Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our Last Week as a Squash (Week 32)

Well, it is officially our last week as a squash! Yay! I don't know about you but I'm ready for a new food! I can't believe that we are starting the 8th official month of this pregnancy. It seems like just yesterday we found out we were going to have a baby and now here we are, 8ish weeks from meeting her. It's a little scary, a little overwhelming, and a lot exciting.

So, what's Ms. Lily up to in there this week?

"Your baby is really plumping up and will gain almost half her body weight (between now and) the time you deliver. This needed baby fat will help to keep her warm in the outside world.  The layer of soft lanugo hair is also starting to shed.  Over the next few weeks, your baby's real hair and skin will become soft and smooth."

This week she is measuring approximately 16.7 inches and weighing in at 3.75 lbs. It's amazing to think that she now weighs about half of what she'll weight when she's born, but even crazier to think that she'll double her weight over the next 8 weeks! We spent 32 weeks getting her here and now she's going to rocket towards the finish line.

So, how's Momma doing?

I'm hanging in there, which is all I can ask for sometimes. The holidays were stressful... gotta love family drama. And when you add up the holidays, family, drama, being too busy and not getting enough sleep, being unmedicated, and pregnancy hormones, you get... well, it ain't good. But we got through it, and I'm really looking forward to some rest this weekend.

But don't get me wrong, it was far from all bad. Christmas Eve we had my family over for dinner, plus our friend Dan, and some new friends of ours that we met at our childbirth class. They are pregnant with their first too and due a couple months after us. We had such a great time. I felt bad for not making the whole Christmas Eve spread like I did last year, but the shepherds pie seemed to be a big hit and was super easy to make and clean up after.

Christmas morning my family came over again and we had brunch. Mom made biscuits and gravy with eggs and it was so awesome! Since everyone is short on cash this year, we decided to stick to stocking stuffer type gifts this year and it was really nice. There was lots of candy and Hickory Farms summer sausages and my mom got me a bunch of these beautiful sparkly deep red holiday ornaments. I'm even debating putting them on the tree for just a couple of days before we take them down again. Jay got me the owl from Build-a-Bear that I've been wanting since before we decided to use owls as the theme for Lily's nursery. I love it so much!

Christmas night it snowed and delivered the first white Christmas in Charlotte in some 60 years. I went to bed before it really started sticking so I didn't get to enjoy it until the day after, but it was breath taking when I woke up.

Thankfully, we didn't have anywhere really we needed to go so we spent most of the day laying around watching Netflix and enjoying the down time.

I think my favorite gift this year though, came from our friend Shannon. She's an artist and created an original painting for Lily's nursery! I am so in love with it and took it straight upstairs after opening it to start working on where to hang it and how to arrange the room.

I'm hoping to get out to the fabric store on Friday to get the fabric for the nursery. And plan to spend the weekend working on the crib skirt and valence for the window. I also want to make an owl shaped pillow for the chair and smaller versions of the pillow to make a mobile for the crib. Not that it's all going to get done this weekend, but would at least like to get started.

Plans are starting to fall into place for our baby shower too which will be in just a couple of weeks. I'm so excited about that! It's going to be so much fun having so many of the women in my life come together in one place. That's another reason I'd really like to have at least some of the nursery projects finished, so that I can show them off at the party. But I'm going to try not to kill myself over it. I'm also seriously debating over what I should wear. A lot of folks caution against wearing a dress since you'll be sitting and opening gifts and that never seems to happen gracefully. I may be able to put together an outfit with leggings, but am still not sure. Might actually go out and splurge on something new.

The indigestion/acid reflux is definitely not getting any better, but at least doesn't seem to be getting any worse yet. I'm starting to experience more aches and pains during the day and am finding it hard to stay comfortable in my computer chair at work all day. I keep putting one foot up and then that hip will start hurting so I put the other one up and then that hip starts hurting. Something was really sore on my right side last night and I was almost in tears but after lying down on the couch for a while and taking a Tylenol it finally let up. I'm very thankful that this pregnancy has been so free of complications thus far. I know it's going to get more physically challenging over the next 8 weeks, but I think I can deal with it. I think Jay may have to start taking the puppy out in the mornings though soon because I'm having a harder and harder time bending over to pick him up. (And yes, our puppy doesn't understand how to do stairs so he has to be picked up and carried up and down from the porch or back deck in order to do his business.)

And speaking of the adorable puppy/big brother... here he is NOT enjoying the snow...

That looks says, "It's cold out here momma! But don't worry, I'll just hold it and go inside were it's warm!" hehe!

So, how's Daddy doing?

Jay is wonderful as usual. I got him a diaper changing pad/diaper and wipes holder thingy for Christmas so that he can just drop it down in whatever bag he wants to carry and doesn't have to worry about carrying around an official diaper bag. He got me one for my birthday back in September so that's the one we'll probably be carrying most of the time, but now he has something of his own in the event that he takes her out without me.

He is really enjoying feeling her rolling around in there and readily admits that he has a really hard time keeping his hands off the bump. It's ok though. I don't mind. He always talks to her in the morning before he heads downstairs to go to work. He snuggles up to my belly and tells her how much he loves her and to take care of me. It's quite adorable and I think him talking to her is what actually wakes her up because its always just a few minutes later before she starts bouncing around. I can't wait until she comes out and he gets to be the daddy he's always been destined to be.

Well, I think that's about it for this week. I'm hoping to get some maternity pictures done this Saturday since it's going to be 60 degrees and sunny. If that happens I'll definitely share, but regardless I promise to take a bump picture this weekend since I've missed the past two weekends. Grr.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week, and wish you all a safe and happy New Years Eve. 2011 is slated to be quite a year! Woohoo!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Week 31

I've officially run out of cute, clever blog titles. Having the same fruit for the entire month kind of makes it difficult. But.. anyway...

Here we are. Another week, another squash. I simply cannot believe that we only have 9ish weeks to go. Baby Lily should be about 16.25 inches this week, which is about the size of 4 navel oranges and weight about 3.3 lbs. I remember getting excited when I could say she was in the 1/2 lbs range instead of just oz's. And now she's multiple pounds. I'm a little concerned that I seem to have only gained about 12 lbs over all and haven't noticed any weight gain in the last couple of weeks. I'm going to talk with my midwife about it next week. I just take comfort in the fact that my body will give Lily what she needs first and leave me with the rest. Most likely it's just because I was over weight to start with and my body is burning some of the excess fat. Plus I haven't had much of an appetite lately, but I'll get to that in a little bit.

How's Ms. Lily doing in there?

"This week your baby is gaining more and more weight as baby fat is filling in underneath the skin.  Your baby's color is also becoming less red and more pink in color.  By now, your baby's irises can dilate and respond to changes in light."

It is just amazing to think that a real live baby is growing in my tummy! Well... amazing and kind of freaky weird! Her movement is continuing to change. It's gone from punches and pokes to now it feels more like movement. Like I feel her arm brush against my tummy... or maybe that's a leg.

How's Momma doing?

I'm hanging in there. The holiday season is proving to be a challenge for me. There is more to do, less time to rest, and the pressure of knowing she'll be here in a couple short months is getting crazy! I'm holding off until after Christmas and possibly after the New Year to really start on her nursery, but I'm really starting to feel the pressure. Plus this is the first holiday season that I've been unmedicated in probably 6-7 years. I'll admit, it's a challenge. Trying to coordinate family, plan meals, clean houses, buy and wrap presents has been a little more than I can handle. I'm sad to say that I am woefully behind and some of my presents don't even have ribbon on them (GASP!). I know!! It's unheard of in the Stafford household. Sometimes I feel like a failure, like I'm weak and have let this pregnancy get to me. I have friends on line and in real life who are still making all their normal holiday goodies, and don't seem to be missing a beat. I try to remind myself that I face a special challenge and my focus has got to be staying calm and giving Lily the best gestational period I can. I truly believe that being unmedicated is the best thing for her right now and if that means my presents don't look like they have in years past, or we have shepherds pie for Christmas Eve dinner instead of the full spread of turkey and dressing, etc. then that's ok.

This past weekend we went to the mountains to see my cousin and her handsome new son! It was so much fun and I so enjoyed getting to practice a little, although he's quite advanced for a 2 month old. He was baby Jesus in the Christmas play at their church that we went to and did such a great job. Grandma feel in love with little Dallas, and now has baby fever and is counting down the days until Lily gets here. I on the other hand was a little overwhelmed. But it's ok. I know when it's my turn I'll be ready. I'm just still good with her cooking a little while longer. And I think that might be my last out-of-town trip until Lily gets here. I was so glad we went and so glad we got to see my cousin and Dallas, but it was really tiring and with Christmas being this week there won't be a whole lot of time to rest up. Oh well. I'll catch up eventually.

The indigestion/acid reflux is getting a little crazy too! All I have to do is look at food and my tummy gets upset. Right now I'm living on TUMS, peppermints (which work remarkably well), and ice water most of the day. I find myself avoiding food, which I need to stop doing. But at least I'm learning to eat less at each sitting. Unfortunately, I'm not adding much in between meals. The thought of food usually sends me reaching for my peppermints. I'm just hoping my teeth survive since most of the mints that really work are the sugar filled kind. Oh well. Sometimes you just have to make the best choices you can.

How's Daddy doing?

He's great as usual, really enjoying feeling her moving around in there. Not much else to report on that front.

Unfortunately, I am again late on getting this update finished and posted and once again I did not get a weekly bump picture taken. :-( Nothing to do about it now, so we'll just pick up from here and see what we can do this weekend. It is pretty amazing how differently you feel from the end of the 2nd trimester to the 3rd. We are on the home stretch now, though. Hopefully, I'll do better with this weeks update and I'm going to do everything I can to get a bump picture this weekend.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday weekend and even though it's late... here's our 2010 Holiday Card. Happy Holidays everyone!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3/4ths of the Way There?? Really??? (Week 30)

Well, once again, I'm a week late. The Holiday season is really kicking my butt this year. But Christmas is almost over and truthfully, I'm counting down the days until things calm down and get back to their normal pace.

I simply cannot believe that we are 3/4ths of the way through this pregnancy! Seems like just yesterday we were at 10 weeks and I was marveling at being 1/4th of the way though. We have a midwife appointment tomorrow and then we'll have them every 2 weeks after that until the last month or so then it'll be every week.

So, what's Ms. Lily up to in there?

"Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)"

Wow! So the baby and I see about the same without my glasses! Hehe. I know her pain. And if genetics is any indication she'll need glasses sooner then we think. Oh well, here's to hoping not.

And at about 16 inches long, the dad-centric pregnancy site, His Boys Can Swim says Lily is about the size of the large wheel in the old school Big Wheels.

Wow! No wonder I feel like a rolly polly!

Speaking of me... how's Mommy?

I'm good! Definitely noticing her bigger size. For most of the day I have what I'm sure are adorable little tiny baby feet kicking into my right rib cage. The past weekend was kind of crazy! Saturday morning I went with my mom to see my Childhood BFF's daughter in a production of the Nutcracker ballet. It was so much fun! This is the second year I've gone and it is so nice to watch her daughter grow over the year. After the show the star herself was able to go to lunch with me, my mom and her mom (my BFF). It was fun visiting and getting to hear all the backstage gossip.

So, I came home and took a nap and then got freshened up and went to my office Christmas party with Jay. Amazingly that was quite fun and not as torturous as I was expecting. We had a great group of folks at our table and it's always nice to meet the significant other's of the folks you work with. And I know my project managers and co-workers enjoyed getting to meet Jay as well. It was especially nice that one of my co-workers' husband is also in the sound business so he and Jay had quite a bit to talk about. It's amazing how small the sound engineering world is in Charlotte and how many shared acquaintances they had.

Sunday, I forced Jay to go out Christmas shopping with me and then we crashed out hard on the couch for the rest of the day. Christmas is really sneaking up on me this year! I'm never this late getting my gifts and usually have everything wrapped and under the tree by this point in the game. Oh well. Acknowledging limitations is healthy right?

How's Daddy doing?

Jay's wonderful! He is really picking up the slack around the house. I'm really starting to feel the aches and pains so I spend less time on my feet in the evenings when I get home. He is really good about making dinner, ordering in, or going to pick us something up when I'm not feeling up to it.

I think that's about it for this week. They are all starting to run together on me now. It's amazing how far we've come and how short a time we have until Lily gets here. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Week 29 Belly Pic

Well sort of...

The weekend was so crazy busy that I totally spaced on taking a weekly belly picture. But to hopefully fill in the gap until next week, here is the picture my Childhood BFF's daughter took on Saturday.

That's me, my Childhood BFF and my mom. Mom and I had been out that morning to see the Union County Youth Ballet's performance of the Nutcracker which my BFF's daughter was in. Ms. Mckenna did a fabulous job and we enjoyed the production greatly!

Here's a shot of the little ballerina herself with her mom and my mom. I'm sure a few years down the road we'll all be at Lily's performances, or sports games, or whatever it is she's involved with, too.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

That's Supposed to be a Squash? Really? (Week 29)

Well, we finally get a new food this week! I don't know about you, but I was getting tired of looking at that same eggplant. I'm sure I'll feel the same thing about this... well, they say it's a squash but it's the funniest looking squash I've ever seen. I guess I'm not very well versed in my squashes. Oh well. It's a little scary to think that there are only two more after this one! I can't believe that we are 29 weeks and only have 11ish to go.

So, what's Ms. Lily doing in there?

"Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. Her muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and her head is growing bigger to make room for her developing brain. To meet her increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because her bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day."

So, I guess I'll be upping my intake of milk over the next few days. Another update I get says that Lily should be settling into more consistent sleep-wake cycles which is very true. I feel her in the morning for a few minutes when I'm lying in bed... truthfully, when I'm trying to deny the fact that I have to get up and go to work. Then I feel her again sometimes mid morning around like 9 or 10. Then for a little while after lunch around 1 or 2 and then I feel her a lot when I lay down to go to sleep. This schedule seems pretty normal from what I've read since babies tend to be most active after mammas have eaten a meal or are resting. When I'm active and walking around I'm basically rocking her to sleep. When I'm still is when she wakes up. She really likes to wake up and bounce around when I'm trying to practice my Hypnobabies hypnosis, but I guess it gives me good practice learning to tune out the sensation in prep for the whole labor and delivery.

How's Mama doing?

I'm pretty good. I had a great appointment with my psychiatrist last Friday. He assured me that the fears I am having about the post-pardom time are perfectly normal and as he put it, "not your illness speaking. These are the fears of every first time mother." That made me feel a lot more relaxed. He did recommend that I get back in with my psychologist before the birth so that I can have another pair of eyes watching and another member of the team to help me through those tough few weeks when I'm getting very little sleep. He said that best thing I can do is plan ahead. Plan to have Jay take a couple of weeks off (which we are already planning on), plan to have my mom on speed dial in case I start to feel overwhelmed and need help, have the rest of my friends and family on alert for those first few weeks in case I need immediate help, plan to see my psychologist in those first few weeks for a check in, have the psychiatrist on speed dial in case I need to let him know what's going on, plan to enlist Jay's help in keeping the extra guests at the house to a minimum so that I can rest when she's sleeping instead of entertaining, plan to have friends come over and help us with the daily chores and bringing us/making us food. AND THEN.... ANTICIPATE THE BEST! He said the best indicator of how I will handle things is how I've handled things up to this point and so far I've handled everything beautifully. Don't get me wrong, it's a struggle sometimes and some days are better than others. But on the whole I've done beautifully. So, there's no reason to assume that I'll do any differently after Lily gets here.

I had to make my first parental decision over the weekend. My mom and I were planning on going to the mountains to see my cousin and her brand new baby, but when we got up on Saturday, we realized that the weather was turning bad and only looked to get worse the further west we went. So after a few phone calls and some surfing on, I had to decide to call off the trip. I was really bummed because it was one of the only weekends I had left open before the doctor starts talking about travel restrictions, but I also knew that even the slightest fender bender could be really bad for me and Lily and on top of that ice and snow are not a pregnant woman's best friend. I'm not usually a clumsy person, but I tend to not be careful and not go slow and am really worried about falling and busting my butt this winter on the snow and ice. Thankfully my cousin, being a brand new mom herself, was very understanding and we are going to try for a couple of weekends down the road. But now, that weekend is starting to look icy so we'll have to see.

How's daddy doing?

Jay's wonderful as usual. He talked me down off the ledge the other night when I was having a freak out over whether or not we were going to have enough money to cover bills while I'm on maternity leave. I'm hoping to take 8 weeks and from my calculations it looked like we would need an exorbitant amount of money to make up for my lost income, but after listening to his math and factoring is some things I hadn't thought of it all sounded much more doable.

I think that's about it for this update. I can't believe I'm almost a week late again this week! And once again I forgot to take a weekly belly picture. :-( Oh well. I think this 3rd trimester thing is really kicking my put harder than I ever expected it to. And with all the holiday preparations and such the time just seems to fly by before I know what's happened! I can't believe we will be at 30 weeks tomorrow! I have an appointment with the midwife on Thursday and they will be very 2 weeks after that.

Have a good week everyone! Hopefully, week 30's update won't be quite so late!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

28 Week Belly Picture

Taken on Sunday at 28 weeks and 4 days. We'll officially be 29 weeks tomorrow. Really starting to feel the effects of the 3rd trimester but nothing we can't handle. So ready to meet my little Lily!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Officially in the 3rd Trimester (Week 28)

First off... I must apologize for my tardiness in getting out last week's update. The week was crazy and it didn't stop over the weekend either. Because of the craziness, I didn't even get a 27 week belly picture taken! Can you believe that! Since about week 15ish I've only missed two weeks. Hopefully, this will be the last missed weekend.

So, this is our last week as an eggplant. And by even the most conservative calendars, we are officially in the 3rd Trimester now! CAN.YOU.BELIEVE.IT???? I know I can't! Seems like just yesterday we were at 10 weeks and I was marveling over being 1/4 of the way through. Now we are over 2/3 and just two weeks away from 3/4's! Sorry for all the fractions... it's the math geek in me coming out.

So what's up with Ms. Lily this week?

"Your baby's brain has developed more tissue and has formed grooves on the surface.  It's likely your baby has developed a more regular sleep sleep schedule in 20 to 30 minute intervals."

She is definitely becoming more and more active. Thankfully, it's not painful or even uncomfortable yet, but it can be quite distracting. Sometimes it feels like she's got the shakes or is having a seizure but I've been assured that this is totally normal. She's also changing positions a lot more often. For a long time she didn't want to do anything but lay straight transverse (or across my tummy with her head on one side and her feet on the other). But in the last couple of days she's spent a lot of time more diagonally. I'm hoping she's making her way into a heads down position. The midwife I saw on Monday said that we wouldn't worry any about her positioning until at least 34 weeks.

So, how's Mommy doing?

I'm doing quite well. It's been a busy week! Thanksgiving was wonderful! I love having all my brothers together at once, even if they don't all enjoy hanging out together. We stayed with what has become our family tradition and hit up Cracker Barrel for lunch.

We're quite the motley crew, huh? Some of my brother, Luke's, friends came with us and Jay's mom came too. We had a great time, although no matter how you sit at the table, with 10 people not everyone is going to get to talk to each other. The food was great, though, and the clean up (or lack there of) was even better! After lunch a bunch of us came back to our house for some wholesome family Wii fun. Being fairly eye-hand coordination challenged, I mostly watched but it was so fun to watch. Call it beginners luck or what have you, but mom kicked the boys butts at most things. It really was a great day. I love having family over at our house.

Friday, I had to work, so Jay hung out with Dan. And then Saturday was crazy. I spent most of the day trying to reorganize the craft room so that I could move out the changing table and have room for the Christmas tree. Jay was wonderful enough to put a fresh coat of spray paint on the changing table for me and it looks wonderful. I think we are going to try to touch up a few places where the paint didn't take very well, and then it'll be ready to put in the nursery. We got our Christmas tree on Saturday evening, but still have yet to decorate it. I'm dreading putting on the lights is really what's going on.

Monday morning, I had my midwife appointment where I was going to have to do the gestational diabetes test. I've heard a lot of mixed opinions on the test. Basically you have to come into the office and drink this really sugary drink and then have your blood drawn after waiting an hour. Some people have a hard time dealing with the sugary drink. And if you happen to throw up during the hour, you have to start all over again on another day. I generally have no problems with sugar. I'm a die hard sweet tea drinking sugar addict who has been known on occasion to have a donut and a soda for breakfast. But for some reason, this dumb drink made me feel like pure hell! They had me see the midwife in the hour between drinking the drink and getting my blood drawn which was really nice. One of the advantages of having a doctor's office with a lab right in it. By the time I had my blood drawn though, I was feeling quite woozy. I don't usually have problems getting blood drawn, but this time was different. I think I just psyched myself out. But regardless. I made it though and now just have to wait. The midwife said that they would only call me if I failed so to consider no news good news, but I doubt I'll be able to do that. I'll probably call over there this afternoon or tomorrow morning and see if someone will have mercy on me and tell me if I passed or failed. It's not the end of the world if I were to fail. They will have me do a 3 hour test before diagnosing me with GD, but I'd really prefer not to have to do that seeing how I reacted to the one hour test. But we shall see. Lily definitely liked the drink though because she was on a massive sugar high the whole entire day on Monday! I've never felt her be that active before. It was fun but distracting at the same time.

I'm starting to have more heartburn/indigestion/acid reflux issues, but it's manageable. I just don't go anywhere without my trusty TUMS. And I'm starting to have a lot of anxiety over what will happen in the first few weeks after the baby gets here. Being bi-polar is difficult. Being bi-polar and unmedicated is even more difficult, although I'm very proud of how I'm managing. Being bi-polar, unmedicated, AND sleep deprived, I'm afraid may add up to more than my phyche can handle. Sleep is vital to my ability to manage my illness. Even a little prolonged exhaustion can cause me to lose control over my emotions. I'm terrified to think of what the first few weeks after Lily comes home will be like. I've heard nothing but horror stories from parents who can only say, "I really have no idea how we got through those first few weeks." What if I slip into a depressive state? What if I'm not able to be a good mother to her because of my chemical imbalances? What if I'm not able to take care of her? What if she suffers because of me? What if I hurt her? What if? What if? What if?

I know nothing good comes of the "What If" game. It's just hard to fight it right now. Which probably means there's something funky going on with my hormones. I should have an appointment with my psychiatrist in the next few weeks and I'm going to discuss my fears with him. I want to be proactive about managing my illness. So if that means that I see him every week after Lily's born, or I make appointments with my psychologist for ever week after Lily's born until we are sure I'm ok, then I'm willing to do that. Maybe we need to talk about medication I can have on hand that won't interfere with breast feeding. Or maybe we just need to talk about what is understandable and normal ("baby blues") and what a true crisis would look like. I'll need to make sure that Jay, my mom, Luke, our friend Dan and my close girlfriends are on alert in the event that I need help on short notice. Like I said, I think I'll feel better after I talk with my psychiatrist.

In other good news, my childhood BFF's sister (I know that was borderline Maury show there but..) called her to say that they have realized that they no longer need one of the crib mattresses they have and asked if we would like it. Um... YES! Jay and I had just attempted to tackle the task of choosing a mattress for the crib but had gotten horribly overwhelmed and sticker-shocked and had decided to put it off for a little while since we didn't need it right this moment. Yay! Oh how I love hand me downs.

I've been trying my hardest to resist the urge, but have broken down on a couple of occasions and purchased a few cloths for Lily. My favorite so far is a onesie that says, "All I need is love, and my daddy." And I even got her a teeny-tiny pair of jeans this weekend. I'll pretty much take one of everything from Target right now. But like I said, I'm trying to rein it in. We don't know how big or small she's going to be until she's here so it's kind of silly to stock up on a bunch of clothes that she might be too big for.

So, how's daddy doing?

He's great too. He's been doing a lot of work lately to help get the nursery ready. He got his Christmas bonus a week or so ago which we have earmarked for the car seat. He's been great about doing research and helping us decide which seat would be best for us. He's also been really good to roll with any pregnancy hormones punches I deal out. They aren't usually targeted at him, but I've gotten very clingy lately and just seem to want him around all the time (which is very unlike me). He's very protective of me and insists that I not lift anything at all. That can be kind of annoying to this independent minded girl, but I'm working on letting him do more things for me. He's also been so good to listen to me when I'm having a hard time managing my emotions. He's very encouraging and understanding and lets me know that he'll always be there for me.

So, I think that's about it for the week. This weekend coming up will be fun. I'm heading out to see my cousin in the mountains and meet her son for the first time. I'm sure there will be pictures. I don't think I mentioned this before, but they as of our next appointment on December 16th, we will be moving to appointments every 2 weeks instead of every 4. This will last until about a month before and then we'll be going to appointments every week. It's just amazing how time is passing so quickly!

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

An Eggplant, A Cauliflower, and a New Crib (Week 27)

Yep, that's right. Still about the size of an eggplant. Lily should be about 14.5 inches long this week, which is about the size of the head of a cauliflower. She should weight about 2 lbs too. Wow! No wonder her movements keep getting stronger and more noticeable. I thought my mom was going to get to feel her this weekend. She was bouncing all around in there, but just like the game she likes to play with daddy, she hid from grandma too. Oh well. Soon enough.

So what else is up with Ms. Lily this week?

"This week your baby looks like a thinner, redder, more wrinkled version of what she will look like at birth, but in the next few weeks more fat will fill out her appearance.  Your baby's immune system is continuing to mature as are her lungs which are still practicing breathing amniotic fluid."

How's Mommy doing?

I'm doing very well, which continues the trend over the last couple of weeks. I'm not sure if it's really the effects of the Hypnobabies or if my hormones have shifted as we finish up the 2nd trimester or maybe I'm just learning to manage better without the medication. Whatever is happening though, I'm all for it. I find myself stressing and worrying less than I did earlier in the pregnancy. There are quite a few girls on my boards who are being put on bedrest or diagnosed with gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. Two girls have even given birth to premmies. I would have expected that I would be terrified of these things myself. But I'm not. I know that there is nothing I can do about them, other than what I'm already doing and worrying about them won't make it any easier. This is nothing new or earth shattering, but for some reason my hormones/brain chemistry seems to be playing nicely and allowing me to not worry at the moment. That could change at any time though, so who knows.

This weekend was really awesome! Super busy! But awesome! We spent most of Saturday over at some new friends that we met through our Hypnobabies class. They are about 8 weeks behind us. It was so fun to get to know them and be able to talk babies, pregnancy, birthing, and being new home owners.

Then Sunday, I got a burr under my saddle that I wanted to go to IKEA to look at some dressers for the baby's room. Jay declined after seeing that my mom was available to go with me. We had such a good time. We talked and dreamed and designed the nursery and had coffee and cake in the restaurant. I pretty much want one of everything in their baby department. But while we were there, we found out that they are in the process of discontinuing the crib I want in the color I want!! OMG!! Having no idea who much longer it would be available at our store (IKEA doesn't do a lot of Internet sells), and given the relatively inexpensive price tag ($99), I texted Jay to see if I should go ahead and pick one up. He said, "yes" as long as I got someone to help put it in the car and didn't try to lift it myself.

I was soooooo excited!!! We've bought a few of the bigger items off of Craigslist but this was our first brand new baby purchase, and constitutes the official beginning of our nursery! Even better... Jay put it together that very night!! I helped!!! But he kept yelling at me. He's always afraid I'm going to lose my balance and fall or try to pick something up that's too heavy for me. He's wonderful!

Here it is in the box!

And here is the obligatory shot of the pregnant mommy standing in front of the crib!

We're still trying to figure out how to set up the nursery. We will actually be taking that swing downstairs to the living room and exchanging it for our Poang chair from IKEA.  for when we want to bounce/rock her. But for now, we use that chair and don't really have any extra room in the living room to put the swing. I have to clean off the changing table (which I use as a storage piece in my craft room) so Jay can put a fresh coat of paint on it. I wouldn't recommend buying a dedicated changing table because they aren't really useful after the baby comes (unless you're me and use it as an extra organizational piece for craft supplies or as a drink cart for dinner parties), but this one was left by the previous owners of our house who didn't want to pack it up. And free is always my favorite price!

I'm hoping to get to Jo Ann's very soon to start getting fabric so I can start on the bedding and some of the decorative pieces for the room. It's amazing how everything is coming together. I knew it would, but sometimes one wonders.

How's Daddy doing?

Daddy's doing great! As always. He's getting to feel Lily more and more which he loves. And he always says goodbye to her in the mornings before he leaves for work. I can't wait to see him become the dad he has always been destined to be.

Sorry for the delay on this post everyone! I can't believe that I'm a whole week behind. But that's ok. I'll get caught up in the next few days if not today. Thanksgiving week was crazy (more about that in the next post) and we had a crazy weekend too. Fortunately or unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's going to be slowing down anytime soon. I'm planning on going out of town to see my cousin this weekend (and meet her new little guy for the first time) because I realized that this is my only open weekend until after Christmas and the first of the year is when my doctor has recommend that I not travel more than an hour or so away. WOW! I can't believe how far we've come and how quickly Ms. Lily will be here.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

26 Week Belly Picture

I've had to move to the front porch because of the lighting on our back deck. And I ALMOST didn't get one taken this week. We were really busy and by the time I realized I hadn't taken my picture yet, it was almost dark and I didn't look my best. But I decided that it was more important to me to actually have the picture in the long run then whether or not my hair was straightened. So, here we go. 26 weeks and I'm realizing that what I wear makes a huge difference in how big I look. Black is definitely slimming, which when you want to look slimmer is great, but it's not the best color for showing off a baby bump. Oh well. Tomorrow we hit 27 weeks and then Thanksgiving is the next day. It's absolutely amazing how quickly time is passing right now. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm trying to savor every moment that I can. Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Another Week... Another Eggplant (26 Weeks)

Welcome to Week 26 everyone! We're still officially an eggplant but according to one of the other weekly updated I get Ms. Lily should be about 14 inches today and about the length of a hot house cucumber. Also she should be about 1.75 lbs.

What else is she up to in there?

"By now, your baby's lungs and brain are much more developed.  In fact, your baby can likely detect light and dark through the optic nerve.  Your baby can now also hear more than just your rumbling tummy, such as outside noises like our partner's voice."

I've noticed a big change in her movements too. She has either gotten bigger and stronger or she has officially moved up above the placenta because her little kicks aren't so little any more! They aren't uncomfortable or anything, but they are definitely more noticeable and noticeable from the outside now too. Jay has gotten to feel her on a bunch of occasions.  It's awesome and I'm loving every moment of it. Yesterday morning I swear she was either tap dancing or trying to peck her way out of there. It was adorable. She was doing something funky with her feet the other day, too. It felt like she was rolling them or something. Jay laughed because I do this thing when I'm really tired or trying to fall asleep where I rub my feet together in a very rhythmic way. I'm completely unaware of it until someone draws my attention to it. It must be genetic though because my dad does the same thing. Lily may have the same thing.

How's Mama doing?

I feel like I'm doing really well. I had a stressful night last week, but was able to get past it. The weekend was pretty busy so I was wiped by the end, but seem to have bounced back fairly well. I was proud of my self on Sunday. I got a hankering for some pecan pie and some homemade Russian Tea so I swung by the store on the way home from having lunch with my family and got all the ingredients. I followed through with making both and have greatly enjoyed them. This is the first time that I've had the energy to think about, let alone, follow through with baking anything out of the ordinary.

I'm very much looking forward to Thanksgiving next week even though we only get Thursday off. It's ok really because I don't get paid for days off, so the fewer days I take off the less money I lose. Plus, we have been hitting up Cracker Barrel for our Thanksgiving meal for a few years now. It's become our tradition and cuts down immensely on the stress involved. I'll probably do a whole spread for Christmas Eve, but for Thanksgiving Cracker Barrel is just too easy and convenient. Plus it's actually cheaper than if Jay and I were to buy everything to make the whole spread. I think we might have a Toy Story marathon that day... Watch Toy Story 1, then go out to eat. Watch Toy Story 2 and then eat some dessert. Then finish up with Toy Story 3, but we'll see.

I am starting to have some more aches and pains. My hips feel like they've gotten loser which makes them hurt a little. And I having a harder time getting up and down off the couch and floor. But Jay's usually there to help me. I know this is only going to get worse, but I welcome it, truthfully. All the aches and pains of the 3rd Trimester just mean that I'm closer to holding my outside baby. I have fallen in love with my body pillow. It's amazing what a difference it can make. I had written its help off earlier in the pregnancy, but now I realize it was just because it wasn't time yet. I'm actually getting very good at wrestling it from one side to another during the night too because I'm a flipper. Jay is enjoying it though because I can't "crocodile roll" like I usually do and steal all his covers. He's not going to know what to do once I'm no longer pregnant and go back to my old tricks. Then again, the first few weeks and months I'll probably be so sleep deprived that I'll sleep like a rock.

Speaking of Jay, how's he doing?

He's great as usual. He's really enjoying feeling Lily moving around, although he did have to tell me that it is not necessary for him to feel her every single time she starts moving. I think I was annoying him with it. ;-) He's really taking over the general pick up around the house and the cooking of dinner in the evening (or picking up of dinner in the evenings as some times happens). I so appreciate this because like I said the aches are starting to settle in and I know they will only get worse. I also love being married to a man who does not expect to have a germ-phobic approved house and if something cleaning wise is bothering him, he is more than happy to take care of it himself. I really am so lucky to have him in my life. He even let me take his picture this past weekend. My middle brother came over to take some pictures of us in front of our house for our holiday card and my camera-shy guy didn't even complain. The pictures came out beautifully, as did the card design. They were shipped yesterday so we should have them next week and then I can get them out the first of December, hopefully. I can't wait to see them!!

Well, Happy Friday everyone and have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


This afternoon I've been subtly reminded of the fairy tale life I have. It's so easy to forget all the blessings in our lives. Work stress, family stress, financial stress, housework stress.... stress, stress, stress. Thank you Rascal Flatts for reminding me of what a lucky, lucky girl I am to be married to my best friend, my partner in crime, high school sweetheart, the one my soul longs for, and for reminding me how close we came to missing out on it all.

Circa: 2000

Circa: Last Weekend (2010)
a little plumper (at least me), a little older, and (hopefully) a little wiser, but more in love today than ever

Now please excuse me while I have myself a good ol' hormone driven emotional pregnant woman cry!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Another Milestone!

That's right! DOUBLE DIGITS BABY!!!! We started at 280 and we are officially down to less than 100!! Our Little Lily Lou is going to be here before we know it!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The 2010 Stafford Family Holiday Card Adventure

I don't usually send out holiday cards. Every year I get a great idea, talk about it, think through how to make it work, sometimes I even take a family picture to include, but every year the time seems to get away from me and before I know it... it's New Years! But this year I'm bound and determined to change this! I've been wanting to have my brother take a picture of me and Jay, maybe in front of our house and that way we can sign them from Jay, Bonnie, and Baby Bump Stafford. :-) I figured I'd just design them and print them myself, but then I realized how laughable that thought actually is! I haven't done any crafting projects like that in MONTHS! Since I found out I was pregnant really. See, The Bump (aka Ms. Lily) has a way of sucking every last ounce of energy out of me and leaving me with maybe enough energy to go from the bed to the couch and back to the bed sometimes. So, I decided this year, maybe I'd enlist the help of some professionals.

Last week I was on's website, browsing this year's collection of holiday cards. And then what do I stumble across in my Google Reader Feed Friday morning, but this awesome post from one of my favorite bloggers Marriage Confessions about Shutterfly giving away 50 holiday cards to bloggers who are willing to write about them. A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

Being a design oriented person, and someone who dabbles in stationary design, I can be rather snobby when it comes to stationary. Put another way, I have pretty high expectations. Thankfully, Shutterfly always impresses.

For instance...

I love this one. I love the bold black background, the use of traditional colors and shapes but in a non-traditional, mod way.

I love this one too! The black and white color scheme along with the font choices and design flourishes are elegant in such a simple and almost understated way! Plus the black eliminates the need to worry about colors in your family picture clashing with the colors of the card design.

Have more than one adorable picture you want to include on your card? Have no fear, Shutterfly has plenty of those designs too!

I love the elegance of this one! The colors are non-traditional but beautiful and still feel appropriate for the season. The font combo is awesome, and the snowflake design is beautiful!

But choosing a holiday card design is about more than just picking the example that you like the most. Because a design can be the most beautiful thing you've ever seen, but if your family picture doesn't look "right" in it, then it's a no go.

So, this weekend, my wonderful brother came over with his camera and took a few pictures of us sitting on the front step of our first home. Technically we bought it this time last year, but everything was so hectic that we didn't get to send out our first family-photoshoot-in-front-of-our-first-home holiday card. So, this year will have to do. It took us a little while to figure out how to work with the baby bump so that our friends would say "wow! Look how cute and pregnant she looks!" and not "Wow! She's put on some weight from last year!" We also figured out that the black turtle neck I had on at first was making the bump disappear instead of stand out, so there was a mid-session wardrobe change. But when it was all said and done, I think we got some really awesome pictures, and thus far, this is the forerunner for the 2010 Stafford Family Holiday Card.

But don't be too surprised if you get another design in the mail. As of right now, I have 7 designs saved in my account. I love them all and for different reasons. This could be difficult!!... But oh so fun too! I can't wait until next year when Ms. Lily will be our outside baby. I know I'll need one of the designs with multiple pictures to showcase all her awesomeness!

So, are you a blogger? Would you like to get in on Shutterfly's give away? It's really easy! All you have to do is head over to Shutterfly and register your blog. They'll send you an email with all the information you need, and then away you go!

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

25 Week Belly Pictures

We took our family picture this afternoon so that I can get our holiday cards made (more on that soon)! While we were taking those, though, my brother got this one. I may have to move to this spot on the front porch from now on since the lighting on the back deck is getting so difficult to work with.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

That's an Eggplant BAAAABY! (Week 25)

Ok! I know I say every week that I can't believe this pregnancy is going so quickly, but this is really getting out of hand!! We are even almost to the 3rd Trimester, which is debated to be anywhere from Week 26 to 28 depending on who's counting or what book you're reading. And we get a new food this week. My little Lily is the size of an eggplant! Holy cow! How is this happening!

That explains why I'm looking more and more pregnant. And why I'm feeling her more and more, which is awesome! Due to having an anterior placenta (when the placenta attaches to the front of the uterus instead of the back) I am behind in feeling her move. I've been getting some "pops" and "knocks" for a few weeks, but nothing really strong enough to feel from the outside (with a couple of exceptions). I feel her moving around every day but it's not what other girls describe. But that is really starting to change. I'm starting to feel my whole belly move when she gets kicking... AND... this weekend Jay got to feel her move for the first time!! It was so awesome! We were lying in bed, enjoying the morning off and he was cuddled up behind me with his arm around my stomach. I had been feeling her moving around but didn't want to say anything because I think I stress him out sometimes when I say she's moving but he doesn't feel it. Well, I think she got the hiccups because it felt like she was jumping off one side of my uterus and banging her head on the other side in quick succession. I felt him go deathly still and then he said, "What was that?? Was that Lily??"  We laid there for a couple more minutes while she did it a few more times and I almost cried! It was such an amazing moment. I can also tell that she's getting bigger because I'm feeling movement further up in my belly. Before she had buried herself deep in my pelvis and most of the movement I felt was very low and on the sides near my hip bones. But now I'm starting to feel kicks and punches closer to the midline of my belly.

I heard something cool the other day, though about her not kicking when Jay puts his hand on my belly. Another girl posted about this phenomenon on my message board (good to know I'm not the only one it happens to). She had heard that sometimes the babies get still and quiet because they are listening to the daddy's voice, because usually when the mommy calls the daddy over to feel they talk and the baby hears the daddy's voice. The babies like the sound of the daddy's voice so they get still and quiet so they can listen to it. I thought that was such a sweet thought. I tell Jay that that is why she gets moving in the mornings after he leaves. He goes to work about an hour before I do, so I'm awake, but still in the bed when he goes down stairs. Before he leaves, he always bends over and kisses my belly and talks to Lily, telling her to have a good day and to take care of Mommy. It's usually about 10-15 minutes later when she starts bouncing around. I tell him that he wakes her up. :-)

So what's up with Ms. Lily this week?

"Your baby's body parts are continuing to become more proportional to each other.  Baby fat is also continuing to fill in your baby's wrinkled skin for a smoother look and more hair is growing, developing texture and color."

So, what up with Mommy?

I've actually had a fairly good week. Had the usual ups and downs but I'm learning to manage them a little better, I think. Had a really great weekend. Saturday, Jay went to Cars and Coffee with the boys so mom and I went to breakfast. MMMmmmmm... the Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes from The Original Pancake House were awesome! We also went to Target and did a little shopping around. I got a new maternity jacket, which I'm loving! It's really more of a heavy sweatshirt, but that's what I was looking for. I usually end up just wearing my fleece most of the winter, but am having a hard time getting it zipped now, plus it hikes up my shirts when I do that.

It's super cute and so nice having something that fits properly! And at only $40, I thought it was worth it. Now, thankfully, when it gets really cold, I'll probably just wear Jay's Columbia jacket if I can even get it to zip. I'm not really interested in paying $100 or more for a heavy coat I'll only wear for a few months. I also figure this jacket will be something I can probably wear after the baby comes.

Saturday night, Jay and I made an awesome Craigslist score too! I'm writing a blog about the epic quest that has been our journey to buying a stroller, but the short version is, I found a used Bumbleride stroller, which retails for $350ish new, for $115! It's awesome! It has all the features I wanted, is a better quality than the one I had on our registry and we actually got it cheaper than the one we have on our registry! I love getting a great quality product for an awesome price! It's in great condition and I think it will serve us very well.

Tonight is our last HypnoBabies class. So I need you all to be following up to make sure I'm doing my practice like I should from here on out! I can't start slacking off now! One fun thing though is that we are having dinner with one of the couples from class tonight! I hope it'll be really fun. They seem like a really cool couple... plus the husband has a BMW which makes them a shoe-in with our group. Hehe. (Note... WE do not have a Bimmer, but Jay's best friend, as well as my brother and his bestfriend/roomate all do. So, we're kind of surrounded by Bimmer people. Hehe.)

So, how's Daddy doing?

He's great as always. Like I said before, he got to feel Lily moving and that was the most exciting thing yet! He has been so awesome with helping with housecleaning, laundry, and food prep lately, since I never seem to have gotten that 2nd Trimester energy surge. Pretty much he's just bumping along, being his usual laid back self. He has really gotten into his role as the Hypno-Guardian (as the HypnoBabies book calls him). He wasn't all that sure of his abilities to be in the labor room with me. He has a hard time seeing those he loves in pain and didn't seem to feel comfortable in his ability to support me. I think the classes have really helped him. They've given him a very positive outlook on the whole experience. He expects that I'll be able to handle everything very well and he knows what to do in order to help me do that. He also sees himself as the guardian, the protector, the watchman. His job is to interact with hospital staff, midwives, nurses, our friends and family, etc. so that I can stay focused on relaxing and riding each pressure wave as it comes. We've talked a lot about how I deal with stress and he knows not to take it personally if I just want to be left alone to listen to my hypnosis script cd's and do my thing. He knows that he is still vitally important even if all he's doing is sitting in the room standing guard. And I love knowing that I'll have him there to help keep me "safe" so I don't have to be worrying about what the midwife or nurses or anyone else wants or needs. I know that he'll deal with them and all I have to do is focus on letting my body do its thing without distractions. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful and reliable partner.

Well... Happy Wednesday everyone! Have a great rest of the week, and I'll talk with you again soon!

Monday, November 8, 2010

24 Week Belly Pics

It's official! There's no denying Ms. Lily any more! Depending on what I wear, you can even see her from the front. 24 1/2 weeks down. Only 15 1/2 to go... ish. Good lord I have so much to do! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Week 23 Belly Pictures

Sorry this is out of order. I took this on Sunday at 23 weeks 4 days, but just haven't gotten them posted here yet. Can't believe it's almost time to take Week 24's pictures. This pregnancy is just flying by!

Little Miss Lily Lou is certainly making her presence known!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Our Last Week as a Papaya (Week 24)

Good morning all! Today has been a busy one! Lily and I made our first unscheduled stop by the doctor's office this morning. When I got into work, I started seeing blurry spots in my vision. And yes... I cleaned my glasses and it didn't go away! (Jay's always amazed by my ability to see through dirty spotted glasses.) I knew that spots in ones vision could be a bad indicator of high blood pressure so I googled it quickly, being very selective of what I read. In fact I read just enough to know that it could be nothing, but it could be something and that I should give my midwife's office a quick call and then a stepped away from the computer! I usually like to err on the side of calling anyway, since I figure they know a lot more than I do and can tell me if it something I should worry about or not. I get frustrated with the girls on my message board who are constantly posting things like, "What do you think of these symptoms? Should I call my OB?" Um... I don't know. I don't have any medical training. Plus you are PAYING THEM to take care of you, not me. And since I'm not one to call about every sneeze and sniffle, I didn't feel bad.

So, the nurse said it was good that I called. She agreed that it could be nothing, but could be something, especially given that I had a high-ish blood pressure reading last week. So, she was able to get me in to see one of the OB's this morning, since my midwife is at the hospital on call today. I was able to leave work without any issues, and tried my best to stay calm. They checked my urine for protein and sugar and took my blood pressure. I tried my best to relax while they were taking my blood pressure and use my HypnoBabies techniques to battle the anxiety. Amazingly... it worked! Blood pressure came in nice and low 108/68 which is where it should be. The nurse said I was probably either anxious or feeling rushed and that caused the high reading last week.

When I got in with the OB, she even told me something that I'd never heard before (learn something new every day!). She said that you can spot an anxiety induced high blood pressure reading because the top number will be elevated but the bottom number will still be low. And she showed me my history and the bottom number has stayed within a few points of 68 the whole time, which is GREAT! Somehow when they tell me the numbers I only tend to hear the first one and don't get the second one so I didn't realize that that number was staying consistently low. I also asked her if it were possible for me to "fake out" the reading, as in use my hypnosis to artificially bring down a high reading and make it look low. (Only someone with anxiety would find a way to worry about a LOW blood pressure reading!) She said that if the high blood pressure is in fact pathological (i.e. there is truly something going on in my body causing it to rise like pre-eclampsia), then no I would not be able to relax it away. She said it might show up as a mildly elevated, but I wouldn't be able to bring it down so much that they wouldn't catch that something was wrong. So this lets me know that I can safely use my hypnosis techniques to keep me nice and calm when they are taking my blood pressure which will help them get a more accurate reading.

I was really glad to have been able to meet this OB as well! I really liked her and we got a chance to talk about my hopes for a med-free birth. We talked about having the best of both worlds in their practice, where in you can have the low-intervention childbirth advantages of midwife care without having to transfer to the hospital in the event that there is a need for OB care. She even made the comment, "At least with our practice if interventions are suggested you know it's not just because it's 8 o'clock." I loved hearing this! When I decided to switch providers from my OB, I knew I wanted a care provider who, in the event that they suggested an intervention, I could trust wasn't doing it because of some arbitrary time constraints but it was because we had given my body every chance we could and it was truly time to think about medical interventions.

So, bottom line... the Dr said that most likely the spots were a fluke or something they see in pregnancy called floaters. They don't know what causes them, but they aren't harmful. She gave Lily and I a clean bill of health and sent us on our way! Yay!

Beyond this morning's excitement... Today marks Week 24 which is an exciting time. In the pregnancy circles we celebrate Week 24 as V-Day (or Viability Day). Today the chances of a little one surviving outside the womb shifts to the positive side. If Lily were to be born today, she would have a 50/50 chance of survival and that number will only go up from here on out! Not that we want her to come this early! We want her to cook as long as she needs, but its nice to know that we are on the down slope. We only have about 16 weeks left in fact, give or take! Holy Cow! I can't believe how much this pregnancy has sped up in the second trimester. Speaking of, only about 3-4 more weeks until we are officially in the 3rd and final trimester.

Lily is still officially a Papaya. But according to my phone app, she is also about the size of an ear of corn at about 12 in long. Wow! No wonder I'm showing so much and it's because more uncomfortable to sleep! Plus she's about 1.25 lbs. And seeing that I've only gained about 6 lbs (as of last week), things are looking right on track. Now before you get on my case about gaining weight being a good thing... I know that! And I'm not restricting calories or starving myself in any way. It's just that I was overweight to start with so I need to gain less over this pregnancy than others who are of average or underweight. My weight gain should stay closer to 15 lbs over all. And I suspect that most of my weight gain will be in the 3rd trimester as Lily keeps putting on her fat. All my weight gain number means is that I'm not gaining an excessive amount of body fat but only the amount of weight that I need to support Lily and her growth. My butt and thighs are thanking me. And I'll be thanking me after the pregnancy is over when I don't have an excessive amount of weight to lose.

So, what else is Lily up to in there?

"With all the rapidly developing senses in your baby, she should probably be able to sense what is upside down and rightside up.  Your baby's respiratory system is also rapidly growing, lungs are developing in preparation for breathing, moving amniotic fluid in and out of the lungs.  For now your baby still gets oxygen through your placenta."

So, how's Mommy been?

I've had my ups and down this week. We had a very busy weekend, went to the Renaissance Faire on Saturday and then went shopping/carved pumpkins/handed out candy on Sunday. I think I over did it a little. Plus I've not been sleeping very well lately. My growing Lily carrier (i.e. belly) is making it harder to get comfy enough to sleep. And when I don't get enough sleep, I have a harder time controlling my illness. I'm aware of the fact that this will only get worse as the pregnancy goes along and even worse after Lily is born. I'm trying not to worry about it! I'll figure it out as I go along. I left work early yesterday and got some good rest time in. Jay has also been helping a lot over the last few days, letting me pretty much crash out on the couch for the entire evening while he takes care of dinner, etc.

My monthly appointment went very well last week. I saw a new midwife and really liked her. I'm hoping to meet all the midwives since they rotate and I don't know who will actually be on call the day I go into labor. I went in with a load of questions left over from my hospital visit and was satisfied with the majority of the answers. I'm writing a whole other blog about the delivery and my quest to get the experience I want, but the main thing she said that I liked was that the majority of the mothers who really do not want an epidural successfully birth without one. The nurse at the hospital tour said that she estimated that 98% of the women who come through the hospital get an epidural. When I told this to the midwife, she said that that did not sound true for the midwife patients. This really made me feel good. Everyone is so quick to say, "Well, yes you can have a med-free birth AS LONG AS NOTHING GOES WRONG" so often that it sounds like "normal" births are the exception. But she said that was not the case as far as the patients she sees. Yay!

So, how's Daddy doing?

Jay's great! He still hasn't felt Lily move yet. Grr. I think it bothers me more than it bothers him though. I told him that it makes me feel selfish that I'm the only one that gets to feel her and he reminded me that he also doesn't have to feel her kicking his cervix or punching his bladder and he won't have to feel her digging into his ribs later on in the pregnancy so he's ok with me being the only one who gets to feel her right now. :-) Lily has made it very clear that she is not a circus animal and we should not expect her to do her tricks on command since she can be jumping all around but as soon as Jay puts his hand on my belly, she'll go completely ninja stealth on us! Either that or she really likes having his warm hand over her and just kicks in order to make it happen. In that case WE may be the circus animals. Hehe.

The rest of this week should be pretty calm. Our next midwife appointment isn't until the Monday after Thanksgiving. At that appointment I'll have my gestational diabetes test where I have to drink the super sugary gross drink and then they draw my blood to check my sugar levels. Not really looking forward to it, but not necessarily dreading it either. Thankfully, it won't effect my ability to eat as many wonderful Thanksgiving desserts as I want! If I fail the test, it might effect how many wonderful Christmas desserts I can eat, but I don't expect to fail. Thankfully, it's not a big deal as long as its caught. Just means a different diet.

Well, have a wonderful Wednesday everyone! Thank goodness the elections are over and we no longer have to be bombarded with all the candidates commercials! There's not much I despise more than a scewed, half-truth, opponite-bashing campaign commercial and that's pretty much all of them, both sides. SOOOO glad it's over! Now we can get back to the business of... arguing and getting nothing done. (I don't have a burnt out, negative view of politics at all! Why do you ask? Hehe!)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Week, Another Papaya (Week 23)

Well, this marks the first week without a new fruit/veggie. But according to the website His Boys Can Swim, Lily is the size of an over inflated football, if that helps anyone. :-) And this week we finally hit the one pound mark.

So, what else is up with Lily?

"Your baby is probably quite active by now, and you should be able to feel movement or kicks in your belly.  It might even be possible to see the movements on the surface of your skin.  Overall, your baby is now more proportioned from head size to the rest of the body and is looking more and more like a newborn."

Having an anterior placenta (a placenta that has attached to the front of the uterus) has caused a delay in me feeling Lily move, but I certainly feel her now. Every day I feel some sort of movement, whether it's kicks and punches or somersaults like yesterday. It's the oddest and most amazing feeling I've ever experienced. Jay has not be able to feel movement from the outside yet, but I think we are getting really close to that happening. This morning, I think Lily had the hiccups because it felt like she was jumping off one side of my uterus and hitting her head on the other side. It was pretty big so I looked down, and low and behold, I was able to watch my belly twitch and bounce when she banged around. Unfortunately, Jay was already on his way to work so I was the only one there to enjoy it, but I also know it's only the first time and there will be many more opportunities for him to experience in the weeks and months ahead.

So, how is Mama doing?

I'm actually doing very well. I've stopped stressing over the food I eat after getting great advice from my wonderful friends and family. Then last Wednesday in our class when I expressed a frustration over the stress that came along with the diet to our instructor, she informed me that this was only a goal and not something I should expect to fulfill everyday. Um... would have been nice to know that last week! Duh! Oh well. So, this week my goal is to eat consciously. I try to make healthy choices but not at the expensive of my mental health.

Part of the HypnoBabies program includes a track of pregnancy affirmations. I actually downloaded this off the website before even signing up for the class, and have been listening to it for weeks now. Believe it or not, I think the thing is actually beginning to work. After struggling to find a time to fit it into my schedule, I decided to listen to it on my drive home every day. (Note that it's the only track you can listen to while driving.) So, instead of getting all riled up about politics or listening to the same song played for the umpteenth time on the radio, I listen to over a half an hour of positive affirmations about this pregnancy and childbirth. It truly is amazing the calming effect it has had on my Psyche. Usually my drive home is filled with frustration, yelling at other drivers and the occasional hand gesture (hand gestures have become more common since the pregnancy hormones kicked it). Now I spend the drive home concentrating on positive statements and practicing my "Bubble of Peace" mental trigger to keep out any negativity and anxiety.

I see it as kind of like exercising. You wouldn't go into the gym and expect to pick up a hundred pound bar bell or run a half marathon the day after buying your first pair of running shoes. You start slow and work your way up. Well, that's what I'm trying to do. I'm taking a rather mildly stressful situation and practicing my techniques. And I actually feel like my "muscles" are getting stronger. It's easier and easier to block out the anxiety and frustration elicited by the car that just decided to cut me off without a blinker or cursory hand wave. I plan to use the techniques tomorrow when I go see one of the other midwives at my practice and get my finger pricked again. Plus, I've been terrified of getting high blood pressure this pregnancy so I plan to use my techniques while they are taking that as well. Hopefully, by the time we get to the marathon in February, my mental and emotional muscles (as well as my physical muscles) will be strong enough to handle the challenge of childbirth.  That reminds me though, I need to take the list of questions I had for the hospital tour and look over it so I can get any questions I still have answered by my midwives.

So, how's Daddy doing?

Jay is wonderful as usual. He's been reading my scripts to me faithfully and never once laughed at them or made of fun the program, although its hard to hold back a giggle sometimes. In fact this week I got to read a script to him that is supposed to help him stay calm during the birthing time too. Like I said before, much to my dismay, and not for a lack of trying, he hasn't been able to feel Lily move yet. It always makes me frustrated, but he keeps telling me that it will happen in time and he'll have plenty of time to enjoy feeling her move over the rest of the pregnancy. Not to mention, in just a few short months, she'll be here and he can hold her and feel her move all he wants.

I think that's about all for this week! I have a few blogs in the works. I still need to update everyone on our experience on the hospital tour and I'm working on a blog about the Welcoming Ceremony we're putting together for Lily when she comes out.

Have a great Wednesday everyone and if you live near me may the weather not be as bad as the weather dude was predicting, and regardless may we all have a safe evening!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Going Home Outfit

Well, at least as it stands today. I'm open in the event that I find something I like better. Oh and I'll probably be taking two outfits to the hospital since I've been told that you never know how big they are really going to be and if a newborn size or 0-3 size will fit better. But enough with the stalling... show you the tiny adorable clothes, right?

The whole outfit. Including the most adorable fleece swing-y coat I've ever seen!

 The adorable onesie that goes underneath. It says "mommy's girl".

And the super adorable pants with the ballet slippers on them.

I mean, does it get any cuter than that?!? Except I say that about everything that I see. The really funny thing is, I'd already spent all my "allowance" for the week when I saw this at Target last weekend. But I decided that I didn't really like the dress that I'd bought to wear to my friends shower, and if I took it back and wore one of the perfectly fine things I already owned, I could buy this outfit for Lily. I know... I know. It's already starting. My mom informed me that I would soon find myself willingly going without out in order to buy her something that she doesn't even need! Ah... the life of a Mommy! I'm loving it already!

22 Week Bump Pictures

These were taken yesterday morning (22w4d) before I headed out to my Bestie's baby shower, which was so fun! As you can all see, I clean up good, when/if I want to. I just don't usually want to. Hehe.

Grow baby, grow!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Reflections on a Name

I'm in the process of writing Lily's Welcoming Ceremony which I'll be writing a whole blog about very soon. As I did research on alternatives to baptisms/christenings/dedications one of the elements that I kept running across was the inclusion of a section where the name of the new child was announced.

I've always believed that names are important. Often times name have meanings in other languages and as metaphysical as it sounds, I think saying that word over someone their entire life can have an effect on them even if they don't know the meaning. So, I knew when I named my child that I would want to make sure I knew the meaning of the name I chose. I didn't want to be calling my child Crap Bag in Italian all his or her life and not know it. hehe.

So, I started my research on Lillian, which we had pretty much already picked and Jay was already head over heals in love with. I found that it means Lily, like the flower. So, I took it a step further. I know that flowers have meanings as well, so what did the Lily mean? Well.. it means Pure or Purity. I breathed a sigh of relief. At least it didn't mean big steaming pile of poop or anything like that. But I didn't immediately fall in love with the meaning because it invoked too many feelings of striving to be pure in a religious sense. That is.. until I starting meditating on it.

As a part of the ceremony Jay and I will announce the name we've chose, what it means and why we feel strongly enough about that name and meaning to speak it over our child their whole life. So, I really started thinking about what that would mean for her. And that is when I feel in love with both her name and its meaning. For me, it comes down to the core of each human being. Growing up in the Christian church I was taught that at the core of my being, simply because I was born, I am sinful, fallen, weak, bad, doomed by the bad deed of one human man and woman, and in need of saving by an external god. Combined with the other messages taught in my household, such as my dad's view that he was the only one with any wisdom or knowledge, this view of being inherently bad and wrong became a noose... a suffocating force that took me many, many years to walk out from under. To this day I still struggle with an ability to voice my own opinion because I still feel that because it is mine (regardless of how much I've studied or researched the topic), it will always be wrong and should always be questioned. It's not a question of if I am wrong, but how and why.

I do NOT want my daughter to grow up to struggle with the same thing! One of the things that helped me at least identify the messages that had been forced on me, was a broad study of world religions. I remember being blown away by the teachings of Buddhism, and the concept that at my core I am good and pure and that only through the corrosive elements of the outside world do I learn to be "bad" (i.e. egotistical, hurtful, prideful, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.). This simply idea was liberating and became a core life value for me.

I want Lily to grow up confident in herself. She has worth and deserves respect and love simply because she is. She does not need to be saved or converted or rescued in order to be loved. She does not need to earn her place in this world, unlike her mother who spends much of her time and energy every single day trying to prove that she has worth and deserves to be loved.

There is something spiritual about holding an infant. Their spirit is so pure, it's almost like touching the other side, if there is another side. It's overwhelming to see how children are ignorant of things like sexism, racism, homophobia, and the hatred of those who are not like us. These things must be taught. I hope to not teach these things to Lily. I hope to raise her in a household filled with acceptance and love and laughter. I hope to teach her to hone and trust her instincts and that at her core, just like her name states, she is pure... she is Lily.

p.s. Note that this is not an overview of my entire child rearing theories and does not imply that I will never correct or guide or discipline my child. It does not mean that I plan to raise a spoiled brat of a child or have a "child ruled" house. So, please no comments about how I'm going to be a horrible mother.

p.s.s. Also, for my friends who are of the Christian faith, please do not take this as a judgement of you. I accept all my friends and celebrate the diversity that we as a group possess. I am thankful that Lily will have access to wonderful examples of different faiths and will encourage her to take advantage of these people and their knowledge in order to find her own path.

The End. :-)