"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

-Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, January 26, 2013

First week of Terran's life

Tuesday: Little Terran Benjamin was born.
Wednesday: We had recovery time at the hospital. I was physically exhausted, so the day kinda passed in a blur. I do remember the nurses coming to get Terran in the middle of the night for tests, and I didn't like it. Terran had a moment in the middle of the night where he cried and didn't stop right away - which was the first time he didn't stop on our first try of changing his diaper and feeding him. I ended up holding him and swaying with him until he calmed down and fell asleep. I felt nervous that I couldn't help him, I felt joy at being able to calm him down, and I felt like I was running on empty because I hadn't really slept in two days.
Thursday: The lactation consultant came in to check on us, and I really feel like she messed up the rhythm Terran and I had going, because after her visit, we started struggling and it didn't get much better til Tuesday or Wednesday. The pediatrician also came in to check on Terran, and we requested that his circumcision be done that day. I wasn't really prepared for the emotional toll that would take on me. I distracted myself at first when they took him, but soon I was pacing my hospital room, distraught at the pain my baby was probably experiencing. It broke my heart to see it when they were finished and I was sad every time I changed his diaper. However, it did heal fairly quickly. We were able to stop using gauze by about Tuesday, and by Thursday or Friday he didn't even really need Vaseline anymore.
Also on Thursday, we were supposed to get Terran's baby pictures taken at the hospital. The photographer was a lot later than planned and everything was ready for us to go home. Zach was a bit impatient and I was still feeling bad about Terran's circumcision. I almost wanted to cancel taking the pictures, but didn't want to regret it. I didn't want to change him out of his clothes either, because that would upset him. But, that was basically the photographer's whole plan, so I let her - the whole time feeling terrible for letting him cry again. I am so glad we got the pictures taken! We were able to view them the next day, and I cried through the whole slide show. I seriously could not watch it without crying, so I walked away. Later, I watched it by myself and the tears just poured out. Our sweet child is so perfect and beautiful. The love we have for him is truly indescribable.
After his pictures were finished, we were ready to head home! Zach got the car and we loaded him in. We passed the car seat check and were on our way. Driving away was surreal, knowing that we were leaving the safety and security of the hospital and knowing that we were indeed parents. I shed some more tears at this point. We thought that Terran would hate his car seat, but he fell right asleep for the whole drive.
Friday: My dad was able to come up once he got off of work. I was so excited for him to meet his new grandson. He kept reminding me of what a miracle our little boy was. Friday was also the day I became engorged. It was insane! I know what everyone says about engorgement, but it was really hard to imagine how it would really be. It was hard and painful, and it made it hard for Terran to eat. Hot washclothes probably helped relieve the pain best. The weight made my back hurt, and it didn't help that I struggled to sit back while I nursed. I'm afraid back pain may just become a constant in my life...
Saturday: Terran had his first spit up - all down the front of me. He ended up spitting up three times. Right after I finished cleaning it up each time, he would spit up again. I felt terrible for him, but not really sure how it could have been prevented.
Sunday: My engorgement was mostly gone.
Monday: Even though my engorgement was gone, I noticed that my nipple pain seemed more intense. This really concerned me because I couldn't tell if it was a latch problem or the normal soreness, or something else. I really didn't know what to do and I was really frustrated with it. On a better note, we were able to get some better sleep for the first time. :)
Tuesday: I determined that by constantly wearing breast pads, it was causing my nipple pain. I read that you should not wear them all the time and that they needed to "air out," essentially. I had also been using Lanolin religiously, but reading a few things indicated that rubbing the breast milk on the nipple was the best thing you could do to help them heal. So, I did what was suggested.
Wednesday: My nipples were feeling much better - so lesson learned there. Now I am extremely hesitant to use breat pads at all, which has added a different frustration. They leak during each feeding and if I go too long in between feedings. I am still working on figuring out the best way to combat this issue...Today Terran was much more awake in the morning and early evening. It was really cool to see him be active and looking around. Zach keeps saying that that is one of the coolest things about our kid - he can just hang out and have a good time without making a huge fuss. Terran also had his longest stretch of sleeping tonight. Still not too long, but longer than his day naps.
Thursday: Terran has been awake for the majority of the day. Wednesday he had an awake morning, but today he was awake a lot longer. I also weighed myself today. I had gained about 45 pounds throughout the pregnancy (which concerned me quite a bit), and today I was already 25 pounds lighter. It has been quite a relief with how my body is recovering. I still have a nice little pregnancy pouch, but I'm pretty optimistic with losing the weight.

I feel like I did experience the "baby blues." I would usually start to feel really sad around six or so in the evening. I don't know if the darkness triggered it or what. I tried to tell Zach when I felt it, and he was able to help me feel better. Also, when my mom was here, she would often be keeping my company during feedings around that time, so she helped me get through it just by talking with me. I feel like those sad periods stopped about Wednesday or Thursday.

One thing that has given me immense amount of joy is Zach's natural ease at being an amazing father. In the hospital, I witnessed his awe with his child and the love he already felt. On our second date, Zach looked at me with an emotion in his eyes that I couldn't define until later. During our marriage, I have seen it a number of times, and it is best described as love. I saw that look in his eyes when he was holding and looking at Terran, and I knew that he was a happy dad. He surprised me with his abilities to change and care for Terran and his total patience when Terran would cry. I always knew Zach would be a good dad, but to have him be so excellent right from the beginning made me so happy!
Meeting Grandpa:
Terran's first bath at home - this one I think he rather enjoyed. Zach is very good at giving baths - I'm a litte nervous to learn to do it all by myself!
 Lovin' his double chin:
 Chillin with Grandma:
 Hanging out with Daddy:

Nate, Meg, and the kids came to meet Terran. He just hung out with them, the perfect little baby. :)
I love my little boy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Introducing Terran Benjamin White!

As I was finishing my last post, I remember getting a significantly stronger contraction and it was 9:38. Zach checked if I was okay, which I was, and we got ready for bed. This is how the rest of the night/morning went (the times are approximate):

10:15 - Woke up to increasingly painful contractions
10:15-2:00 am - I got out of bed and labored around the house. I tried out a new curling iron, wandered around, cleaned up a little. I was constantly debating if it was time to go because the pain was getting pretty intense. However, I knew that I was just going to have to do the same thing at the hospital, so I kept talking myself out of going yet. I was hanging out in the living room and had an extremely painful contraction and stood up. I had a little gush of water, so I wondered if my water had broken. I went and put on a little mascara and blush to look fresh and decided it was time to get Zach and go.
2:20 - Called and woke up my mom to let her know we were going. We got to the hospital and they checked me out. A solid 4. A bit of disappointment. The pain had already been significant for 4 hours, and I had only progressed to a 4? They kept me an hour - no change! I couldn't believe it. What was all this pain doing then? It was bad enough that they let me stay one more hour to reevaluate. The nurse checked me, and I was a 5! Thank goodness. That meant we were getting somewhere.
5:10 - Got admitted to the hospital and situated in the labor and delivery room. Zach was helping me through every contraction at this point. He would breathe with me, I counted to 8 over and over (I think the 8 comes from old dance practice where every thing was choreographed off of 8 counts). There were times we would sway together like slow dancing, and times where I would sit there and he would hold my hand while I squeezed and counted. I was using a birthing ball, which seemed like the most successful position to get through each contraction. He would put pressure on my lower back to get through the pain.
8:10 - My mom got there and started helping me through the contractions. Zach had mentioned the epidural a time or two, but I wasn't ready yet.  The next time they checked me, I was still a 5. I seriously could not believe it. The nurse started asking me if I wanted to break my water. Where I had previously thought my water had broken, they could not verify one way or the other if it really had. My mom said her contractions were never painful until they broke her water, so I was hesitant to do it since the pain was already so bad. But, since I had already been laboring so long and been progressing very slowly, it would be a way to speed things up. Plus, I was curious how much worse the pain would really get since it was already so bad and seemingly almost unbearable.
9:10 -My doctor got there (he had just returned from Hawaii at 3:00 that morning!) and broke my water. No immediate pain, so my hopes got high that it would actually be better until the delivery. Then the contractions hit hard. It was almost unbearable right from the beginning. I don't know how long it was, but it was a while and they said I was at a 7. I had been dealing with intense pain for so long that the thought of three more hours getting through the pain every two minutes was not appealing in the least. I requested the epidural. Before they broke my water I had asked the nurse how long it would take for the epidural and she told me "Not long, it is very fast." Based on that answer, I thought that if I decided to get it, it would be put in and I would be out of pain in a matter of minutes. Instead, it took at least twenty minutes for the anesthesiologist to even get to my room and then it took several minutes to go over paperwork, in the middle of excruciating pain during the contractions, and then several minutes for him to get prepared and insert the epidural. At this point, I originally thought the pain would cease, but the nurse and anesthesiologist informed me that it would take a while for it to work completely. In the meantime, I was getting through the pain, but just barely. Zach and my mom helped me through each contraction, which I imagine was pretty hard for them. A few times I could hear the stress in Zach's voice as he watched me in so much pain. I remember thinking at one point that I could die because I could hardly breathe because the pain was so intense. Immediately after thinking that I realized that I just needed to breathe and it would be okay.
Finally, the epidural started to kick in. The decline in pain was pretty gradual, but we finally could tell that it was working. I still had to focus hard on getting through the contractions, but then I started being able to relax and not dread what would happen in two minutes. The nurse said that they wanted my contractions to do the work before I pushed and they wanted me to have a break, so they would come back in about two hours to have me start pushing.
When they checked, I was at a 10 and ready to go.
12:20 - I started pushing during my contractions. I had originally wanted to do the body-directed pushing not the nurse-directed, but with the epidural I wouldn't have known when to push. She watched when my contractions would start and Zach and my mom each held one of my legs. I would take a deep breath, the nurse would say "push" and I would hold my breath while I pushed. We did 3-4 cycles each contraction. Every time she would exclaim how good I was doing (I still can't decide if I really was or they just say that to make all the moms feel better about the situation). Pushing was so different than I thought. I felt like my face would explode. There was one point where the nurse left and it was just Zach, my mom, and me in the room and I continued to push through the contractions. At that point, I almost laughed because it was so strange to me that we were totally alone when my baby was almost here.
The nurse came back and after another push or two, she said to stop and not push anymore because she could see his head enough to call the doctor. We waited a few minutes, the nurses prepared the room with various bins and trays for the birth, and the doctor came and wrapped my legs up and we continued. It only took a few more pushes and he was coming! Pushing only took about thirty to forty minutes, and it didn't really seem that long because it was so new and different than I expected.
1:09 - Our little boy came into the world! Of course, everyone saw his head before I did, but then I saw his head and body and could not believe my baby was here! Zach was able to cut the cord, which originally he wasn't planning to do. Blood squirted all over my arm and his shirt, catching us by surprise. They then laid Terran on my chest, over my gown and a sheet, to check a few things on him. This is the point where I shed a few tears. My baby was alive and well and everything was going good. They took him to the table next to me to clean him up and then they were weighing him. The doctor was still working with me and he started talking about something, but I really couldn't pay attention because I was so interested in what was happening with my baby and how much he would weigh and how long he was. Finally, they brought him over to me for some skin on skin time, where I continued to shed a few tears. I couldn't believe how wonderful it felt to hold him against me, to know that everything was okay.
When he was born, his skin was a purplish gray color, but he quickly changed to a more red look. His cheeks had a hanging sort of look to them, but that also quickly went away to where they were just chunky little cheeks.
We were able to breastfeed as soon as he seemed hungry, which was only about ten minutes after he was placed on my chest. We did pretty well for our first time, which is something I had been concerned about since before I ever got pregnant.
The nurse came to get him for his bath and some testing. Zach went with to watch and to help, and I had my mom go to take pictures. I was alone for a few minutes and sat thinking about the amazing experience that just ocurred. Of course, it felt a little weird for them to take him right after I just got him, but I knew that it was necessary and that he would be okay. This was just the beginning of my worry as a mother.
The nurse came in with another helper to get me transported to another room. They helped me clean up and change then got me situated in my new bed, which was much more comfortable than the delivery bed. The blanket must have been warmed, because I remember feeling the warmth and comfort as they got me settle in. My mom came in first, so I was able to sit with her for a few minutes. Then Zach and Terran came in and I had such a feeling of happiness. My little boy was here, healthy and happy, and I made it through the labor and delivery just fine.

I am completely happy with our labor and delivery experience. I feel perfectly content with the fact that I ended up getting an epidural. I was able to experience the pain and feeling of laboring naturally, but when it became too much for me and for Zach, I was able to relax, deliver my baby, and be coherent and comfortable at his birth. Zach was such a huge support for me the whole time, and I was so grateful to have him there. He was loving and caring and did everything he could to help me through my pain. Having my mom there for her experience and support also gave me a little extra boost to get through the contractions when I thought I wouldn't be able to. I had to thank Heavenly Father over and over for helping me through the delivery and for blessing us with a healthy baby. As I walked around the hospital with my mom the day after my delivery, I saw the nursery and was reminded how blessed we were to not have any complications with our perfect child.

 Zach and me giving him a bath - he didn't enjoy this one very much:

 Headed home:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Getting experience in the labor process

Saturday Morning:
After tracking my contractions consistently at 2 1/2-3 minutes, Zach and I decided that it was probably time to go to the hospital. But, they still weren't painful and I couldn't help but think that we would have to wait around at the hospital anyway, so we decided to do some stuff before hand. We went to the gym, where I walked over two miles and felt pretty good. We got ready for the day, leisurely gathering everything we would need if they did admit me to the hospital. We swung into Target to pick up a thing or two, then we grabbed some lunch at Zupas. After eating, nothing had intensified or changed, so I wasn't sure what to do. The contractions were consistent but still not intensifying (but my mom's never did, so I wasn't sure if that mattered). We evaluated our options, which included - going home to wait or going to the hospital and seeing what they said - which could result in being admitted or being sent home to wait with additional knowledge. I decided to still go to the hospital, because what could it hurt? Then I could stop wondering what it all meant.

On the way over, I told Zach that I think Hollywood has created a false impression of what labor is like. We weren't speeding, I wasn't screaming at him or trying to breathe normally, and we didn't rush into the hospital frantically looking for help. We simply took the elevators and told Labor and Delivery that I thought I was in labor.

They took my blood pressure and started to monitor the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. He was doing very good and moving a lot. I was glad we were able to monitor him and know that there aren't any concerns with his health or safety. I also answered a whole slew of questions, but I really liked the nurse and didn't mind. She validated me and said my contractions were, in fact, real contractions. At this point, she checked my cervix. A solid 3. Which means possibly a little progression from the day before. So, they monitored me for an hour. There was no change. She said if I wanted an epidural or Pitocin, we could do that, but since I am trying to go unmedicated, she said to come back in three hours and see if there was a change. She emphasized that the baby was doing very well, which was comforting because that was one of my main concerns and part of why I decided to go to the hospital, just to be sure.

Leaving the hospital, I felt way worse. I felt more sick and my contractions were more painful. At first, I thought I was progressing, but once I started relaxing at home, it all calmed down and I figured the crummy feeling was more from lying in the hospital bed uncomfortably and the multiple cervix exams I got.

Nothing intensified or changed as the night went on, so I decided not to go back to the hospital yet. Personally, I would rather progress at my house and be able to do things and stay distracted then to wait at the hospital for hours to have my cervix dilate more. So, at this point, I am content to go about my days normally until something changes enough to indicate further progression.

This whole experience so far has been entirely too emotional for me. I went through excitement over the prospect of having our baby, frustration over not knowing when to go to the hospital, disappointment at no progression, relief to be able to wait at home, etc. Zach and I were reacting differently to the situation as well, which caused me to get a little emotional sometimes throughout the day. He didn't appear way excited and was mostly quiet. That is how he usually gets with new situations, but I somehow wasn't understanding it. I had to sit down and talk to him about it after I had a couple episodes of being frustrated with him. He was having his own emotions, nervousness, excitement, worry for me. We were just dealing with our emotions differently, and once I realized that, it was easier to understand. Sometimes it is hard to begin discussing a subject, but I am always glad when I finally do, because it pretty much always clears the air and makes me feel a lot better.

Sunday Morning:
Now, I am about to get ready for church and go about my days as normal. Although I am very excited to meet our little baby, I still feel that it will be good to wait until things are more naturally ready for him to come (but, I hope it isn't several more days away!).

Sunday Night:
We spent the day at Nate and Megan's. After my contractions intensified some at church, they intensified a bit more after dinner. Still 2 1/2 minutes apart. Zach and I couldn't decide if it was time to go to the hospital again - the contractions were stronger, close together, and taking my breath away. We decided to wait until the morning.
We went to bed about 9, and I woke up around 10:15 due to my contractions. I tried to time them, but they seemed to last entirely too long. I had more pelvic pressure and pain. I had some indigestion. My mom was texting me and ended up calling, and we both thought it was time to go. Zach had awaken when we were on the phone, so I told him let's go.
We thought this was it! The excitement was a lot more and we were really planning on staying at the hospital. The nurse checked me first thing and said a "loose 3," meaning not a 4 but not just a 3. Ugh. We had to wait for an hour to get checked again, but I had a hunch there was not going to be a change. There wasn't.
So, my pain had increased, and I had to endure two more cervical exams, and now we were up in the middle of the night, driving back home. Even though I didn't want this to happen, it is what it is.
The nurse and I discussed what would help me know when to come back, and we basically determined when the pain is so great. I figured now that I had had a few false alarms but I knew our baby was still safe and doing fine, I was gonna settle in and wait. Since I am not getting medication, it really would be preferable to go in when I am almost fully dilated anyway, because either way I am going to have to wait to finish dilating, so I might as well do that in the comfort of my home. The two times I laid in the hospital bed for an hour had been extremely uncomfortable, so I might as well make my real stay in them as short as possible.

Took the day off work due to the rough night the day before. Did intense grocery shopping. Went to the gym and walked 30 mins. This was noticeably harder than Saturday. I almost stopped at 6 minutes, but decided to keep going. My contractions felt like they turned into one long 30 minute contraction because my belly just wasn't relaxing. I started having more lower pain and cramps. I told Zach it is a very weird feeling because they felt exactly like menstrual cramps, but I haven't had them for 9 months. Since the gym, I have had increased pain and extremely tight contractions, but still not enough to get me back to the hospital.

Friday, January 11, 2013


I am really not in the mood to write a blog post right now. I am more in the mood to keep sitting on the couch and continue what I have been doing for about 3 hours....However, I am pretty sure I will want this blog post for future reference at some point, so I mustered up the energy and motivation to each a large bowl of Lucky Charms and sit down at the computer and do something semi-productive.

I have been having regular contractions for about 4-5 hours now. Here is what has happened so far today:
*I went to the gym. Walked about 2 miles and lifted a few weights. I felt pretty good. :)
*Went home to clean up and get Zach, then headed to the Doc. I had a PA today since my doctor is in Hawaii. She checked if I have progressed any further, and I was somewhat disappointed to hear that I was still 90% effaced and almost dilated to a 3. More than 2 1/2 but now quite 3 - so not much change from last week. I thought "that's okay, my due date is Wednesday and it could really be still several days after that." So, mentally, I was back to thinking that I won't be having our baby anytime (which is relative) soon.
*Went to my work baby shower. Got spoiled. One of the girls who helped put it on had asked me what we still needed and I guess she let people know, because all the little stuff we were missing got covered - socks, caps, crib sheets. We also got some larger clothes and bath stuff. I felt so spoiled and so grateful.
*Headed home to relax. Zach ended up re-opening all the gifts and we organized and cleaned up the room a bit, getting me excited for our baby again. From there, I threw in a load of laundry, folded a load, chatted with Scott on the phone for about 45 mins, made spaghetti dinner while Zach did our huge pile of dishes, and then we enjoyed some dinner together.

I had noticed my contractions prior to my phone call with Scott. I have been trying harder to notice them so I am not completely unaware when I go into labor. They kept coming, but I didn't really think they were consistent. After we ate, I sat on the couch to relax and fold some laundry. Zach had been geeking out on his phone for a bit. I was paying attention to my contractions and I figured they were pretty consistently 10-15 minutes apart. They had been this way for a few hours, so I got excited thinking about them. Evidently, I had to share my excitement and call my mom. While we were chatting, I paid attention to my contractions. 12 mins, 8 mins, 5 mins, 5 mins...uh....is this something I should be getting excited about? I have really not wanted to false alarm and head to the hospital before it is time, so I didn't think too serious about it. I got off the phone with my mom thinking they were probably still Braxton-Hicks, but as I sat on the couch for another good hour, my thinking started to change. They were very consistent 5 minuters, so I grabbed my two go-to pregnancy books to see what advice I could get. I read aloud to Zach so we would both be on the same page. They went from about 5 mins to seemingly 3 mins and I started wondering if we should consider the hospital, but I was still very hesitant. At this point, I hadn't officially "timed" my contractions - I was just going off of our roman numeral clock, so I figured before I got worked up I ought to time them. Of course, once I thought this, I didn't have another contraction for about 8 minutes or so. Once I did, I busted out my stopwatch (on my phone - I don't carry around a physical stopwatch..) and started it at my next contraction. 8 mins, 5:45 mins, 6:15 mins. Far enough apart that I considered following my book's advice and getting a snack and trying to get some sleep. Plus, I was a little bored since I had been doing basically the same thing for hours and hours. Since they seemed to be further apart again, I figured it was a good time for a break and either get ready for bed or record this whole experience. Which brings me to my current status - typing a lot of detail into a blog post that may result in waiting another several days for our child. Or, it is possible this info will remind me how it all started next time I am waiting to go into labor and can't remember what it is like...who knows. But, for now, I plan to go get ready for bed and see if these contractions continue. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I am totally a list and goal person. I love making lists and checking it off when I am done. I love making goals and feeling the satisfaction of achieving them. For this reason, I typically like the idea of making New Year's resolutions.

This year, I am having a hard time pinning down what I want to do. I don't think I want to do something extreme like "no candy for the year" (which I DID do once - in eighth grade - not sure how I did that...) With becoming a new mom and not sure exactly what parenting entails, I have found it hard to commit to things since I do not know what my life is going to be like.

As usual, many of my ideas are centered on fitness. I am semi-planning on signing up for the St. George Marathon. Thankfully, the sign-up is not until April. I am going to take the time between my delivery and then to decide if it is a realistic goal. The things I am concerned about are - I plan to exclusively breastfeed, and the separation time of long runs may be a concern. Also, I have heard conflicting views of whether or not exercising like that could reduce my milk production. Leaking milk on long runs may add some serious discomfort. Another thing is Zach has a heavy travel schedule this year, so I would either have to get a jogger and take the baby with me - which is my preferred option of the two, but is that okay for a baby?, or have someone babysit him while I run. I just don't really like the idea of dropping him off somewhere, I would rather find an alternative to include him in my activities. I think the jogger is the best option to include him and I could pump and leave a bottle for when I go on runs when Zach will be around. It may just work out. I am definitely going to try and make it. :) I almost signed up for another Tri as well, but again, I am going to wait and see what adjustments I have to make in my new life first. I would be happy with having those two things as my resolutions - run a marathon and do another triathlon.

I am also considering reading the Book of Mormon cover to cover. I struggle to complete that task each time I think to do it. However, I think if I decide to do it over the course of a full year, there is not much excuse to not complete it. Plus, I think it would add an element of spirituality to my life that I am looking for. I want to strengthen my testimony, specifically about the Book of Mormon, and what better way to do that than just read it? If I write it down and tell a few people, I think that will help me commit to doing it...

The crib is finally up!

We finally got the crib put together after everyone had left for the holidays. I think it was 12/30/12 or so. As I mentioned in my last post, the rest of the nursery is still in limbo, but at least we got this put together! I love that Zach is good at putting stuff together. I can totally do stuff like that by myself, but he is just so much faster than me! I mainly helped by handing him screws and parts and taking pictures.

39 Weeks

Ok, so TECHNICALLY my due date is one week from yesterday!
Zach mentioned a few days ago that this is the last week in our life that we will not have children - forever! How strange is it to think like that? Our life is forever changed, but we are quite excited and ready to experience parenthood.

I have been gathering tips and suggestions (and people have been offering them) quite a bit. Yesterday I got some good tips on bathing a newborn, so automatically I feel more comfortable with that because she went pretty in depth. I have been trying to decide how to get them on a good feeding and sleeping schedule - with all that I have read and heard, I plan to take that knowledge and wing it to some extent and just see how things go.As the big day approaches, I have thought about the fact that I don't exactly know what I am doing. My whole life is going to be different day to day and I will have a tiny infant in my care. The reality of it all has slipped past my mind. Occasionally the oh-my-goodness-this-is-really-happening factor comes into play. People keep asking if I am ready....am I? It is such a complicated question. We have the essentials - clothes, diapers, wipes, car seat, blankets, etc. I'm still looking for a recliner and a dresser for the nursery. But, as far as products go, I think we are ready. What about the other, less physical side of being ready? I think I am. I have always wanted to be a mom and Zach and I waited until we both felt that it was the right time to have children. He seems prepared and excited for what lies ahead. He has the understandable worry about the messes that come with diapers and curious children, but he doesn't seem to stress about becoming a dad much. I have a little suspicion that deep down, maybe unconsciously, he is kinda expecting me to take control and he will be there to help...maybe I am wrong though. :)

The night before last I had been talking to my mom on my way home from work. Obviously, we discussed when the baby might come. My dad had a conference in California that got cancelled, so we joked that it was because I am going to have the baby and he was meant to be here for it. :) We also talked about how it was for my mom when she went into labor and how I will be able to tell. I have had a really hard time distinguishing contractions from baby movements and just feeling full, but even on the drive home I was pretty sure I was having contractions. Food hasn't really been that appealing to me and I had been feeling just a little bit off. These were symptoms my mom experienced, so I started wondering if I was closer to labor than I had thought. It really hadn't sunk in that it could happen that night. I was thinking that I had at least a week to wait it out. Anyway, after our phone call, I made Zach and me dinner, at which point my back started aching -the most constant and painful up to this point - and my contractions seemed to keep occurring. I mentioned it to Zach. He was cranky because he was tired and didn't seem to take me serious or get very excited. As I continued with the evening, I timed my contractions at one point, and they seemed to come every five minutes. I again told Zach that maybe we should be ready. Not saying I would go, but if I did, I didn't want him to be surprised. He asked if we should go the hospital. I said no, my plan was to do laundry and go to bed and if things continued to progress, then we would consider it. I kept getting cramps in the top of my leg/groin area - which I have had but usually a few times a week and it happened like five times. I couldn't help but wonder if our baby was coming earlier than I had expected. Zach and I both made sure to have our hospital bags packed and he loaded the car seat, just to be safe. But, as we went to bed, the contractions had stopped and nothing happened. Apparently, the whole experience made me exhausted because I haven't been sleeping well or much, and I slept for 9 1/2 hours, only waking up once! Even though it wasn't quite time, I was glad for the experience as a little prep for what is to come. I experienced a little of the pain and discomfort that I am sure will accompany labor and now I know that we are really prepared to go to the hospital!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

37 Weeks

I am so torn on what due date to focus on! It has gotten so much harder to think that our baby really won't come until the 21st! He feels like he has gotten big and everyone tells me my belly is huge so it's hard to think that he still could have three weeks to continue to grow...
I went to the doctor again - still progressing. Dilated to a 2 and 90% effaced. About a week ago, I felt him drop a little, but it almost seems like he has come back up because yesterday and today my ribs are feeling it pretty good. I have a coworker whose wife swears her ribs are still bruised...I am starting to wonder if that is possible...not really, but I can see how it could happen. Today, I literally felt his foot slide over one of my ribs. It was pretty painful, but cool at the same time.
Zach and I picked out a coming-home outfit for him today. Zach also mentioned that we should probably pack a bag (I still haven't done that). We also set up the crib and cleaned out his room in preparation. The excitement is still building!
I am preregistered with the hospital. Hopefully that will make delivery day less stressful for everyone.
I haven't prepared any frozen meals. I am thinking with a few of my upcoming days off I can get around to that.

Somehow, it seems that I have sprained my ankle. Sunday it started hurting and has gradually gotten worse. It is super frustrating because as this is my last day off this week, I wanted to clean the house and shop for more baby stuff and nursing stuff, etc. I can hardly even walk, so I have been homebound with my thoughts of what I still need to get ready. It really is hard not knowing when he will come because I may have three weeks, or I may have three days! Add my ankle to my bruised ribs, feeling nauseous (is it a strain of the flu or just pregnancy??), feeling extremely fat and quite ugly, I think I may be getting closer to the point of ready to be done being pregnant. I have tried really hard to focus on the positive, not complain, and enjoy this miracle. People have been asking me for about a month if I am ready to be done, and I have honestly been able to answer that I'm not, not really. But today, I feel a little bit closer. However, having a healthy and fully developed baby is still the most important thing, and when I think of that, there is still a lot more that I could endure before I am begging the doctor to induce me.

I think I will try to take a belly picture tomorrow, because I have no makeup on, I am in sweats, my hair is a tad bit greasy, and I have felt ugly all day. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better and I can take a picture that I will be happy to look back on....

Well, my indecisiveness showed itself again - I couldn't pick which picture to post so I am posting both. One is morning when I looked a little more fresh and ready for the day, the other is after work when I was completely wore out but the baby belly was nice and rotund. Can't you just imagine him all curled up in there? Although it feels more like he is all stretched out most of the time now....legs and arms sticking out at different angles... :)

Christmas 2012

Since Zach's team was in Gold Cycle this December, we had to stay within an hour and a half of his unit - which basically means we had to stay home. My family accomodated our restrictions by planning to come to our house for Christmas! Zach and I were looking forward to it for weeks, and I was mentally preparing for the kids and chaos and mess for weeks as well. Now that it is all said and done, I think I handled everything pretty well.
We first celebrated Jason's birthday:
 As can be expected, the majority of the time was centered on play time with the kids.
 This was before the snow started to fall (once it started, it didn't really stop. I literally prayed that it would snow for Christmas, and it did!)

 Mom dressed up as Ellie the Elf and brought elf outfits for the kids. Jason is anti-pants and wasn't that interested, but Bailey loved her costume!
 We took a few walks in the snow to get out of the house.
Christmas Eve we made our homemade pizzas, had my dad read the Christmas story out of the Bible, and watched the Luke 2 movie. To be honest, next year I think I will try to coordinate more of the spiritual side into the festivities. I feel like we could have focused on it a little bit more.

 Christmas Morning!

 I have many childhood memories of shoveling the driveway with my dad. We have a picture of us out there together that I think of every year. This year, I couldn't really help out much, but he still did it. What a gent!
 Zach pulled up some old school cartoons on his phone, which sucked the kids right in.
There were so many things we didn't end up doing - going to Temple Square, a hot chocolate bar, sledding (everyone didn't really have the right gear and I couldn't have participated anyway...but I wanted to play in the snow SO bad!), but it was still a great week. Brad and Amanda took a little getaway to Salt Lake, so we watched the kids with my parents. One day, I took them to the pool while Mom and Dad worked out. I just kept imagining what it would be like with two kids and being eight months pregnant. Oddly enough, it made me even more excited to be a mom. As I was playing with Jason and Bailey in the water, I had all sorts of emotions I better get used to - protectiveness, worry, joy.
Another day, Amanda, my mom, and I went to get mani/pedis. Although the place we went left a lot to be desired, it was still nice to kinda take a girls day together. I'm pretty sure the men were glad to have us back. Before we left, they didn't seem to know what to do with themselves without us around to boss them. :)
I loved being able to celebrate Christmas in our own house. I am interested to see how things change as the years evolve. We have always gotten together at my parent's house, but now with Jenny and Lindsey living so far away, Zach's work restrictions, Brad and Amanda's family growing, Scott being a world traveler, it seems that our annual congregation won't occur in the same way anymore.
It was really strange not being able to celebrate with Zach's side of the family either. Since we are usually in St. George, we just split the time between his family and mine. But, most of them were still down there, so we didn't get to celebrate as usual. I suppose that will continue to evolve as well, especially with Zach and my family growing. No matter what happens, Christmas is still such a magical season. Today, as I was taking our Christmas decorations down, Zach got all pouty. He does it every year because he loves Christmas so much. He has still not brought up the boxes to pack everything away....
As we start this new year, we have talked about resolutions and what there is to look forward to. Obviously, our baby joining our family is the biggest highlight. I am sure that adventure in itself will bring us much happiness and growth. I can just say that I am so grateful that Zach and I have such a wonderful life together. We have an amazing family, an amazing relationship, and so much to look forward to!