Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hey, it's me, Trale Lewous

Not many are so bold as to demand a special blog post dedicated just to them. Leave it to Uncle Kevin to make such a request. Luckily, he proved himself worthy.
Exhibit A. You'd swear Jake & Kevin were besties from way back. Aside from Kevin's need for 'relief', these two were basically inseparable. Any peep Jake made from his swing, or any time he woke from a nap, Kevin was right there to comfort him in any way he could.

They even spent time having serious discussions:
I'd say Godfather/Uncle (Guncle) Kevin was pretty impressed with his nephew. After all, he had to admire Jake from afar:

And, we're positive Jake loved meeting his guncle because Jake had some pretty important milestones, if you will, while Kevin was here. We have a chain hanging down from our attic opening upstairs, and while we were all standing around getting Jake ready for his bath, he looks up & reaches for the chain. We all stopped and stared at each other. It was the smallest, most amazing thing!
Jake also was responding to his name continuously. I was upstairs changing Jake's diaper and talking with him when Kevin walks in. He stays out of the line of sight, but says "Jake Liam" and Jake searched for where it came from. It would seem that he was just responding to the new, deep voice, but Gary and I were having conversations on and off during that time and Jake didn't waiver from me. Plus, he didn't respond the same as when Kevin said his name. He was more deliberate in finding where his name came from, as opposed to finding that voice he loves. It was incredible.

Uncle Kevin was able to make Jake laugh in ways we surely never thought of! But, I guess that's an occupational hazard as parents! We have a need to stare at his beauty and Kevin wants to see what Jake can really do ;) Just, please, wait til he's older to start "the helicopter" and wrestling. Seriously. Please.

Oh, and something that solidifies every relationship.... Kevin and Jake shared a WMD.....gas

Kevin, even though you're one of the smelliest people I know, it was really great to have you out here. Our door is always open. Jake really loves you, and so do we!

We are not an incestuous bunch....Swearsies

I must begin this post with a picture:
So, I'm thinking that some of the weird looks we got from the senior crowd (Madre...why did we always end up 'out' during the early bird dinner??) were because, other than our proximity to one another, it'd be quite difficult to tell where brothers ended & the procreation partner began.

Now that that's out of the way....

We had one great visit from the fam. We visited my mom's favorite restaurant evah, Cracker Barrel, & received less than stellar service, but I'm pretty sure she forgives. She loves the Barrel, tried and true. Just like being the Dodger fan she is...you stick with 'em, no matter how disappointing.

For Gary and myself, it was really great to see my 'tough-guy' brothers showing nothing but love to our love bug:

And then, there's my madre. She'd clothesline me, without a second thought, to get to her first grandchild:
I guess there could be worse traits in a grandma :)

We're so grateful everyone took the time and effort to make the trip out here to see us <3 We went out a couple times, no extravagant outings, but it was awesome to have everyone here. I loved making breakfast for hungry boys in the morning, and watching Brian Regan & Daniel Tosh dvd's at night. Not to mention, Keeping Up with the Kardashians...ya know, high brow television.

It was hard to part, but a simple trip to Shoney's, following a walk around Opryland (that cost $19.67 in parking for each car we took!!) and and attempt to park at Opry Mills, was the setting for our 'see ya later's'. We did go our separate ways before any tears flowed (ahem....grams), and managed to get some great pics:
All in all, a success!!

Jake's First Christmas!!

Jake's first Christmas was one to remember! Not only did he love seeing the flashing lights & music of many of his Christmas gifts, but he got to spend it with the love of his Grammy & uncles, and the long distance love of his Gramps! But, Gramps is proving to be of the persuasive type. Here, he's trying to sway our little man:
Hey, let's allow him to form his own opinions! ;)

It was nice to have a house-full of family on Christmas morning! I made monkey bread while my mom took Uncle Kevin to the airport. Ahh, the responsibilities of the college wrestler! Waiting for my mom to return from the airport resulted in a happening fit for Ripley's...for the first time since I've been alive, the gifts remained intact past the tender time of 5am! At least the rest of us were distracted by the 417th showing of 'A Christmas Story'.

My mom was gracious enough to take the bull by the horns and get Christmas dinner going. I was way too distracted with the wonder that is our little man's first Christmas. I would have just assumed order a pizza... while staring at Jake of course! But, I suppose seeing my mom in our kitchen could have resulted in worse photo ops:
Since I'll be turning the big 2-5 in a few weeks, am married, & have a child, I tell my mom that I feel like I should be going over stock options, & complaining about social security or something. I feel like I should feel older. But I don't. Instead, this is how I feel on the inside:I feel so blessed to have such great people surround my little family. Gary, Jake, & I have been looking forward to our first Christmas as a threesome since I found out I was pregnant. But, this Christmas was so much more than I could have hoped for. I can't believe that I took a picture in front of Jake's first Christmas tree.
(I wish I could have found a tree topper I loved, but none of the stores around here had one that dazzled me. I want a keepsake that will be around for as long as Jake can remember; something that means something to all of us. Suggestions? I didn't want to order online but it seems that's what I'll end up doing. But, I digress...)

It's all so surreal, but this is the best reality I could ever imagine:
And, at the end of one great day, the boy and I were spent

Kev, this one's for you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xEYInUvLalQ

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jake & his many talents!

Jake has grown by leaps & bounds just about every day. He loves to smile & give kisses. He REALLY loves sleep. Things we get to see on the daily basis. But, I'd have to say that my favorite aspect of our days together are our times in bed. There's always an hour a day we go upstairs, I lay him on the bed & I lay next to him, & we lay there and talk. He's learned to roll himself on his side, so he'll roll to the side I'm on, start talking like crazy, & keep that constant smile on his face. It's such an amazing time. Those are the times I'll be telling him about when he's older.

It gets even better when Daddy gets home. We all lay together & Jake mimics Gary's facial expressions. When we put our mouth into a we're-about-to-whistle form and say "OOOOO", he looks at our lips & does the same. Gary & I are just tickled to pieces! He amazes us every day.

Something he JUST did that ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS makes me smile, gives me that "mom pride" is when he laughs in his sleep. Right now, he's swinging away & he just let out a laugh & smiled.

I'm sure there's a million things I'm forgetting, but, for now, all I need to remember is that he is happy, & that's what makes his mama & daddy happy. And, the cherry on top...Gary will be home in about an hour & I get to love on both my men. They make my whole life.

Sleeping Through the Night

On the days I am too tired to put one foot in front of the other, I pray for one full night's rest. My eyes are heavy, & all I want to do is nap all. day. long., but there's something that always creeps into the back of my mind. I know that when his sleeping through the night is more of the rule than the exception I'll miss those times in the wee hours where we spend time in the quiet glow of a Roseanne marathon on Nick at Nite. Jake only wakes once a night, but that 1:30 am feeding is a favorite of mine. He'll fuss, or coo, to let me know he's hungry & when I go into his room to pick him up I gently place my hand on his belly so as to not startle him. The best part is, he's generally facing away from me, but, once he feels my touch, he turns toward me, looks up, & gets a huge smile and lets out a soft, now-I'm-so-comfortable-because-mama-is-here sigh. It brings tears to my eyes now to think about, but, in that moment, I'm too touched to do anything but paste a goofy smile across my face.

It's amazing what he's done for our life. Just a few short weeks ago, I was sleeping 9-10 hours a night, slapping Cocoa Butter with Shea on the belly, & wondering what kind of little babe I was baking. Now, there's this little man swinging a few feet away from me that brings such happiness in the smallest of ways. Watching Jake play with his daddy, or those forehead wrinkles he gets when he's really studying something, or the smiles he gets when he sits up on the couch by himself just turn us into blubbering puddles on the floor.

Gary & I were always incredibly aware of how blessed we are to have found each other, to have a life together. But, now, we're almost in awe of each other. We look at this beautiful little boy that we created, that has such an amazing demeanor, & we talk about the ways to make his life as best it can be. We vow to always show him unconditional love, to help him realize his greatness, to help him know that happiness has everything to do with how you feel & with whom you surround yourself. We want him to grow up to be the person who will defend his actions, fight for his happiness, & to turn the other cheek when appropriate. Life is too short to not make the most of every single day. & that's what we hope to teach him. We will help him to grow into the good, upstanding individual he already is. We're going to help him make the most of his days. Life is too short to not spend every single second as happy as you can be.

So, I guess when the time comes for our little man to get rid of that 1:30am feeding, it'll be time to realize he's well on his way to all those things we hope for him. He's a really great little boy that already makes us so proud. My husband makes me so proud. I am so proud of our family.

I thank God every day that I'm able to wake up happy. That I have incredible people surrounding me. That the man that I love most in the world helped me to create the most amazing little boy. Life is good.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Immunizations, be damned

Jake had his first shots this week, and I've decided shots are an instrument of torture. My poor child had to get THREE shots, 2 in his left thigh 1 in his right, & an oral one that actually went just fine.

We left there with a laundry list of tips & tricks to make his first-shot-experience as comfy as possible. He needed thigh massages, to have his legs "bicycled" during diaper changes, Tylenol through a dropper, & a warm bath. It seems that things went quite well; he didn't develop a fever & no knots in his legs. Success!

Before we were "allowed" to leave, we were supposed to hang out for 15 minutes to make sure Jake didn't have a bad reaction. While we waited, Jake was the talk of just about everyone who passed by! Smiles from men & women alike confirmed our child is a looker. See, I'm not biased...

Although, the doctor we saw this time treated Jake & me like she didn't want to be murdered in her place of employment & we were so thankful for that, there are still a few things that bewilder me. Why do people tell you about your child? The nurse proceeded to tell me what color Jake's hair is, why he was crying, & what would make him happy. I assured the know-it-all nurse that his hair only has a red tint in certain light, that it's actually a brown shade, that he only cries at the hospital because too much is going on for him, & that once we left his appointment he would be just fine. Smiles & cooing would resume. She, in turn, decided to assure ME that his hair IS red, that he was crying because he didn't enjoy being undressed--hey, he's my child, he DOES NOT mind being in his birthday suit, & that he'll be happy once he's not around strangers anymore. FAIL. Oh, and because I was talking to him in a soothing tone while he was being weighed/measured, the nurse gives me the stink-eye & says "I can tell you're a first time mother" Why? Because I want to comfort my child? I apologize, but I will comfort my child no matter who's around. Just because I don't rip your head off & am agreeable doesn't mean I'm naive. It just means I want to make things go smoothly. Promise, & kisses...

Ok, so I'm learning that because I'm young people ASSume that I know nothing about caring for my child. As infuriating as it can be, I'm learning to let it roll off my back. Their thoughts mean nothing. I have a child who only fusses to let you know he's hungry, has a loaded diaper, or wants a nap--& we have witnesses that can attest to these facts! And, that's only when I haven't realized those things before he has! Hell, he wakes me most nights by cooing! We must be doing something right, and, no matter the opinion of any turd we come across, it works for us & Jake. So, I will take a deep breath & realize that nothing any nurse on post says, Jake is a happy baby & we are doing right by him. Ignorance is not one of my favorite personality traits, but it's important I tell them to "eff off" in my head & move on. If they will continue to be that way, it's up to me to act accordingly. It's only an hour of our life every couple months. We can deal & we will. I laugh just about anything else off & this will not be the exception.

We're just going to be thankful this doctor was good to us. Plus, if the next doctor we see gets especially out of line, I can always administer a punch to the throat ;)

Our First Thanksgiving!

Jake is officially part of things; he participated in his first eat-until-you-can't-move holiday! Of course, he had to wait a couple hours to get his turkey dinner, but he got it nonetheless.

Because time passed without my approval, it was Thanksgiving Eve before I realized we didn't have a turkey. Luckily, Gary's sergeant & his prego wife invited us over to have some super tasty food & NO CLEAN UP. Win win.

I had every intention of getting a nice family photo of our first holiday together, but, never fear, our camera died while we snapped a quick pic as we ran out the door. It could look worse, I suppose ;)

There's something about the holidays that make Jake seem older. I'm sure this is normal, but the combo of him constantly talking, smiling, cooing, & eating....sometimes all at the same time....& my planning all the ways we want to mark his first holiday season makes it seem like he's already a teenager. I did not sign off on that.

All in all, our first Thanksgiving as a trio was a success. We're just thankful for any time we have together. The Army, just like time, never gets our approval before making decisions.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Life is amazing

One of the things that was "refreshed" for us this past weekend was exactly how wonderful we have it. We have an incredible baby & great family, both of which I never take for granted, but Millie's kind words made our feelings that much stronger.
She constantly said "You're such a great mom" "You're such a great dad" & "I'm so proud of you guys". Things that you, as a parent, don't think you really deserve. You simply do your job every day. You love on your child, you encourage their growth, you make sure all their physical needs are met.....things you assume all people do.
But what really put a nice, pretty bow on top of everything was her & Grandpa being so nonstop amazed by what a great baby Jake is. That's when Gary & I looked at each other and thought 'We must be doing something right'
Now, when we play with Jake, instead of being giddy solely because he laughs or smiles, we're kind of looking past that. We're looking past the utter beauty that is his outward happiness & thanking God we make him happy enough on the inside that it shows on the outside.
Millie made me realize that us playing with him, 'talking' with him, & doing whatever we can to make him happy is no small feat. I'll play with him & make my faces & plant those kisses, but I never thought much of it. That's just what you do with a baby, right? You stimulate them, you do the baby talk, mix in a feeding & diaper change, & finish with a big, fat smile across that little boy's face.....total recipe for success.
Millie, just want to thank you for showing us that although Jake is a great baby & really personable, that we do play a part in helping him be that way. & in an hour, a day, a week from now I'll probably go back to giving all the props to my little J man, but, for now, I have a super puffy heart for what you helped us know

Another GREAT family visit!

This past weekend we were lucky enough to have Jake's Great Grandpa Warren & 2nd Cousin Millie come out & see us. We had a great time & Jake took to them like he's known them forever! It was very sweet to see them together! This is one of my favorite pics from this weekend:

Grandpa also spent some time loving on his one & only Great Grandson:
Grandpa was nice enough to take us on a baby shopping extravaganza to Target! He got us, well...Jake, a jumperoo & a few other items that make our life that much easier. Thanks, Grandpa! We really appreciate it!! As soon as Jake is in that jumperoo pictures will be posted!

We had to introduce more of our California extended family to Cracker Barrel & Longhorn Steakhouse, which did not disappoint!! Here we're enjoying a great dinner at Longhorn:

It was so nice to have you guys visit! We appreciate all the effort that went into coming out here for just a couple days!! Can't wait to see you again!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Smiles can no longer hide in this house

...but that's because Daddy is a ninja with the camera. By the grace of God was PART of our playtime with Little J caught on camera to be remembered for all of time

He's sooo beautiful!!

Jake was in an especially playful mood after eating & was smiling up a storm. I'm just thankful we got ANY OF IT on camera!!
He's so big already...these 7 weeks have flown by!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ahh, to be young...


I defy one person to say they don't wish they looked this peaceful as they slept!

My new swing


Our Big Boy in his new swing :) The motor kept burning out in the old swing, but we did keep it for a back-up.
He LOVES this swing! I admit, on the slowest setting it does look like it's going to launch our beautiful little boy, but he can't get enough...so, I guess our thoughts on the matter are pretty irrelevant!


He is so incredibly content in this swing; he sits/lays there and coos up a storm & loves looking at the mobile. Melts my heart to watch him in there. But, OK, hindsight is 20/20, yes? Well, in retrospect I SHOULD KEEP A CAMERA WITH ME AT ALL TIMES. I, honestly, have a problem. I am so enthralled with this little boy and all the ways he smiles, coos, watches the world around him that it never dawns on me to pick up a mother effin' camera and catch this stuff on film. I feel I should enter some sort of Photographers, or lack thereof, Anonymous group. I need to change!
Such is the story today: We went in for my 6 week postpartum check up (everything is super btw!). He was the picture of perfection in the waiting room; he was beyond friendly with the mosh pit of a nursing staff who flocked to our side when we arrived; he sat there & cooed and smiled while my OB & I chatted about making sure I will never utter the words "Irish Twins" as a description to my immediate situation...and all it did for me was make me fall in love with him more. Of course, there's nothing wrong with this. I will hold these beautiful memories with me forever, & those moments where I just stare at him, wondering what life used to be like, are made that much sweeter from knowing our special moments together...BUT, I want proof!! I want to be able to look through photo albums, when Jake is grown, & proudly point to a pic & say "there...that's it. This is what your smile looked like as you enjoyed your swing...and, YOUR MAMA GOT IT ON FILM"
But, OK, I get some sort of amnesty, right? I am a first time mom who is so in love with her son that she can't fathom doing anything but sitting and staring at him in all his glory. However, I am a determined mama. As I raise my clenched fist to the camera gods, I vow I will catch one of my little boy's numerous daily play times on film for immortality.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My mom is better than your mom

...this is something I am tempted to taunt all you readers with. Along with the obligatory :::neener neener neeeener:::

Jake is one incredibly awesome kid, and that's not just because I'm biased, swearsies. He has a great personality, loves to play, and only fusses to let you know his diaper needs changing or he's hungry. The only issue we really have is sleeping. He's an INCREDIBLE sleeper....but that's only when he sleeps on you. He loves when Gary and I recline and let him rest on our chest. Ya know that nook right there where your neck & shoulders meet? Jake loves it.

The thing is, I wouldn't be able to accomplish anything else while he slept on me (I do have a sling on its way...day late and a dollar short..). As easy as it is for people to say about someone else's house, ignoring the things that needs to be done inside your home is easier said than done. Ignore the laundry? OK, sure....I'll erect another crib from the pile of clothes.

Well, because of my mom's incredible tips last night, my little man slept in his crib for the first time last night! Previously, he had been sleeping in the pack n play downstairs because he seemed to slightly despise his crib. Oh, and before that, he took a TWO HOUR NAP in his pack n play; he'd usually only sleep about 30 minutes when he's not on us. These are HUGE for us...and my sanity. It is beyond flattering that he wouldn't want to sleep long because he wanted to cuddle with us, but that flattery can only take you so far.

It feels like Christmas morning in this house. How hard it was to not be able to do anything, including showering & eating, was amplified by the fact that I'm physically alone right now with Gary at stupid Fort Knox. I CANNOT WAIT to tell him that his son has been in his crib for an hour and a half, that I can hear him coo a few times but that he puts himself back to sleep.

Those who know our dogs will appreciate this correlation between them & Jake: Thank sweet baby Jesus we got Oreo first.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mommyhood

So, I've been thinking about this thing called parenthood. Having a child is so different than what I thought it'd be; having a child is so much more fulfilling than I ever realized it could be.

I sat at the computer today, with Jake conked out on my chest, and just stared at him. I thought about how natural it feels to have him around, how natural it feels to care for him. How this little man is more comfortable on my chest (and his daddy's!) than anywhere else in the world, and I counted our blessings.

He looks at me like I am everything to him. I'll never get over those moments where I know he's telling me exactly how much he loves me just by looking at me. Those are the moments I will never forget.

Today, I was holding him and he decides to start playin' with me. He's making his faces and opening his mouth for kisses, and what am I doing? Trying not fall over in awe. I can't believe we created this little being, who is perfect in every way. I can't believe that he rounds out our happy little home so perfectly. We truly are so blessed.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Jake meets his fan club

...Or its first few members anyway.

Grammy Lori, grandpa Scott, & uncle Colin came out to meet our little man this past week and we had an awesome time! Jake had his first *social* outings, to Longhorn Steakhouse (twice!) and Cracker Barrel. He's such an amazing baby...he was either looking around while being held or sleeping.

He really liked to hear the bass voice of grandpa Scott! He'd always look in the direction of wherever he heard that voice and would make faces like he was trying to have a conversation with him! Sooo adorable!!

He looks angry in that pic but he's just loving all the new ways he's able to control his facial features!

Then, there's grammy Lori....I came out of the kitchen, holding Jake, as they were walking in the house the first night they got here and she bum-rushed! Of course, Jake was sleeping, but I'm pretty sure she didn't mind! Here's a pic of the two of them together:

She accompanied me to the bathroom in Longhorn to see his first huge poo!! Lucky her!

Uncle Colin sure loved holding Jake! He held him every chance he got!


It was a really great visit and we can't wait to do it again in December!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Little Jake's Arrival

It's hard to believe that one week ago tomorrow our little man entered the world. It's been the most beautiful week in this house!

Friday, September 25, we went to my regular prenatal appointment. Thankfully, Gary has been able to go to every single appointment, except one since he was at Fort Knox, because we received some big news while at the OB's office. We told the nurse practitioner, Susanne, that we had thought that I was in early labor since the previous Wednesday night because I had lower back ache that wouldn't let up, no matter my position, and was contracting fairly regularly. She checked me and said that I was making progress! YAY!! Wasn't dilating yet, but my body was definitely moving in the right direction.

She sent us to L&D, not for my "progress", but because the protein in my urine had gone up and they wanted to have me monitored. So, we get there and they strap me to the fetal monitor and take my blood. We had to wait about an hour for the results, and when they came back is when the insanity commenced! The nurse comes back and says that one of 4 blood samples they took came back abnormal. Nothing serious, but enough where the awesome on-call doc, Dr. Crawford, was in decision-making-mode. The nurse says "Dr. Crawford wants to go ahead and admit you. We'll start Cervidil to soften your cervix tonight and begin induction with Pitocin in the morning" Mind you, she said this like she was reading back our order at a restaurant, not like she was about to be changing our life forever. So, I pulled on my big girl undies and got ready for motherhood.


At 5am on Saturday I was given Pitocin in the dosage amount I lovingly refer to as a buttload. By 7am, I was in labor, and it was no joke!! I have a very decent pain tolerance, and am all about using mind over matter and my yoga breathing to get through something difficult, but this was unlike anything else. I made it 12 hours through Pitocin contractions, that were about 30sec-1 min long and about 1-2 minutes apart the majority of the time, before I gave in and got the epidural. Gary was great about helping me get through the contractions, and the nurses kept saying that I had made it further without *help* than about 90% of other laboring women on Pitocin they had seen, but it was still a very hard decision for me to make. I wanted that natural delivery, but you can't plan labor! Thankfully, that Saturday morning was the first day my primary OB was back from maternity leave and I know she'd never let me do something she knew I'd regret.

A few hours after the start of Pitocin I was 1cm dilated. At 2:10 pm, I had not progressed anymore so my doctor, Dr. Johnston, decided to break my water. All in all, I made it to 3.5 cm by Sunday morning. It was a SLOW process. Jake did come down, but not much else was going on. He was clinging to my cushy-uterus!

It got to be about noon on Sunday and if I was 4cm, it was because a nurse was being generous! Dr. Johnston is a big advocate of vaginal births-as am I, so it was obvious when she came to me saying that my options were to wait it out a little longer or have a c-section, I knew it wasn't because she wanted to hurry me along. Since you only have 24 hours from the time your water breaks to get the baby out, c-section was the way to go.

At 1pm, Gary got dressed in scrubs and I was being given a rundown of what the surgery entails.
They wheeled me to the OR, where Gary and I had to part ways while they prepped me. I was very nervous, but the anesthesiologist was AMAZING. She kept rubbing my head and talking to me to keep my mind occupied. The nurses and Dr. Johnston were amazing also; they even had to discuss the super important topic of Taylor Swift during the surgery!---this put me even more at ease. We knew they are professionals at what they do......Anyway, Gary was allowed in soon after and we were underway.

It was about an hour from start to finish. Soon we heard Dr. Johnston saying "Ok, you're about to become parents!!" We waited just a few seconds longer and heard "IT'S A BOY!!!" Gary was ECSTATIC! He came down and kissed me and then ran over to see our new little man. After almost 31 hours of labor we were finally parents.

He is the most beautiful thing we've ever seen. We've always known we're blessed, but seeing our little man smile at us is like nothing else. We are in love with parenthood!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First, I have to say that I am beyond grateful to have a healthy baby, and to be healthy myself. I don't forget how much of a blessing it is to be carrying a child, to be able to carry a child, and don't take these beautiful weeks for granted.

The hard part is two-fold. It's hard to be told, with such certainty, that our baby is coming very soon, and to be told that for about two and a half weeks. The other hard part is all the medical intervention we've been going through. I have preeclampsia, so monitoring my urine is a big deal, as is monitoring my blood pressure and taking blood. I've been to labor & delivery a handful of times to be monitored, and sent home every time, no dice.

It's frustrating, sometimes, to think that it's my body doing this. Every now and again it all catches up with me that my body is doing things outside my control. I've been beyond healthy this entire pregnancy and, mistakenly, assumed that'd be enough. It's the strangest thing to be told you're having internal issues when you feel physically fine. Kind of eerie.

We've done every single thing the doctors have told us to do because we love this baby. We are ecstatic that we'll soon meet our teeny love and are so happy s/he's doing well. It's just the mental part that can sometimes catch up to you. I've never had medical intervention in my life. I've never had surgery, except for oral surgery to get out those wisdom teeth; I've never been seriously ill; I've never had anything but routine medical visits. So, you can see how these last few weeks would be quite the shock to me.

I, however, don't forget to count my blessings. I'm thankful baby and I have made it this far; a feat many would wish to accomplish. I'm thankful that once the pregnancy is over so are all these little medical things I've had to do since what I have is solely pregnancy-induced. I'm thankful that the only thing that gets to me (sometimes) are mental issues. I have so much to be thankful for.

There's nothing like sitting there watching your belly move, especially when I'm having a moment about something where I just need that little lift and baby surprises me by having some play time. There's nothing like my husband, who takes amazing care of me since being on bedrest, who comes home after working all day and still asks how he can make me more comfortable. Yep, I have a pretty sweet setup.

What I need to remember is that everything those medical professionals are doing for me is precautionary. Having preeclampsia can turn into something very serious because it effects the liver and can cause seizures, etc. However, thankfully, my labs continue to come back fine, it's just not something you take lightly. Hard to remember, but, more often than not, I do so. Who doesn't have those days where everything just hits them like a ton of bricks?

PHEW...so I've gotten that off my chest. Now, I'm able to get back to the more important thoughts that consume me the other 99% of the time, such as when will baby come? Is baby a boy or a girl? Who does baby look like? What kind of labor will I have? When can I buy that ADORABLE Halloween costume I have picked out? How will our dogs react to baby? Much more fun thoughts and what I spend my baby thoughts on.

I do have a closing remark, though. The next nurse or doctor that gets our hopes up AGAIN about baby "coming soon" will get a punch to the throat.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Full Term!


How far along? 37 weeks!
Total weight gain/loss: No clue, feels like I'm up about 213 lbs, though
Maternity Clothes? Of course
Sleep: L.O.V.E. IT
Best moment of the week: Nurse practitioner said my cervix is starting to thin out!!
Movement: Still frequent, but it's obvious baby has less space in there. When 'they' say baby is the size of a watermelon this week they aren't joking!
Food cravings? None really. I wouldn't mind some french fries, but am going to do without...
Gender: Don't know. As of now, we don't even have a guess anymore
Labor Signs? I've had a few contractions, and I can feel that baby has dropped, but not much else.
Belly button in or out? IN!!!! I do fear the day I sneeze and it pops out, though
What I miss: I still feel like a turd for saying this, but I really can't wait to feel little again. I've never felt so big! I do love being pregnant, though...SWEAR
What I am looking forward to: The start of labor. I'm dying to know if I'll go on my own, or doctors will start it for me. I keep envisioning my water breaking while Gary is at work and I get to call him with the news!
Weekly Wisdom: It's impolite to stare. Would you like to be stared at?
Milestones: FULL TERM!! Baby is mature enough to survive outside the womb. I hope we can hurry up the process, though! We're soo excited!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oh sh*t, son!

After my last OB appointment, they sent me to Gateway because the protein in my urine was sneaking upward and they wanted to make sure everything was OK. We thought it was going to be crunch time since 2 of the on-call doctors from my OBs office were there and were being informed of my being there. As you can tell, that was not the case!

But, the craziest thing we've ever witnessed did happen. We were walking up to the nurse's station and this nurse pops out of one of the L & D rooms and asks this doctor passing by if he could "deliver a baby real quick"!! So, he runs in there and starts telling her to push and by the time we got into our L&D room a few doors down, we heard the cries of a newborn! We just stood there in the room and stared at each other with smiles that looked like we had slept with hangers in our mouths! It was so intense...and it wasn't even our baby!

This weekend I am officially considered full-term, especially since our baby is the little overachiever and won't wait out the full 40 wks. LET'S DO THIS!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Deer in the headlights

is pretty much the expression on my face right now.

My appointment went well today. We even met a new doctor who rocked our world. This is awesome news seeing as how it's possible that I'm entrusting him with some of my most precious materials.

Up until the appointment, I had been feeling like my mind was just swirling around. Wrapping my head around the fact that I will soon be "mama" is much more intense than any contraction I've felt. Gary and I would talk at length about how we want to tackle parenthood, breastfeeding, how the house will be managed once little one arrives, etc.... I just felt like there was so much to say on the topic. Then, it happens....

The doctor looks at me today and says you have "only a few days left".

This is the point where all words escape you. This is the point where your jaw feels the cool of the tile floor.

Don't get me wrong. I am ecstatic to be meeting our little love very soon. I am beyond excited to hold our baby in my arms. I have gum drops and lollipops dancing around me. But being told, instead of surprised by labor, that you will soon meet your child is like being hit by a Mac truck.

I'm not nervous. I'm not unprepared. I'm not questioning my ability to mother. I'm realizing that as the 9 months of pregnancy go on it doesn't necessarily hit you that you're going to be a parent the way morning sickness hits those who had to endure that. This is a whole other spectrum, in a whole other galaxy.

Monday, August 31, 2009

What a kick in the pants...

today's appointment was!

I go in and get strapped to the NST machine, which baby passed with flying colors! :), and all was going normal until the doctor came in to see us.

The doctor is one of the doctors I've seen on the rotating basis until my primary OB gets back from maternity leave. Anywho....he comes in, looks at my chart, and everything he says implies that I won't be making it until the 40 week mark. He said they'd like to get me to 39 weeks "in a perfect world", but that's probably not going to happen. HOLY CRAP.

As he checks the printout from the NST, he says that baby is "very happy" (DUH--whose womb is baby living in?? ;) ) and that I had been contracting. That was the shock of the century for me! I literally felt nothing, and it kind of escaped my mind that I can contract without feeling it this late in the game. He goes on to say that baby is in the 43rd percentile, so just about average in terms of development, and that they may start to consider giving me steroid shots to help with things like lung maturation, should baby decide to come early, or they need to get baby because of my pregnancy induced hyptertension--which I just found out today I had.

The hypertension sounds scary, but it really comes from the blood pressure issue, which I have no control over. Delivery of the babe is the only "cure"; and that's only if bp skyrockets, which mine does not.

He reiterated that bringing me in for the NST and ultrasound each week is, most likely, overkill, but they really want to be careful....which we LOVE!! Oh, and this is not the douchetastic doctor from our last visit. This guy we had today is AWESOME!

It is just so crazy to us how close this pregnancy is to being over. We really think we're going to have a September baby, and doctor basically said the same thing!! Not much longer!

Off to let our little overachiever contract my uterus a few more times before bed...

Monday, August 24, 2009

We lucked out today

...and got the douchetastic doctor at my OB. Since my primary OB is on maternity leave until the end of this month, I've been seeing other doctors/nurse practitioners on a rotating basis. The one we got today was nothing like the others we've been seeing. He talked about the awful possibilities of extremely high blood pressure (like 200/100...which I am nowhere near) and was lacking in the social skills department. The other doctors, including my AWESOME OB, are much more laid back and don't worry until there's something to worry about; much more our style. Here's hoping I don't end up with him delivering our little one! But, as a mama already, I know things are fine with our baby, despite this arse's attempts to screw with me.

On a better note, Baby L passed the NST today!!!!! YAY!! Our little one was so incredibly active yesterday that it worried me today would be a slow day and the douche-doctor (that is his full name) wouldn't see the movement he'd be looking for. But, we came armed.....Hershey's was our tool!!! It worked! Our little love muffin will still be monitored twice a week for the rest of the pregnancy, which is not that long at all, but it's nice to be able to show what we already know to be true, that our baby is just fine.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

33 weeks!

How far along? 33 weeks, measuring 34 weeks
Total weight gain: Nada clue
Maternity Clothes? Of course!
Sleep? LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT
Best Moment of the Week: Getting to see our little one via ultrasound again. We got to see baby open eyes wide, breathe and see the little bit of hair on top of the head!!
Movement: ALL. THE. TIME. and loving it!
Food Cravings: None, really. Although, I wouldn't mind some ice cream right now.
Gender: We have an inkling, but won't know for sure for about another 6 weeks!

Labor Signs: None that I know of. Little one is head down (which is GOOD!), and I have had a few contractions, but they may have been braxton hicks. Not sure, though.
Belly Button: Still in :)
What I Miss: Being active. I'm on modified bed rest (aka "take it easy") and really miss my workouts and being able to run around and get stuff done. It's weird to be told to "relax" when you already feel great! Oh well. As long as baby and mama are healthy and happy that's all that matters!
What I am looking forward to: We are beside ourselves with excitement about meeting our baby. I hope these next 6 weeks just fly by! We can't wait to know the sex, what baby looks like, to hold our baby for the first time....I'm getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it!!
Weekly Wisdom: Love every second of every day. I can feel our little one growing up already. As excited I am for the next part, I know how much I'll miss being pregnant, so I'm relishing it before it's over. Of course, we could just have lots of babies; I'm sure my madre would just hate that!
Milestones: Baby L is 17-18 inches long, just under 5 lbs, and is responding to music and our voices! Our little one is able to open eyes wide, bones are hardening, and is practicing breathing for when s/he's an outside baby!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oh, Baby!

Today was our appointment for the nonstress test. I was taken to an exam room and strapped with fetal monitors that were plugged into a machine that printed out little one's heart rate. It would track the heart rate and whenever I felt movement I pressed a button.
Well, baby didn't pass the test. There wasn't enough movement for the doctor who was monitoring me to feel comfortable. Unfortunately, we had to get an ultrasound ;)
The ultrasound is called a BPP, biophysical profile, in this case. The tech measured little one all over. Baby passed this test with flying colors! Everything is measuring great, nothing to be worried about. Our little overachiever is measuring 1 week ahead, 4lbs 12 oz (slightly higher than average), and has a teeny bit of hair!!!! So adorable for us to see!!!
The only downside is that now I think I'm considered 'high risk'. That's no fun, especially since I feel awesome! The only exercise I'm allowed are light walks. I'm going crazy about that!! My workouts weren't just good for body but good for mind, also. Oh well, whatever works to keep little one as healthy as possible!
Dr. Crawford said that it may be a bit of overkill to bring me in twice a week for the remainder of the pregnancy, but that he'd rather be safe than sorry. We agree! All that matters is that our little one is doing well, my blood pressure was much lower than it had been (even with Jada in the hospital, getting ready to meet her little boy), and I'm feeling well!

There were a lot of things that happened today that pointed to a certain sex. Now, the only question we have is if we should confirm our beliefs at Thursday's appointment.....Hmmm, should we find out if we're Team Tampon or Team Peen???

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My hubs, the roadrunner

Gary just got back from doing a 5K Fun Run as part of the Week of the Eagles festivities. He's so impressive, he took 2nd place for his age group!!
Anyone was encouraged to participate, not just soldiers. My feet laughed at the thought! I did a 5K pre-pregnancy and that's where those events shall remain; outside the 9 month scope of pregnancy! Oh crap...just remembered I wouldn't have been able to do it anyway, doctor's orders.
Anyway, I'm so proud of him! We didn't get in until late last night, because of the concert, and he got up at 6am to run in the race! Good for you, babe!!

Adventures outside Gate 10

We wanted to get some pics of me all pregnant before I squeeze out what will most likely be a very long, but not too heavy, child, so we went on a trip around post to get some with pretty, scenic backgrounds.
There are parts of this post I've never even seen before! Here are a couple shots we love:

If you're able to notice, the bookends of this little herd are wild turkey!



And, here are the shots we got of the belly!


We're going to get some more pics, at different locations. We were losing sunlight fast and wanted some cute belly pics, other than a profile

Cannot believe how big the belly has gotten! I can feel how long this child is! There's not one part of my gigantic uterus that has not been explored by Baby L.

Week of the Eagles

We went to an awesome concert on post last night! Of course, they had to make it take forever, but, even so, it was awesome to feel our little one get all into the music! So adorable! OK, so I was just about to say SHE loves Hank Williams, Jr. Coincidence? I think not;)
Here are the festivities they had going on before the concert started:

And here are the acts we saw:
Jon Rich

*Hank, Jr.* (Man, our little one has great taste in music!)

Jake Owen

And, the main event!, Carrie Underwood!!

This concert was really so much fun. They said there was an estimated 75,000 people there!!! Here's a shot of how many sat ahead of us:

We got there around 5, and the show was *scheduled* to start at 6. We had really good seats. Plus, our awesome new camera (still not over it, sorry!) has a zoom where we practically got a shot of Carrie Underwood's pores. Now, an hour or two into the show, this is how many were behind us:

We're supposed to go to the Air Show today, but it is hotter than Hades and I don't think I'll be able to handle that! I'm still bewildered as to how there was enough space for all the people who came last night and my humidity-induced-inflatable hands.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First trip to L&D

Well, today has proved an eventful day.
At my last two prenatal appointments, my blood pressure has been high right off the bat, but simmers when I go into the exam room and relax for a second. The nurses haven't been too fond of that routine, so they had me come in today for a blood pressure check. Blood pressure was high again, but they shocked us when they said they were sending us over to the hospital.

We get to the hospital, are admitted to labor and delivery, had a ton of blood drawn, and hooked up for fetal monitoring and blood pressure--taken every 15 minutes. The RN, who was taking care of us, was more than nice---hope she's there when I squeeze Baby L out!

Anyway, the RN goes through the barrage of questions about habits I may or may not have and says she'll come back with the results of the blood draw. Labs come out fine, I didn't have any contractions, and baby's heartbeat (which we got to listen to the whole time ::::swoon:::::) was fine. They did mention serious diagnoses that could pop up with blood pressure issues, such as pregnancy induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and bedrest.

Those possibilities caught me so off guard because I feel great. I do have backaches and sore feet sometimes, but that's typical of pregnancy-nothing extraordinary. I have, steadily, worked out 4-5 times a week and eaten healthy this entire pregnancy. I think part of me thought that was enough. But, this blood pressure issue is out of my control. I do get so excited about our little love bundle coming so soon and about the baby stuff we buy, but that's a momentary rise in blood pressure, not something that sustains over time.

So, the RN talked to a doctor at the office I go to (my doctor is on maternity leave) and he said I can't work out and to not eat salty foods, ie "no chips, taco bell, or pizza etc"---to which Gary responded "believe me, that is more than taken care of" Sorry, babe! Now there's 0 possibility of me turning into a clich├ęd pregnant woman! ;) It seriously made me laugh that I have doctor's orders to NOT work out! Doesn't that seem ironic!?

As we left, everything was fine with both me and mini-me. The RN also reported that the doctor she spoke to wants me to come in on Monday for a NST , nonstress test. From what I understand, they'll hook up my belly and track little one's heart rate to make sure it correlates with movement etc. for about 20 minutes. If they do not like the results, I will be seen twice a week (OH JOY!) for blood pressure checks and an ultrasound (JOY ...for real!), in addition to regular prenatal appointments.

This is all so strange because I have felt great, am always hydrating and listen to my body when it tells me to stop! Kind of strange that it's out of my hands, but we'll know more on Monday. Our little one is doing well, though!! That's all that matters. Whatever we have to do to keep baby healthy we'll do in a heartbeat. Gary said that if I have to go on bedrest: "It's over. You're not doing anything. I'll move the extra TV in there, you won't clean, cook or get out of bed except to shower or pee" Yes, sir.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thank You, Aunt Julie!!

Aunt Julie made us this beautiful blanket that I HAD to share:
















And, here's Hershey considering stealing this adorable blanket for himself!














It is so soft! Such a beautiful surprise!! You didn't have to do this, Aunt Julie, but we're so happy you did! Thank you again. We can't wait until we can use it when our baby arrives! :)
An added bonus is that it's matching the "theme" we've been doing in our little one's room! Of course, we're keeping everything gender neutral, but we have a few little adorable animal items in the room. Here's another little item we love:














Apparently, we're trying to raise the next Steve Irwin ;) Ok, so we do love animals, but that will not be the only types of items in the room. Swear!

All this gets me so excited! Before we know it Gary and I will be heading to the hospital! Oh, and baby must know I'm talking about him/her....my belly has been moving during the whole time I've been typing:)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dinner with friends

Gabby and Daniel came in from CA and we got to have them over for a while and go out to Chili's! It was so nice to see them again. I really wish I would have gotten a picture of us all at the booth-with our new awesome camera, but our waitress was one of those people who sound like they have a megaphone strapped to their mouth, so I forgot because we were all laughing so hard. Oops!

For what it's worth, Gabby LOVES the dresser/hutch and says that she still sees a little girl in our future! Of course, we're 110% happy either way, especially since it's been decided for 31w 1d!

Gabby and Daniel were driving a '33 Plymouth, since they were in Louisville for a car show. It was sooo nice! But, I'd never survive in a car like that right now....NO AIR CONDITIONING!!
Man, I'm really kicking myself for not getting pics of us all together, but here's one Gary took of me the other morning:It's flattering, no?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Childbirth Class

We had our first childbirth class, this past Thursday, at Gateway-the hospital where we'll deliver. Out of the around 11 couples that were there we were the only ones who didn't find out the sex of our little mini-me! We thought we were aware of the fact that people like to find out what they're having, but had no idea we'd be in the 1% ! We thought it was funny that people gave us the "good for you's" when Gary introduced us and said our baby was "a surprise" yet every single one of them found out what they were having! I guess the temptation was just too much.

The class was awesome though. It was a bit of a reiteration of all the things we've been reading/talking about, but it was nice to hear a few things we hadn't known about. But, by far, our favorite part was touring the L&D and postpartum wards! Previously, I had thought that the L&D rooms were LDR rooms, but the room for recovery is separate. They are all private rooms, which is just a nice bonus! They have a pullout couch for Gary and a private bathroom in each room with WiFi and a flat screen TV. If it wasn't called labor I'd swear we were going on a weekend getaway.

There are 12 L&D rooms. When we were in one of them I asked if the number of rooms had ever been an issue. The nurse, who was giving the class, said that the most they've ever had at once in those rooms was 8. Hopefully, my super fertility in January didn't spread to those delivering at Gateway! I'm going to want a room ASAP!!

The same day of the childbirth class I had a prenatal appointment. Since my doctor just had her baby (she WILL be back in time.....PHEW!!) I was seen by the nurse practitioner. The NP is so nice and very attentive, but part of me thought she was too attentive. The past 2 appointments my blood pressure is a little higher at first, but then goes down once I get in the exam room. I, honestly, just get so excited when we're going to hear the heartbeat and because each appointment brings us closer to seeing our baby! I can't help it! But, it always goes down to a good number (110/68). Anyway, the NP had a super concerned look on her face. Then, when I said the only real discomfort I feel is gas related, which, when it happens, always follows eating, she started talking about watching for contractions etc. She freaked me out! Our doctor is so relaxed, thorough but relaxed. I tell her what I'm feeling and move on. But, this day, the NP started talking about watching for preeclampsia (where I'd have to be induced early because the baby would be in harm).... I swear the NP is going to send me into labor!! I know, at the end of the day, that things are all going to be fine. I just wish she wouldn't play with a pregnant woman's emotions! ;) Next week, I have to go back for a blood pressure check because they just want to make sure things are fine. I know they will be, I just get excited! I can't help it! Hey, soon I'm going to be meeting a person I made. I think that's grounds for a "rush".

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Looks like...

no news is good news! I took the glucose test over a week ago and haven't heard anything :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tweety

Last night, I finished the Tweety pic I posted a few posts back.
Here's a before:
And here's the finished product:

I really hope that any of the texture and differences in the foreground/background show up in these pics. There's so much more to it if you see it in person, but I'm hoping some of it comes through in these pics!

Oh, and yesterday, we got a new camera!!!!! It's the bomb! Our other one was just so far past done. We were going to wait until it was closer to our due date, but we want to get some good pregnant pics! We already have our little photo shoot planned, at an awesome location, but I'm getting my hair done this week so it'll have to be after that!