Archives for the month of: May, 2012

Took our hospital tour yesterday!  It was really fun. 🙂  There were three other cute couples, all due around the same time as us. The hospital is really nice, and even though I think they are a bit “set in their ways” so that if we want to be in control of our own birth experience we will have to be very firm and insistent, overall I feel good about our hospital choice so far.

My sweet man 🙂  He is very excited about our baby!

Me right before I asked my apparently silly question “Do you have valet.” (I think it was a great question! Who wants to worry about parking when you’re in labor?)

Listening to the details of how our labor and delivery will “go” (if you can predict such things).

I did not register for any toys. That’s because I felt certain we’ll be given plenty of toys without asking for them. The ones we receive we will value because they are gifts.  But Chris and I are on the same page about toys.  We do not want a home overrun by toys.  This is partially for our sanity, and partially for our child.  We want her to truly appreciate the toys she has.  We also want her to learn to focus and develop her imagination, which we feel she can better do without the distraction of hundreds of toys that all blink and bling.  Finally, we just value craftsmanship, and want to carefully choose her toys for the care that went into making them.

We really are the optimistic first time parents, aren’t we?

We have this conversation.  And then Chris proceeds to buy lots and lots of (very adorable) toys for our girl 😉

Baby,

You have wonderful grandparents.  You’re very lucky, you’re going to have two grandmas and two grandpas who are fun and full of energy and ready to love you.  Let me introduce them.

Grandpa Fred (my dad)

He’ll take you to pet the horses a million times when everyone else is too tired.  He’ll give you candy even when I say you can’t have any.  He’ll give you tons of kisses and hugs because he’s extremely affectionate and loving.  He’s going to love you to pieces and spoil you.

Grandmomma (my momma)

She’s the person I trust 100% to take care of you when I can’t!  She is very nurturing and will make you little peanut butter and jelly sandwich triangles and make sure you’re bathed and dressed and fed (the healthy stuff I want you to eat) and safe and sound at all times. She’ll saddle the horses and take you on rides.  But don’t try to put anything past her because she knows how to be stern, too!

Grandpa James (Chris’s dad)

You’ll love your Grandpa James!  He knows how to do all sorts of things and you’ll learn a lot if you watch and listen.  He gardens, he cooks delicious food, and he can build anything.  He even built his own house!  He’s a firefighter and retired marine and a very smart person.  We feel very good about leaving you in his care if we need to.

Grandma Margaret (Chris’s stepmom)

It feels weird to call Margaret “Grandma” because she seems too young to be a grandmother.  She’s a girls’ girl even though she has two sons.  She’s the kind of person you want to shop with, hang out with, run errands with, and talk girl talk for hours.  She’s very crafty and maybe she’ll help you with some arts and crafts projects when you’re old enough, since I am not very crafty myself.  We’re very lucky to have her.

Your late grandmother, Robin Elizabeth Cobb (Chris’s mom)

I didn’t know your grandmother because she passed away before I could meet her.  But she took good care of your dad and uncles while they were growing up, so I’m very grateful to her.  I wish she could have met you.  Your daddy will be able to tell you things about her.

First, I just want to say that I have about 3 posts pending Chris handing over some photos!!!  I have a post about:

1. Our Babymoon to Miramar Beach, Florida

2. Our Philosophy on Toys

3. Our Baby Shower in Mississippi (thank you to James, Margaret, and all the Cobbs!!)

I’ve also written a few others that I just never published because I was waiting on a picture or to polish the post or whatever. But that way, they will never get published!

Here’s a quick update at 36 Weeks (starting our 37th week!!)

Baby’s size:  She is a bunch of swiss chard!  Big!

Symptoms:  Oh BOY.  She is getting HEAVY and I am FEELING it.  So much pressure in my pelvic region, it feels like I’m carrying lead weights down there!  Makes me walk funny.  Plus, she’s pressing on nerves so I’ll randomly almost drop to my knees while walking, or at the very least freeze, unable to move.  She is very crowded in there and her movements feel that much stronger because of it, and her gaining size and strength.  She’s my little baby and it makes me sad that she is growing up…and she hasn’t even been born yet. 😦

Cravings:  This whole pregnancy I’ve said I had no cravings, only aversions.  But now I have cravings!  I am going through watermelon like crazy.  I keep buying huge watermelons and cutting them up and eating them in two days.  I had a huge bowl of watermelon for lunch.  I want a watermelon right now!  Second to watermelon, I love cold, juicy fruit of any kind.

Weight:  I had my doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, and I weigh 135lbs.  I have gained 20lbs throughout my pregnancy.

Best moments from the week:  Last weekend I went home for my last baby shower, thrown by my sisters and mom.  My mom had so many of the little finger foods I used to love growing up, like her chicken salad sandwiches, pimiento cheese sandwiches, tiny thumbprint cookies from Holt’s bakery, chips and sour cream and onion dip, and other classics.  I got to spend some quality time with them, my precious Abby and Nolan, and wonderful friends I’ve known since I was a little girl.  The visit was too short!

What I’m looking forward to:  This weekend we are finally going to be home!  Plus, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so we’re off Monday.  Yay!  I’m going to wash all the baby clothes, pack my hospital bags, and take care of little odds and ends.  I’m looking forward to relaxing.

*NOTE: Again, I wrote this at 35 weeks but simply haven’t been good about actually posting into my blog! We’ve been out of town every weekend and weekdays have been so busy with work and errands. I dated this at 35 weeks though, May 18 (even though I am now 36 weeks, and it is May 25).

Baby’s size:  a crenshaw melon. Never tried one but they look pretty big. She actually grew overnight, I think.  Last night I kept waking up and yelping every time she kicked me in the ribs.  I think I yelp partially because it hurts and surprises me, and subconsciously because I want Chris who is snoozing peacefully beside me to experience the pain vicariously.  Today I feel bigger than ever and like someone stuffed my belly with lead.  My baby girl is growing.

Symptoms:  Well, I get heartburn as I said and Tums are my nighttime buddies.  And this morning, I caused a big scene screaming and jumping out of bed and falling on the floor with a bad cramp in my calf.  Chris probably thought I was going into labor except I don’t think women act that crazy in the early stages of labor.  He said “babe, breathe” then fell back asleep.  Overall, these are such minor inconveniences and I feel amazing.

Weight:  No idea. Guess I’ll find out at the next doctor’s appointment.  I see NO point in stepping on the scales!

What I’m looking forward to:  Having everything checked off our list so we can sit back and anticipate her arrival, feeling prepared.

Seeing my family and friends this weekend in Alma where they’re throwing me my last baby shower.  I’ve learned that when you have a baby people really come together and support you and I almost feel like everyone has done too much.  This has all made me want to make sure I give back and support others when they go through their own big life events. I just feel they’ve gone overboard but it is appreciated.

Touring the hospital.

Spending time with Chris during our last few weekends alone, doing little things like washing baby clothes and shopping for the last few items on our baby list.

My baby sister’s wedding!!!!

Labor.  Yeah – oddly, I’m looking forward to labor.  I know it won’t necessarily be a pleasant experience but all I can think about is the excitement of meeting our daughter.

There is SO, SO much to look forward to.  I want these last five weeks to go very slowly, but I know they’ll go by so quickly.

Cute moments:  I can tell Chris is getting excited about a little newborn.  He was in the shower laughing a little to himself and I asked him what was funny and he said “nothing, I was just thinking about how when you pick up a naked newborn their little legs bend up like frog legs.”  Very cute. 🙂

Thoughts:  While I feel very calm about our approaching due date, there are also lots of thoughts swirling around in the back of my mind.  I am keeping them under control because I did make a conscious decision to enjoy – not worry my way through – this pregnancy.  I let them out one at a time to play around with them, then put them aside and think pleasant thoughts.  I’m trying to balance planning for the future and really considering how I want to approach different aspects of motherhood, with not letting the what ifs consume me.

So many parents have so many stories for us, and oddly, more of them feel like warnings than excitement for us.  Perhaps parenthood wasn’t everything they hoped for, or perhaps I will find out for myself why they felt the need to warn me.  I have no way of knowing how I’ll handle each stage, from labor to her first days home to teenage years.  I just want to try and be ready for anything, and enjoy every day as much as I can.  They’re not me, and my experience will most likely be nothing like theirs.

I’ve never been one for formal photography sessions and I definitely prefer candid shots to posed ones.  So rather than spend tons of money on a maternity shoot and subsequent newborn, 3-months, and 1-year professional photo shoots I proposed to Chris that we invest in a quality camera and work on our own photography skills.  I think we both have pretty good eyes for that sort of thing anyway, and I have a feeling that after some practice we’ll be happier with the photos we take ourselves than the ones we could have paid an arm and a leg for – even if they are a little less polished.

So this weekend, Chris took some photos of us in beautiful Seaside and Rosemary Beach, Florida.  They turned out really nice and I’ll post some more later.  I’m so, so happy to have these pictures to preserve my pregnancy!  Thank you, Chris, for ignoring my protests (because of course I REALLY wanted to take pictures even though I was being camera shy) and being persistent and taking all these photos to capture a special, memorable weekend and time in our lives.

NOTE: This post was written at 33 weeks and the pictures were taken at 33 weeks. I didn’t get around to posting until 34+ weeks, but I went ahead and dated this 33 weeks so I hope I don’t confuse anyone.

Size:  She’s a cantaloupe…but she’s much longer than a cantaloupe.  Her legs are everywhere.  She is beginning to get very heavy and me moving around is more difficult.  Things like getting out of a car or a chair feel like a production.  I get tired easier.

At night, she and I play this little game.  I lie down and get comfy on my side.  She squirms in protest and elbows me sharply in the side!  I roll onto my back, and she starts to kick my organs.  I roll to my left side and she quiets down.  I guess that’s the side she was looking for, but I’m not comfortable.  I want to be on my right side.  I try it again.  Using her tiny claws, she begins furiously digging a hole to China in my bladder.  It’s called “Baby Dictates Sleep.”  We play it every night.

Symptoms:  Mild but persistent heartburn.  I keep tums in my desk, purse, and nightstand.  Every night I lie down and take two and hope they last until I fall asleep.  At work I wait until no one is in the kitchen, then sneak tums from the medicine cabinet.

I get tired easily and I need at minimum 8 hours, preferably 10, to function the next day.  But overall, I’ve felt great this last trimester.

Cravings:  Cold fruit, and toasted bagels with cream cheese.  That’s really all I care to eat.

Weight:  I’m not sure, but everything seems reasonably sized except my belly so I am lucky so far.  I have been getting lots of compliments lately, which means a couple of things to me: 1) I don’t have any swelling like other pregnant ladies are unfortunate to experience and 2) People are nice to pregnant ladies and figure they need the compliments.

What I miss:  People having boundaries.  People feel 100% justified in offering unsolicited “facts” about what I should or shouldn’t be eating and doing. I’m at the point of snapping at the next person who talks about how I’m not allowed to have wine, caffeine, cheese, shellfish, or what have you.  I’m careful about what I do and how it affects my baby, but I feel people go way overboard and honestly some of their “facts” just aren’t even true and are based on old wives tails. BUZZ OFF people.  IT TRULY IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

A few best moments:  The other night I had one of those lucky dreams that is both very, very happy and drags out for a long time.  We were at the hospital because it was time to deliver our baby.  Our family was all there.  I had my cute little hospital bag packed and I was wearing a cute pink labor gown.  We were getting ready to meet our daughter.  It was so exciting!  I think I dreamed this because my baby to-do list is getting shorter.  So I feel more prepared and able to relax and anticipate her arrival.

What I’m looking forward to:  I’m really looking forward to my baby sister’s wedding.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to the dancing part since I’ll be 37 weeks pregnant and I think I’ll feel silly dancing, especially since I can’t drink. L  But what I’m excited about is spending the whole day with Laurie, and seeing her excitement and nerves and watching her go through all those special things you go through on your wedding day.  From hair and makeup to mimosas to calm her nerves, and watching her put her dress on and stand in front of the mirror.  Then actually watching her walk down the isle and getting to stand beside her while she and Joey say their vows.  It’s so exciting and you just never forget it!

When we bring our daughter home from the hospital, Meeks will be waiting.  Ideally, he’ll have a fresh haircut, bath, and pink bow around his neck.  (But then, ideally I’ll also be freshly shaved, showered, waxed, and manicured…does it ever work out this way?)

One thing I’ve looked forward to it introducing the two.  I want to be sensitive to Meeks and make sure he understands he is just as loved and important as always – in fact, I am going to rely on his help over the next few years, to entertain and look out for our baby.

Lots of people talk about their pets sensing their pregnancies.  If he does, Meeks shows zero signs.  He doesn’t acknowledge my belly.  On one hand, this has surprised me because he’s always been in tune to my emotions.  On the other hand, he has a knack for being conveniently unaware of things like a mouse in the house, birds in the chimney, or an alien in my belly.

Meeks and children is a different story.  He’s good with my niece and nephew.  He takes an interest in them, he hangs out where they are, he plays tug of war and chase and keep away with them, he tolerates clumsy pats and yanks on his collar even though he definitely wants to escape at times.  So I predict that he and the baby will become good friends over the next few years.  I have always had total faith in him in this regard, from the time I brought him home as a puppy seven years ago, with no thoughts of getting pregnant any time soon, but knowing that one day I would and that Meeks would be around for it.

When Chris isn’t around I have conversations with Meeks and the baby, sort of like a pre-introduction.  I whisper, “Meeks…there’s a baby in here. Can you believe this? You’re going to have a tiny baby sister.”  He just looks at me, then snatches up his bone like he wants to play. He doesn’t seem to get it.

There are some really important things I have to do before our baby arrives.

1. Learn some stuff. Though I know a good bit from watching and helping my sister care for Abby and Nolan, I still have a lot to learn before I feel prepared for my own newborn.  Our schedules got so packed between my sister’s upcoming wedding, vacations, visiting family, work, and preparing for the baby that we decided against classes.  I hope I don’t regret it since it could have been a fun bonding experience for Chris and me, but we’re also stingy with our weekends and we just didn’t make the classes a priority.

-Baby CPR (Mary will teach us this when we go down to Alma for my baby shower, she works in the Baby NICU)

-Breastfeeding (I’m buying a book and taking it to the beach this weekend)

-General newborn care (reading books and watching videos with Chris)

-Labor (Chris and I are going to watch a video on thistogether)

2. Tour the hospital.  Chris and I still get lost every time we go to my ultrasound appointments.  We always arrive all stressed out and upset.  This simply can’t happen when I’m having contractions and preparing to give birth.  So we need to know where everything is in advance.

3. Find a pediatrician!

4. Pack my hospital bag.

Assuming shearrives on schedule, we have only three weekends at home to get things donebefore our newest family member, this little creature we somehow managed tocreate, is welcomed into our home.  The other weekends we are traveling to the beach, to Chris’s parents’ home, to my parents’ home, and to Laurie’s wedding.