"The thistle is a prickly flower, aye, but how it is sweetly worn."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Getting Through

Just a small update on the baby momma:

I am still teaching even though our due date is 3 weeks away. (Three weeks on Friday technically). For all future momma's, when people say the end gets really hard they stinkin mean it! I hope by the time we have another baby I am either not working or can time the birth for the end of summer vacation. It's just so exhausting. I am getting overwhelmed with all the school and sub plans at this point. Thankfully, I have some great co workers who are helping me out. Next Tuesday one of our instructional specialists is actually subbing for me so to speak so I can work on plans and materials. What a blessing!

I am getting really tired and swollen and achy these days. I really don't know how Jude could possibly grow any more inside me. Literally, everything feels so squished. I am really getting out of breath more and more because he is just up inside my lungs or whatever. You should hear me when I come in from recess and go up the stairs with my kids. I just huff and puff like a chain smoker with an oxygen tank. I have heartburn like crazy to. It feels like he will roll around, knock in to my stomach, and send this pleasant surge of stomach acid right on up. I'm about to start walking around with a bottle of pepto bismal on top of my oxygen tank.

Today was a first for one pregnancy symptom though- I've had several Braxton Hicks contractions today. I'm not sure if I've had them before or not. If I have, they weren't as clear as they were today. For those of you who don't know, Braxton Hicks contractions are just your body's way of practicing for the big day. They are perfectly normal. I "practiced" a lot today. Most of the afternoon anyway. It was annoying, but not a big deal. I suppose my body is officially getting ready for Jude to be here.

For all you Christians out there, Jude and I do have a prayer request. At my doctor's appointment this week, she told me that I have group b strep. I freaked out when I was told this because I thought it was an STD. It's not for those of you thinking the same thing. Apparently sometimes you just carry it. It's asymptomatic in adults, but can be dangerous for the baby during the birthing process. I'm going to have to go straight to the hospital when I go in to labor to get put on antibiotics. From what the doctor said, everything should be fine since they have caught it and I will get antibiotics, but to be honest, I'm still freaked out. It has the potential to cause big health problems for Jude like pneumonia and meningitis. I have to keep reminding myself he will be ok if I get antiobiotics. Just pray that everything goes well and I don't worry too much.

Another request for prayer is relating to our house. First of all, pray that Michael and I would continue walking by faith. It's getting hard at this point, but we know that in the end God will make it clear to us why He has taken us this route. We have had an offer in on a house in Crossroads since Aug 3rd. We were told it was a short sale, but our realtor failed to explain to us that short sales take 3 months. When we found that out, we talked and prayed about what to do. While we still have the offer in on the short sale house, we decided to try other houses to see which one opened up first. God led us to this wonderful realtor who is experienced and a Christian to boot. Really great for 2 inexperienced people like us. We started working with him around Sept 3rd. During that time we have put offers in on 4 houses I think? The first offer came back with foundation problems, termite problems, flooding problems, and fire problems. Go figure. We were able to pull that offer thankfully. Then we found another house that we really liked. We put in the offer only to find out an offer went in and was accepted mere hours before ours. Another bummer. We continued looking and found another house we really liked. Put in the offer, got it accepted, AND they agreed to close on Oct 9th- big deal for us. We had the inspection done the next day to help speed up the process, and were told the house needed $40,000 worth of foundation work to be safe. No, $40,000 is not a typo... At this point, we were just frustrated and frantic because time was running out. We found a house that was smaller than the others and more expensive and put in an offer out of sheer desperation. It was accepted and they agreed to close October 13th- again with amazing. And that's when God tested us to see if we can really trust him. It somehow came up to question whether we loved the house and would have bought it no matter what or whether we are just desperate and willing to take anything. Michael and I both felt that we were making a (huge) decision out of fear and a lack of faith. We decided to walk away from it and trust God to bring us HIS best- not just the next available. For me, with all my nesting urges, this was the hardest thing to do in some ways. The logical side knows it was not the right house. The spiritual side knows it wasn't God's best for us. Yet my momma side desperately wants a house to bring my baby home to. I'm still struggling with this so keep praying. I am holding on to the fact that I know the God I serve. He's so much bigger than the housing market and my parenting dreams. I know He has a plan to get us where He wants us to be. I know when we get there I will be soooo thankful that I allowed God to be God in my life. In the meantime, I'm kind of scared. Please be praying for Michael and I as we are literally clinging to Christ through this whole process. We really aren't sure what is going to happen for us in the next 3 weeks, other than a baby will come. Please pray that God part the Red Sea so to speak. We need to find a place to live.

Thanks guys, I know this post was kinda heavy...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Shower Pics- Mel's camera

Here are some shower pics that I stole from Melissa's camera. Some of them are fuzzy, but you get the idea....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

36 weeks aka 9 months!

We are now in our 9th month as of yesterday. The journey is really and truly ending. Jude will be considered full term by Friday, which is both crazy exciting and scary. I can't believe it sometimes. The fruit of the week is a crenshaw melon so should you see one in your neighborhood Kroger, think of Jude (and me with that inside rolling about). At this point in pregnancy, Jude should be gaining an ounce a day. Given that statistic and that he weighed 6.1 on Thursday, he is probably about 6lbs 3 oz today. Always gaining. Interestingly enough, I swear I can feel him growing within. Each day everything inside me feels more and more cramped. I honestly do not know where else he can possibly go. I'm sure he is just as miserable being cramped inside. Anyway, he should be able 18.5 inches long at this point. They didn't tell me a length at the sono, so I have to use my weekly updates to guestimate. He is actually measuring a little bit bigger than the updates suggest (by 3 oz.), so he may be a tad longer as well. Not too much is interesting at this point. Just gaining weight. He's shedding the covering he's needed while inside the amniotic fluid. It also says he should be in the head down position at this point. He was head down during the sono, so I assume we are good with this. I'm not sure whether to assume he will stay in that position or will flip around at some point. By the way they describe it, he must stay head down from this point. Honestly, I don't know how he could find the space to do too much moving really. Luckily, I guess I don't have to worry about a breech baby, atleast not at this point. Overall, we are just waiting and preparing for the big day. While the dr seems to think there is no indication he will come early, for all practical purposes, Jude could come any day now. I'm not really ready for him though, so I hope not! Still have several things to do. Keep praying for us!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

OB appt- 35.6 weeks

Today I had another OB appt. (They're weekly now.) I was 35.6 weeks pregnant. This appointment had a lot to it. First, I had my third trimester sono. It will be Jude's last sono unless something happens in the next 4 weeks that is alarming. I posted the only good picture we got of him. You can see his little profile and he has his hands up near his mouth. Cute!

The sono went really well except that he was, as usual, difficult to get a look at. Not because he was moving around a lot, although he was squirmy. Mainly, he just seems to be camera shy. He had his hands completely blocking his face the whole time so we never saw a frontal view. We were only even able to get his profile at the end. He decided to be nice and cooperative at the end I guess. Thank goodness.

The most exciting part of the sono for me was finding out that he has a headful of hair! I guess given Michael's full rocker locks, the idea of Michael's son being born with a full head of hair thrills me. Perhaps he'll be born with a fo-hawk? Just kidding, but really, I'm excited about his hair. Now to just see him to know whether he has Michael's blonde hair or my darker hair...

The other sono news showed that Jude is measuring 6 pounds and 1 ounce. She said that is a perfect weight for this point in gestation, which seems to suggest that he is right on track developmentally. Thankfully, there is no indication that he'll come early from the sono, which is good for maternity leave purposes. I also saw his heart and his heart beat which she said were good, as well as the fact that he was practicing his breathing. All good signs. Very reassuring and I really can't wait to meet him!

Finally, I had the OB portion of the appt. The only interesting thing to report is that she checked my dilation. I'm 1 cm dilated, which is apparently also normal for being 4 weeks away from the due date. Again, very reassuring since I am trying my hardest to make it to my due date with work. I know everyone thinks I'm crazy, but if I can make it to my due date, I will return to work the week before Christmas break. This would be really great for several reasons. 1) My mom can come up and help so I don't have to put him in daycare yet. 2) It would just be one week of seperation and then 2 weeks off. A nice way to ease into being a working mom. 3) It would only be 3 full days of work. Thursday and Friday of that week are half days. So basically, this is my goal, and based on the sono and dilation, I should be able to do it, or in the very least, come close. That being said, I know I will be miserable. It will just be worth it in the end.

Anyway, those are Jude's stats as of right now. Everything looks good. Can't wait to meet him!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Baby Shower

Yesterday, my two best friends from college threw me a baby shower. Everything was adorably decorated with blue and green elephants. My friend Melissa is an exceptional party planner if ever anyone is in need of quality services. She will perform! My friend Crystal found a cute little tea room in Denton to have it at which definitely completed the ambience. Very fun!

Jude, I'm sure, feels blessed as he was showered with love from so many people. He says, thank you by the way. We have already begun teaching the essentials, like manners. The girl inside me is so excited to get to use all the cute baby things. I don't think I've ever heard so many 'awwws' uttered in my life. It's really cute. I'm excited by it all, although I think Michael's favorite thing is by far the newborn chuck taylor's. I'm sure once Jude is born there will be pics with those on!

Anyway, it was a really fun time for me. Here's the one picture I've stolen from someone. I'll post more as I get them.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Little Honey Dew- 35 weeks

We are in the last week of the 8th month meaning we only have 5 more to go. Or 35 days, depending on how you want to look at it. I think it seems a whole lot sooner when you think about it in terms of days. Regardless, we are getting very, very close. Even though Jude still has a little bit of growing to do, at the end of the day, I feel like he could come at any minute.

Here's the breakdown for week 35:
* 18 inches
* 5.25 lbs (he gains a lb a week fyi)
* fully developed kidneys
* mostly functioning liver
* most physical development complete

How mom's feeling:
* Tired! I cannot describe how hard it is to get up and do anything. I am so stinking amazed with myself for working everyday. I'm a little stressed though with all that we need to get in place with housing, subplans, nursery, etc.
* Waddling horrifically.
* Discovered that the annoying pain on my right rib was actually Jude who apparently has a favorite spot, which is most uncomfortable for me. The doctor told me I could try to move him, but I would just feel bad for him. I think that's a mom attitude right?
* Back pain also horrible. Thank goodness for my amazing husband who is will to give me a massage at night.
* Feet swelling has reached gargantuan proportions. I have approximately 2 pairs of shoes I can wear now. I can assure you none of them are my cute shoes. Luckily Michael is willing to rub those after my long day too!
* Number of times I'm asked if I'm going to pop- 11,287. Today someone even told me I looked like I was dropping. Being unexperienced in pregnancy, I have no idea. It seems a little soon to me. One things for sure, I don't breathe easier. It will take the hand of God to convince Jude to not chill against my right rib. He's sleeping there as we speak. Spent all of my dinner playing around, then falls asleep inside my rib cage. Awesome.
* Number of positions per night in attempt to get comfortable- 479. How many are successful? 0
* Waking up in the morning is the worst. I feel like my entire body is completely locked up. At those moments it really does feel like the baby has dropped and everything is down at the bottom. Miserable.

My next appointment is Thurs am. We have our final sono, which I am soo soo excited about. She will also be checking to see if I've started dilating at all. Scary stuff, but it will be reassuring to know where I stand regardless of what she says. Only 2 more weeks until Jude will be considered full term. We can definitely make it until then! Just hope we make it longer so that we can get our things done.

Please be praying for us with everything going on. I have so much to finish with school. We should be closing on this house in the next 2 weeks, so please pray that there are no more issues with that as well. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

OB appt 34 weeks

Just a quick update on Jude's status since we had a Dr's Appt today:

All looks good.
* swelling was in normal range (shocking, honestly)
* heartbeat was 142- good
* blood pressure was 126/70- good
* I'm measuring 34 centimeters which is right on the money for being 34 weeks. Excellent! Don't have to worry about a big ole baby that I will have to deliver nor do I have to worry that he isn't growing enough. We are exactly where we should be. Hallelujah!

My next appointment is Thursday, the 24th. We will be having another sonogram. I'll feel even better about things after that. Sonograms have such a therapeutic effect on moms and dads. It's nice to see with your eyes that everything is ok! Hopefully, I can scan the pictures at school and post those. Exciting!

So I really am getting stupider

A couple days ago I posted a status on facebook about how I can't think clearly anymore, etc. One of my coworkers posted a link about the pregnancy brain, which I just found the time to read. It's on Oprah's website. In the article, Dr. Oz is interviewing a Dr. Brizendine. Here's the quote:

The mommy brain
  • The brain shrinks during pregnancy—it does not lose cells but changes metabolism and restructures. Then in the final one to two weeks, the brain begins to increase in size again and construct maternal circuits. It does not return to its former size until about six months after giving birth. "We don't know what it's doing but we think it has something to do with redeveloping the mommy brain's circuits, but also maybe even letting the fetus 'snack' on the mommy's brain," Dr. Brizendine says.
I can't tell you how comforting this is. Every day at work, I feel like the slacker coworker idiot who can't keep up or contribute. Seriously, I'm considering taking a tape recorder device to all meetings because even though I take notes, I still don't seem to know what the heck is going on. It's very embarrassing to find out later on just how off base I was. Unfortunately, it seems like it will take me until April to really regain my total intelligence. I dare the world to judge me now though. I have the best excuse on the planet.

Oh you who sit in your tower and judge me as I fail to stay organized and focuses, remember this: I am sacrificing my brain minute by minute to create life. I should receive great honors and medals for this 40 week process.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pregnancy Reflections

I've been enjoying my rainy Sunday by doing one of my current favorite things- researching all there is to know about pregnancy whether that be by the week, the trimester, whatever. I love keeping up with all my preggo friends out there and remember back to what it was like to be where they are in their pregnancy or looking forward to where they are in anticipation. As I near the end of this journey, I have been taking time to reflect on how this is a once in a lifetime experience. While Michael and I plan on having 2 or 3 more kiddos sometime in the future, never again will I experience pregnancy for the first time. I've been told that each pregnancy is as different as each child, but I just can't help but think it will never again be the same. Don't get me wrong, I won't miss being pregnant, but it really is an exciting time in the life of a couple. It's exciting to go places as a couple and take pictures and just talk about who you think this little person is going to become. It's an amazing time of transformation physically, emotionally, spiritually, and just generally as a couple. Sometimes it's a little brutal, but what growing experience isn't? No pun intended.

All this to say, I have 6 weeks left, and while each day I get a little less sleep, a little more uncomfortable, and tons more swollen, I'm hoping that I can have an appreciative attitude. Pregnancy is really and truly a gift and a blessing. I hope that I will have my eyes wide open in wonder as I continue to experience the end for the first time. I hope that I savor each moment as something special, without always looking forward to that next step. Each moment is unique and it's the only one I'll have. My parting words to all those pregnant friends and friends who will one day become pregnant: Enjoy it. These are the only 40 weeks of your life where God literally takes you alongside Him in the creative process in the most intimate way. As women, we get to be part of the miracle of creating human life and feeling it change daily within us. Never take that for granted.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Week 34

We are now in week 34, which means our due date is a whole whopping 6 weeks away. Really, really getting here fast. If I had a dollar for every time someone said "You're all baby" or "I don't think your going to make it much longer" or similar phrases, our upcoming hospital bills would be paid in full. (For the record, I don't mind people commenting on my clearly growing size. It's just reality, and it's for a great cause!)

Jude is now the size of your average cantaloupe, and honestly, I probably look as though I'm carrying a cantaloupe inside. He weighs 4.75 pounds and is 18 inches long. This blows my mind. I can't imagine growing at this rate-inches and half pounds a week. Goodness. Again, he's continuing to add fat layers which will smooth out his skin and appearance, although the true function is for body temperature. His central nervous system and lungs are also continuing to mature.

Awesome news in week 34- babies born at this point usually do fine. Generally, they just have a short stay in NICU and at most some short term health problems. Notice the short term. Every time I get one of these weekly updates that further reassures me Jude should survive from this point forward just fine, I breathe a little easier. With the way my body feels completely worn out with every muscle sore and tight, it's nice to know he'll be ok. Physically, I feel like he could come anytime. I think that's just being a working woman still.

Regardless, 6 weeks to go!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Excuse Me

This first part has nothing to do with Jude or pregnancy, but it's just so funny that I wanted to share. As most of you know, I teach 2nd grade. It's awesome- most days. Yes, teaching is one of the most highly stressful jobs out there, but it has these little jewel or rainbow moments of cute that make it worth while.

Story #1- During math class, most of the time the kids are playing math games working on their addition/subtraction facts. They usually work in partners, sometimes threes. My job is to rotate from group to group, asking them questions or redirecting any misunderstandings I see. While visiting with one pair, I sat down in the nearest kids chair to talk with them. One of my students (who's very eccentric to begin with) raises a finger and says, "Excuse me Mrs. Doner', but you're sitting on my imaginary friend." Hahaha. Naturally, I was respectful, apologized, and moved.

Story #2- This is actually about pregnancy. Yesterday, my kids were split up in different 2nd grade classrooms while I did reading benchmarks with my kids. (These benchmarks take forever by the way.) Anyway, one of my little girls decided to complain about me to the other teacher. This teacher is very energetic and free spirited. My complete opposite during this larger than life time. First, the little girl complained because I don't really sing. The teacher says, "Are you sure? I bet Mrs. Doner' sings?" The little girl then agrees yes, I do sing. Then she changes her complaint to "Well I wish she would jump and dance." The teacher says, "Well honey, she's pregnant. She really can't, but I bet she will after she has her baby." The light bulb clicks in the little girl's head, "Oh yea, you should see her trying to get off the floor!" She then proceeds to model for the teacher what I look like as I get off the floor. I had no idea that I looked so pathetic- or was such a bummer teacher. I'm going to be the dancing queen when I return from maternity leave/Christmas break. Apparently I am ruining lives with my sedentary state!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Maternity Pics

Here are some of the shots Michael took and edited for me. Enjoy!

Sleep Deprived

One of my greatest thrills in life has always been to enjoy waking up at a leisurely, relaxing pace. No schedules to keep and no pesky alarm clocks. Three day weekends are something I really live for, especially since I've been a working adult. The work week seems so much easier when I have my Monday to myself.

Being pregnant however, removes all thrills of waking up in any way that is relaxing. The pesky alarm clock is replaced by my stupid bladder saying yo, get up and go pee again. I try to ignore it so I can just sleep for once, but no, it will not be silenced. At the beginning of pregnancy, I got up once in the middle of the night. Annoying, but something I could live with. At this point, there is literally no space left in my torso for my bladder to fill up. I have to be getting up 3 times in the middle of the night. The fourth time I get up is usually around 8:00 and I just can't seem to fall asleep after that because it is daylight. What a rotten deal! I'd like to be able to say to myself, "It's ok, only 7 more weeks of this." However, there is no point in that because I will just be getting up with a baby. It makes me wonder if God rigged the woman's body this way on purpose. That way, feeding a baby every 3 hours is not so shocking. I would imagine that if, while pregnant, I got the most amazing nights of sleep ever and then had to transition to waking every 3 hours, I would have the worst case of post partem ever. God is so much smarter than my desires, as usual.

I do hope that one aspect of pregnancy sleep will be gone in 7 weeks though, and that is the misery of being uncomfortable ALL the stinking time. I don't think I have felt comfortable at night since 16 weeks. Thankfully at 20 weeks, Michael bought me the greatest of all baby momma presents, a pregnancy body pillow. This has been a life saver on multiple occasions and bought me some time with several good nights of sleep. I won't sleep without it. Unfortunately, though, at this point, my body just hurts no matter what. Each time I get up, I feel like my entire torso down to my feet is completely locked up stiff. I don't know if this is normal or not, but everything feels completely tight like cement. (This comparison does not make sense to Michael.) I'm sure if I could figure out how to do stretches before and after sleep, it would get better, but how do you stretch with a bowling ball attached to you? Advice is welcome at this point.

I'm absolutely miserable and exhausted. I would honestly like to be attached to one of those medieval torture devices that stretches you out. Might feel like heaven the first few minutes. Also, I'm so ready to not have to stick to sleeping on my side. For those of you who don't know, you can't sleep on your stomach because the bump is in the way. Stinks. You can't sleep on your back or it feels like the baby is squishing your entire set of abdominal cavity organs causing slow suffocation. Also stinks.

I just wanna be able to sleep normally again.... Whatever the new normal is going to be....

Saturday, September 5, 2009

7 weeks to go!

We are 33 weeks Ladies and Gents with a lucky number of 7 to go. The anticipation is building as we get ever so close, although with the craziness of us buying a house in short sale (and our realtor failing to tell us how long it takes) we have a lot of apprehension as well. Please keep praying!
Week 33 is the week of the pineapple, which honestly makes me crave pineapple. Is anyone else as obsessed with fresh pineapple as I am? Yum. Our big boy is now over 4 pounds and 17 inches. Believe me, I FEEL like I am growing every day now. He's continuing to lose the alien fetus look, thank goodness. Although, when I think about childbirth, Jude being a cute, pudgy baby doesn't seem necessary. I'd love for him to hold out on that look until AFTER he is born. His skeleton is continuing to harden more and more, which is also good as we approach the birth day. I'm thinking its probably a good thing I feel this need to drink milk for breakfast and lunch...

7 weeks to go!

PS- Michael is almost done photoshopping my official unofficial belly shots. Those will be posted soon. Try not to judge me by how fat I look. It's about commemorating the experience...