No Much Happening Around Here

I haven't written much in August as there hasn't been much going on.  I totally predicted this would happen.  We tore through all of our baby prep, and now we're twiddling our thumbs and stalking the calendar.  I'm so thankful (and a little surprised) that we stuck to our "get it done early" goal.  I can't imagine trying to finish projects at this point.  It would all fall on Husband's shoulders (and he's already taken over the following duties: picking-up things off the floor, pulling me out of the laying position in bed, carrying the laundry basket EVERYWHERE, and even getting my phone when it rings if I'm propped-up on the couch - seriously, how lucky am I?).   

I had my 37 (and 4 days... but who's counting) appointment last Friday.  All is well in Liamland!  My BP is normal.  My urine looks good (and no, we're not talking aesthetically).  L Bean's heart rate is good.  I was sent-home with another 4D picture of his adorable little mug.  Oh my goodness. THAT FACE.  His cheeks look chubbier than last week.  And he has the cutest chin - to whom in the family it belongs, we have no clue.  Full lips (mom).  Cute little ears and button nose (dad).  And what look like big eyes (mom).   It was the shortest appointment yet.  Maybe five minutes.  Doc came in and gave me a big hug hello.  Have I told you how much I love my doctor?  I could put him in my pocket and take him home.  If nothing happens before next Friday, he'll check me (we're talking internals, people) to see if I've dilated.  Holy cowsers. 

I can't believe I'm sharing this, but I promised honesty.  Saturday I noticed some stretch marks.  Not on my belly (thankfully).  I won't tell you the exact spot because I'm still in denial.  There's one in particular that looks pretty angry - I call it Murphy.  Luckily, they're not really visible to the general public.  Hopefully with time (and body shrinkage) they'll get smaller and less angry.  I have no one to blame but myself.  I've mentioned this before, but I'll tell you again.  I've gained some serious poundage during this pregnancy.  It may not look like it to you, but trust me - there is at least 40 extra pounds on my frame (I don't know the exact number.  I literally cover my eyes when I get weighed).  I was a smidge underweight for my age and height when I got pregnant, so some of the weight gain was needed for a healthy pregnancy and baby.  But certainly not all of it.  I've pretty much consumed whatever I felt like whenever I felt like it.  Especially these past few weeks.  This is my only regret throughout this entire pregnancy.  I wasn't active.  My food self control was non-existent.  Thankfully I'm at the end, so it can't get much worse.  I will tell you - this weekend was an all-time pregnant self-esteem low. 

We met baby Jax (Jack for long) last week!  He was a week and a half old and so cute you could eat him.  We took the family dinner, and in exchange we got to snuggle their sweet boy for a bit.  Husband was swoonworthy.  He cradled Jax so naturally, and he kept stroking his little arm with a single finger.  His face told the story of what was going through his mind - he's SO ready to hold his own son.  My heart reached the near explosion level.  Jax's mommy looked AMAZING.  She has just given birth a week or so before, and she was just glowing.  I wasn't expecting her to look rough, but I wasn't expecting her to look THAT great.  She wears motherhood so well.   It was so fun spending an hour in that kind of emotional climate.  We couldn't help but feel the love.

This past weekend Josh had a soccer tournament.  His team won!  I baked cookies and banana bread.  I cleaned and did laundry.  I napped and rested.  The weekend passed by WAY too quickly.  I went to Target and got my "after birth" goodies (the ice packs are already in the freezer).

I figured it wouldn't be very nice of me to send Husband to the store to buy HUGE maxi-pads and hemorrhoids pads.  Hopefully I won't need the hemi pads, but I'd rather be over-prepared than under-prepared (Who, me?! NEVER).  I also got some big 'ol cotton undies.  I'm not much for regular underwear, so it'll be interesting wearing those pad-hammocks for a few weeks.  When I brought them home and showed them to Husband, he said, "Sometimes full underwear is really sexy.  You know, like boy shorts."  To which I said, "Honey, these are NOT boy shorts.  They're sole purpose is to hold a pad in place.  Think granny-pantie."  He stopped smiling after that. 

Today my feet are swollen.  Husband even noticed.  We're keeping an eye on them to make sure it's not happening really quickly, as that's usually not a good thing.   I've definitely noticed an up-tick in activity this week.  More contractions.  More uncomfortable contractions.  Longer contractions.  A general dull ache in my lower belly from time to time.  I'm exhausted; although I think this has more to do with work than anything.  I plan to stop working when I pop or until my due date, whichever comes first (that's nine more workdays, max, but who's counting).  As each day passes, I realize that working until my due date will be tough.  But we have a big deadline coming-up, and it's too important that I contribute.  At least it's a desk job.

My dad booked his flights to come visit right after L Bean is born.  I can't even tell you how excited I am.  I can't wait to see the tears :)

Just for fun, here are two pictures of our oldest kids:

They're ready to be the best big brother and big sister to L Bean!

Breastfeeding and Calendars (Unrelated)

Have I ever told you about how I thought I was a week or so more pregnant than my doctor? True story.

When we got pregnant, I wasn’t on birth control. We knew we wanted to start a family sooner rather than later, and we didn’t know how long it would take my body to adjust to being hormone-free. Because I wasn’t on the pill, I kept a calendar. Kept a calendar of what, my two (maybe) male readers ponder? Monthly lady details, my friends. If you’ve ever been on birth control and then stopped, you know why I kept a calendar (here’s another hint to my faithful male readers: everything is JACKED-UP). I’ll spare you my notation details, but my Type A peeps would be proud. On that calendar, I kept track of EVERYTHING (she blushes coyly). You know, just in case. Well, Just in Case’s name is Liam, and he’ll make an appearance in a few weeks.

Because I kept track on said calendar I know when, YOU KNOW, happened. So when I was asked for the first date of my last cycle, I cited my calendar and cracked some joke about being meticulous and date of conception (totally inappropriate, nervous Betsy joke). Doctor laughed. I knew I liked him for a reason. Based on my dates, my due date would be September 8th. Based on what Doctor saw during that first ultrasound, my due date was set at September 14th. And there it has remained. Due dates are based on average cycles. Revisiting my “jacked-up” comment above, there was nothing average about my cycles. They’d be long and then short and then long and then long and then short. It was SO much fun. L Bean is measuring right-on-track for a September 14th due date, so obviously Doctor knows best. September 8th sounds pretty awesome right about now, though.

On a different note, Husband looked at me last night and said, “It looks like your stomach has grown since this morning.” We measured. It hadn’t. But it sure feels like it. Clothes are getting TIGHT (and not just around my stomach, sad face).

We had our last baby class last night: breastfeeding basics for couples. Yes, Husband tagged along. I’m going to need his help/support. Plus, they showed a video (I kid, I KID!). 

Before I talk about our class, I have to share something swoon-worthy with you. The past three classes we’ve taken have involved baby dolls. One per couple. As each class progressed, Husband would sneak the baby doll into his lap or he’d hold it in his arms. Someone’s excited to be a daddy!

Okay, back to breastfeeding. When I first got pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I also felt totally scared and weird about it. L Bean was the size of a poppy seed, so there wasn’t much mother-son bonding going on, and I had a hard time imagining a baby on my breast. As I’ve gotten more and more pregnant, I’ve gotten more and more excited about breastfeeding. After last night’s class, I’m more excited than ever. And for the first during this pregnancy, I’m confident and FAITHFUL. Did you know the average weaning age in Europe is three years? A year ago I would have said, “UGH! No way. That’s a TODDLER.” By no means so I plan to nurse until L Bean is three, but I get it now.

I had a breastfeeding epiphany last night: If L Bean is anything like his father, he’ll be a breastfeeding champion (I won’t reveal details, but Husband weaned a bit late).

Weekend Update

It’s official: We are (materially) ready for L Bean’s arrival. I had another shower this past weekend with a handful of soccer friends (plus Mom and SIL). It was awesome. We played a few fun games, laughed A LOT, and reminisced about how we “used to be cool.” I got my Moby Wrap (WOOP!).  I showed Husband how the wrap works during shower gift show-and-tell on the living room floor (and yes, these gift were also packed-away and organized within 30 minutes of their arrival as Casa de L Bean).  I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn't loving, so we ordered him a Balboa sling in black.  He's SUPER excited about it.  Can't you just picture him walking-around the grocery store with Liam in a sling?!  SWOONSVILLE.  The sling is adjustable, so we can both use it.  It wasn't cheap, so we plan on USING it.

After the shower, Husband and I headed to Target (thanks, Sarah and Josh!) and Babies R Us (“BRU”) to purchase the handful of items we still needed. BRU really knows how to sink their teeth into you. We have a rewards card, so we get tons of (surprisingly awesome) coupons in the mail. Also, last week we received our 15% off coupon for all items remaining on our registry (and you better believe I was on right before we left the house adding things to our registry "just in case"). Um, holler! We needed towels, a bathtub, bottles, and some bedding items (sheets, mattress protector, cradle pad, cradle sheets, etc). We also needed a going-home outfit in size Newborn (we haven’t the faintest how big he’s going to come-out, so we’re taking two outfits in two sizes). BRU was having a sales on all Carter’s clothing (TROUBLE), so of course we went-home with an extra (and might I say adorable – Husband picked-out) outfit. The total at BRU was $218 before coupons, and $171 after. I LOVE saving money. After two loads of laundry and 30 minutes of bed-making/organizing, his nursery is full of the necessities. I even pulled-together his downstairs changing basket (because let’s be honest here – I am NOT walking my butt upstairs EVERY time he needs to be changed). His hospital diaper bag is packed – two going-home outfits, amazingly soft and awesome blanket, nipple cream, baby mittens, and finger nail clippers (in case he comes-out with tiger claws). And the boppy is dressed and ready.

We didn’t get much done this weekend, and I’m feeling a little (okay, REALLY) guilty about it. I didn’t bake the cookie as planned. We didn’t vacuum or dust or clean the bathrooms. I did do some laundry, change the towels and sheets, and make rice krispy treats and muffins. Josh cut the (front) grass (you know, because no one can see the backyard but us). The cradle is still unfinished (and I’m panicking a little about it). I finished and mailed thank you notes. Our cars need a good internal cleaning, and then we need to install the car seat bases. I need to bake those “love me!” cookies for the nurses. I need to use-up those rotten bananas and bake banana bread. And I need to get enough done at work to get rid of the guilt I’m experiencing. We have two big deadlines in the fall, both of which I’m going to miss. We have a breastfeeding class this week (our last class!). All of this may not sound like much, but have I mentioned that I’m completely exhausted? And sleep is more difficult every night. My feet and back hurt. Doc warned me (a few weeks ago when I was feeling great and had energy) that it wouldn’t last and I would quickly start feeling like poop on a stick. Bonus points for Doc!

Notice above that I said we were “materially” ready. Husband texted me earlier this week to let me know that Friend’s water had broken. Her due date is (was) two weeks before mine. So she went two weeks early. I texted back with, “Holy cow, Husband, that could be us in TWO WEEKS!” A work-friend asked me last week if I was scared. If she were to ask that same questions right now, my answer would be very different. Heck yes, I’m scared! But I JUST got scared. Friend’s water breaking made things very real. DUDE, it’s going to HURT. And DUDE, I’m going to be a MOM. And DUDE, we’re going to be responsible for a BABY. And DUDE, babies cost a lot of MONEY. And DUDE, did I mention that labor HURTS? But what does it FEEL like? Is the pain sharp or is it dull and strong? And then there’s the unknown factor of when. Will my water break at work? Will my water break period (on its own)? Will I go into labor at night? Will he be two weeks early or will he be on time? Will I be induced? Will I tear? Will everything go smoothly? Does an epidural hurt and will I even care if it does hurt? Can I handle the pain? Will I need a c-section? Will I cry when he’s born? Will I poop while I’m pushing (yeah, I just went there)? Will his Apgar scores be good? I could bore you further with the Rolladex of questions rotating through my brain, but I think you get the picture. This is BIG and this is SCARY. And we’re going to be just fine, but right now it’s still scary.

Some Cool People Visited and I Got Showered

I had been counting down to last weekend for MONTHS.  Now it's done and gone.  Mega sad face.  But it was a total blast. 

Kerry and Caroline came to visit.  We shopped and ate.  It was divine. They got to see the nursery.  They also tagged-along to the hospital for a tour and Kerry was my wingwoman for a pre-natal with a pediatrician (and she was a stellar wingwoman).  The pre-admin nurse at HDH offered to give me a quickie tour since the official hospital tours fill-up three months in advance (which would have been nice to know!).  So Jessica (SIL), Kerry, Caroline, and I went to the hospital bright and early Friday morning. Debra, pre-admin nurse, was AWESOME.  She ended-up spending 30+ minutes with us.  We saw everything.  The L&D rooms.  The postpartum rooms.  The lobbies.  The nurseries (CUTE CUTE CUTE babies were inside).  I bet our impromptu tour kicked the official tour's butt!  The L&D rooms were all remodeled within the past year, and they were beautiful.  And really spacious.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I mean, they were HUGE.  Being the planner that I am, seeing the hospital really made me feel more comfortable.  And it was fun for K & C to see where I would be delivering, since they won't be able to visit until a while after L Bean's birth.


Saturday I got showered.  A big thank you to Natalie, my mom, and Jessica for putting together such a great event.  It was perfect.  Josh and I are so blessed to have some amazing and generous friends and family.  Here are some pictures of the shower:
My sweet cousin Megan.  Seriously, how cute is she?!?

Maggie came!  The shower date was 7 days before her due date.  Such a trooper.
Red velvet cake, my favorite!

Some of the coolest women I know.
Thank you, Natalie!!!
Caroline took pictures while I opened gifts.  Here is the one and ONLY picture where I'm making a semi-normal face:

Ella and Megan helped me open gifts. 
And because I was literally laughing out-loud when I looked through the pictures, here are the many faces of opening baby gifts:

I don't think I've ever used the word "cute" so much in my life. 
I think this one if my favorite.  This face makes me think of the smell of Husband's farts on one of his good days.
We unloaded our bounty (just for you, Caroline!) at home; and because I'm crazy, I did show-and-tell with Husband, and then we immediately unpacked, organized, broke-down boxes, and threw clothes in the laundry.  L Bean's room looks ready now. Not so staged and perfect.  It looks lived-in.  Or at least ready to be lived-in. 

On Sunday, K, C, Husband, and I went to a church that Husband and I had been too chicken to visit ourselves.   It's a lot like the church K, C, and family attend in Michigan.  It's big.  It's loud.  It's contemporary.  The first time I attended a church like this, I must admit, I was completely intimidated.  But now it's where I feel the most at home.  Church doesn't have to be stuffy and boring.  It doesn't require ties and tights.  Kerry made good on her promise and shook lots of hands and kissed lots of babies (her words).  Overall, we enjoyed the experience and plan to go back this weekend.  On the way home, we were rear-ended.  It was minor, but an accident all the same.  We pulled-off the road and assessed the damage.  It turns-out that the guy was coming from church, the very church we just visited.  We couldn't help but laugh.  He felt terrible and was completely embarrassed.  And he really lost it when I stepped-out of the car, and realized that I was pregnant.  Accidents are an inconvenience to all involved, but at least the guy was really nice and we had a good laugh with him.  And everyone was A-okay and safe.  Although, I definitely did obsess over EVERY little thing my body did for the next few hours.

The weekend passed entirely too quickly. Before I knew it, the shower was over and Kerry and Caroline were leaving.  I napped like a champion Sunday afternoon.  No baking was done (shock and awe!).  No cleaning was done.  No laundry was done.  But it was the BEST weekend.

Nursery Status: COMPLETE

Here are the final pictures of L Bean's nursery.  While I'm relieved to be done (and proud that we didn't procrastinate), I'm also a little sad.  We had so much fun planning and completing the nursery. 

Hope you like it as much as we do!

A Way Back When Weekend Update

L2L, oh how I've missed you!  I'd like to say that I've been slacking on the blog solely due to the vigors of our rigorous social (because we're soooo popular) and baby preparation schedules  but I'd be 50% lying.  I've also been suffering from pregnancy enduced laziness resulting from sore feet and a baby that's sucking all of energy out of me.

Here's what we did last, last weekend.

I made banana bread.  We already had a baked breakfast item on the kitchen counter, so I put these two loaves in the freezer.  I forgot to take an after picture. Pregnancy brain is REAL, people!

I made "Muffins That Taste Like Donuts."  For reals, that's the title of the recipe.  And yes, they do taste like donuts.  In the bowls above: frosting (totally my idea!), butter, and a sugar and cinnamon mixture. 

Josh REALLY loved the muffins.  Personally, I prefer my muffins to be moist.  But since these were meant to taste like donuts, they also had the consistency of donuts.  Josh polished them off all by himself.  My little champ.

I made chocolate chip scones.  They were surprising easy and super tasty.  The second time around I'm going to add less chips.  But the recipe lends itself to adding other accent ingredients, like blueberries or cranberries.

Lastly, I made rice krispie treats.  Delish! 

We spend Sunday afternoon completing the FINAL nursery project.  Yes, that is my husband cutting-out fabric.  He also drew and cut-out the templates.  I'm a lucky lady!

How cute is he?!  He didn't even complain about the pink scissors.

I'm so thankful to have a husband that can draw.  My skills rival that of a 3rd grader.

The final product.  We got the frames from Michael's during their dollar days, so they were 50% off.  Pregnancy has made me a cheap deal seeker, and I like it.  These little guys are my favorite thing in the nursery.  I'm so smitten.

I'm sure we did something else that weekend, but it was a long time ago (a whole week and a half), and I'm PREGNANT (read: my memory is shot).

35 Week Update

35 weeks means there are 5 weeks left. 5 WEEKS. FIVE WEEKS. FIIIIIIVE WEEKS.

I’d like to start this post with a funny (at least I think it’s funny) story: So I’m in the drive-thru at Taco Bell today (and yes, it felt soooo good to be soooo bad) talking to Josh on the phone about what the VW Estimator Man said about the damage to the back of the Passat (more on that later). It’s lunchtime, so there’s a line, and I get stuck next to the Bell’s windows for an extended period of time. I’m holding the phone with my left hand, which is the hand closest to the windows. I randomly peak towards to windows, and I see Weird Guy staring at me. And then Weird Guy proceeds to nod (you know, the upward nod that just screams, How you doin?”), WINK (who are you, Simon Cowell?!?!), and then smile at me. And I quickly averted my eyes. I wanted to get out of the car, tap on the window next to his face, and point-out the obvious that my seated position inside a car was hiding. Swollen fingers, so my wedding ring is around my neck. And big ol’ 35-week baby belly. But hey, thanks for making me feel like I’ve still got it, Weird Guy! On a slightly different, yet still related note – I guess I forgot I was pregnant because I ordered a Number 8 combo (3 hard tacos, since I know you’re curious). That’s all I ordered. If you’ve been pregnant or you’re currently pregnant, then you know what I’m getting at. That’s not even CLOSE to enough food. I easily could have packed-way three more. In hindsight, a Crunchwrap would have added nicely to the meal. And my ever-growing butt thanks me.

Anyway, what’s new this week?

I. Am. Uncomfortable. Please save me from this misery! I kid, it’s really not THAT bad. Although, last night I was whining like a little baby. But for reals, things are getting tight in MA BELLY, Baby is growing something fierce, and my feet hurt constantly. On average, I wake-up 3 times a night to pee (up from my old average of 2 times per night). Sleeping makes my body stiff and sore. This morning, I literally felt like I had run a 10-miler this weekend. I inquired with a work friend and was told this is normal, this is expected, and is what the last five weeks are going to feel like.

I have a doctor’s appointment. How is this different, you wonder quietly to yourself? For the most part, it’s not different. My twice a week schedule will transition to weekly after this appointment. I’ll pee, they’ll test. They’ll take my BP, which I’ll get nervous about and then worry that it’ll be high because I was nervous. He’ll ask how I’m feeling, if I have any questions. I’ll get to peep my little guy for a few minutes through an ultrasound. And here’s where it’s different. It’s the week of my Strep B test. The nurse told me last time to expect the test, and I asked the doctor some general questions about Strep B, the test, reasons for the test, etc. (because I’m a good little patient). There are three words that I really remember (it was EARLY in the morning, and I’m PREGNANT): Penicillin. Swab. Rectum. Okay, okay, SAY WHAT?!?! My tired, pregnant brain couldn’t process the heft of our conversation at the time, but you better believe the wheels were spinning later in the day. I’ve read a few things online, and swab + rectum seem to be a common thread. Feel badly for me. And hope that my assumptions are incorrect.

Oh, hey there, Contraction.  I still get a handful of Braxton Hicks Contractions every day.  I used to only notice them because my uterus tightened-up like a vice grip.  Now I can actually FEEL them.  As in, hi, you're kind of uncomfortable.  It's doesn't hurt, but it's not comfortable either.  They last anywhere from 10 to 20 seconds.  There have been a few times where I've had three in an hour, which put me on high alert.  Usually the high alert count is 4 in one hour.  Last night in our newborn class I had two within 20 minutes of each other, which was an eyebrow raiser.  But that third and fourth one never came, so we forgot all about it by the end of class.  Husband was so cute during our class break.  He said, "So you had one at 7:10 and 7:30 (I wrote the times down on the papers in front of us), but no more after that?  Okay, good."  Somebody was paying attention!!

No more kicks. I’ll get an occasional kick from my sweet inhabitant, but it’s mostly movement now. Space is limited, so he can’t wind-up like he used to. But the movements, OH THE MOVEMENTS! I think I’d prefer the kicks and punches. Sometimes it feels like he has his hands and feet on my spine and he’s pushing his back and butt out against my belly as hard as he possibly can. You picture that and smile, but it’s not pleasant. And lately he’s been trying to reach a foot or hand around my back. I’ve got news buddy, NOT possible. He’s still trying to stick his hands OUT of my lady bits, which is still closed for exit. And a few times a day he’ll do something that makes me go, “OOH! “ or “OUCH!” or “AAAAHH (sound of breath catching on my throat).” Husband had a stern talk with him last night about not beating-up Mommy, so he’s been a bit calmer today.

The nursery is complete! No more projects. No more painting. No more planning (what am I to do with my time?!?!). No more spending money, HOLLER!! I had a shower this weekend, so there’s stuff in the nursery too. It no longer looks like it’s staged for a magazine cover. It looks READY. And I peak in there every morning before work

Daddy is coming to visit! I just found-out that my dad is planning to visit after L Bean is born for a few days. A few DAYS! A day a meetings will be scheduled in there somewhere, but the other days will be spent hanging out with his grandson. SWOON. My day was made when I heard this news.

I’m tired. Doc wasn’t kidding when he said that Energized Pregnant Betsy would give-way to Exhausted Pregnant Betsy around this time in the pregnancy. Lots of naps have been had.

We're getting REALLY excited.  With each day that passes, the reality of what's going to happen (soon) sets-in a little deeper.  I had a baby shower this weekend that we'd been talking about for months.  Kerry and Caroline came for a visit, which we'd been talking about for months.  The nursery that we'd been working on for months is completed.  The rooms in our house are painted.  The kitchen is organized.  There are strollers in our dining room.  A carseat on the dining room table. The only thing left to do is to refinish the cradle (it's about 25% complete).  Oh, and have this baby.  I was talking to my Dad yesterday, and I said something along the lines of, "I can't believe this weekend has come and gone.  We talked about it for so long, and now it's over."  To which he said, "Yeah, now all you have to do is have this kid!"  Wow.  Just wow.  He's so right.  We've planned and prepped.  Now there's just one thing left to do - have a baby.  And let me tell you, we are SO ready to have this baby.  We took a newborn class last night (just a quick 2.5 hour class), and each couple was given a baby doll to use (for diapering, bathing, feeding, holding, etc.).  I kept peaking at Husband, and he would be holding the doll.  Just holding it (it was a her - we were a little bummed).  I couldn't help but smile.  He's going to be the best dad.  And I think together we're going to be great parents.  This past 35 weeks have been the fastest and best of our lives.  But I bet it won't even compare to the next few months.

34 Week Bump

It doesn't look to me like my belly has grown all that much.  I keep waiting to wake-up to Josh saying, "WHOA! Where did THAT come from?!?"  In terms of inches, I think I've grown 5 inches (from 37 to 42) in the past six or so weeks.   With my height, there is more vertical space.  At least that's the only explanation we can come-up with, because our little guy is a fatty.