Cosmic Reverse Psychology Session

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Cannot believe it is December 31, again. Can you stand another year-in-review post?

Maybe you should go back and read my post from last year on December 31. Then you will understand my title.

We had battled and lost, and last year at this time, we had pretty much given up hope of expanding our family. We had convinced ourselves that we were just as excited about eating organically and playing with our dogs as we would have been about decorating a nursery. And for all practical purposes, we truly were excited about those things. When you don't have an alternative, of course you are going to go bananas about making a fancy meal on a Wednesday night and teaching your dogs new tricks.

So I had decided to be bold and specifically NOT wish for a baby in 2011. I guess it was part self-preservation and part screw-you-infertility, but whatever it was- hell if I was going to tell myself that I'd have a baby in 2011 and have that empty prediction come crashing down again.

My friend always told me that God was going to knock my socks off when it came to expanding our family. I mostly believed her, but let's face it, after all the time of being without a child, I could never quite believe her 100%. I kept watching Him knock everyone else's socks off, and meanwhile, my socks were decidedly ON.

I will ask God someday why He waited to bless us with a child until we had give up 99.9% of hope of being parents. Maybe what I wrote last year was more true than I knew:

"But I also think that if we are to die to ourselves in following Christ, that means to give up our dreams in place of what God might have for us. And with this concept, that does mean giving up hope that your dreams will come true."

I had definitely given up on my dreams of how/when we'd have children. I think my thought pattern was something like "Supposedly God has something good in store for me, so I guess I will just have to lollygag around until whatever it is that is "so great" happens. If it is really going to happen."

I don't mean to imply that we should all start praying for our intentions as if God is playing a cruel game of Opposite Day. Actually, I think with respect to women struggling with infertility, it is the success stories of women who have given up or decided to adopt and then became pregnant which are sometimes the hardest. No one wants to hear that all you need to do is stop obsessing over getting two lines on a pee stick.

It goes without saying that 2011 has been the best year of my life. (2005 is a close second for when we got married.) I never in my wildest imagination thought we would conceive naturally after all we had been through, and I certainly didn't think it would happen this year. I was confident that 2011 would be a good year, but that was more like "Oh yah, I'm sure our dogs will be obedient this year" or "Won't it be neat to go to the winery down the street for their summer Friday picnics?" or "Let's buy some extravagant fancy car just because we won't have to pay for college".

I am so thankful for all that 2011 has meant to our family. Especially the arrival of our baby girl.

I hope that if we hadn't conceived like we did, that I would still be thankful for 2011. It's all hypothetical, but I hope that I would still have relished in the things that are blessings in our lives and held those as an example that no matter the size of our family, we are still very fortunate.

2012, you are coming after quite the year. 2011 set the bar way up high, and it is going to be a hard act to follow. But I will echo what I said last year, in that I hope that in 2012, we will continue loving each other and our dogs, paying down our mortgage, reading good books, making wonderful food (now in the crockpot), and falling asleep at 9:15pm (okay maybe now by the time I get the kitchen cleaned up it is more like 9:30 or 10). We are so grateful that we have baby M to love this year, and we pray she will grow healthy and happy and strong and that we will be good parents to her. I don't know what specifically 2012 will hold, but I hope it's a year of health and happiness for our family and friends. And no more cosmic reverse psychology, okay?

Almost drowned in Christmas

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I should be sorting laundry or putting away Christmas decorations or, heck, eating breakfast or going back to bed- things I can't really do that well when M is awake, but I wanted to get some reflections on "paper" about our first Christmas as a family of three.

Bottom line, there were many days when I was sure that I would be swallowed up by the preparations of Christmas this year. M is not a very good napper now that she is "older", and when she is awake, of course all I want to do is play with her, so that doesn't make for good conditions for a decorated house or perfectly wrapped gifts. Or Christmas cookies. Or anything else that I would have finished in the second week of December any other year of my life.

Because this year I was a little distracted by an amazing blessing. And I wouldn't trade her for any timely decorations or Christmas cookies.

But I felt a little guilty. It's her first Christmas after all, and isn't it supposed to be perfect? Don't tell her, but we didn't even wrap her gifts from us. (The ones from her aunts/uncles/grandparents were wrapped, of course.) As we were bleary-eyed wrapping one night at 10pm, we couldn't see the point in wrapping gifts that we would be unwrapping for her a week later. She didn't know the difference, right?

We never made it to take her to see Santa. We forgot to take a picture of the three of us in our Christmas outfits (we remembered while she still had her dress on, but we had already gotten into jeans..).

But it all came together. Mr. A helped out alot more than he has ever helped before, and I couldn't have done it without him. We had a nice time visiting his family, and everyone was very thoughtful with their gifts.

It is hard to believe Christmas is already "over", but deep down I am sort of glad. There is so much outside pressure for everything to be perfect, and it was a little overwhelming for me as a new mom. I think it ended up being perfect in its own way, and that's what I'm going to hang onto, not feeling guilty because it wasn't more perfect by someone else's standards.

Because after all, she is a perfect gift to our family, and she is worth celebrating every day of the year :)

Unfortunate Debate

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mr. A and I know this couple whose relationship is, on many accounts, completely toxic.

For the last 15 years, person B has been verbally abusive, manipulative, controlling, and disrespectful to person C on an almost daily basis.

Person C tries as hard as they can to let person B's tantrums go, but sometimes person C fights back.

This weekend, one of their fights became physical.

No one is seriously injured, and they have already done what they always do: go their separate ways for a few hours and then return home and pretend nothing ever happened. (GRRR!!)

So here is what Mr. A and I agree upon: Arguments should never be physical. If you feel yourself getting to that point, you need to just leave the area.

But here is our debate: After years of verbal abuse, is it understandable, if person C just couldn't take it anymore, and in a moment of desperation, person C lashed out physically?

I am not a huge victim sympathizer (e.g., don't whine to me if you get mugged in an alley at 230am all by yourself- you shouldn't have been there in that situation!), and so I will admit that it is beyond reason that person C has remained in this relationship. They shouldn't stay in a verbally abusive environment and then complain about it. But I suspect that person C thinks that staying is the "right" thing to do (for better or worse, right?), so that is why they stay.

I grew up in a manipulative, occasionally verbally abusive environment, and there were plenty of times that I wanted to slam the perpetrator's head into a wall. I get how awful it is to live like that.

Mr. A says that there is no excuse for violence in a relationship. He is a believer in "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me". Hypothetically I agree with him, but when you get blasted every day, you get very worn down. He says that doesn't matter- walk you butt out the door before you let it get under your skin.

Of course, neither person B or C is blameless. Person B should learn to control their mouth, and person C should learn to walk away. One person I was telling this story to said, where is person C going to go? I don't care where they go, but if they keep this behavior up, they're going to be going to jail (if the fights continue to be physical and someone calls the authorities)!! I don't know all the legal stuff, but I'm pretty sure that if they get reported, the powers that be aren't going to care about verbal abuse, just who threw the punch?

Bottom line, person C should have left before person B's words made their blood boil. But I can understand why person C lost it. It's a very sad situation.

What do you think?

Overwhelming Gratitude

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Today M got her 2-month shots. I was dreading the day, and I thought I'd cry more than she would, but luckily, I didn't cry at all, and she was in remarkably good spirits the rest of the day, considering she got stuck three times in the leg.

But she has been a little extra cuddly, and while I was reading some books to her tonight, as she was falling asleep, I was looking at her and just overcome with gratitude for her. I don't deserve her, and the fact that she knows that I'm her mom and that I will do anything in my power to help her relax and be calm and happy is just incomprehendable.

Last year at this time, I was blaring my Josh Groban Noel Christmas CD (I'm still listening this year, just not blaring). There is a song on there called "Thankful". If you've never heard it, click play below and listen.

There are a few lines that brought tears to my eyes last year for the hope they held, and they bring tears to my eyes this year for what has happened in our lives since then.

"So for tonight, we pray for what we know can be
And on this day, we hope for what we still can't see"

Just like infertility colors your entire world, I sang this song last year with my ache for a baby in my mind and in my heart. There were many many days I was so sure that we just wouldn't be parents, but somehow I prayed for it anyway because there was a tiny space in my heart that believed it could happen. I prayed for a baby despite everything, knowing all that we'd tried, all that had failed, knowing that we had pretty much resigned ourselves to being a family of two. Goodness knows, I couldn't see that in a little more than a month later, we'd get the surprise of our lives.

But not knowing what was in store for us, we had decided to change our perspective, to really celebrate and give thanks for the blessings we'd been given. It was quite a paradigm shift, and it took a while to get used to. But I could appreciate the lyrics...

"It's up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more
There's so much to be thankful for."

This year I'm having trouble believing that we're celebrating Christmas with a baby in our arms. It seems too good to be true. This was my dream that I was sure would never be real. I just cannot put into words how thankful I am for our baby girl. I hope these "year later" posts are not getting old, but they are all I think about these days.

I know that every one of you waiting for your little one feels like your prayer for a baby is one that can't be. Will you keep hoping for what you can't see right now?


Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It is really hard to write the wanted ad for the nanny you're seeking to take care of your little one. I mean, how do you even put into words what you're looking for, and more importantly, how are you going to find someone who is as delighted as you are when she goes squealing away in her bouncy seat?

I am also in need of some sanity. I'm feeling kind of off today, and for the last few days, and the first thought I had is "maybe I'm pregnant". (Don't worry, I cannot believe in any remote sense of the word that that's the case. It was just the first thing I thought of, and it totally cracked me up given our 4-year stint to conceive baby M.) Come on!! Ha!! I have seriously lost my mind!!!

{I honestly do not know how infant moms blog regularly. I really want to get back here more often- bear with me!}

Where does the time go?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alot of times, it is hard for me to fully comprehend how much my life has changed in the last 6 weeks. Last October and November were full of very hard infertile days. How is it possible that my days this October and November are full of time with our baby?

I feel so lucky and blessed it is completely impossible to put into words. Last year there were so many days when I honestly doubted we would ever be parents.

I wish there was an app for real time blogging that I could plug into my brain because there is so much I want to write about. I don't know where the time goes anymore....

Everything is going well here. We are now exclusively breastfeeding (thanks to the nipple shield), we are getting the hang of our new dinnertime, and we are drinking in every moment with our daughter. I know I keep saying it, but it is so hard to believe that she is here, after everything we went through that didn't work.

For all of you who are still waiting, I think of you all.the.time. I pray that your arms won't be empty for much longer. I never thought that my arms would be filled, so don't give up hope.

(Edited to add: I just updated my blogroll. I don't know who is reading anymore (any active ttc'ers?), but I am amazed at how many people are now in my Baby Bump and Parents sections. Every single one of them (you?) is an infertility survivor. It seems like not so long ago where we were in the trenches of trying, of treatments, or of adoption. My prayer tonight is that the way that God has grown each of our families will give hope to those who are still waiting for their families to grow!)

Some humor

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Last night, I had made Asian Chicken in the crock pot, and luckily it was all ready to go because Maryanne was hungry when we were! So I was over in the armchair feeding her while Mr. A was eating and reading the comics. All of a sudden, he burst into hilarious laughter. He brought the paper over to me so I could see this comic:

Dinner, Interrupted

Sunday, November 06, 2011

So I find I am struggling in one area. Well, it is an adjustment for both Mr. A and I, but I feel responsible, even if that's not really true.

Dinnertime used to be part of our day we looked forward to- it was when we sat together and read the paper and talked about our days and other random things. I never used to do much prep work prior to getting home from walking the dogs (630ish), but somehow I still managed to cook a meal from scratch by 7 or 730 at the latest on most days.

Now, after we get home from walking the pups, it seems like there is a black hole for the escape-ment (is that a word?) of all time and order. Maryanne inevitably needs feeding or just to be held, which we are so thankful that she is here and needing our attention; it is a huge change from dinnertime routine we've been used to for the last 9 years. I can't for the life of me get my butt in gear to cook like I used to (yet), and as ungrateful as it sounds, the meals that have been brought to us have been kind of disappointing, as far as flavor and quality go.

I think I am doing pretty good as a mom, but I can't shake the guilt that I'm failing as a wife.

Mr. A tries hard to be patient and understanding, but it's just who he is- let his blood sugar drop below a certain level, and even if you try your hardest to gussy-up the weird looking roasted chicken someone brought you and make it into chicken salad and put it on a sad looking kaiser roll (because even though you have bread, you a worried that the mouse went in the toaster, so you are on a toaster boycott), he is not going to be able to veil his disgust.

Which will make you feel like crap because you couldn't come up with a better dinner.

I am not posting this to complain about his reaction to dinnertime lately (so please don't everyone leave comments that he's a jerk or something- he is an amazing husband and dad to our little girl- no one is perfect!), I am posting it to ask for help and advice on how other people make dinnertime calm and peaceful and successful as far as the atmosphere, and as far as quickly getting decent meals on the table for their family.

Two words-

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Nipple Shield.

Changed my life. And Maryanne's.

On Tuesday, one of my friends from childbirth class suggested I try a nipple shield to try to help Maryanne stay latched (her baby had the same issue of not wanting to stay latched). I went and bought one yesterday.

Um. Why didn't I try this before?!?!?!

We have been using it for feedings ever since I got home from Target with this blessed piece of plastic, and since midnight, she has taken the bulk of her feedings right from the breast, with only a few ounces of milk from a bottle over night, and none from the bottle since 8am this morning.

It's amazing!! After all this time (as if almost one month is alot of time), I can't believe we actually might get the breastfeeding thing down. I thought for sure ours was a lost cause! I hope it continues to go as well as it's gone today...

I know that alot of literature says that nipple shields shouldn't be a permanent solution, but from what I've read, it is more desirable to have a baby breastfeed with a nipple shield than not at all. (Not sure if "they" assume the alternative is formula, which in our case it wouldn't be since I have pumped milk.) Speaking of pumping, I haven't been pumping as much in the last 24 hours because I want there to be milk in the source when she tries to feed, so I don't have as much pumped milk in the fridge. I guess I shouldn't be too worried since it seems like she is getting enough from breastfeeding (wet/dirty diapers have remained steady, and she doesn't seem hungry after feeding)? It is kind of a paradigm shift from even 3 days ago when I pumped her entire diet!

A picture

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Hi again :) I know I said I'd post more, but I am still figuring out how to do actual things (e.g., have friends over, go to the store, make copious amounts of baked goods for Mr. A) in between taking care of M. She is such a good baby, and already on a generally predictable schedule, but especially since I'm pumping all her milk, sometimes the free chunks of the day don't line up well with what she needs.

But for your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of our little girl. (Okay, so it's not even a full face shot, but I'm not convinced that we want her photos all over the web...) She is so precious to us, and we are so grateful for the chance to be her parents.

In other gross news, there is a fieldmouse in our house. EW. Totally creeps me out. But we seem to have gotten one every fall that we have lived here. I guess it comes with the territory of living in a rural area and having it get cold outside. Sorry to say, but I hope this creature's days are numbered....

So much to say

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I barely know where to begin. Life with Maryanne has been really great. We are getting to know her little personality and her cues and what she needs from us to be a happy baby. It is such an honor to be her parents.

I guess a short and sweet update would be good. I have a ton to write about each of these topics, but for now, it will be good for me to at least get some bullet points out to help me organize my thoughts.

  • We started breastfeeding in the hospital, where it was clear that she preferred the left side. My milk really never came in when it was supposed to, though, and after many times of trying to feed her that way and having nothing there to drink, she became very frustrated with the idea of even trying. She has a great latch- she is just impatient or something. Per the lactation consultant, I'm eating oatmeal daily and taking fenugreek. Per her pediatrician, I'm on Metaclopramide (spelling probably not right). Thanks to these things, my milk is now here and it's all Maryanne eats. Long story short, I still offer food from the source, but the vast majority of her feedings are pumped milk in a bottle. I am still bummed from time to time that breastfeeding is not going great, but I am very happy that I can pump enough for her to be doing great on breastmilk alone.
  • She is sleeping great at night- at least I think so for a newborn. She basically wakes up every 3-4 hours to eat. She has almost even gotten herself on a normal schedule. We are usually up around midnight and 4am, and then again around 7. I always try to put her back in her packnplay after the last feeding, but she is usually up for good around 730am.
  • We had almost 3 straight weeks of out of town company after she was born. We are very grateful everyone was so excited and wanted to meet Maryanne and help, but this past Sunday when it was finally just the three of us for the first time since we left the hospital, it was such a relief.
  • Cloth diapering is going AWESOME. We are thrilled at how the prefolds and covers are working, especially that we were able to use them from the time she was 2 days old. I did try a newborn AIO, and it leaked (all over the lactation consultant, haha)- Maryanne's legs aren't chubby enough to fill the gaps, I think! I definitely recommend going the prefold route, especially at first. I do a load of diapers every other day and hang them on the clothes line outside, and no stains so far!
  • I can't for the life of me figure out the Moby wrap, but she loves the Ergo carrier! Not so much the newborn insert though- but she seems to be 100% comfortable and safe without the newborn insert (she has pretty good head/neck strength already and her legs stay curled up beneath her when she's in the carrier), so we've just been going sans insert.
  • Bert and Banana (the dogs) are doing great. As far as we can tell, they have suffered no ill psychological effects from Maryanne's arrival or presence. They are curious about her and protective when someone new is holding her, but when we tell them that "she's okay", they seem placated and let her be. They haven't exhibited any aggression or jealousy at all.
I think those are the main bullet points. I'm working a few mornings here and there, and it seems to be going okay. Definitely nice on the days when I don't log in, though! I can just sit on the couch and eat bonbons.... haha, right!!

Today's goal is to make brownies for Mr. A :)

Do you have any questions for me about how things are going for us? Leave a comment and I'll try to answer anything you're wondering!!

Drive By

Monday, October 17, 2011

Things are very very good :) We have loads of company, so I haven't had time to post or even write up my thoughts- once things settle down, I will be back!!!

Life Changing: We're three

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Way back in January, we were graced with a life-changing pregnancy test result. Never before had we gotten a positive, and we knew that our lives would never be the same.

Today (October 4), on her due date, Miss Maryanne made her blessed arrival to join our family on the outside. She is perfect, and we cannot stop saying "wow" and reflecting on the journey that brought us to her.

The short and sweet: She's 6lbs 12oz and 18 inches long :) She was born at 9:36pm on her due date. And she's very sweet ;-)

The long:

My water broke at 12:30am on October 4. I was a "pop" that literally woke me out of my sleep, and I could not believe the amount of water that I was leaking!!! Not at first, but every time I would lay down or get up, I would totally gush more all over the place. It was incredible!! That was the most surprising thing about labor- I never imagined there would be so much water.

I paged the midwife on call, and she said to get some rest and come into the office at 8am to be checked. I debated whether to really take her advice- shouldn't I stay up and do yoga to encourage the contractions?? But in the end, I decided to rest, and I am pretty glad I did.

We went to the office in the morning to get checked, and the midwife who would be on call all day October 4 saw us. I was at 4cm!! She ordered an NST to make sure Maryanne was doing alright, and said that if she couldn't get the managing doc's approval for us to return home, it was off to the hospital since my water had broken.

The doc gave approval for us to go home and come back in 3 hours!!! This was a huge relief to me. My contractions had been very mild and about 9-10 minutes apart in the wee morning hours, but by 8am, they'd tapered off. The midwife suggested the black sheep of the natural induction methods- castor oil!!! She said even with the potential bathroom side effects, she would rather have those than do pitocin. So Mr. A dropped me off at home, and went to pick up some juice and castor oil. I didn't think it was all that bad of a mixture, to tell the truth- I drank a big glass of 2oz of castor oil with lots of juice at about 11am.

We went back to the office, and I'd progressed to 5-5.5 cm :) I hadn't had any ill effects from castor oil yet, so that was good. Baby's heartbeat was still good, too. The contractions were slightly more intense, but still 5-6 minutes apart. The midwife suggested we go walk our dogs for an hour, and then head to the hospital. So that's what we did!

We checked in here around 2:30pm, and contractions were about 5 minutes apart. (Castor oil note: I did have 3 instances of pretty much 100% big-D. But they were not uncomfortable, and I was sort of glad that there wouldn't be anything left when I started to push!) We walked the halls, bounced on the birthing ball, did some yoga, and watched some Netflix. Mr. A went home and let the dogs out and fed them dinner and arranged with our neighbor for her to let them out again at 8pm. While he was gone, I felt the contractions intensifying (both in duration and interval), and I was very encouraged.

At 6pm, the midwife did an internal check. Only 6cm. MAJOR BUMMER. Since my water had broken at 12:30am, she suggested trying to get the contractions to become closer and more powerful with....duh duh duh duhhhhh...pitocin! I was pretty bummed, and for about 5 minutes, I was sure I was going to cry with every word that came out of my mouth. But, Mr. A encouraged me- we didn't want to be up against a hospital policy of delivering within 24 hours of broken water just because I didn't want some pitocin, and end up with a c-section. The midwife noted that I was already 6cm, so it wouldn't take the max dosage, and that if the baby was in distress, they would cut off the IV. So we agreed.

The pitocin sure did the trick. The contractions got way more intense and right at the 2 minute mark interval that "they" like to see. I was still practicing my yoga breathing and using my aromatherapy oils to manage the discomfort, and Mr. A did an awesome job of keeping a cold washcloth on the back of my neck. At one point, I threw up a few times, but our nurse and midwife were awesome in encouraging me and not letting it derail my focus.

I think around 8pm, I felt pressure in my bottom during contractions, which the midwife said was a great sign that she was moving super low. But she said that the ideal is when the pressure remains even after the contraction. Well, it wasn't exactly remaining, but the urge to poop during each contraction was getting really strong. At about 8:45, I decided I wanted to try changing positions to see if that would help.

Since I was changing positions anyway, my midwife decided to check. 8cm! Wow, was I disappointed. At this point, contractions were obviously the most intense and coming at intervals of 1-2 minutes, and I was sure I was more than ready to push.

But I decided to go ahead with the change of positions anyway. They raised the head of the bed, and I sort of did a kneeling/upright child's pose, hanging over the back of the bed. Contractions were crazy intense in this position, but I remained committed to my birth plan of no pain meds.

Finally at 9:10pm, I couldn't not push anymore. The next contraction I went for gold. The change in positions must have done wonders for my dilation, because my midwife checked me during the contraction and said I was good to go.

When people tell you that pushing the baby out feels like taking a huge bowel movement, they are not kidding!! Every time I went to push, I was sure poop was going to be spewing about, but I think the castor oil had totally cleaned me out thankfully!

I pushed for 20 minutes, and at 9:36pm, she was born. Wow is all I can say. It was a little complicated getting me turned around and sitting down, given the position that I'd been pushing in, but the nurse and midwife and Mr. A all helped me greatly. She cried right away, and her apgar scores were 8 and 9. We did skin to skin while I delivered the placenta and Mr. A cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. We did our best at breastfeeding right away, but she was a little too fussy to calm down to latch.

About 10:30pm, the nurse did her weight and all that other stuff (right in the room with us), and then we held her for some more time. I took a shower and she got her first bath which she hated ;-)

The room I labored and delivered in is also a postpartum room, but they had a sudden influx of patients in labor, so they moved us to a room normally used by c-section patients. We were able to breastfeed 10 minutes on each side!

All in all, we couldnt have been blessed with a better experience. Sure, I wanted to avoid pitocin, but I am thankful I didn't need to be induced with it, only that a little was used to augment what my body was already doing. With Mr. A's help and my prenatal yoga training, I was able to have the pain med-free birth I'd been hoping for, too. And, of course, the biggest thing to be grateful for is our beautiful daughter, who's now in our arms.

Literally. It is 3am, and I've been up for 27 hours, and I did put her in her bassinette for maybe 20 minutes while she slept, but then she started fussing, and I just can't bear to put her down.

We are so thankful for today, the day the Lord has made for us to welcome Maryanne into our family. We know, again, that our lives will never be the same!!!

Nesting: My version

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I have done more than a couple posts on my in-laws during the last 9 months, and I just had to share this with you, too.

My IL's both grew up in very humble circumstances, but they have managed to situate themselves financially where they have gotten into a habit of buying luxurious things just because they can. Case in point, when they remodeled their kitchen, they put in a $12,000 stove. No, I'm not kidding. And no, they are not gourmet chefs, nor do they even cook from scratch on a regular basis. But you would think, from how they talk, that their oven makes better muffins than my regular one does. (I assure you, the muffins are the same, if not better, from my oven.)

And when MIL was talking about buying a new car, she was saying how she wanted the one that costs almost $60k. Her reasoning? Well because she wants it to last 9 or 10 years. Mr. A reminded her that my car cost $23k 9 years ago, and it has been an awesome, reliable car.

So you get my point. There is really no need to spend as much money as they do.

The other area where MIL spends a ton of useless money is furniture. We all joke about it, but between 2 houses they own, I think we counted 13 couches. Not including chairs. The joke is who's going to get willed the couches when she dies. Ha! She is constantly moving them from one room to another or rearranging the layout of the rooms (much to FIL's and her sons' dismay...).

Anyway, yesterday we were IM'ing. She goes, "Are you moving furniture or cleaning closets or any nesting things like that?"

Hehe. If this baby isn't going to come until I'm moving furniture, she is going to be in there indefinitely! We have ONE couch, a recliner, and an oversized chair in our family room, and it has been arranged in one of two positions in the whole past 4 years, and we only moved things because Mr. A wanted to see how it looked!!! (We left it in the second arrangement for a few months and then moved it back.)

And while I did clean out our closet in March to organize it for a maternity section, and I cleaned Maryanne's closet to make it organized with her stuff, the other two bedroom closets are untouched!!! Actually, they are probably worse off than they were in January, because where do you think all the stuff from Maryanne's closet went?! Haha!

I told her that I was not moving furniture or cleaning closets, and she concluded that I won't deliver for another two weeks then. (Because, clearly, you have to move a couch before your baby comes...)

Instead, I told her that my nesting comes in the form of making tons of scratch freezer meals and taking care of unruly landscaping. I could tell that she didn't buy it, but she tried really hard, responding "Well if you are restless, that is good, too."

Hehe. To each her own ;-)

Are you miserable?

Monday, October 03, 2011

Mr. A wanted to know last night. He said that all his coworkers keep asking him if I'm miserable, and when he says no, they tell him that that's crazy- I am miserable.

I think that is crazy talk.

I honestly don't know what to say to women who say they are miserable at the end of their pregnancy. Or the ones that whine that they want their body back. I just don't even know what they're thinking.

Okay fine, when I get up to pee in the middle of the night, my lower back really hurts and there is a ton of pelvic pressure, but is this misery? No! That is baby girl hanging out just where she is supposed to be right now, fully engaged and ready to meet us!

Okay fine, my belly has gotten pretty huge, and I have to chuckle that when I'm doing dishes I have to stand farther back from the sink to make room for it, but is this misery? No! That is baby girl growing just like she's supposed to!

For every symptom-related complaint I've ever heard about the end of pregnancy, I can't think of any response that doesn't come back to the fact that pregnancy is such a huge blessing, and women who complain about it (without the disclaimer that they know that it will all be worth it to have a healthy baby) have no idea how many other women would give their right arm to feel the same way. There are fertility clinics full of patients who are paying $20k a pop out of pocket for a chance to pee 3 times a night or have heartburn all the time.

So to the women who selfishly wail about being miserable at the end of pregnancy or write up eviction notices for their growing babies, I say how dare you. How dare you complain about the miracle of new life and all that it takes to create such a thing, and how dare you complain that your baby is still healthy and growing inside when so many moms go through miscarriage and infant loss?

And in other non-miserable news, my appointment this morning went great :) Blood pressure was 128/78, total weight gain is 26lbs (eh), but they are happy with that, her heartbeat was 143, she is at 0 station, I'm 2cm dilated, and 70% effaced. Midwife is really pleased with how my body is getting ready- we made an appointment for an NST and other post-due monitoring for next Wednesday (10/12), but she said she will be surprised if Maryanne isn't here by then. YAY!

Acupuncture at 1pm today to see if that will further help my body get ready! So excited!!!


Sunday, October 02, 2011

39w5d here! Baby girl is still snuggled up inside :) I love feeling her move around :)

We are beside ourselves with excitement to meet her! It's kind of a strange place to be right now, though, because while I have loved everything about being pregnant (even the things that people complain about bring a smile to my face), and I would never wish it away (on the contrary, I would like to be pregnant forever!), I just cannot WAIT to meet our baby girl!!!

I am really trying not to be impatient. You'd think after waiting 4 years for her to get here, I'd have learned my lesson that everything happens when it's supposed to. My neighbor thinks that she will be born on the 11th (exactly 1 week late), which is my grandma's (Hazel) birthday. We shall see!

Neighborly love

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Well gee.

I went out this afternoon to attack the front yard bushes and trees. My neighbor was in her backyard mowing her yard. I was going about, hacking away branches to my heart's content (seriously, it looks SO much better now), and then I realize that she is now mowing OUR backyard! I went back to tell her that I had every intention of mowing the yard tomorrow (not this afternoon only because I sort of do want the cleaning people to come tomorrow morning, and I was thinking that bouncing around on a riding lawnmower may do the labor trick- pure speculation, of course....), and that she didn't have to mow ours, but she happily said that she wanted to. It was so sweet of her!!

So I went back to hacking branches. Then I realize that she is now mowing our side yard!!! What! I reminded her that she really doesn't have to, but she insists. I started to bag the smaller stuff I'd trimmed and make a big pile of the larger branches to pull around to the backyard. When I got back into the front yard, she is now mowing the front yard!!!

Wow. She finished mowing just about as I was done hauling everything out of the front yard (okay, so now there is a big pile of branches in the backyard, but hopefully the garbage people will take them on Monday!!), and we talked for a few minutes. She reminded me that we mowed their yard when her husband was sick last summer, but still, I feel like I owe her big time! Maybe I will make them a batch of cookies or some cinnamon rolls....

I am so happy that the trees are trimmed. They look so much cleaner. WHEW!

AND, another fun thing is that there is another gal my age-ish in my neighborhood who had a baby earlier this year, and we always say "hi" in passing when we're walking our dogs, but we've never talked. Well today, she was out walking and she came up to introduce herself!!!! I was so excited!! I don't know exactly how old her baby girl is, but we exchanged phone numbers and are going to get out to walk with each other sometime after Maryanne is born! From first impressions, it seems like we would get along great- another new friend!

What an awesome afternoon!

My other half

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

(Mr. A)

I am pretty sure that at one point or another, nearly every infertile wife will say or write (or at least think) that there is no way she could survive infertility without her husband. At least that would be my prayer for all infertile women (if we have to be infertile), that we would all be blessed with amazing husbands- I cannot even imagine going through the struggles of longing for a baby without the support of Mr. A.

He is is a problem-solver like me, but in a more man-problem-solving way. All throughout our journey to conceive, no matter what stumbling blocks we hit, he remained objectively focused on our desire to expand our family. Even when I'd be emotional and wishy-washy, he never stopped believing that we would welcome a baby here someday, and he was going to do whatever it took to get to the bottom of whatever mysterious issue was preventing us from conceiving.

But even as he was strong and steadfast and held his vision for us, I tried to remind myself that it wasn't all about me; he wanted to be a dad, too, and even though lots of times, he didn't let it affect so much of his life, like I did. But he knew the pain of infertility, too. But sometimes, in the throws of infertility, it was easy to forget that he felt the stress and longing and anticipation, too.

And as he was encouraging me the other night when I was freaking out about stupid little things talking about how annoyed I was, I had sort of a flashback to last fall and all the times when I ended up so absorbed in my own infertility journey that I forgot he was going through it, too, with me.

He's about to become a dad. Something he's always wanted. But not something he is taking lightly. He is already the hardest-working person I have ever known in my life, but I can tell that now, all his work and time away and job and responsibilities are starting to be in a new light in his mind. It won't be just work or a paycheck anymore- it will be a way for our family to thrive and grow together and be happy.

No pressure! While I am rambling on about the wooly bushes in our front yard, he reminds me that he's been having a crazy time at work right now, too, and it's not just me who's feeling pulled in all different directions.

Humility check!

I am so grateful for the perspective that he brings to our marriage and to our life- all our journey together-, and how he strives to provide the best life imaginable for us. How even when he has stupid days at work, if he gets home and I'm being fussy about whatever silly thing (which I promise is not that often), he will selflessly let me fuss until I remember that maybe I should ask how he is doing.

He is going to be an awesome dad. Last night, when we went to sleep, Maryanne was moving like CRAZY. She is so low and I guess running out of room, so her movements were really powerful! I was loving it, and I whispered to him that she was going nuts. I think he thought it was making me uncomfortable (it wasn't really, I was just keeping him posted), because he rolled over and started rubbing my bump, and he goes "Sssssh, sweetie, it's okay..."

It was one of the sweetest things I have ever heard. (And, can I just say, she quieted down! Wow! I told him he was in charge of bedtimes!!!) I just laid there smiling for a while. I am so lucky.

So no matter if you are still in the trenches of infertility or if you are preparing to welcome a baby into your house or if you are parenting a little one, don't forget your other half. They are walking beside you through this journey, too, even if you feel like some days it's all on your shoulders. Don't forget to consider their feelings when things are tough, and don't forget to rejoice together when things are great!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

(Update from post this morning- see below)

Good (cool) news: Mr. A encouraged me to go to my yoga class and call the repair place on the way. (I was fretting, what if I called, and they said they could only come at 10:30? He said, don't worry about it, just tell them you won't be home till the afternoon. Love that he puts my sanity ahead of all the condiments that may or may not have to be replaced....) AND, it was a great yoga class. The other girl who is also 39 weeks (gah, still can't believe I'M 39 weeks!!) was also there, and we are hoping that we are cuddling our babies by this time next Tuesday morning. AND, after class, we went to this cupcake place and got cupcakes for a treat. So fun :) I am glad that I took Mr. A's advice and went to yoga because....

Bad (uncool) news: The earliest the fridge people can come out is tomorrow between 1-6pm!!! Wow. Definitely thankful we have our chest freezer, and definitely hoping it doesn't crap out, too. Trying to figure out how we can eat at home (without relying on takeout for every meal) because they said depending on the part required, it might be MONDAY before it is fixed. That's right. Like, the day before Maryanne is due. Oh well, trying to roll with the punches here!! (The cupcake that I got after yoga is is REALLY good!)

But overall, feeling WAY better today and not really annoyed at anything right now. It would be sort of hilarious (in retrospect, I'm sure) if she was born in the next few days and we had a houseful of company with no refrigeration capabilities.

Well this is just great. (Sarcasm)

I had a very annoying day yesterday. Everything was getting under my skin!!! Let's recap, for fun ;-)

1. Instead of going out to greet her doggy friends, now Banana just stands next to me in the front yard and barks at them. Maybe she is ramping up her protection instinct, but it is annoying to have her barking so much all of a sudden.

2. I have suspected for a few days that the fridge is not working properly. Yesterday, it was definitely not cooling like it was supposed to, and I told Mr. A and said I was going to call a repair man. I think he thought I was just being fussy and said he would look at it when he got home. Well by the time he got home, it was barely cold in there (the freezer part seems to work just fine). AND he discovered that the whole fridge is swelling or something, to the point where it is jammed up against the cabinet next to it, so we can't even roll it out to see what's behind it. GREAT. After all the extra food I've gotten and made, and with the new baby coming, and with the throngs of out of town guests waiting with baited breath for when they can come stay with us, our fridge is crapped out. GREAT. We moved all the food from the freezer to the garage freezer, and put all the ice and ice packs in the fridge part, to try to keep it as cool as possible in there until we can get a repair man. So now I'm waiting until 8:30am to call and see if they can come out today before all our food spoils (probably some is already bad).

{3. Because I can't call until 8:30am today, I will probably miss my yoga class this morning :( }

4. Our yard (particularly the bushes and trees and WEEDS) is out of control. I haven't really kept up with it like I usually do (it's not like I haven't been active in other ways during my pregnancy, I guess I've just been busy doing other things), and Mr. A could literally care less about the state of the grass or landscaping, so it has been sorely neglected all summer. The bushes are completely raggedy and the trees need trimming, and the yard needs mowing. I think it looks awful. UGH. Again, right before company comes, wonderful! Our yard looks like crap. (Mr. A doesn't think it looks bad, but again, he could care less about any of that kind of stuff.)

5. Mr. A is just really busy. Between work changes (his company split in two and his half is getting itself situated to be on its own two feet), and his new hobby of flying (taking pilot's lessons), he's been getting home past normal dinnertime most days recently, and it's just getting a little old. Especially with regard to the flying lessons, I haven't really minded that much because it's something he has wanted to do his whole life and he is great at it, and he probably won't be able to spend as much time on it after Maryanne is born, but it would be nice to have dinner together at a normal time again, instead of at 8:30pm or something. And all the extra work hours are just plain annoying.

So you may be able to imagine that I was just not a happy camper last night. Stupid Murphy's Law! Mr. A says I'm just nesting and that is why all this little stuff is getting to me, and maybe so. A few days ago, our house was perfectly in order for this baby and for everyone coming to meet her, and now I feel like it is all in disarray (e.g., my precious freezer stock lists are all wrong now!!!), and messy and jumbled and not prepared. Mr. A thinks for this reason alone, Maryanne will be here very soon. He's probably right!

The reason that God made him for me, though, is that even though he has a ton going on (that is realistically more stressful than a raggedy bush), he reminds me of perspective. Is it really worth fretting over a fridge when we are going to be welcoming the baby we've dreamed of into our family soon? Don't you think people will understand if you haven't been weeding and pruning and tending to the landscaping (most people yes, but I am sure that my gardening-idol Aunt B's flowerbeds did not look like a scene from the jungle book even when she was 39 weeks pregnant with any of her children....)? Aren't you glad we hired a cleaning service to come (this Friday again) so you don't have to worry about cleaning the house right now, too?

So luckily by the time we went to bed, we were chuckling and laughing about all the stuff that is converging upon us right now. We will get through it- and I'm sure everything will be totally fine. Thank God for good husbands :)

TGIF etc

Friday, September 23, 2011

So glad it is Friday!! It will be so nice to sleep in tomorrow!!

Thanks for all the compliments on baby girl's name :) We are so excited to meet her! In the "All things TMI" file, I think I lost at least a portion of my mucus plug last night! Of course tons of people lose it and don't go into labor any time soon, but I was just so excited that it seems like my body is gearing up to have this baby! I might be feeling a tad more crampy today, but I am not sure if that is my mind playing tricks on me or not. It is sort of a throwback to the endless days of the 2ww's...trying to analyze my "symptoms" without going crazy and knowing the whole time that they could all mean nothing.

An update on my friend who had a less-than-glowing reaction to the name- she says that she really does like the name- she just thought it was a joke because she'd just talked to me on Saturday and I was staunchly against sharing the name, so when I emailed her about it on Monday, she just thought I gave up and made something up to appease her. She nevertheless admits it was her fault. I still don't think it was a very thoughtful way to react to someone telling her the name of their child, even if it WAS a joke! Because how are you to know?! Even if I told her that we were naming her something like "Paint-Can", I think it's the friend's job to say something nice, even if they hate it! Haha!!

I have a few things that we really need from the grocery store (BUTTER being numero uno), but it is POURING rain today, and I don't really want to go out. Not like the store isn't just 15 minutes away or anything, and not like I have anything else to do this afternoon. Unbelievably, after having my concentration at work be completely absent from January till July, I have totally buckled down in August and this month, and I am sitting in a great position every day at 1pm when I turn off my computer... lest I don't get to turn it on the next morning!

Yesterday, I had lunch with two girls from my prenatal yoga class, and we sat and ate and talked for just over two hours! It was SO nice, and I really hope I have made some lifelong friends. One is due Oct 1 (just a few days ahead of me), and the other is due Dec 28. We talked about all kinds of things (not just baby stuff), and I am so grateful to have met them. It is nice to have the common bond/interest in how yoga helps us to be the healthiest as possible going into labor and delivery and that kind of carries over into other common things like prioritizing healthy/whole eating and active hobbies and things like that. But it is also nice because we all come from different backgrounds, so it was really neat to find out a little more about our histories and families!

Well I think I will do my best to get myself motivated to run to the store. I don't want to put it off too much longer, and the thought of not having any butter in the house is kind of scary ;-)


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Since I'm only working mornings, now, this morning I went back and read through my email conversation with my friend. She actually said "You'll be sorry when I call her...." instead of "Joke will be on you..." and I think what she actually said is a little worse than what I thought she said. Oh well.

Literally everyone else that we have told really likes the name (including the girls in my yoga class), so that makes us feel really happy. Even though I know everyone else's approval is not required.

I'm working this afternoon since I had yoga this morning, and I just opened my email and my friend has emailed me this:

"Did I totally offend you yesterday???? I fretted about it all evening...."

Well, let's see. You just told a mom who emailed you a totally legitimate email announcing the name of her child that the you think the name is a joke.


I have a pretty high standard for offending actions, so I'm not sure if I was "offended", but I definitely didn't appreciate it, and I think it would have been less awkward if she'd just said, well that is pretty old-fashioned for a baby, or whatever characteristic that made her think the name was a joke.

I was definitely concerned about people's comments about the name, which is why I wanted to wait until she was born to share, but like I said yesterday, I just couldn't deny Mr. A's excitement to share. He had always been confident that it was a beautiful name, and he wasn't worried at all about negative feedback, and I count myself very lucky that so far we have only my friend in that category.

And for all my dear devoted readers, for maybe just a day or so until I get paranoid and remove this part of this post, her name is....

(Edited out- sorry you missed it!)

Hope you don't think it's a joke ;-) We think it is beautiful and feminine and strong, just like we hope our little girl will be! (See previous post for the family inspirations.)

What should I write back to my friend???

Insert foot....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Had another good midwife appointment this morning! After that random high blood pressure week, it is down again this week (as it was last week). I guess it was just a fluke or something!

Mr. A was so excited to share the name of baby girl. He just couldn't wait any longer!! So even though I wanted it to be a surprise, I feel like I should honor his excitement and had him share with our families!!

Basically, we combined our moms' names for her first name, and used my Grandma's (who just passed away in July) middle name as her middle name. All in all, her name is very traditional and feminine, and her middle name is kind of an older one that you don't hear often anymore. Her first two initials are MH. So far, out of everyone who has responded (most people), only one person has acted like they totally did not like it. (Even Mr. A's brothers said it sounded pretty!)

When I emailed this person her name today, I was all excited to share it with her because I'd just talked to her on Saturday and she was wanting to know. She said that her vote would be for something traditional.

What does she email back today?

"Joke will be on you when I call her M for the next 10 years!"


I don't get it. That is her name!

Hahaha. Awkward!!!

We exchanged a few more email "conversations" where she asked "who is H?", and "how did you come up with M? random?". She never said anything about liking it or anything!

I was really surprised. Have to say it kind of stunk to field her reaction, and I know that all that matters is that we like the name, but I am just so glad that everyone else we've told loves it!! Even Mr. A's mom who has been decidedly and unpredictably disinterested in the pregnancy said that she liked the name and was honored that we used her name in baby girl's first name. Good PR move by us, huh? Haha. It wasn't just for PR though- Mr. A first came up with the idea, and we love her first name!

So anyway, I am not sure how my next interaction with my friend will go. It was so awkward after how she responded at first! Luckily, I don't actually see her that often, so maybe it won't be weird by whenever I see her next.

But whatever! Cat's outta the bag, and we are excitedly looking forward to the day when M comes out to play!

Preparations (type-A heaven)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

This post will probably be boring or totally hilarious to those of you fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants'ers, but I have had alot of fun preparing for this baby, and luckily, there are only a few things on my list that are not completed. I am feeling great, and I think it is helping me to feel very calm about the "any day now" baby birthing that is ahead of me.

So here goes :)

Here was my "Before the Baby" list:
set up downstairs changing area
order more wipe solution
buy witch hazel @ the drugstore
finish prepping AIO's
fix roof (totally new roof getting put on second week of Oct!)
pack hospital bag
talk to neighbors about dog care
unpack car seat, pack n' play, bouncer
make freezer meals
organize/label linen closet
clean out car
install car seat
clean off kitchen bench
write house manual
make a list of favorite recipes

make housekey copies
clean vacuum filters
clean the house (thank you, cleaning crew!)
organize freezers

buy vegetarian something for Great Aunt B
reorganize family room shelves

(And no arguing, Great Aunt B. You are not going to come here and have to eat celery while serving up delicious carnivore meals for my hubby (and me) (and whoever else is here)... There WILL be boca burgers for you, if I have to make a special trip before we go to the hospital....)

It has been really fulfilling to cross things off this list. I just went this morning and got some last minute things at the store, and I think I won't have to make another trip before M comes, as long as she is not overdue. That is so exciting for me!

Today has been really great. I slept kind of awful on Thursday night thanks to my runny nose, but last night I slept SO much better. We had a light breakfast, and then I went to run some errands- grocery store, Target (cotton skirt for laboring, hooks to hang up brooms/mops in laundry room), the bulk store, and the farm. I've changed our sheets, done 4 loads of laundry, hung all then hanging clothes up, and folded and put away all the other clothes. In between all this, I talked to one of my friends for about half an hour while eating lunch, and laid down and got my fill of the Saturday Food Network lineup. Now we are just waiting on Mr. A to get home from his pilot training. I'm making sloppy joe's for dinner- a double batch so I can freeze what's leftover for when M is here!!!

And speaking of FOOD, I've prepared 10 items (including sloppy joe's tonight) for the freezer that will hopefully come in handy when M is here. I made them all last week, and while there was one day that was kind of hectic (I made the pulled pork and enchiladas in the same day), it all came together kind of quick! Here is the list

Meatballs (30) (for subs or pasta)
Enchiladas (9x13 pan)
Pulled BBQ Pork
Sloppy Joes
Pizza Crusts (4)
Meatloaf (2)
Hamburgers (10)
Honey Garlic Chicken
Cooked (roasted) Chicken (enough for 3 meals: Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Almond Chicken Bake)

I made double batches of chili, enchiladas, and sloppy joes (tonight), and froze whatever we didn't eat for dinner. All of the other things were specially prepared just for the freezer. I thought it would seem like more work than it was, making totally extra dinners, but it wasn't too bad at all. This is my first foray into freezer cooking- I hope we will like the results!!!

I did actually write up some "Kitchen Info" and "Laundry Info" for visitors when they are here, including the location of key items, and what foods are in which freezer (kitchen or garage). I hope it will help. I am sure that Mr. A's mom will still be totally befuddled as to where the chemical-laden Dow.ny is (we just use vinegar for fabric softener), and I'm sure that someone will put my sharp knives in the dishwasher, but I'm going to have to let it go. This whole having people stay at my house and not be totally in charge of making everyone comfortable will be a huge departure from my normal hostess self, but maybe my type-A personality could use a little rounding at the edges ;-) For now though, I am grateful for it- I am feeling totally relaxed and happy and ready/excited/hopeful for labor to start so we can all meet M!

Survived Cleaning Day

Friday, September 16, 2011

And by "survived", I mean I sat in my office and worked and fed the dogs three days worth of treats while the cleaning team went to work on our house.

But, the cleaning team did a great job. They were very friendly, very thorough, and I think this will be a very good thing. It took them three hours (gulp), but that I imagine now that they will be coming every two weeks, it won't take them that long next time. I kept the dogs crated (or outside) while they were here, but I'm not sure I will have to do that every time, until of course they are wash the floors and then the dogs will need to be up for a while.

Among normal cleaning tasks, they vacuumed under the couch cushions, they dusted the ceiling fan in our 2-story family room, and they moved the shoe basket by the front door that was housing a whole civilization of dust bunnies behind it (clearly that was not on my list of normal cleaning tasks). I think Mr. A will be very happy :) And for what it's worth, the toilets are sparkling!

In other news, I have caught a cold :( I am not too happy about having a runny nose in the same general time frame as possible labor and delivery, but I'm trying to rest up in a serious way so that I am not sick for very long.

And for those of you who're wondering about belly pics, they are in their own link to the side (-->)... I just can't bring myself to post them in the normal post area...

"You can call me..."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

So on Saturday, Mr. A is going up to help his dad and brother move around some furniture for a project they are working on. His parents' house is about an hour and half away.

When he told me about it, I didn't think anything about it. We've driven up there for day trips countless times; it doesn't even "seem" like a trip at all, really. I even wondered if I should go, if his mom was going to be there, too (it's their second home), but turns out she won't be there.

Last night after dinner, Mr. A goes "Well you know, you can call me anytime on Saturday if anything, like, you know, happens."

Maybe I am just a little dense in the head lately, but it honesty took me a few seconds to realize what he was talking about.

Oh, right. Labor! Haha :)

Almost 2 years ago, I wrote a post about how when you struggle with infertility for so long, the prayer for a child almost becomes abstract and unreal. I mean, of course you are actively praying for a baby, but when your prayer goes unanswered forever, you lose the immediacy and the real-ness of your request. At least sometimes I felt that way. Like, oh sure, I'm praying for a baby, but like that is ever going to happen.

Now that I am almost to the end of this miracle pregnancy, there are still times when I feel like the reality that (God-willing) there will be a healthy baby girl in our arms in less than a month is kind of abstract. We have been preparing for this baby in so many ways for such a long time that, even now that she is almost here, it is hard for me to believe and wrap my head around some days.

Today I'll be praying that we'll all renew the passion that we have about our prayers, especially the ones that have taken on a distant feel, and the power of prayer in general!!

the dad thing to do

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

(Warning, grossness ahead.)

So last night , Mr. A and I took the pups for our normal evening walk. It was not even that hot- a nice, mild sunny evening. We came home, and he wanted hot dogs for dinner, which is nice because that's easy and I'd been cooking meatballs and pulled pork in the afternoon to freeze for when M is here, so something easy/quick was just what I was looking for, too.

But their virtue of quickness also was their downfall, I think. Because they're so quick, dinner was on the table probably less than 20 minutes after we got home. We also had carrot sticks which are also really quick-prep.

We sat right down to eat, and as I was finishing my hot dog, I got that feeling that something wasn't right. I did NOT feel good. I knew what was coming, and I stood up to see if stretching out my torso would help. Didn't really help. I opened the back door to step onto the deck to see if fresh air would help. If I had known it would not help, I would have gone the other direction into the bathroom, but instead, 3 seconds after I stepped outside, I lost 100% of my dinner onto the deck. I guess at least I wasn't still in the kitchen.

I think it was just too much food too fast for my crowded stomach so soon after our walk. I felt kind of bad because of the huge mess on the deck. I knew that it would have to be cleaned up (hosed off) immediately, and that Bert would (disgustingly) still go foraging for any scent of dinner that he could find when we let them out to play after dinner.

Mr. A has a pretty sensitive stomach when it comes to gross things- smells, especially (and the other big one is thought of eating quiche)- his family teases him endlessly about the "I'm about to throw up face" he made one time we were all staying at a cute B&B and they served some kind of quiche/baked egg dish- and I knew he probably had to run into my office to keep from watching me lose a hot dog and some carrot sticks outside. As I was finishing up getting rid of dinner, I heard him coming around the side of the house. I warned him not to come up on the deck, for fear he would lose his dinner, too.

But what is he doing? He is hooking up the hose to the spigot. He is getting ready to clean off the deck. He is saying, it's alright, why don't you go inside and brush your teeth and get some water. He is saying, I will clean this up.

I was floored!! He cleaned up the whole deck without even making his upchuck face, and he kept assuring me it was okay and it's too bad I got sick.

Some women get that warm fuzzy feeling when their husbands bring them roses or make them dinner. What strikes complete admiration into my heart? What Mr. A did last night and knowing that he is going to continue to be an amazing caring husband and will be awesome dad to baby M, even if it means cleaning up messes on the deck that would have sent him running to the hills a few months ago....


Monday, September 12, 2011

37 weeks tomorrow, folks. Holy camoley.

We are so excited that it is getting to the point where M could come at any time!! The last few days have had several overwhelming there-is-so-much-to-do-before-then moments, though. Those aren't so fun. But Mr. A and I are a good enough team that even if things get a little tense, we just chock it up to the immediacy of the situation, and move on. We are not the most lovey-dovey-PDA couple on the planet, but we are an AMAZING team, and if there is something we need to accomplish together, you better believe we're going to knock it out of the park.

After my last midwife appointment with the high blood pressure issue, I was kind of nervous about this morning's checkup. Especially since, like I said, there were a few times this weekend when I was not exactly calm or collected.

But I practiced some yoga for just about 15 minutes before I got ready to go. Because the midwife last time had indicated that I should be prepared to go to the hospital if any of my subsequent appointments revealed a situation which warranted going, I printed out the dog documents for people who are helping us with the pups when it comes time to meet M, and I printed out the kitchen info sheet that has all our freezer stock lists and favorite recipes and what all freezer meals are going to be available for eating. (Yes, I'm type-A. I'm going to do a post on the meal situation soon!) I got my hospital bag, and said bye to the pups. Who knew when I'd be home again!

Mr. A met me at the office. It was so nice for him to come with me this time (he couldn't make it last time). We talked about how excited he is to be almost done with his lessons to get his pilot's license. We talked about buying a little plane for our family (you know, when we win the lotto). I took some more deep blood-pressure-lowering breaths.

They called me back, and much to my surprise, I've actually lost three pounds in the last 10 days. I hear that sometimes that happens before delivery. Yay! There was no protein in their urine screening. AND, my blood pressure was 130/80!!! Absolute best news of the day. My midwife was going to have me re-do the 24-hr urine catch just to make sure nothing was amiss, but she decided against it because the results from the one last weekend were within the normal range, but mostly because my blood pressure went back down, I have no signs of swelling/water retention, and their urine sample was free of protein. YAY.

I am so relieved, it's hard to describe. I am totally ready to meet M, but I want her to be good and ready and healthy when she comes!! Tomorrow I will be full term, but I'm okay if she bakes another week or two. Just so she decides to come before someone makes her...

And, even though my midwife said that she is very pleased with the blood pressure decrease, she still wants me to take it easy. So I got a note from her that I need to work half days. Since apparently my office is going to treat me like I'm in third grade, I was very excited to get my "hall pass" and you better believe I've already emailed it to my boss and updated my voicemail and email signature and calendar to reflect my reduced-hour schedule.

So, after 1pm, you will find me catching up with friends, cooking meals for when M is here and we want something quick, or watching the afternoon lineup of fo.od network. Better get the lazy days out of the way before there is a baby in my arms!! After all the angst of the last week or so, today is a very very welcomed breath of fresh air.

I am going to bed at 6pm.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

It's just one of those days.

I work for a national agency that does not have "maternity leave" per se, in that there is no specific paid time off- whatever leave we take after having a baby has to either be leave we have saved or leave without pay.

Several months ago (I just went back to look for my post on it, and I am flabbergasted that I never wrote an in-law installment on this occurrence), my MIL lectured me on what I was thinking for maternity leave, saying that I could only use 6 weeks of my sick time for time off after the baby. Any extra time had to be vacation time. This assinine policy had never even crossed my mind, and I was so anxious after her lecture that I could barely sleep that night.

Since I have been blessed with good health, of course I have 5 times as much sick time saved as I do vacation time. But I remembered that my boss took quite a while off after her baby, so I just brushed my MIL's tirade off as antiquated policy. My FIL (they both work for the same agency) seemed to agree that MIL had no idea what she was talking about, since now they allow fathers to take up to 12 weeks of time off. So I felt much better.

A few weeks ago, I came up with a plan based on my current available leave balances. This plan included me being totally off for a month, working one day every two weeks for two months, working part time in January, and coming back full time in February. I know that alot of women get considerably less (just the 6 weeks), but I have been dreaming of the day when the sick leave balance takes a major hit because of a baby, and there were alot of times when I thought that day would never get here. What else was I saving sick time for, anyway?

This morning, I had a teleconference with my boss about my maternity leave plans. I emailed her a copy of my master plan (above), and she said it looked fine, and that only 6 weeks of the total hours I was planning on taking off could be categorized as sick time.

Well, then my plan wasn't fine, because in my master plan, the bulk of the hours were going to be sick time hours!! How is that fine?!

Maybe it is totally superficial for me to feel this way, but I feel like my whole happy maternity leave plan just got knocked off its axis, and this has completely ruined my day. Now, in order for me to not go back full time until January, I'll have to work a morning every two weeks in October, one day a week end of October-beginning of December, and part time in December. Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion, but I was so excited about not working and being able to leisurely get ready for Christmas with our new baby without having to worry about regular working!!! Now it's all just disappeared before my eyes.

I am SO frustrated with this policy. I have twice as much sick time as I am being allowed to use right now. What the hell am I supposed to use sick time on, if I can't use it while I'm trying to take care of a newborn!!? My boss says that kids are always sick, and I will be surprised how much sick time I use even after I'm back to "full time", but I don't remember me (or any of my sibs) "always being sick" when we were little.

At this rate, I'm going to retire with eight thousand hours of sick time. I don't think they should be able to tell me I can't use time I have saved up for when I will need time off.


I was pretty surprised at how the meeting went- she is usually very easy-going and will often times let rules be bent, but she made no apologies for this policy. She said I could ask my midwife for a note saying that I needed more "sick time" off after the baby, but what are we, in third-freakin'-grade!??!!? I know it's not her fault, but I am just surprised that she wasn't more apologetic, and that kind of bummed me out even more.

THEN I had another meeting with her and another supervisor about an actual case I'm working on, and they decided they didn't quite agree with my position, and would it be possible to do some extra work on the case on the side before we figure out what we're going to do with it?

Oh, sure, that will be just peachy.

THEN, the cleaning people called while I was on the phone with the second meeting, and left a message which didn't show up until 15 minutes after they were supposed to be here for our cleaning estimate. What did it say? They were calling to confirm our estimate appointment. Since I didn't call them back before the estimate time, they never showed up!


So I called them back and rescheduled for 3pm this afternoon, when they actually did show up, but in between the second meeting and 3pm, of course I was grossly unproductive because I was just steaming over this whole leave issue. (The cleaning estimate is higher than Mr. A thought it would be, but at this point, I feel like throwing in the towel on everything. It's only money, right?)

THEN, I am sitting here trying to resume work like I was supposed to be doing all day, and my midwife's number shows up on my phone. I thought, Oh my Lord, if my urine sample was bonkers and they are just calling now to tell me so on today of all days, I am seriously going to lose it.

Luckily, she was just calling to check to see if I'd developed any other clinical symptoms of high blood pressure/pre-eclampsia (which I thought was really sweet of her to call and check), and that my urine jug's protein was within the normal ranges. If my blood pressure is still high on Monday, though, she will probably want to re-run the 24-hr catch. Oh great fun that will be! She did say, though, that she would write me a note that I need to reduce my work hours until the baby is born, which since they will be before I have the baby, do not affect the 6 week limit after she is here, so maybe that will give me some satisfaction as far as taking sick leave to "care" for our little one. So that will be nice. Except she said she wants me to reduce the work hours so I can stay off my feet. And I'm envisioning making tons of freezer meals in my afternoons off...

And I am sure that as worked up as I am about the whole leave fiasco, my blood pressure was not exactly laying low today. Totally sucks.

Mr. Clean

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I mean, Mr. A. It seems as though he is going through his own little nesting phase.

On Sunday after lunch, he went to use the downstairs bathroom and came right back out again, visibly distraught that the toilet seat had some specks of discoloration on it.

It was so "disgusting" that he picked up his keys immediately and went straight to the store to get rubber gloves and a bottle of clorox. And then spent 2 hours cleaning only the toilet area of the half bathroom, including behind and under the toilet and IN THE TOILET TANK, including another trip to the home improvement store to get a new toilet seat because he declared the existing one unsalvageable.

Now let's back up a little.

First of all, I promise there was no epidemic of black mold infesting the toilet seat. Which you may have thought there was, based on his reaction to it.

I do my absolute best to keep up with the household cleaning, although I admit I would rather bake you brownies or make pasta from scratch or do ANY cooking before I would like to dust the baseboards. AND I use natural cleaning products that I do think are effective, but let's face it, they're not bleach. (Although I do use clorox's disposable head toilet bowl cleaners...)

But of course the time between bathroom cleanings is probably a tad longer than exactly desirable, even though I definitely clean them before it gets dangerous or completely gross. I promise. But even when I do clean the bathrooms, I don't normally scrub behind the toilet. Do you? I am I a worse housekeeper than I thought??

So I do my best to clean up here and there, including swiffering before all the dog hair on the wood floors makes it look like we have carpet, and wiping down the sinks and toilets and showers on a fairly regular basis. And I keep the kitchen pretty sparkly, although the microwave is another story, and I don't always shake out the toaster crumbs.

But when Mr. A gets a bee in his bonnet about cleaning, you better watch out. The last time he cleaned the kitchen, he took the knobs off the stovetop and cleaned them and behind them. And then with the recent cleaning of the toilet that involved a whole new seat.....

So he has come to the conclusion that we need to hire someone to come clean our house once a week.

*I hang my head in shame*

I can't tell you how ineffective this makes me feel. He says I shouldn't take it personally, but I am feeling this suggestion of his very personally.

I work from home, for pete's sake! Why can't I handle this in an acceptable manner? I mean, why can't I just keep this place spic-and-span with a few minutes of cleaning per day?

He says that that is the point. I do work, full time, from home, and while maybe I keep "up" with the cleaning by doing a little here and there, the house isn't regularly fully and thoroughly cleaned. He says not to worry about it- my time is more valuable working than cleaning anyway, and I shouldn't feel bad about it. His mom had a cleaning service, after all.

But I guess that doesn't make me feel any better. His mom is not a domestic example in any sort of manner- no wonder she didn't want to clean her house! She didn't want to make things from scratch, either!

My mom never had to hire anyone. (Huge caveat, she was a stay at home mom. And she had four kids "who needed to learn how to clean". Haha.)

Mr. A says that if I didn't have a job, and my responsibilities were solely HOME related, maybe it would be different. So I said, well, whenever the baby comes, I will be off for several months, so I will be sort of a stay at home mom then. His response was that I will be caring for a newborn and two dogs, and that he thinks that that will be plenty without having me feel like I need to deep clean the house once a week. He said it is amazing that I do all the cooking that I do and all the laundry, too.

So tomorrow, we are getting an estimate on how much someone would charge to come in once a week. It's a huge blow to my domestic diva ego. But maybe it will be nice to not have to worry about it.

Oh, and by the way, Mr. A also declared that our kitchen trash can was also too dirty for existence. Yes, the trashcan! So now we have a spotless new white one. This baby is going to make our house the cleanest place on the planet!!

Nursery Tour

Monday, September 05, 2011

Thank you to everyone who was so encouraging on my last post :) I turned in the 24-hr urine collection Saturday at 10am, and paged the midwife to check the results at 730pm that night. She said she would check and call if any of the results warranted further action before my next checkup at 36w6d. So far, she has not called, so I am hanging onto "no news is good news"... I am still bummed about the high blood pressure, but I'm hoping it was just a fluke. I don't have any other symptoms of high blood pressure (no swelling, dizzy vision, headaches, etc.), so I'm thankful for that!

Now onto more fun things, I think baby girl's nursery is done! Here is a photo tour! (Descriptions below each picture.)

Baby's corner in our room. Mr. A was going to make a cradle, but he has been so busy with work that he just hasn't had the time. We do have the cradle pad in case he gets inspired in the next few weeks!

Entry view of the nursery. Baby's hospital bag is packed and ready to go (on the rocker)!! We have 2 blankets, 4 outfits, 3 cloth diapers, 2 diaper covers, 2 hats, and 2 sets of booties for her!

Nursing/Rocking corner. On the nightstand is her box of board books. The top drawer of the nightstand contains things for me (e.g., nursing pads, lotion/cream, maybe a book). The middle drawer contains burp cloths. The bottom drawer contains more (bigger) books.

Changing area!! On the wall is a Guardian Angel print and a collage frame for family pictures (if they ever send them to me....) We have the diaper pail to the left of the dresser. On top of the dresser on the far left is her diaper organizer with three compartments: hair stuff, diaper lotion/spray, and snappi's/pins. Moving to the right is 2 stacks of cloth wipes (we will spray a wipe to moisten it before using it on her bum), a stuffed sheep and doll, and the changing pad.

The top drawer of her dresser holds prefolds and "disposable" diaper liners (which I made from cut-up old tshirts) for the first few days of meconium or whenever we'd like to use a liner we can throw away. The middle drawer holds newborn-3 months onesies and pants. The bottom drawer holds receiving blankets, swaddlers, and flat diapers.

The compartment to the right has two shelves: top shelf holds a bin with diaper covers and our three newborn all-in-one diapers and five fitted diapers. Bottom shelf holds a bin with hats and socks and our two pocket diapers (which are too big to be used just yet).

Her closet!! On the very top shelf on the left is our car seat cover for winter, and the pack n' play bag. To the right are three boxes with extra clothes- one is empty, one holds 3-6 month clothes, and one holds 6-9 month clothes. I'm hoping these will help me keep all the sizes organized!

Hanging on the top rail (left to right) are jackets/sweaters, extra hangers, and newborn-3 months dressers/jumpers/sleepers/sleep sacks.

On the shelf (left to right) are the downstairs changing area supplies (have to set this up and bring these bins downstairs), a bin holding pack n' play sheets and cradle sheets and extra diaper potion concentrate and witchhazel for mixing, a bin holding crib sheets, and a keepsake box holding the quilt that Mr. A's mom made for baby girl.

Hanging on the bottom rail (left to right) are two robes, and an organizer for towels/washcloths, and special blankets.

On the floor (left to right) is the baby tub, the small diaper bag, and the hamper for dirty clothes.


It is so exciting to have her room ready! We hope she will be very comfortable in here- we sure have had fun getting it set up!!


And, I think we have decided on her name! Since I refer to everyone with their first initial, she is baby M!!! So exciting. We feel so blessed :)

More Mind (Body) Games

Friday, September 02, 2011

You'd think after the 1-hr glucose test failure, and failing the 1-hr draw of the 3-hr (so technically being okay but of course still getting a complex about it), I'd learn to just let precautionary measures roll off my back without getting all in a tizzy.

Today (35w3d) my blood pressure was on the high side again (140/90), and so my midwife wants me to do the 24-hr urine test. She said their office urine test is completely negative for protein, and if I was in serious pre-eclampsia mode, it would definitely show up, so that is a good thing that their test was negative. Also, my belly measurements continue to be spot on, so she can tell the baby is growing that way, and even when she was checking the heartbeat, she could hear heartbeat accelerations when baby girl was moving and back to normal when she stopped, which she said is very healthy.

And she even told me not to go home and freak out, which of course is the most useless thing she has ever said to anyone on the planet.

So I got to walk out of the office with the embarrassing pee jug, which has taken up residence next to the tea jug in the fridge. I already warned Mr. A to be careful when refilling his glass after dinner...

It's just another instance of where all of a sudden I'm afraid/convinced of the bottom falling out. I'm afraid that the placenta is failing and that baby girl isn't getting the nutrients she needs, and I have convinced myself that at our next appointment, I'll have to be induced and the baby will get stressed out, and I'll have to have a c-section. (I really hope not to offend those who choose to have c-sections or were in a situation where they were necessary- but it is just my preference/dream to have a natural labor and delivery!)

I also had the Group-B strep test today, and so I have convinced myself that will also be positive, so even if I don't have to be induced, I won't get to labor as long as I want to at home because I will need antibiotics. Ugh.

She said it is completely possible that I just get subconsciously stressed on the days of my appointments and that is why it is high (last appointment it went down after I laid on my side a few minutes...but it didn't do that today... but of course by the end of my appointment, I was probably more stressed about all the urine collection info). I guess I hope that is the case- on my appointment days, I don't get to do yoga and the morning routine is just different, so maybe that is it. I don't know. I just want our baby to be healthy and getting what she needs. Why isn't my body cooperating?!?!

And then of course I say that, and I listen to Mr. A reassure me that out of all the procedures we tried that failed and even though I haven't passed every test this pregnancy with flying colors, this pregnancy has actually been pretty damn near perfect. I have been able to keep exercising, I'm not uncomfortable, baby girl looks perfect, and generally there have been zero serious complications, or any complications, since on paper, I passed the 3-hr glucose test. So really, maybe my body is cooperating more than I give it credit for, relative to what many moms go through for their little ones to be born. I stand corrected.

But it still stinks to go to the doctor and feel perfectly fine and get the news that you are not perfectly fine. No one wants to hear that.

So I am pretty much expecting that she will be here before her due date. Which sends me into a whole other mindset of needing to do eight gabillion things in the next week in case on the 12th, she will need to be born. Which of course Mr. A cautions me against getting all stressed out because of the blood pressure issue. Ha!

I will turn in my pee jug tomorrow morning at the hospital and get some bloodwork. They should have the results by tomorrow after dinnertime, and if there are any concerns, I will go in next week for an NST and an ultrasound to check the placenta and fluid levels. It would be cool to see our girl again before she is born, but I just hope she is healthy and happy in there and getting what she needs. I don't want to fail her now! I just keep praying God will bless her with a long and happy and healthy life with our family....

(ETA: You would think that after struggling with infertility, I would have learned that these test results are completely out of my control- just like infertility itself- but somehow, just like with infertility, I keep asking myself what I could have done better or why can't I do this right or what is wrong with me?)

F is for Fertile Friend

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So I was really proud of myself: At our last childbirth prep class last week, I asked two of the girls who we'd sat next to the whole month (with their hubbies) if they wanted to exchange emails.

I hemmed and hawed on my reason for getting their information, because let's face it, saying "I really don't have any other friends because up until now we had nothing in common with the rest of the fertile late-20-early-30-something couples" was not really going to make me look very exciting.

But I am actually a pretty outgoing person at heart, so I knew I could come up with something. After much thought, I finally remembered how I'd told them about my yoga studio, and how they offer postpartum classes (mom and baby) at 6 weeks. So, when I asked them, I said, maybe it would be fun to keep in touch and maybe we could all go to yoga with our yogi's sometime.

Luckily, they took the bait! Haha ;-) I think it is funny (sad?) that somewhere deep inside, my opinion of my friendship-worthiness has degraded to the point where I feel like I need to market myself or come up with excuses on why people might want to be my friend. Need to work on that I think...


So I emailed them a few days after our last class (had to wait just enough time so as not to look desperate, of course), and much to my delight, we are now emailing back and forth and trying to plan getting together for dinner sometime next week! I am so excited that I actually might have just made myself some new friends in our area. Especially ones we seem to have some general things in common with: similar ages, similar family situations (all of us are 8-9 months pregnant with our first baby), and it seems like we are all on the "young professional" side of things.

All was going fine and good until one of them included the lines "I can't wait to have my body back....not pee three times a night.... get back into running....sleep without the big belly.....". I did a double take, given that I had just talked about my befuddlement of her first phrase in my last post. I just shook my head, until the other girl emailed back that she could totally relate- she saw a guest on today's morning show who had jeans, and a shirt tucked in with a belt, and she was JEALOUS!

Oh, sweet mercy.

Can I be friends with fertiles?!

I actually did have my first noticeably uncomfortable night of sleep last night- just a backache- (I don't count peeing as making me uncomfortable), but I still would not trade it for anything or wish away my pregnancy because of it. I think it is amazing and awesome that our bodies change so much to carry a baby, and if that comes with some aches and pains, so be it. I will gladly embrace all and any discomforts for the chance to be a mom. Without hesitation or whining or complaining. End of story! We are experiencing a miracle here, people!!

(ETA: I'm totally going to give them a pass and pursue the friendships! It was just one of those things that makes you sigh and go "hmph", you know?)

My thoughts: 35 weeks

Monday, August 29, 2011

I was going to write this cutesy bullet post about all the funny things I have been thinking and experiencing lately, but I just can't get in the mood to finish it that way.

In short, and I know I have been saying this all along, but I really can't believe this is happening. After all we went through that failed, here we are at 35 weeks with a healthy baby girl all curled up in my belly who got there the old fashioned way.

It has always killed me to hear women who've struggled with infertility say "I can't wait to have my body back" or "Won't it be great to sleep on my back again" or other insignificant luxuries that pale in comparison to the gift they have been given. Like really, you miss your pre-pregnancy body so much that you would rather have the beautiful miracle you've been blessed with be over? Do you remember how much you prayed to become pregnant?? How can you be so "done" with something you heart longed for?? I'll just go ahead and say it: I'd like to be pregnant for the next 15 years ;-) Ha!

So here are some things I am loving right now:
*Baby girl waking up at 1am (and 4am, haha) with me when I have to pee, and how she keeps moving after I lay back down. I just lay there and drink it all in. Sure, she keeps me up, but feeling her squirm is so precious and something I dreamed about for so long....
*Belly is getting to be kind of heavy on the underside, and I am hoping that this means she is moving down and getting ready for a beautiful birth
*Continuing to practice prenatal yoga is so neat- I am feeling totally confident that it is helping my body keep in shape and mitigate the symptoms that other people complain about.
*I think I am getting some teeny stretch marks on the underside of the belly- and it is so cute! Hahaha :) I am like wow, belly is really growing now!!
*Cottage cheese :) Did you know it is a great source of protein? :)

Last night at the end of dinner, baby girl was moving up a storm, and my belly was, too. It was so cute for Mr. A to be able to see it- you should have seen the smile on his face. He hasn't been very touchy-feely with the belly, but I know that he is totally in love with and in awe of this little person inside.

The way I am approaching preparing for labor and delivery is the same way I approached training for both of my marathons: physical and mental preparation. There isn't much you can do to exactly prepare (it's not like you can do practice labors like you can go out and run for 4 hours in preparation for a marathon!), but I feel like prenatal yoga has equipped me with many many tools to use to ease the intensity of contractions, and the concepts that we've learned from the Bradley method will also help I think.

The one thing that crossed my mind this morning when I woke up and could have gone back to sleep for 2 hours was how to make sure I am rested enough! For my marathons, I made sure I got enough rest leading up to the race, but guess what, I don't know when the date of this baby marathon will be!! I have been getting at least 8 hours of sleep per night, but I think I am going to try to increase that little by little. I cannot be tired when the time comes!!

This post feels kind of disjointed, but it's the best I can do for now! We are so excited to meet our baby :) 35 days till she is due!