthing experience. However, it is important for me to have Adam understand what I prefer so he can speak up for me.

I found a really great resource that helped guide our discussion. I didn't answer all of the questions but it did force me to think about things that I hadn't previously thought of. If you want to check out the worksheet, here is the link:

I won't go into detail about all of them but there are clear things I want and don't want. For example, the only people I want in the room during delivery are me (obviously!), Adam, the doctor, and necessary nurses. Usually I am all about the learning process and have given medical students an opportunity to observe or help during appointments, but this is something I am not willing to budge on. I really want this to be a moment shared by just Adam and I.

I also know that I will not be one of those women who can give birth completely free of pain relievers. However, I also don't want to request an epidural as soon as arrive to the hospital. I do want to allow my body to progress as it is supposed to until I cannot handle it anymore.

I am going into this process with the mindset that not everything goes to plan so this does need to be flexible. But, what I expressed I think is what will happen in an ideal world.

This past weekend, we also had our birthing class. Ideally, I would have liked to do the 6-week class (about 1.5 hours/week on a Monday evening) but with Adam being gone all summer, this was really all we could do. So, we did an eight hour class on Saturday. A lot of what was covered I felt like I knew, but I think Adam got a lot from the experience. The aspect I liked most about the class was learning about the different pain management techniques that are available: birthing ball, a whirlpool tub, breathing techniques, and massage.

Tomorrow night we have our Baptism class and Thursday our breastfeeding class. Again, it wasn't ideal to have it all jam-packed in a week, but it was all we could do with our schedule!

Some 37 Week Updates

  • Total weight gain-17 lbs!
  • Our little baby girl has definitely found her home deep in my pelvis. I thought I had to go to the bathroom frequently before, now I really have to go! On the flip side, I can breathe a lot easier!
  • The "pregnancy waddle" is definitely in full-force. One of my co-workers described it as the belly is leading me! 
  • I cannot get comfortable when sleeping. I wish we had a recliner because I think that would be the most comfortable position for me to sleep in at this point!
  • Just in the past couple days, I have noticed A LOT of swelling; especially in my feet. My wedding ring is also starting to feel very tight. I honestly didn't think this was going to happen since I didn't have any problems with swelling at all!
  • At my doctor's appointment today she said that she thinks Baby C is going to be a long, skinny baby! Here's hoping for not a 9 pounder!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dreaming of Fall

Fall is my most favorite season! I love the crisp air, the cozy sweaters, and football. I love the smells, the sound of the dried leaves blowing, and the cloudy skies. I like sleeping with the windows open and waking up to a cool room so I can be cozy and wrapped up in our comforter.

I am tired of always being warm (partially a pregnancy problem), sleeping with just a sheet, and "summertime music."

This morning I stopped by one of my favorite places in Kearney (Barista's) for my Skinny Vanilla Chai (seriously, they have THE BEST and if we ever move, I have no idea what I will do) and grabbed myself a yummy pumpkin muffin. Those two combined really got me ready for the upcoming season. On a side note, I purposely schedule meetings there with chapter consultants or volunteers so I have an excuse to get out of the office and spend time there. I just love it so much!

Anyway, I always feel that Labor Day is the official end of summer and the beginning of fall. Usually, the weather doesn't reflect this but I feel like this is a reasonable time for me to break out my fall-scented candles and start my fall favorite cooking!

This fall will obviously be much more exciting with Baby Girl C here! Her arrival will mean lots of family time from visitors and traveling. It will mean not only cozying up with Adam but also with her. This fall is also the start of Adam's last year of school. He will start his job search in the next month and we will more than likely know where he will be working by November. It is surreal to think about all of the changes our family will be experiencing in the next year but I think we are up for the challenge!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Nursery Reveal...Happy 36 Weeks!

The nursery has pretty much been done for quite some time now. I was waiting until Adam was home again to hang some final things and for me to put away some clothes and blankets.

With Adam being in school, it was important for us to do the nursery on a budget. I am a fairly saavy shopper so I was confident that with some diy projects and coupons to Hobby Lobby I could accomplish my goal. We were also fortunate to have such a generous family to help us with some of the pieces in the nursery!

When first finding out I was pregnant, I pretty much had a clear idea of what I wanted to do for the nursery if we were having a girl but really had no direction for a boy so it worked out well for us! I knew I didn't want a "themed" nursery where everything matched but wanted to mix the old with the new which you will see a lot of.

This is the view looking into the nursery from the door. The crib was my mother's gift to us and is a bit darker in this picture than it actually is. We ordered this before we knew what we were having-I thought the Cherry stain would work well for both a boy or a girl. I also wanted it to be something she could grow into. I LOVE white furniture for a little girl's room but I couldn't see that as she got older so this is what we went with!

The blanket underneath the poms was made for me when I was a baby and the mint blanket was made by my great-aunt when she found out I was pregnant. I love the idea of using pieces from Adam's and my childhood. The lamb in the crib was given to me by my grandparents during one of their trips to Ireland. The poms above the crib were part of my shower decoration and thought they would be cuter than a standard mobile.

Sorry for the glare and bad quality but this is the best I could do! I found this at Hobby Lobby (not even looking for a wall-hanging) and was instantly drawn to it because of the lyric. I sometimes sing this line to Adam and when I saw this I knew I had to incorporate it into the nursery. Plus, it was 50% off and I got it for $15 so I really had no excuse not to get it!

I love pastels for a girls room and I knew I wanted a piece of furniture that would be a fun color. The color of the dresser is more similar to that of the second picture but is still lighter in person. This dresser was mine growing up. Adam stripped it and repainted it once we knew what we were having. We replaced the hardware (all 50% off) and voila, a new dresser for Baby C! The glider and ottoman were given to us by Adam's dad and stepmother and the blanket on the glider was another one of mine as a baby. The picture above the glider was given to me by my mom and was taken at a ballet recital. It is a beautiful piece and I always knew that if I had a little girl, I would want to have it hanging in her room. The pictures above the dresser were from my room as a little girl. Each of them has a water color image on them with a bible verse. And the crucifix my dad gave me in college and thought the style of it would fit well in her room.

My aunt, and who we have chosen to be the godmother, gave me a really great piece of art that had a cross in it. In her note she said that through the Baptism class she took for her daughter, the Priest said it is good to have religious images or symbols in the home for the baby to grow-up around. That has always stuck with me and one of the reasons why I wanted that crucifix in her room.

The bookshelf is handmade and we bought it from someone selling it on a site similar to Craigslist. I think it was about $30. It just needed to be stained and have hardware added. It doesn't quite match the crib stain but is pretty close and the hardware is the same as the dresser's. All of the books were either mine or Adam's growing up and a few were gifts. The green rabbit was mine as a child. The clock is a piece that didn't quite fit into the new place from the move so I found a place for it in the nursery. The same goes for the canvas bird prints hanging above the shelf. 

When we found out we were having a girl, I pretty much had the attitude of "Bring on the bows, ribbons, and headbands." I knew I was going to need a place to contain the bows so why not display them and make something cute? This is what I came up with. Again, thanks to Hobby Lobby, I was able to get a plain, plaster frame for $18, painted it with paint I had from a previous project, added some pink ribbon with a glue gun, and I was good to.

This has nothing to do with the nursery but, I love Etsy! I was able to get 10 bows and 10 headbands for $20. I could choose from about 20 different colors so I got an assortment to pretty much go with any outfit!

Baby C's little toy corner under the window! The rocking chair used to belong to Adam's grandmother. When she passed away and his grandfather started sorting through things, Adam asked if he could have the rocking chair since had such fond memories of it as a child. The rocking horse was given to me by my grandparents on my first Christmas. The stuffed animals are a combination of mine and Adam's growing up.

Lastly, I have to say, I have a special spot in my heart for classic, wooden toys. As unavoidable as it is, I kind of despise plastic toys-which I know make up probably 99% of the toy market. The wooden toy between the horse and the chair Adam and I actually gave to our niece when she was about one. His brother isn't planning on having more children so he said we could have it.

And her closet. I would say she is good to go for a while! Thanks to friends and family who were so excited we were having a girl and my saavy shopping, Baby C probably has more clothes than her daddy! The clothes are arranged by sizes and types (chalk it up to the nesting) by handmade separators. I didn't get a picture of them but I just took wooden doorknob hangers, used Modge Podge to cover them with scrapbook paper, and wrote the sizes on them (0-3 Months, 3-6 Months, etc.). That was really the only way I could think of to keep the clothes organized by size! 

So that's a nursery on a budget! Again, we hardly had to buy anything and if we did, it was on sale! I am really happy with how it turned out and will sometimes sit in the glider because the room has a calming effect!

Some 36 Week Updates:
  • Had my 36 Week appointment today-No dilation or effacement. I know its still really early but I was hoping for something to give me hope she might come early! My doctor said that even if I am dilated, I still could go into labor past my due date. On the flip side, she has had women who aren't dilated at all and could go into labor in the next couple days. 
  • I am definitely to that point of being so ready to be done with pregnancy. I was talking to a co-worker and she asked if I was at "that point?" I would say I am-I am hot all the time, I cannot get comfortable, I hate how I look, and the list goes on. I don't mean to complain because I know it could be a lot worse, I am just SOOO ready for her to be here and for me to be comfortable again. 
  • Some symptoms: Some light Braxton Hicks, lots of lower back pain, and starting to feel some heaviness in my lower belly. The good news is that she is getting into position according to my doctor!
  • Next week, I get to review our birth plan with her so I might share that on the blog as well. This one might be hard for me because I have a hard time deviating from a "plan" and labor is definitely something out of my hands!

Friday, August 9, 2013

What I Want to Teach my Daughter

I believe that for every woman who wants children, there is a tiny ounce of them who wants to have a girl. I am sure raising girls and boys come with their own unique challenges. I have the benefit of being a woman and knowing how difficult I made things for my parents but I also have a brother who was no walk in the park either.

I also have the benefit of working with over 400 women through my job and I see what they face today which isn't much different than what I faced about 10 years ago when I was in their shoes. I am grateful to my parents for teaching and allowing me to become a confident woman who is comfortable enough to stand up for what I believe in but respectful of others.

By no means am I super-feminist because I am sure those out there would cringe at some of things I have done or want to do. But, I am proud of myself for the woman I have become and there are things I hope both Adam and I can instill in her starting at a young age.

I have seen these lists floating around Pinterest but decided to make my own.

What I Want to Teach my Daughter
  1. Your father will teach you how a woman should be treated.
  2. Your point of view is important and needed.
  3. You should also be respectful of other's opinions.
  4. Music will define your mood and can be powerful. It will either pick you up or push you further down. 
  5. Mean girls will always exist. This isn't a reason to join in or to hide.
  6. Sometimes Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie does make things feel better.
  7. Develop REAL relationships and value the face-face conversations and interactions. Not ones electronically.
  8. I don't even know you and I already think you are the most beautiful girl and always will.
  9. Do not discount the value of a good book and your imagination. There is nothing wrong staying up late using both!
  10. Good girls are not boring and do not finish last. 
  11. Learn to not have the last word and to be the first to say "Sorry." This is something I still struggle with. 
  12. Movies lie. There is no "perfect" romance or relationship. Romance isn't some exotic, whisked away date but it is doing the dishes together while listening to Van Morrison and being perfectly happy. 
  13. Marriage isn't easy and never will be. It requires sacrifice, compromise, and selflessness. But, it is rewarding and fun.
  14. Cherish your body and be careful who you share it with. 
  15. Words hurt more than actions. Please use your words wisely and fight fair.
  16. Don't let anyone squash your strength or sense of self. 
  17. This one will be hard and will take a long time to get: You cannot control what others think of you and you need to let it go!
  18. You also cannot please everyone. Do what you believe in and don't compromise to make others happy. Ultimately, you will lose in the end. 
  19. Your father will teach you about his love for music and sports. These are things you will come to appreciate as you get older. 
  20. You will more than likely inherit one of my greatest strengths and weaknesses: You will feel every range of emotion more than the average person. You will love deeply and laugh fully. You will also overreact a ridiculous amount over minuscule things. My dad (your grandpa) thinks I live life more fully because of this. I have been fortunate to marry someone who appreciates (and tolerates) these qualities but I also know not to take advantage of his understanding.
  21. I sometimes play Landslide for you and hope you love this song as much as I do. I think you do because I can feel a calm movement coming from you when I play it. 
  22. Knowing your father and me, you will have some eccentricities. Embrace them and don't be embarrassed of them.
  23. Once you are old enough, budget for a good pedicure and massage every once in a while. I will probably even treat you to your first :)
  24. There is nothing wrong with some good retail therapy. Don't make a habit of this though. 
  25. Never chase a man.
  26. Beauty is subjective.
  27. "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."
  28. Bad hair days happen. That's what ponytails and headbands are for. 
  29. Bad haircuts also grow out. 
  30. Your father will love you more than any man you meet. 
  31. You will also put your father on an impossibly high pedestal so give the other men a chance!
  32. You will want to grow up faster than you need to. Once you are a "grown up" there is no going back so cherish your time of freedom and no responsibilities. 
  33. You will always have my shoulder to cry on.
  34. You can always come home. 
  35. Dress for the woman you want to be not for the man you want to have-you will attract the wrong kind of man.
  36. You will have friends who fulfill what you need in your life at that time and they may fade away. This is alright. 
  37. Your father will help you with your science experiments.
  38. I will read you novels.
  39. Your father might also teach you about Star Wars and you might think it is weird. Its alright to embrace the "weirdness."
  40. I will always fight for you but I will also teach you to fight your own battles. 
  41. Never stop educating yourself. Whether it is in the classroom or reading on your own, be a lifetime learner. 
  42. You are not better than anyone and no one is better than you. 
  43. I won't care how old or how young you are. If you need help, tell me. 
  44. Develop your own relationship with God.
  45. There will be times you will "hate" me and possibly your father, we hope that someday you will understand why we made those decisions. 
  46. Additionally, there is no such thing as "perfect" parents and we are doing the best we can.
  47. Finish what you have started. You will be respected for it. 
  48. Someday I hope we can be best friends but I will always be your mother first. 
  49. Your father will always love you.
  50. I will always love you.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

So ready to not be pregnant...Happy 35 Weeks!

I am in awe that we just have five weeks left. She could pretty much come at any time with really no issues!

I am definitely at the point of wanting to be done being pregnant! Along with the just the uncomfortableness that comes with being pregnant, I am just so ready to wear other clothes. I feel like I am getting to the point of having to wear the same thing over and over again. I refuse to buy more maternity clothes when I am so close to be done so I am just going to have to put up with it. Last Thursday, I went out with a few friends to watch a band that I really love (Soca Jukebox-check them out!) and I broke down when I was trying to find something that was half-way cute/trendy. Get me back in my normal clothes!!! And I just really want to go shopping!

My next appointment is on Monday and I start going every week after that. I will have my Group B Strep test conducted as well as a baseline for dilation and effacement of my cervix (sorry if this grosses anyone out!).

I don't usually take selfies but here I am at 34 and 35 Weeks. Some say that the growth of the belly is visible between weeks now. I don't see much of a difference between the two pictures. I am also going to refer to the 35 week picture from here on out to see if she has started "dropping."

  • How far along? 35 Weeks
  • Total weight gain/loss: I am going to say 13 pounds total. They tell you that you lost about 10-12 pounds just from having the labor. If that's the case, I am hoping it won't take me too long to lose all of it plus more!
  • Maternity clothes? Oh yes!
  • Stretch marks: Don't want to talk about it! Luckily, when I have had stretch marks before (from puberty and growth spurts) they fade really well so I am hoping that will be the case this time. Adam told me that when I am done having kids I can look into some sort of removal process. Before you jump to conclusions, Adam didn't bring this up, I did. He has been very supportive!
  • Sleep: I have been waking up with leg cramps periodically. There are some mornings where I feel like I could sleep forever which is SOO weird because I never sleep in. I will take it while I can!
  • Best moment this week: I have the greatest two co-workers and friends who gave me a little "Mommy Shower." We got pedicures and they gave me a gift certificate for a pre-natal massage!
  • Miss Anything? I am sooo ready to wear my regular clothes again!
  • Movement: Yes and all over the place. I can tell that she is starting to settle-in lower because I have been feel movement VERY low in my torso. But there are also times where she is kicking up by my ribs. 
  • Food cravings: I have had a few but they aren't super strong like "I've got to have that now!" Pizza sometimes sounds really good and Chinese!
  • Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope
  • Gender: GIRL!!!
  • Labor Signs: Not yet!
  • Symptoms: Lower back pain and lately I have had a hard time taking deep breaths. I still have acid reflux but not enough to where it is uncomfortable. Tums will usually do the trick!
  • Belly Button in or out? Still in
  • Wedding rings on or off? On!
  • Happy or Moody most of the time: Pretty happy most of the time! 
  • Looking forward to: Adam comes home FOR GOOD on Thursday! We used to think he wouldn't be back until the following weekend but we decided that it would be best if he comes home a week early. Now he pushed it up a day because he has an interview on Friday! 2 Days!!!!