Saturday, February 28, 2009

Officially Have Tried It ALL!

Yesterday I totally had a case of the pre-baby blues...if there is such a thing. I just felt so discouraged and frustrated and upset with the world! I have NOTHING to do to occupy my time and ended up crying feeling so lonely and isolated. I guess this is normal?
I ended up having a good solid cry and after venting to Zach and Mom (through email) I did feel a little better. I laid out for about 2 hours and re-read one of my favorite middle school "chapter" books (The Face On The Milk Carton) which put me in a better place! Plus it was SO nice out...warm but just windy enough to not be hot...so that helped. Ashley and I also talked for a long time and she made me feel better too. I may have felt lonely but I'm really not alone!

I decided to quit thinking about being pregnant. I thought I'd just pretend like I'm "normal" Emily and that it would help me feel better...b/c after nine months of being the "pregnant girl" I'm soooo ready to be EMILY again! I tried not to think about the baby or about going into labor.

Zach, Katie and I went and saw Valkyrie at the dollar theater (pretty good for a Tom Cruise movie) and it did remind me that I'm pregnant...I could hardly sit still I was SO uncomfortable! Afterwards Zach, the dogs, and I (and Spencer our outside cat came with us too so cute!) walked the neighborhood for about 40 min. Then I took 4 primrose oils and we did acupressure. This time I FINALLY started feeling something! My stomach is MUCH tighter now from the belly button up which is good and the pressure points made me contract and I contracted almost the whole time while walking. All good things so it was hard not to get my hopes up some.

Went to bed and actually woke up multiple times in the night with intense lower back pains and cramping feelings...so I felt happy and kept sleeping. Got up at 3:50 and decided to try...castor oil! I know it's super controversial and I did a TON of research on it! I decided to take it then b/c I had an empty stomach and because I'd be able to sleep until it kicked in!

I decided to just take 1 Tbl instead of two and mixed it with some Dr. Pepper (because I hate Dr. Pepper and I heard you will HATE whatever you drink it with). Um, you can't mix that crap! It's straight OIL and it coated the TBL thing, the glass, and the spoon I used to mix the drink. It stayed separated from the drink the whole time too so I basically drank straight Dr. Pepper then straight oil. Sick. I decided after one glass to do another TBL and after that glass I figured I'd probably had around the one TBL I originally planned on. I drank a glass and another half glass of water (as I heard castor oil will dehydrate you...that's the only dangerous thing about it) and went to bed.

I read online that the oil will do one of three things: 1) nothing 2) make you sick but won't put you in labor 3) make you sick and put you in labor

Sure enough 3 hours later almost on the dot (7:30 am) I woke up with bubbles in my tummy. I had some hardcore diarrhea but nothing I couldn't handle. I was able to go back to sleep and got up for good at 9:30 with some more of it. Then had it two more times. I have to admit I was a little "sore" so I soaked in a warm bath for about an hour to recover but I didn't feel really sick or anything! And since then? Nothing. I sat on my "birthing ball" (actually just an exercise ball, they are the same thing) and rocked back and forth for 2 hours. I felt some contractions that were more "real" as they hurt the lower back and through the stomach but nothing constant.

Online it says it can take the castor oil 24 hours to work so I still have until 4:30 this morning but I don't think anything else is going to happen. We still got ready and went to the Student Center Retreat and I feel 100% fine. So Clover will FOR SURE be a March baby! It's funny because poor Zach has been wrong with his guesses on this pregnancy! He thought we were having twins (thank the Lord he was wrong there) and he has guessed since forever that I'd go into labor on the 28th...again wrong! He also is 60% sure it's a boy so he'll probably be wrong about that too haha.

Now that I've officially tried it all I know the only things to guarantee some contractions are walking and nipple stimulation. The rest is a toss up. I'd say walking is my favorite, acupressure second, birthing ball third. So I'll stick with these and keep taking the primrose oil. You can do castor oil again after a 24 hour period of not taking it...but I don't know if I will or not! Maybe if I get desperate....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

38 Weeks...Still Pregnant!

Today I have officially been pregnant for 38 weeks! I know I shouldn't be complaining about still being pregnant as most first timers go late so I'll try to keep this as positive as possible!

I basically feel like I spend all my time thinking of things I could be doing to speed up the labor process!

Yesterday I laid out for a couple hours (which was great...I got some good color going now!) then did nipple stimulation on myself (while watching "The Girl's Next Door" which I found kinda funny seeing as I bet some guys would think I was doing something else haha). The stimulation did work as I felt a lot of contracting, but it stopped when I stopped. After church Zach and I (with the dogs) walked around the neighborhood for around 40 min. It really made me feel winded and I also felt a lot of contracting.

We did more acupressure and I took 2 more primrose oil things. I went to sleep early thinking that everything was headed in the right direction! However, I woke up many times to go to the bathroom and felt FINE. No contractions. Blah!

This morning I got ready and met Mrs. Charlotte at the mall for some more walking. I really should have had her video tape me. First of all I walk sooo funny. Secondly I walk sooo slow. And thirdly...I, EMILY, went WALKING, around the mall! That in itself is hilarious. But duh, I still did my hair, makeup, and wore a matching outfit. But still the fact that I did any kind of exercise in public is a pretty big deal. I must be desperate! We did run into this nice lady who went on and on about how beautiful I looked so that made me feel okay about it! We walked for about an hour, pretty high intensity as Zach got his ADHD from his Mama so that lady can move it! I did feel contracting during the walking which was good!

It was nearly impossible for me to move afterward! I ran a couple errands and was walking seriously slower than a turtle. I felt embarrassed but oh well. Came home and got a bad migraine so instead of laying out I just watched tv and napped.

Ate dinner but wasn't super hungry. About 30 min after eating I got the chills, tightening in my upper stomach, and the urge to vomit. I NEVER throw up. EVER. I seriously have probably puked 10 times since I can remember being alive. I ran to the bathroom and nothing came up, so I made myself burp a lot (this is what I do when I really want to puke...it helps). I was pretty worried so I called Mom and she googled some stuff for me.

It varied from having to puke to having to poop. I gave up trying to throw up and focuses on the burping. She said it sounded like indigestion (which I've never had) but found a couple sites that said indigestion and nausea are signs that labor will occur within 48 hours. I will comment on this in a moment!

I finally started to feel better and we decided to skip walking and acupressure tonight (after 3 nights in a row of the acupressure I'm VERY tender on those points so a break will be nice for my body) but I'm upping the amount of primrose oil to 4 capsules as that's what it says online (once you are 38 weeks you can up the amount). I still have a headache but am about to go to bed and hope it knocks it out.

Plans for tomorrow? Walking, acupressure, cleaning the house super good, laying out, primrose oil and ~maybe~ a caster oil cocktail...we'll see how I feel!

Now to comment about the internet. It's SO annoying!!! So so so annoying! Everything you look up says a million different things. Some people say caster oil is awesome, others say it's awful. Some say if you're 90% effaced you'll go into labor within days, some say weeks. Almost EVERYTHING you ask the answer will be "it could be a sign of labor or it could not be. You could have the baby in 24 hours or it could be several weeks."

The good news is that I'm due in a couple weeks so since everything pretty much says "a couple weeks" and not a MONTH at least I know I probably won't go past my due date haha. Like I said I'm trying to stay positive! Off to bed but wanted to update...I appreciate everyone keeping me in their thoughts! I had some people text to check up on me and it was so nice! I PROMISE once labor FINALLY occurs I WILL post or at least update facebook to let everyone know what's up :) Keep those positive thoughts headed my way!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A little progress!

I had such a nice relaxing day yesterday and decided to continue the trend and go to bed early. I took 2 more primrose oil capsule things then we did the acupressure again and I was in the bed by 10! I woke up several times during the night but unlike usual, where I feel miserable, I just felt at peace. Very nice night and some awesome sleep! Got up at 7 and got ready for the dr appointment!

Had about 5 contractions on the way to the doctor, about a 20 min drive, but again nothing serious. I didn't even want to mention it to Stacy but of course Zach wanted me to!

I've gained 2 more pounds (putting the total at 36...yikes)! When we got in the room I didn't plan on telling Stacy anything about the "tricks" we've tried but she was sooo cool about it that I couldn't help myself haha

She did another internal check and she said I'm still only 1 cm dilated, -1 station (which disappointment me but she said that's still awesome), and 90% effaced. How much more effaced can I get without dilating? Dang! While she was down there I said, "You can feel free to scrape my membranes, I won't tell." So she did it! She just said that if I go into labor not to say anything, fine by me! I know you won't tell ;)

It was a bit uncomfortable but Bradley is so great as I just relaxed and it wasn't so bad. I tried to hold Zach's hand but you can't really hold someone's hand and relax fully at the same time. She said that most people go into labor within 3 days which she was worried may mean Sat and she won't be here but at this point...WHATEVER! Fine by me! The good news is the annoying midwife I can't stand isn't on call this weekend or next weekend so at least I won't have her if I can't have Stacy! Also after doing the scrape she said I went from 1 cm dilated to 1 1/2...at least it's progress!

She said it's totally fine to do the tricks and suggested nipple stimulation. She said walking really doesn't do much unless you are already in labor. She said caster oil does work for some people but that she would use it as a LAST resort as it can make you miserable (I already planned on not using it). She also said that Zach should "make a deposit" hahahaha I think that's my new favorite code!

We talked about birth control after the baby is born and she went ahead and wrote me a prescription for something that won't affect my milk. Also she wrote me a prescription for some medicine to up my milk supply so that way if I need it I'll have it. Isn't she great?

She said it's normal to feel the contractions like I was feeling on the way there and that since I do have a semi-high thresh-hold of pain that I may not even know when I'm in labor until I have a bloody show which she said I'll probably have since I am so far effaced. She said when this happens I'll be between 5 and 7 cm dilated.

I also asked her about the increased discharge (it's been so bad I've been wearing double liners or a real pad) and she said it's probably normal but ran a little test anyway just to make sure and they will call me this afternoon.

I looked up some signs of early labor and found this website that is awesome I have all but three of the symptoms which is pretty good :)

I'll be 38 weeks tomorrow so I went ahead and took a couple pictures (wouldn't it be awesome if these were the last?):

Also Danielle Conner (Phillips now!) suggested I try to sit on top of my washer. I just got down a few minutes ago! I finished my book on Jackie O (so good!). It was a pain getting up there because we have storage drawers under our washer so I had to use a step-stool then that didn't work and Zach had to lift me! haha. I am out of stuff to wash so I washed our sheets but if I try it again I don't know what I'll wash! Hopefully it'll help some.
I'm feeling really good about everything and very positive today! Hopefully it'll be soon but Zach and I aren't getting our hopes up. Stacy did say that she thinks I'll be able to do it all natural just because my demeanor about it and all. Unfortunately she also said that since I was born in the posterior position (face up) that my baby has a good chance of being in the same position and there isn't any tests they can do to see about it until I'm in actual labor. So we just need to pray for everything to go okay!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Well we tried...

It feels like the last week or so has been overwhelmingly busy for me. Between going to Jacksonville, our episode at Walmart, and working our butts off to complete the whole "to do before baby is born" list I am WORN out.

Yesterday was the final day of crazy getting things done. I ran a few errands, met Ashley for lunch, came back home got the dogs, took them to the vet, then went back home, packed the hospital bag (well huge suitcase..I hate hospitals so I want to have as much of MY stuff as I can), then went back to town to meet Katie and Ashley for pedicures. It was a lot for me. I guess being this pregnant can make you get worn out pretty quickly!

I don't think it helped that I met Ash for lunch a little before noon and our pedicures were at 6:30! I didn't eat between and by the time I got to the pedicure appointment I felt a migraine coming on, was so tired, and STARVING.

We went to Nails By Chris next to Publix and it was awesome! They were all so sweet and treated us like royalty! They even gave us sweet tea (which I downed, hoping to ease the migraine)
I told them that I want to have my baby and to "help" me out anyway they could! The girl went to town on my pressure points in my feet and calves. If it works at all I told them I'd call them haha. We still have another visit to use before the end of March so hopefully it'll be to pamper ourselves AFTER the baby arrives but if not we'll go again and try those pressure points! They may have given an awesome pedi...but not so great at photography...
After we got done I met Zach at Red Lobster to use our gift card on a date! It was 8 pm and I had gone 8 hours without eating. By this point my migraine was unmanageable and so was my hunger. I ate 4 cheese biscuits before they even took our order haha. It was SO good though! The crab was the BEST it's ever been and having some food in me helped me relax a little and enjoy a nice night with my husband, one we are hoping will be the last for awhile!
We didn't get home until after 9:30. I had a couple other things to finish up with and then we decided we'd do a few more little tricks to see if Clover wants to make an appearance. I took 2 primrose oil caplets and we printed out this acupressure thing Rachael used to go into labor. We went to the bed and did all the points and I tried my best to relax through my migraine (seriously the worst one I've had in a LONG time). Afterward we planned to "be intimate" as "they" say the same thing that makes the baby also helps the baby come out!

Zach was in the bathroom shaving and I was getting back in the bed when I looked down and saw Sadie. I tried not to panic but told Zach he'd better come and look at her. Her face was SO puffy. It scared me to death! Here it is after 11 and my poor husband, who never gets any from his super pregnant wife, is pumped for some intimate time and then I have to be on the phone with the emergency vet clinic because Sadie!

She had a bordatella shot while we were at the vet as well as a rabies one and they had a hard time getting them into her because she is older and her skin is so flappy so I figured it was some kind of reaction to the shots. The e.r. vet said to give her children's benedryl (thank the LORD we had some left from back when Levi was a puppy and ate a bunch of chicken bones and had bloody stools...oh the joys!) every 8 hours but to keep an eye on her in case she stopped breathing! How am I supposed to be intimate with my husband while watching my dog to make sure she doesn't drop dead???

I googled a bunch of stuff and of course dogs do die from these types of reactions. I love my vet but I took this picture just in case she did die and I needed to use it as leverage with them since I wasn't made aware of any side effects. It makes me cringe to see her this way!!!
To recap: I am hugely, grossly pregnant, with a migraine, and a sick dog. But I really wanted to be with Zach and to see if it would help speed things along so I got into the bed and cuddled up next to him. Well the room was dark and he didn't see me and went to pull up the covers and BAM. Elbowed me RIGHT in the nose. Reallll great for the headache! At the time it was a frustrating situation but is it not HILARIOUS??? What a great night for us huh??? haha

Obviously the deed didn't get done! But don't we get credit for giving it so many tries? And at least I did have the pedicure, primrose oil, and acupressure! We plan to try try again until something works! The acupressure said that most people do go into labor but it's within 48 hours so we'll see. I'm not getting myself excited or freaking out or anything..I'm just sooooo ready for it to be over with!

I was planning to walk a lot today but it's not happening. Headache is still here (KILLER) but thankfully Sadie is fully recovered so I'm spending my day on the couch resting and watching tv. And if still no baby tomorrow? I'm laying out! It's supposed to be pretty again!
As far as symptoms go I had to up it to a full on pad rather than a panty liner as it's too much to contain! I have had some more intense contracting but nothing worth even writing about. And I feel like my legs and all are really sore. I think it's from just doing too much and I hope some rest will help me feel more like myself! Tomorrow morning we go back to the dr. so I'm crossing my fingers that things have progressed some! :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baby Name Hints

I know everyone is excited to find out what we will name our baby! We are getting super excited to find out if Clover is a girl or boy and to be able to FINALLY call "it" by name rather than Clover (although so many people actually think the baby's name will be Clover...um no.)!

I thought it'd be fun to give some clues as to what the baby names are so those of you who are dying to know can maybe guess for yourselves!
Good luck!

Baby Name Hints:

1. All four of the names (boy first and middle, girl first and middle) start with consonants.

2. All but one of the four names end in consonants.

3. If Clover is one sex, it will be called by it's middle name.

4. If Clover is the opposite sex, it will go by a shortened version of it's first name.

5. Both of the first names are two syllables.

6. One of the middle names is one syllable, the other is two syllables.

7. I'm worried, because we live in South Georgia, that one of the middle names will have a country twang to it that we don't want.

8. Both of the name sets (first and middle for either boy or girl) contain only three vowels each.

9. None of the four names are listed on any top 100 names list.

10. We wanted both of the name sets to be usable by the child if they prefer and to be "hot guy" or "hot girl" names...nothing babyish sounding for us!

Happy guessing....

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Grandpa Is Coming To Town!

I am so excited! I just got off the phone with my dad and we made some plans for when he is going to come to meet his latest grand baby!

He currently lives in Nebraska and I haven't gotten to see him in FOREVER. I really can't remember the last time we were together...maybe Christmas break of 2007? I'm not kidding it's been that long!

Of course it means a lot to me to have my dad here to get to see my baby, but it especially means a lot because it's been so long since I have gotten to see him myself! So not to sound selfish but I am actually more excited for some ME and Dad time than I am for Grandpa and Clover time haha.

Zach will HAVE to go back to work a couple days after we get home (because if he doesn't work...we don't make ANY money) so it'll be wonderful that Dad plans to come and stay for a couple days. Not only will it be a big help but it will be a great opportunity for the two of us to have some quality alone time to catch up. I can't remember the last time I had alone time with my dad and it makes me so excited to think I'll get to have that!

I think this picture was actually our last quality alone time moment...right before he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day! It was so emotional and this is one of my favorite wedding pictures because he was so sweet and touched that he was giving his little girl away! I can't wait to see how he feels about his little girl having her own baby :)
It's going to be an extra-special time for sure and I'm just so blessed that my father thinks I'm worth the drive and hassle to be able to spend a couple days just the two of us together :) I'm so glad he's excited to be a grandpa (again) and you know I'll take a thousand pictures while he's here!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finishing the "To Do List"

As I mentioned before, Zach and I are toying with the idea of trying a few tricks this coming week to see if any of them work and put me into labor. Before we even attempt any of that though I had a long (excel spreadsheet, of course) list of things to do before Clover is born that needed to be completed!

Today is that day!

We've done everything from: make a will, schedule appointments for when Mom comes to stay in April, made an ipod mix for Clover, filed our taxes, cooked a TON of frozen meals for postpartum, used up any meals I have had in the pantry (like baked goods), made the dogs a vet appointment, put pine straw down in the yard, gotten all the addresses together for the baby announcements (and went ahead and made the mailing labels), ordered pictures for the baby book, organized the garage and attic, cleaned out our cars (and put in the bases for the car seat), did laundry, cut Sadie, wrote letters to the baby (for the baby book), put together all the baby things we know we'll use soon (bouncer, swing, etc), and did about a million other things!

Come Monday we should be done with it all! We need to have BIG Bradley over-view session but other than that we should be "ready" if Clover decides to grace us with her or his presence! I have begun to pack the hospital bag...but I refuse to finish it all until we are 100% ready! haha.

If Clover doesn't come soon that's okay too. It will be a great feeling to have everything done and we will just enjoy time cutting loose haha:
Everything works out for a reason though as we originally planned on having a spend the night party with Katie and Ashley last night (I know that sounds strange...Zach and three girls but it would have been fun!). It would have been a great time but it would have meant today would be a wash of a day because we'd be too tired to be productive! Instead we went to a nice dinner last night with Seth, Crissy, Stevie and Katie and then went to bed at a decent hour! I may not have slept any (I had such bad nausea...it kept me up from 4 until 5:30...strange!) but I got enough rest to be ready to get going this morning. And really I've done most of the things I can do during the week, today was Zach's day to get the yardwork and all done. But it all worked out that we were able to do it and I'm excited to have the list completely finished! And even more excited for this baby to arrive :)

When I do this all again...

I think I am far enough along in my pregnancy to dish out some advice. These are all the things I found (and am still finding) essential to surviving the 9 months of carrying a baby around! I hope these things help other pregnant women out and also help me remember what to bother buying when I go through this all again (in a few years...).

1. Bumpil Pillow:

I tried the pillow from Target (the snoogle I think it's called) which I think is the most popular one but I hated it. It felt so lumpy and uncomfortable. Well I went shopping around Valdosta and saw this one! Yes, it's expensive (like $65) but totally worth every penny! I have used it every night since the first trimester and it's a lifesaver. It does take up a LOT of room in our queen bed but it is so comfortable and helps me sleep on that dreaded left side!

2. Bella Band:

Right when you find out you're pregnant buy one. I wore it all the way up until my 8th month! I was able to wear all my normal pants but just left them unbuttoned. It really does stay up! It's also great when you don't really have the full pregnant belly yet, just the "beer gut" look, because it kinda pushes everything in. It works like Spanx but without the annoying panty hose type feel. I did quit wearing it eventually because I got to the point where any pressure on my stomach bothered me (I even push down all the panels on my maternity pants) but I'll be sure to buy another one of these! You really only need one (they are like $25) because they are easily washable!

3. Maternity Clothes:
I think I did awesome in this department. I have always been a clothes whore but I managed to not spend much money at ALL on maternity stuff. I got several things as gifts but what I did buy I bought smart. I own 1 pair of black pants, 1 pair of khakis and 2 pairs of jeans. Instead of buying skirts (I own zero maternity skirts) I stuck with dresses because it's cheaper than having to buy a skirt and a top and a lot of the styles now I was able to wear "regular people" dresses to church and showers. Old Navy is the BEST place for Maternity clothes! Their jeans fit awesome (especially me being petite) and their tops are cute! I bought a lot of PLAIN shirts and spent more money on accessories. You can keep accessories and wear them forever so why not just get several plain shirts and mix and match to make outfits? I have really liked the long tank top look with an open sweater over top, both of which I can wear post-pregnancy as well. Another good investment: instead of buying maternity camis to wear when things start cutting too low I bought nursing camis so I can use them again once I breastfeed. One mistake I made? Buying my pants too big. I bought Mediums thinking I'd grow into them and should have stuck with Smalls as you (at least I haven't) don't really gain in the pants area. I was also able to wear "regular people" shirts (the babydoll style) up until my 8th month. So it's nice because I have those tops to wear after the pregnancy while I still have the weight to lose!

4. Shoes:
Pre-pregnancy all I really had for dressy shoes were heals. I'm short, pumps make the most logical sense. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I invested in ballet flats. I'm SO glad I did. The black pointy shoes Mom got me for my birthday have been worn OUT. I got a pair of ballet flats in several colors (black, brown, navy, gold, purple) and they have worked out wonderfully. They are comfortable, I don't have to worry about falling, and they are still cute! Plus they are easy to slip on and off. Towards the end of the pregnancy I've noticed my feet will swell after lots of walking and wearing tennis shoes KILL me but with these I can slip them off whenever we sit down to take a break :) Don't invest in expensive ones, all mine are from Payless, because you WILL stretch them out and I'm not expecting mine to fit post-pregnancy!

5. Nursing Bras:
The first big mistake I made? Running out about buying a $40 Victoria's Secret bra when my boobs got bigger. Your boobs change sizes a THOUSAND times (and I know they will continue to change after I have the baby)! Why waste money on such a nice bra? I wish we had a Motherhood Maternity store here but we don't. I recommend getting FITTED at a store that sells MATERNITY clothes and bras. Then buy nursing ones! That way once the baby arrives you're already stocked with plenty of bras that allow you to breastfeed. They are about $16 which is so affordable (at least compared to the $40 I spent on one that I only wore for a month!) and they are easy to care for. Comfortable? Not so much. But what is comfortable at this point? I also bought a couple comfort bras for sleeping. I slept in a sports bra as long as I could but they eventually got too small and so I invested in a cotton sleep bra. My only regret here is that they don't have the pull down feature (in the picture above) so I won't be able to attach my breast pump to it! I'll have to invest in a comfort bra for pumping at some point!

6. IBod:
I consider myself a semi-sun worshiperer. I miss the sun! I miss being tan! The IBod is the only thing that got me through! I knew being pregnant I'd feel ugly and being tan makes EVERYONE feel sexier! This thing really works and is around $50 (from Target). I've used mine since October and still haven't had to get a refill of the tanning liquid yet (and I spray myself once a week). When you do buy the refill? Check ebay, it was only $12. You won't notice a big difference right away, it's a building system so the more you do it the darker you look (which is good b/c you don't risk looking orange). I love it!

7. Bubble Bath:
When we bought this house I thought it was stupid and pointless that we had a bathtub. Who takes baths? Well, I do now! Not only is it super relaxing but it gives you much needed YOU time. You feel pampered afterward and so relaxed! I'm also looking forward to using the tub during labor :)

8. Cocoa Butter:
Anyone who knows me knows I've ALWAYS used cocoa butter! I spread that junk all over my body really thick and let it soak in, and I'd say I have pretty soft skin because of it! Well my pregnancy routine is: Vitamin E Oil on the spots that have or could potentially create stretch marks, Palmer's Lotion on the stomach, boobs, butt, and thighs, then Cocoa Butter over it all! So far it has worked pretty well as I don't have too bad of stretch marks...yet...

9. DVR:
The pregnant woman's greatest companion! How could I have ever lived without it? You wake up in the middle of the night and can't sleep??? Don't have to watch infomercials (although sometimes I just enjoy that) you can watch saved shows of A Baby Story or Jon and Kate Plus 8! Seriously the greatest invention ever! And if you're doing Bradley it's a great way to get your pelvic rocks and kegals in too :)

10. Bubba Keg:
I should have been using this throughout my whole pregnancy but I started in my 8th month and better late than never! They hold 34 oz, keep the liquid cold for 12 hours, and can be left in your car or in the sun and not give you cancer like water bottles can! So awesome! I am drinking around 70 oz of water a day now (and it's worked! I'm hardly puffy at all!) so this is a lifesaver (or at least a looks saver haha)

11. Homedics Shiatsu:
By the time I'm pregnant again we'll probably upgrade to the latest thing they will have out then but I wish we would have bought this sooner! It is a miracle worker on the sore back and shoulders! I don't work outside the home so I know I don't have it HALF as bad as most pregnant women out there but when I have a rough day and am in pain it's wonderful. I heard it will help with the pain of lugging around a heavy child in my arms soon too!

12. Foot Spa:

Not to put down my husband, but when he bought me this as a gift (what woman DOESN'T own one?) I thought to myself "great something that will never get used." And it didn't. Until I got pregnant. I pull this thing out all the time and sit and watch my DVR while letting my feet soak. During first trimester and third it has been the most useful for me but I'm so thankful he bought it now! Mine has vibration, heat and bubbles and it's awesome!

13. A Blog:
I was going to say this is probably the most important thing to have but I have added a number 14 and that's the most vital but a Blog is pretty close! I have a couple Pregnancy Journals and I did okay keeping up with them but I'm so thankful I facebooked stalked Rachael and saw her pregnancy blog then copied her and started my own! It's a great way to keep all the memories of this journey and to vent when needed. Even though I know some people read it I don't write it for ANY of you! I write it for ME. It's really helped me get back to something I used to love...writing. Growing up I always wanted to be an author and this blog has helped me use those "talents." And in a fun way that also incorporates pictures which duh I love too!

14. A Supporting Husband:

I went over this list with Zach and asked him if I forgot anything and he was like "Yeah an awesome husband." Haha! But that is true and it IS the most important thing to keep you sane while pregnant! Who else can you get mad at when you just feel like being mad? Who else will give you the money for the clothes? Rub your feet when they are sore? Zach has been, which I know I've said plenty of times, an amazing support system through this whole process and I don't think I could have made it this far without him! I know he's even more important in the delivery process (and the parenting process following) so he better stick around and not give up on me yet! haha!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

First "Internal" Exam

This morning I had my first weekly exam. After the interesting stuff I went through on Monday after Walmart, I was pretty curious to see what Stacy would say! Since Monday night I have still continued to have more wetness (a word? probably not) down there and (I'm graphic, deal with it as I want to be able to remember this kind of stuff for next time!) when I go to the bathroom it feels different when I wipe. It's like when I wipe the toilet paper kinda slips "up" there more than it naturally should...it's like "opps!" haha.

I've also been feeling more contractions, nothing regular but sometimes they will be pretty intense. Those started on Saturday when we went to BabiesRUs but I do still feel them off and on, at least a couple times a day.

I weighed myself and I shouldn't have haha! I gained 3 lbs in ONE WEEK. Crazy! I've now officially gained 34 pounds total, yikes. I can gain one more pound and still be considered where I should be weight wise..I think I might just go over that don't you?

Anyways, we listened to the heart and it sounded good, she said in the 140s-150s. Then we talked about how Stacy is going to be out of town from Feb 28th through March 7th. Gah I'm dreading that!!!

Then she did the internal. It was a great chance for me to practice some Bradley relaxation techniques as a) I heard that internals are horrible and b) I always always always clench up super bad during my yearly exams so I knew I'd do the same thing naturally this time too! And yay for me I did so great (I feel bad because Zach said he was trying to hold my hand but I didn't see him..I was too focused on my task). I stayed relaxed and it wasn't all that bad. She even applied pressure on my stomach with her finger "in there" and it didn't bother me.

She acted shocked as soon as she started the exam! Stacy is a pretty serious person, which I like as I am too, but she acted out of character the way she responded. She said I'm still "tight" down there (which is a usual for me anyways) and only 1 cm dilated. But she said she could feel the head and that it's so so so low! She also was shocked that I am already 80% effaced! I had no clue what she was talking about haha. She told me that it is measured from 0%-100% and it measures how thin the cervix is. We want it to be 100% at some point and she said most people at this point in pregnancy are lucky if they are 50%. Pretty awesome I guess! She also said "so basically it could be a couple of weeks or it could be tomorrow." I kinda brushed this off but Zach said later "she didn't say it could be a month!" haha I guess that's good news!

I also told her about my experience the other night and she said I was right not to worry as it wasn't my water breaking but that she does think it could have been my mucus plug. She said I would spot some today after the check-up and I have..my first time spotting the whole pregnancy :(

Once I got home I was all curious about this effacement stuff! Here's a diagram:
So since I'm so far along with the effacement, it makes sense that my mucus plug would be gone already! Also I had this little sheet that I'm supposed to keep on me at all times to take to the hospital when I go into labor and it has my stats on it. I noticed she wrote 1/80%/-1. I knew the 1 meant 1 cm dilated and the 80% was effacement but she didn't mention the -1. Duh, I googled! The -1 is called the station and it rates how low the baby is! -3 is high, -2 lower, -1 lower and 0 starts the head in the birth canal then -1 is in the canal etc. So really the head is super low and almost where it needs to be for this junk to get going! She did say that the head shouldn't move anymore which makes me feel great to know we won't have a breach baby!

I am trying very very VERY hard not to get excited. I don't want to sit and think that I could go into labor soon then be sitting here blogging about how frustrated I am 3 weeks from now. Crissy came over today (they are having another girl! I totally called it! I'm so pumped for them!) and brought me the hooter hider she made me (soooo cute I love it!). We chatted for an hour or so and I love talking to her! It's so great to have someone who has been there done that and who knows so much about breastfeeding! She's an AWESOME Mom and I adore Stevie! I really hope and pray we get closer once our baby gets here, I adore her and Seth both and so does Zach (and we all know couples are hard to find!)

Anyways we started talking and I told her how far I am and all and she said a bunch of her friends started doing the little tricks to self-induce at 38 weeks. I'll be officially 37 weeks tomorrow and Stacy will be leaving for out of town during my 38th week. So do I start trying? Pretty tempting. Zach and I have a loooong list of things I want to get done before the baby is born so I am thinking we may knock it all out this weekend and then Monday maybe start doing some tricks. I know Stacy said before that those things may or may not work but even if they only start Braxton Hicks that even having those helps the cervix get ready for labor. Anyone have any advice here?

Here are the "tricks" I have heard of: sex, walking, pedicures, pressure points, caster oil, and primrose oil (I know nothing about this Crissy mentioned it to me). I'd love to hear anyone else tips that they used or that they heard worked! I talked to Zach about it and he agrees that we start trying early on next week as he has a gut feeling I'll go into labor naturally on the 28th which is when Stacy is gone. Plus if my due date IS wrong then I'd really be due a couple weeks sooner anyways so in that case tomorrow would be the start of my 39th week...so it's okay to mess with it right?

Almost Awful

After a long night dealing with Walmart, I was so thankful to get some sleep. Zach got up and left around 6ish and I went to the bathroom then went back to bed. I decided not to go to my ladies bible study because I needed the rest. At about 10 my phone rang and it was Zach.

He was supposed to be in Waycross by 8 for his meeting and he said he wasn't there yet. I got worried and then he told me what happened. He and this guy, Chip, car-pooled to the meeting and Chip drove his truck. Well I'm not good at retelling this kind of stuff since I wasn't there but they were driving down some road and it split and they were going 65 and this guy wasn't paying attention and turned left in front of them.

They didn't have time to stop and they had two choices, either go into this HUGE ditch or serve into oncoming traffic. Zach said Chip handled it really well. He hit his gas instead of his break and swirved around the guy but the guy still hit them and lost his headlight. This caused the truck to spin into the oncoming traffic and Zach said a HUGE semi was heading right towards them. Again Chip hit the gas and went into a much smaller ditch on the "wrong" side of the road.

This isn't his truck, Zach said it wasn't as bad as this in the front but the side as about as bad.
Zach said that the whole thing went in slow motion (I remember in my wreck with Mark in high school feeling that way too! I can even remember what we said during the wreck taking place) and that when that semi was heading towards him he just kept thinking about how he'd never get to meet his baby and that I'd be left all alone. I can't imagine how scared he must have been!

Thankfully neither of them were hurt. The guy that hit them took off though! Luckily a car behind him followed him and they caught him and arrested him! Pretty dramatic stuff!!!

The whole thing is pretty ironic because since we got pregnant I've been so so so worried that something will happen to Zach. I think this is a normal feeling. Before I was pregnant we didn't really have many responsibilities and if he died it'd be devasting but not as much as it would be now. Not only do I not know how I'd survive without him emotionally but also physically! We only have $10,000 in life insurance on him...that wouldn't help much especially since I don't work! It's funny (not haha but again, the ironic kind) because JUST last week we met with Mr. Rusty (he does financial planning) about getting a bigger life policy, we wrote an online will, and Zach's scheduled for the health check-up for the life policy next week!

I'm so thankful he wasn't hurt in the wreck but of course I'm also ten times more nervous now!!! I need my husband and Clover needs her or his Daddy :)

Walmart Nightmare

I know everyone experiences nesting in different ways. I think all pregnant women , or formerly pregnant women, would agree with me that we all get the itch to SHOP. I want to buy buy buy before the baby gets here! Lucky for Zach I do not want to buy baby clothes! Since we don't know the sex I have no desire to stock up with a bunch of bland neutral clothing that I know the child won't ever wear. Instead, my way of scratching that itch was to grocery shop.

I made an excel spreadsheet of all the things we "need" from Walmart. I planned out to have 31 meals ready before Clover arrives. Some of them were quick pre-made meals and some I planned to cook and freeze myself. I also planned out easy to make sides to go with all the meals and decided it'd be smart to stock up on snacks, breakfast foods, beauty products, and everything under the sun I thought we might need during the post-partum period!

We left for Walmart at 7ish Monday night. We did not LEAVE the store until 11!!! It was pretty miserable. We managed, thank the Lord, to not have any big fights or anything! We pretty much walked the entire store and filled two carts to the brim. I had to take three breaks to pee (shocker).

When we finally got to the checkout counter we were both practically falling asleep. Then they rang us up and the total bill came to a little under $600!!!! Soo much money but I know it'll save us a lot once Clover arrives because we won't be eating fast food everynight like I've read a lot of new parents end up doing. Plus we bought a bunch of "recommended" baby items just to have like medicine and stuff. I wasn't too worried about the price because we had about $100 in Walmart giftcards and $120 in Visa gift cards. So we started checking out and all the Walmart gift cards cleared then the Visa ones didn't WORK! We spent 40 minutes at the checkout counter dealing with them not working. I called a 1-800 number on the back of the card and the manager came over and tried to help. It was so so so embarrassing (and funny because the people in line behind us had like 2 items and just WAITED behind us! Wouldn't you move to a different line?) and they never did work!

Zach was SUPER annoyed, but did a good job not getting too angry. The frustrating part is that after alll that time shopping we had to come home and unload it all!



Well we got home and duh my feet were KILLING me. On top of that I felt really really wet down there. So I let Zach bring all the stuff inside and I went to the bathroom. My underwear were soaked all the way through. And my JEANS were soaked all the way through too. I was a little worried but it was just wet and didn't have any color so I took my jeans out and had Zach smell them (oh what I'd give for a sense of smell! haha). He said it was odorless. I think most people probably would have panicked and thought it was the water breaking, but I knew better!

Lucky for me a friend of mine JUST went into the hospital in false labor because the same thing happened to her! So I didn't panic but just put on fresh panties and moved on!
Zach had to leave for Waycross super early the next morning (like 6) so I told him to go to bed and I'd put the groceries away (right now I'm so hardcore about organization that I figured it'd be easier for me to do it anyways). After I finally got done, around 12ish, my feet were throbbing like no other. I decided to lay on the couch and just watch tv since sleeping does not help the feet situation...but elevating them on the couch does. I ended up watching The Bachelor (my 2 favorites from the first episode are in the final 2! yay!) until 1:30 then went to get ready for bed.

AGAIN I had wetness all the way through my underwear! And this time it was mucusy (probably not a real word) looking! Again though, I didn't panic, just put on some fresh ones and went to bed!!! I needed some rest after a LONG night. Our child may have to be laying around naked for awhile until we buy clothes, but at least Zach and I will have PLENTY to eat :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Nesting Nesting Nesting

Zach's dreams have finally come true...I am totally, completely, seriously nesting.

I've been feeling the itch since last week but didn't start because I just had this feeling that once I got going I'd have a hard time stopping! And yup I can't stop. It's been tough for me to actually sit down and blog because I'm dying to get back to it...and there honestly isn't much left for me to do!
My nesting is NOT the clean freak nesting...it's the organize like a mad woman nesting. So far I have reorganized: the pantry, the cleaning supply cabinet, the guest bathroom (twice), the entertainment center, the big storage drawers under our washer and dryer, the garage, all the stuff in Clover's room, and the storage cabinets in the office area. I've washed every single baby item that is washable. We've opened every big baby item so we could store the boxes (in order to save the item for the next baby assuming it's still usable after Clover's done with it). I went through all my purses and gave 8 of them to a little girl at church. I refolded several towels (they just didn't look right on the shelves). I even TYPED up (actually made an Excel Spreadsheet) our grocery list. I found all stray paper clips and put them into a snack size ziploc bag. I threw away a million little brochures and basic trash. I labeled shoe boxes that I stored loose change and batteries in. Yes. I. am. nesting! Haha!

One thing I am totally trying to avoid organizing though is my closet. I am soooo tempted to get rid of so many clothes. Not having been able to wear most of them for 9 months (or longer because I didn't get to wear ANY of my winter stuff this year so that means over 12 months for them) I look at them and think "I don't need that." But a little voice in the back of my head reminds me that I need to WAIT until I am back to my pre-pregnancy size before ditching stuff because I could regret it. Hopefully I can hold out but at the rate I'm going it'll be tough! I've basically done all the organizing I can do in less than 48 hours and I still have over 3 weeks left until my due date!!! I should lock myself out of my closet haha

On top of all the nesting I've been noticing some changes in my body the past two days. I'm having a lot of contractions, pretty often especially when the baby is active. Also, not to be gross, I have noticed more lubrication "down there" and when I wipe (all million times I go to the bathroom) that it seems like things are "opening wider" in that area as well. I've also been having to go #2 a bunch. So I guess things are heading in the right direction! Not that I think I'll be in labor anytime soon but my goal is to have everything on our "to do before Clover gets here" list DONE by the end of this week so I can spend the rest of my pregnancy enjoying my husband, my friends, maybe laying out (if the weather gets warm again), taking baths, and watching tv :) Sounds great to me!

Love Letter

I think we all are guilty of this: we brag about those we love to everyone but don't tell the actual person all the good things we say about them! Zach has always been great at showing me how much he loves me and giving me compliments, but I guess he talks even better about me behind my back!

Thursday we worked a VERY long day (left at 3am got home at 1am Fri morning!). So I was shocked when Friday afternoon he handed me an envelope with a three page typed letter inside. It was a love letter! While he was waiting for people to come in to see him about the insurance he said he got to thinking about me and how it'd be nice for me to know all the things he tells others about me.

I won't go into details as it was a private letter but it meant more to me than any other card or note anyone has ever given me. For him to write something so personal, for no reason, was so special and sweet. I know I haven't been the ideal wife these past 9 months but he made me feel like I have been! He truly appreciates and loves me and I am so greatful for that!

We were talking last night and it's so wonderful to be married! Dating was tough, being engaged was tough, and the first year of marriage was tough! Of course, obviously, there were great times during all these points in our relationship but so much of it was growing pains! FINALLY we've reached a point where we know each other, communicate how we should, and try our best to understand where the other is coming from. We've really grown into BEST friends and it's such a blessing. I know being new parents will be tough but I have total faith that we'll get CLOSER instead of letting the new addition push us apart. I'm just in a state of total contentment with my relationship which is such an amazing feeling! That letter let me know that we are on the same page and that we BOTH are happy which is awesome!

A Rewarding Valentine's Day!

Zach and I were a little rebellious for Valentine's Day! Since I am past my 34 week mark (pretty well past it actually) I'm not supposed to be traveling far from home...wellll we went to Jacksonville! After each shower I went through everything we were given (and it was a TON) and worked hard to come up with a list of things we could bare returning. We seriously got a million of some items (we had a total of SIX medicine care sets) and none of other items we needed (didn't get our baby monitor for example). Right now, like many people in this economy, we're struggling for cash so I thought the smartest thing to do would be to return things and use that money to buy the things we need before this baby arrives!

I worked my BUTT off to get it all figured out! First I had to add a TON of stuff to our registry then check off that we got it because BabiesRUs only allows returns with a receipt (yeah like anyone actually gave us one of those!) or if it's checked off on your registry. Of course online you have to check off each item one by one and let the page reload in-between items in order for them to be checked off. So it was a long process. Then I went through every book, googled online, and asked friends (coughRACHAELcough) what we would actually need and came up with a solid list. I went through that list and checked what we already had and then found the other items we needed (or just would like to have) on the BabiesRUs website so I could come up with the amount of money we'd need to complete it all. Am I organized? Heck yeah...too bad I didn't have the blog when I planned the wedding...it would have been entertaining for people how hardcore organized I was then!

So yesterday morning was the BIG day! I loaded up the back of my car (FULL) with all the returns and we drove down to Jacksonville! Here is Zach unloading it all, in the rain of course!
I asked him if he was embarrassed that we were bringing back so much and he said he was only embarrassed when I took this picture of him walking into the store!!! If you see something we returned that you bought us, sorry! Don't think it's because we didn't like it, we truly appreciated each gift, even the ones we didn't keep. Those that we returned allowed us to get things we really needed so without each return we couldn't get it all!
I was nervous as to how the employees would respond to the 82 items we brought in. I had called earlier in the week to warn them and they said to bring it all but that a manager would have to be involved and may not allow it. And they said that several of the items were probably ordered online and would have to be shipped back through the mail.

Well it was our LUCKY day! The lady behind the service desk was SO SO SO nice. She returned it ALL. Even the online stuff. Even stuff that wasn't from their store!!! (Zach heard them later putting things away and one of the employees said, "we don't even sell this what should I do with it?" haha). My organization came in handy as on my "return" list I typed what the item was called online and the price we should get back for it and they used my list when stuff wouldn't ring up in the system! :) All the items FILLED THREE shopping carts! She said it was the biggest return she'd ever seen and we got $1073!!!

Here I am SUPER PUMPED with the looooong returns receipt!
We spent a couple hours roaming the store and had so much fun! My "things we still need" list came in super handy as well as I typed out what we needed, the name, and the price so it made it easy to find it all! We did two carts: one with the stuff we needed, and one with the stuff we'd like to have if we had the extra money!

Here I am at the end using a calculator to figure it all out. Our goal was to not spend ANY money out of our pockets :)
In the end we did AWESOME! We got it all, several of the fun things we just wanted (like ADORABLE burp cloths!), and had enough money left over for me to order the items that are available online only! We were able to buy BOTH "big kid" car seats which is awesome and even got something I didn't even have on the list at all...one of those play pen things (like a big baby gate) which makes SO much sense for us to have with our super open floorplan and two dogs! Yay! The receipt was super long too but the wind was blowing :(
Luckily, it all fit in the car! How fun to go on a shopping spree and not spend any money!!!
We had made reservations at Maggiano's to celebrate Valentine's Day for 1:00 and we got done shopping (without even paying attention to the time) at 12:50! Perfect! The baby was starving and my feet were killing me so I enjoyed the break and spending quality time with my man!

Here is the jacket I got him for V-day. He loved "Edward's" jacket in Twilight and so I hunted everywhere for one like it (they specially made it for the movie) and this is what I found! It looked super good on him :)
We took this picture so I could remember what I order! I LOVE this (ravioli) but I forget every time what it is that I like :)

It was so great walking allll the way to our table because FINALLY after 9 MONTHS of being pregnant I got so many looks and so many "oh she's so cute" smiles. Made me feel good :)
It was such a fun day just being together and getting to be excited about the baby coming! We matched in black (I got dressed first, thank you) so Zach said this would look good in black and white haha!
Oh yeah also for Vday he got me my massage chair (Shiatsu...totally worth the money) so I told him he didn't need to get me anything else but he wrapped up my Bible and when I opened it told me we can get me a Bible Cover (I need one badly!)
It was a great day for sure...we got home around 5 and we started checking things off the "to do before Clover is born" list. Zach organized the attic and we both organized the garage. It looks so good! Scott Palmer (high school friend of mine and former VSU football player) came over around 9! It was great to visit with him especially since he has joined the Army. However, it did make my long day even longer!

All the activity (or just maybe it's time for this to start?) made me have a MILLION contractions. Pretty painful ones too. I guess that means I'm starting to dilate? Not that we're getting worked up over it but I know with the Bradley Method early contractions are good because they make labor easier later so I say bring 'em on!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Officially Full Term

When I walked into the dr. yesterday the first thing Stacy said to me was. "as of tomorrow you're full term!" I hadn't even realized that! Isn't that amazing to think that is Clover came today she or he would be healthy and not considered early?

Today is a pretty significant day. I'm due exactly one month from today (less if you count the days but by the date it's one month away!). I'm 36 weeks pregnant and starting my 9th month of pregnancy. It's truly hard to believe that it has been 9 months. Everyone I have talked to says pregnancy feels like it lasts forever but honestly the time had flown by for me! It seems like just yesterday we found out we were pregnant and now we will be parents at any time!

Here are the latest pictures of me:

I've been experiencing lots more changes with my body:
  • Pain: My lower back has been hurting A LOT more than usual. Especially whenever I go from laying to standing, it's horrible. I also have a lot of stress built up in my shoulders. I remember right before the wedding Mom and I got massages (such a fun girl's trip...can we have another?!) and they told me that's where I hold my stress...well it's back!!!
  • Attitude: I am relating to those huge pregnant girls at Walmart who wear their husbands huge t-shirts more and more each day. For pretty much the first time in my life I don't care so much about how I look. Why bother? That's my attitude right now! I wear the same jeans pretty much every time I go out and I don't care at all.
  • Puffiness: Drinking all the water seems to be helping as my face isn't as big as it was, however it's still bigger than the norm. Also I am retaining some water in my hands as even now my engagement ring feels too tight after awhile!
  • Appetite: It's grown for sure!!! I didn't really notice it until Zach pointed it out but I have been eating more (doesn't that 31 lb weight gain say something? haha). The biggest thing I have noticed is that Ashley and I got Bruster's the other night and I ate an ENTIRE waffle cone! I don't think I've ever done that before! And I didn't even notice that I was doing it until it was gone haha. I have also noticed that if I don't eat often enough I will feel nauseous so I snack more often too.
  • Foods: While my appetite has increased to more than normal, my desire for foods has gone back to the way it was pre-pregnancy. I want ice cream again! I actually am starting to like chicken again too! And duh I am loving some peanut butter too! The only "strange" thing is my new love of strawberries, but I can't have them that often because we don't do the typical once-a-week grocery shopping trip!
  • Stomach: Zach jokes that it grows bigger each day. Looking like that picture of Crissy that I posted back when I first started blogging doesn't seem like such a stretch anymore! My belly button is so strange now too. The other night in bed I rubbed Zach's stomach and felt his belly button. I miss mine going in like that!!! While it still isn't 100% an outie...it's really gross and flat. It's like even with the rest of my stomach, so strange! It has also become waaaaay more sensitive. Not the whole stomach, just the little area directly below the belly button. If the dogs rub against it, I hit is against something, or just anything touches it it feels very tender and sore.
  • Nose: I heard pregnant women get nosebleeds. While I haven't had any gush of blood my right nostril seems full of the stuff. Everytime I blow my nose (which is often because it's soooo stuffed up all the time) blood comes out. And I'm not just talking bloody boogers, I'm talking chunks of actual blood. So nasty.
  • Breathing: It's become much more difficult for me to breathe. I don't know if it's the nose being clogged or the baby but I get winded very easily and feel short of breath often. When staying up late with Danielle Sat night I really struggled to be able to talk because I just didn't feel like I could catch my breath. This happens a lot at night too...kinda creepy!
  • Leakage: Will it ever stop? I know it'll only get worse! I've had to say goodbye to the little cotton swabs and say hello to actual nursing pads because I was leaking through the cotton onto my bra!!! I'm having to wear them even at night and cannot go without a bra at all or I leak on myself. Not cool. Also more leakage "down there" too and I have to wear a panty liner not just during the day but also at night.
  • Privates: The other day I was curious so I looked at them in my full length mirror (I haven't seen them in MONTHS). Um what happened down there? It is not what it used to be either...it looks more swollen and bigger. Zach said it's been that way for awhile (thanks for letting me know buddy) but I guess it'll return to normal?
  • Sweating: Oh Lord it's gotten SO much worse! At night now I'll have the ac going on 68 and will still wake up soaked through in my own sweat. My hair looks super crazy each morning and I feel so dirty all the time. The other night I woke up and it was actually 64 in the house and I was sweating so bad that it was dripping down my arms. So gross.
  • Sleeping: Speaking of nights...I wake up more often now to go to the bathroom. The most I've gotten up in one night is 4 times so far! Also I droll a lot. I guess God has us produce more liquid EVERYWHERE haha. It's so gross though to wake up and have droll on my shirt (mixed with the lovely sweat). Also I've been dreaming a lot...not of the baby...not of parenthood...not nightmares about delivery...I've been having these wonderful dreams where I wake up and feel my stomach and it's flat. They make me so happy until I actually do wake up and realize it's not flat AT ALL. Maybe someday :)
  • Legs: My stomach is so big now that I cannot shut my legs. I noticed this the other day at the Student Center. I have to force them shut and they can't stay that way for long. So basically I sit like a dude. I'm not joking! Look at the shower pictures...total dude sitage.
  • Movement: Clover is still a very active child but now I don't sit and enjoy it. I don't think aww how sweet. Instead, most of the time, it HURTS. BAD. It feels like my child hates me and is bruising me on the inside. Not fun at all.
  • Contractions? Stacy asked me if I am feeling any contractions and I told her I have no clue! It took me FOREVER to realize I could feel my baby move! So I am clueless as to what contractions should feel like. I do get a lot of tightening in my stomach which sometimes hurts and I will get super sharp jabbing pains in my lower stomach. But no clue what they are yet!
On the bright side: I still only have one stretch mark, I haven't yet been constipated, no hemorrhoids, never any spotting. So I think I'm still in pretty good shape :) Overall, God has blessed me with a pretty easy pregnancy and I try to stay grateful for that. I just hope I continue to be blessed with an EASY delivery :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Starting Weekly Check-Ups

This morning started the first of my weekly check-ups with Stacy. It's getting THAT close now! They weighed me and now my scale and home and the one at the doctors agree...I've gained 31 pounds (that's 35 to lose so I can lose an extra 4 lbs I had gained before getting pregnant). 31! I guess Zach is right that my stomach grows bigger everyday (tummy pictures to come tomorrow). I reeeeaaaalllllyy wish there was a way for me to not gain anymore as I've gained just the right amount at this point, but with four weeks left I'm pretty sure I'll most likely hit the 40 lb marker :( dang...but what can I really do about it?

Anyway, this was one of those check-ups where Zach being there was so, so important to me. It was my first internal exam but it wasn't the internal I was expecting! She just used a cotton swab thing to gather some info that will reveal if I have some build-up of bacteria or something. She offered to check my cervix for any dilation but she said it's pretty uncomfortable. I know I'm not in labor so why check? We'll start checking when it gets closer! I just know this baby isn't coming tomorrow or anything so why have them say "you're 1 cm" when it doesn't really matter at all.

The cotton swab thing was NOT comfortable. To me it was worse than a yearly exam just because things "down there" are so different now. Zach and I were planning on practicing the relaxing Bradley stuff during the exam but it was over so quickly that I didn't even have much time to think about it! I did focus on keeping my legs limp (the initial reaction is to clinch up!) and Zach was so sweet, he played with my hair which really did help keep me calm. I think we'll make an excellent delivery team :)

I, again, did not have many questions for Stacy. At this point what DON'T I know about pregnancy? We did discuss rules about making Bradley work with the hospital and she said Zach is allowed to sit behind me on the hospital bed! This is good news as so far we like that position best when it comes time to do some pushing :)

We talked a lot about breastfeeding and trying to figure everything out about that with pumping and all and she said next week I can bring in my new breast pump and she'll help me put it all together (those things are mega confusing!).

The best part of the visit was when I asked her how the baby is positioned. She felt my stomach and said the hard part we feel at the top all the time is Clover's butt!!! It looks like she/he will have Daddy's butt for sure because that junk is huge and firm (very unlike Mommy's). Even better is that she can feel Clover's head! She even let Zach feel it and YES it is in the perfect position for delivery! Here's a picture, but Clover is actually more on my right side than my left
We had to do my LAST blood work at this visit as well. I cannot stand needles. At all. It was awful! Luckily Zach was with me and even though my blood pumped sooo slow him being there helped me cope. She said my iron looks good but I have no clue what else they were checking for.

We go again next Wednesday. I have no clue what that exam involves but I'm sure she'll probably start having to put her hand up there to check out how this baby is doing at some point!!! YUCK!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Clover's last shower!

Sunday was my last baby shower! Kind of sad that they are all over. Since you really only get one or two small showers for the babies after the first one, this was the last shower I'll have for a loooong time! Here is am about to grub out...there was some good food! Even got me an ice cream cake...yum!
Courtney and Casey had hosting duties along with Zach's Aunt Cheryl. They had the shower at Mrs. Charlotte's house in-between church services. It was really nice of them to do that for me and I'm looking forward to being able to repay the favor for Courtney before baby Payton arrives!
I'm so so glad Katie and Ashley were able to come to my last shower as well! They made the whole thing extra fun :) We ate and played a couple games. One was a baby word search and we competed to see who could finish it the quickest (it was hard as crap). The other game we played was the one from The Girl's Next Door on E! where they melt candy bars inside diapers and we had to guess what kind of candy bar it was. It was pretty funny! Ashley did tie for first place on that one, she's hardcore competitive!
While it was one of the smaller showers I still got several nice gifts from the registry: gift cards, a pretty blanket, the bouncer, toys, a cute pink baby bag, take and toss set for when Clover eats solid food, super cute burp cloths, our bottle drying rack, a gift card to a local baby store for some clothes, and the breastpump! I was super pumped about the breast pump (haha pumped for the pump...didn't mean tto do that!)!!! We really need it and it's soooo expensive! I'm talking like over $300...while I know breastfeeding is way cheaper than formula feeding it's also so much upfront cost which is tough in this economy! Thankfully we don't have to worry about that anymore :)

Courtney and I have been meaning to get a picture together since we are both pregnant but I always forget. Finally I remembered, and probably just in time since I won't be pregnant too much longer! It would be a lot cuter if we were anywhere close to the same height. Yes, I'm short but she is also MEGA tall!!! In this picture I'm a week shy of 9 months pregnant and she is about 6 months pregnant.
While it's good that the world-wind of showers has come to an end since I really need to be slowing down some, I did have so much fun being so busy these past couple of weeks. The showers gave me great memories that I can't wait to tell Clover about someday!

This weekend Zach and I plan to cheat on the whole don't-leave-town-after-week-34 rule and go to Jacksonville to finish off what we can of the registry! I'm excited to have everything we need, I think it will help for all of this to feel more REAL!

Much Needed Girl Time!

Danielle, Chelsi and I have known each other since pretty much forever! I am pretty sure Danielle and I met in 5th grade? And Chelsi I think was 7th grade! While we've known each other for a long time we didn't become good friends until High School.

Since we got close, Danielle has been one of my best friends. She is one of the few people who truly "get" me and that I can talk with for hours and hours and hours without running out of things to say. Even though we both live extremely busy lives and don't get to talk often we both know we have the other one and that alone is comforting sometimes! Usually when Zach and I find our way going through Atlanta we will stop and spend a night with her at her parent's house (they are two of the nicest people EVER!). Those nights are times where we stay up super late talking and catching up. Even though I may be exhausted the next day I always feel so refreshed. It's like being around her recharges me and keeps me going until I see her again! haha!

It meant so much to me when Danielle called and said that she and Chelsi were going to come down for the weekend! And it was PERFECT timing as, unlike normal, we had no plans! This was only the second time either of them had been to Valdosta to visit and the first time they'd get to see our house so I was excited. They got here late Friday night, like 11, and we stayed up until after 2 catching up. Zach even stayed up with us!

Danielle and her mom made us this adorable diaper cake and she brought down a bag full of goodies for the baby! They put a little doll inside the bag too and Zach was basically obsessed with playing with it. He even stuck it in Clover's crib haha.

On Saturday, once we finally woke up, we headed out to see the awesome town of Valdosta! haha. We met up with friends of ours at one of our favorite restaurants, Sister's Pizza. Zach got "little" Zach to tag along and I'm so glad he did because my poor husband would have been stuck with five women!



While the boys tried out Valdosta's newest attraction, the putt-putt course, we went to go see Revolutionary Road (it was not good at all...don't waste money on it unless you want to feel depressed!). Afterward we went by the house and picked up Zach then met up with Chad, Chelsi's boyfriend who lives in Tifton, at Smokin' Pig. He was so nice and such a gentleman! He likes to golf so that gave him and Zach something to talk about!

Chelsi went back to Chad's with him and Danielle stayed with us for the night. I decided to stay with her in the guest room so Zach could get some sleep and we could stay up and talk as long as we wanted! We watched the wedding video, as she hadn't seen it, and I seriously can't believe that the bride in that movie is the same person sitting here right now! I look sooo different! That's one thing pregnancy does change for sure, where I used to think I was chunky or not so hot I now look back and appreciate how awesome I really did look! I think once I get back to my "normal" size I will be MUCH more confident than I was pre-pregnancy!

While I only got about five hours of sleep that night, I had to get ready for church and my last baby shower on Sunday, it was well worth it. It was such a nice weekend just being able to relax with close friends and catch up on what is new in our lives. Zach and I plan to make a trip to Atlanta over the summer with Clover so we can see everyone again and everyone can meet the baby!
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