Thursday, July 31, 2008

37 Weeks

Here I am at 37 weeks, considered full-term already. Unbelievable. We are in full-on "get ready for baby" mode. This past weekend, Gregg & I went to Target and bought a few odds and ends that were still needed. We also installed the car seat in the minivan. I sorted through all the gifts we've received and separated them into categories: clothes, changing station, bath stuff, feeding, toys, and blankets. It was a lot of fun, but also a lot of work when you're nine months pregnant. I took advantage of the glider in the corner of the nursery several times. Tuesday night, Gregg helped me actually put everything away in the dresser/changing table and closet.

My birthday on Sunday was nice and relaxing. Gregg made me waffles by request for breakfast, then took me out to T.G.I.Friday's for lunch. I ordered the Chips Ahoy Sundae dessert which was awesome. Later that evening, Gregg finally gave me my present. He was so sweet and got me a gift certificate to a salon so I can pamper myself! Boy, do I need that.

Yesterday my sister sent a link to her professional wedding photos, which I scanned through last night. They came out amazing, but unfortunately I look enormous in 95% of them. The straight-on shots aren't too bad, but in the ones where I'm standing with my family or the wedding party, it appears like my dress expands ten feet in front of me. I know they say the camera adds ten pounds, but in this case I think it added 100!

This morning I had another doctor's appointment. My weight gain has tapered off. I only gained one more pound between this visit and the last one. The doctor took a culture for the Group-B strep test in case I have a vaginal delivery, and checked my cervix for effacement & dilation. It was closed shut and still pretty hard so I don't think I'll be going into labor anytime soon.

She couldn't tell for sure from external palpation (big fancy term for feeling around the outside of my belly) whether Bubba was head first or feet first, so she wheeled in the ultrasound machine to get a more accurate assessment. He is stubbornly still breached. I wasn't really surprised. I had suspected as much since I kept feeling a lot of movement in my lower abdomen, like his feet are pointed downward.
I knew what was coming next. The doctor said they could do one of two things: either turn the baby manually, or schedule a C-section. I told her I wasn't comfortable with trying to turn him, so I opted for the C-section. After I got dressed, she came back in and told me I'm scheduled for August 14. I have another appointment between now and then, so they'll go over the procedure in more detail at that time and check again to see whether Bubba has decided to turn on his own.

I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I feel like I'll be missing out on the real birthing experience. I've never had any type of surgery before, so it kind of freaks me out. A C-section seems so passive and sterile, almost unnatural. On the other hand, I like the idea of knowing when Bubba's delivery date will be instead of waiting to labor on my own, and possibly laboring for hours and then ending up having a Cesarean anyway. And, I'd really rather recover from an operation where they cut my stomach, instead of my... ahem.
So August 14 is the tentative birth date. I'm still reeling from the news that, in just two weeks, I'll be having a baby. It's only one week before than my estimated due date, but for some reason knowing it's on the calendar makes it seem so much earlier. I feel like there's still a hundred and one things to do. I don't know if I've read enough about how to take care of a baby, or if he has enough onesies. If I've made the most of the time Gregg & I have left as just a twosome.

I'm also very excited that our baby boy will be here so soon. The event that we've been planning for and eagerly anticipating since December 18 will be here in just two weeks!!

Friday, July 25, 2008


It's the final countdown! I've entered my ninth and last month of pregnancy. Only four more weeks to go. My doctor says if I go into labor now, they'll just let it progress. It's no holds bar at this point.

My aches and pains are growing, right along with my belly. It feels like my back hurts all the time, since I essentially have a watermelon strapped around my waist 24-7. The Braxton-Hicks are increasing in number and frequency, too, becoming more uncomfortable. Sometimes out of nowhere, my belly will just warp when Bubba presses one part of his body right up against me. It's neat, but also kinda freaky.

I'm still Forgetful Jones a lot of the time. I'm actually beginning to think there's some truth to the saying that you lose brain cells while you're pregnant. This morning, I got dressed for work and noticed that my pants felt tighter than usual. I know I'm growing rapidly at this stage, but I really didn't think I could have gained that much weight between the last time I wore this pair (Monday) and today. When I went into the bathroom to finish getting ready, I glanced in the mirror and realized... I had put my pants on backwards! Yeah, I'm not the brightest crayon in the box these days.

It hasn't sunk in yet that I'm thisclose to becoming a mother. That everything's about to change. I'm trying to really treasure these last few weeks of being pregnant before Bubba arrives, because I know I'll miss them. Even despite all the late- third trimester pains. Gregg keeps mentioning how excited he is for our baby to be born, which makes me feel great. I know he'll be a wonderful father. Bubba will be his little prodigy. :)

On another note, I'm so glad it's the weekend!! Another week closer to maternity leave. Sunday will be my birthday, too. The big 29. I don't feel that old, but reality is that 30 is just around the corner. Crazy.

Here's my latest belly shot, taken at 34w6d. I promise more updated ones soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tales of a Pregnant Matron of Honor

Well, I made it. I survived being 35 weeks preggo in the middle of July as my sister's MOH. It was hot. It was humid. But I'm still here to tell about it.

The wedding was really beautiful; very simple yet elegant. My sister looked gorgeous. The dress I wore was amazingly comfortable and fit me great. A lot of people commented to me on how I look "all baby", and a few said I'm going to go early. Yeah, we'll see. Here is the run down of how the weekend went:

It only took us about two hours to get to D.C. on Friday afternoon. We arrived just at check-in time (3pm) and the rehearsal wasn't slated to begin that evening until 6pm, so we went up to our room and relaxed before hailing a cab to the church where we met up with the rest of the wedding party. We did three run-throughs which took the whole hour. Afterwards, my mom, my sister, and myself piled into Rebecca's (one of the bridesmaids) tiny car and sped to the rehearsal dinner site while everyone else walked over. I was pretty worn out by then and didn't really enjoy dinner. The food itself was good, but the restaurant was so loud I could barely hear myself think and my neck & back were killing me.

When Gregg and I got back to the hotel, and we went straight upstairs to the room to get ready for bed. I didn't fall asleep too easily, though. I think I must have woken up about twenty times that night, due to having difficulty finding a comfortable position in bed and hearing the non-stop sirens blaring through the streets below. The hotel was located right smack dab in the middle of everything, which was convenient but also very noisy. It didn't have its own parking garage attached to the building, so who knows where the valets actually put all of the cars. We all got a steeply discounted rate for staying there, but admittedly it was a bit crapulent.

The next day I opted out of the extras before the ceremony, like the bridal brunch and getting my hair done at the salon (which was a four block walk from the hotel). Gregg & I ventured out to find breakfast that morning, thinking we would find a little cafe or something nearby. Ha. The nearest place was two and a half blocks away. I barely made it. The heat was ridiculously oppressive. I spent the rest of the day indoors and relied on Gregg to bring me a sandwich so I'd have something to eat before leaving for the church. I joined up with the girls later in my sister's suite to have my makeup done by Rebecca, then went back to my room to quickly throw on my dress and do something with my hair.

An hour later I was making my grand entrance down the aisle, trying to stay balanced and poised so as not to trip. Humpty Dumpty did not have a great fall, thank goodness. After the ceremony began, I sat in a chair that had been set up for me until it was time for the bride and groom to walk out. I felt slightly foolish, however I reminded myself that it was pretty obvious I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant, and no one would think badly of me. We took a cab over to the reception after pictures and got something to eat at the cocktail hour.

Right before the wedding party was to walk in, the DJ mentioned something about the best man and matron of honor giving their toasts after the first dance. I was not planning on giving on a toast, and hadn't recalled being asked (my sister blamed it on my baby brain), but I thought okay whatever, I'll do it. I have no idea what I said, but everyone told me it was lovely. The rest of the evening was kind of a blur. I couldn't really dance, so I was mostly glued to my chair for the next several hours except for getting up occasionally to take pictures. Gregg and I ended up leaving the reception early and heading straight to bed. Yup, we were the life of the party let me tell ya. We left this morning around 11am, stopping at Waffle House somewhere in Maryland for a late breakfast.

I'm very glad that I was able to participate in the wedding and see my sister get married. I'm also really glad to be home. Being as huge as I am, I just didn't feel "normal". I felt left out in a lot of ways, because I simply couldn't do a lot of the things I'd otherwise do with no problem. I know it meant a lot to Valerie just for me to be there, though.

Now that the wedding is behind me, I can really focus on getting ready for Bubba's arrival. Only three more weeks of work before maternity leave starts. It can't come fast enough. I feel like work has become so cumbersome. I'm trying to wrap up what I can and make sure my charts are in order before transferring all my cases, but instead of winding down, more stuff gets dumped on me that I need to take care of. I'm trying remember to take it one task at a time, and not allow myself to become overwhelmed. 8.8.08 is almost here!!

After a hard day's night:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Baby Shower Surprises

Last Saturday, Gregg and I traveled to New Jersey for what I thought was a bridesmaid dress fitting. The dress fitting was going to be at my mother-in-law's, then we would head over to my mom's for a visit and pick up the changing table she got us. As we pulled up to Gregg's parents' house, I saw about a dozen cars parked outside on the street and asked Gregg, "Is your mom having a party?" Hello!!!

My MIL opened the door and led me into the living room where a group of friends and family were gathered. Relatives of Gregg's, along with my mom, sister, and step-sister were there and my friend Beth who I haven't seen in nearly a year, who's also pregnant and due in October with her third child. I couldn't believe my sister made the trip when she's getting married this weekend. The look of surprise on my face must have been priceless. I really had no idea!

The room was very cutely decorated with baby clothes, hung on a clothesline and draped on pictures, balloons, and blue confetti. I got so many nice things- tons of outfits, bath stuff, toys, changing accessories. The chair I sat in as the guest of honor was actually the glider I had registered for, which Gregg's parents bought us.

I was so overwhelmed with people's generosity. We got two bedding sets and mobiles for the crib by mistake, so we went out that evening to Babies 'R Us and exchanged them for some other stuff we needed. We stayed overnight and had leftovers from the shower with Gregg's extended family the next day. It was quite the game of tetris to play in order to get all of the presents, our suitcase, and yes even the dog, to fit in the back of our minivan.

Somehow, Gregg managed to stack everything just right and we got back home a little after 7pm Sunday. He brought the stuff into the living room and it sat there until the next day, though I couldn't wait to begin putting it all away in the nursery. Gregg did get to assembling the swing and bouncer while I relaxed on the couch.

The next evening, my husband put together the changing table and I started filling it with diapers and wipes. On top next to the changing pad, we put the wipe warmer and a small basket of baby powder, lotions, and rash cream. Now that the changing table and glider have been added to the nursery, it's pretty much ready for Baby B! I still need to hang a few pictures and make up the crib. Oh, and go through about a zillion little onesies, body suits, & jammies and put those away. I love going in the nursery and looking at everything. It's so cozy and just perfect. Sometimes I'll catch Gregg in there admiring it, too. :)

On Wednesday, I was surprised again with a shower at work. My supervisor told me a few weeks ago that we were going to have a training that morning, and I didn't suspect a thing. I was actually annoyed because I needed to change my schedule around so that I could attend! Gregg was in on the surprise also. Again, I was floored by everyone's thoughtfulness and the amount of stuff we got. Between the two showers last week, we have practically everything we need now for "Bubba". He really made out like a bandit.

Before the shower Wednesday, I had another prenatal appointment. Everything continues to go very well. I gained five pounds in one week! That brings my total weight gain to a whopping 35 pounds so far. Bubba is still in a feet first position, and the doctor said if he doesn't turn by my next appointment on the 31st, they may either try to manually turn him around (ouch!) or schedule a C-section. I hope he turns because I don't want a Cesarean (I don't think any woman does), but really I just want him to be healthy.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


In the 8th year, in the 8th month, on the 8th day...

it begins.
No, not the Olympics, silly. The start of my maternity leave!!! Well, my last day of work before going on maternity leave. I can't wait. Working this far into my pregnancy has been harder than I imagined. My job requires remembering and keeping track of a lot of things, which I am usually good at. I've always been a very organized person, but baby brain has rendered me pretty incompetent. Or, at least I feel incompetent. I'm forgetting things constantly and falling behind with paperwork. There's a ridiculous amount of paperwork in the social services field anyway, and it's especially difficult to stay on top of now.

Thank you ladies for praying about the aforementioned church situation. Gregg and I tried another one out this morning. We were not impressed. It seems that from the moment we pull up to the building, I'm tallying off a checklist in my head-

Reserved parking spaces for visitors: good.
Reserved parking space for the pastor: bad.

Powerpoint slides for worship songs: good.
No powerpoint for sermon: bad.

To sum up our worship experience this morning: awkward. First of all, upon entering we were given these bright yellow badges to wear that said "guest" on them, making it real obvious that we were visiting. Everyone else was wearing peach colored badges with their names, clearly separating them from us. Before we could even make it into the sanctuary, we were asked to sign the guestbook. Then we were asked three more times by the people sitting around us if we had signed it yet, and someone insisted we also fill out one of the guest cards in the pew. Most everybody was very friendly though, introducing themselves to us and whatnot. Music was enjoyable. The pastor gave a good sermon. I started feeling a bit more comfortable.
After the service, it took us about ten minutes for whatever reason to actually make our way out of the sanctuary. As we were filing out with everyone else, people kept telling us about the refreshments that were being served in the gym. I started to wonder if these were the world's best cookies and donuts the way they were being raved about.

When I stopped in the bathroom leaving Gregg to wait for me out in the hallway, he must have been told yet another 20 times to go join the fellowship already in progress. He had to politely, but firmly, tell them he was waiting for his wife. When I came out, somebody said to us "I hear you're the new couple". The new couple? I almost cringed. Um, no. We haven't joined your church. We're only visiting, thank you.

I don't think we could have gotten out of there fast enough. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry when we got into the car. I hate to critique a church, but when I attend somewhere for the first time I really don't want a big flashing neon sign above my head that says "Guest". It's uncomfortable.

I'm so discouraged. Instead of finding what I'm looking for, I end up feeling like more of an outsider. Those people meant well, they really did. But. I have to wonder who they're really reaching out to, labeling their first time visitors and constantly barraging them with invitations to have cookies? As Christians, we have got to do a better job at reaching the lost for Jesus.

In other news, in less than two weeks we'll be heading down to our nation's capital for my sister's wedding. I have my final dress (a.k.a. tent) fitting next weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing my little sis finally tie the knot with her long time beau, but not to the frenzy of activity that will take place. I'm already anticipating having to sit some activities out, being 35+ weeks pregnant and in the middle of a hot D.C. summer.

On the preggo front, I've been feeling pretty ginormous lately. There's seriously a watermelon where my tummy used to be! It's hard like a basketball, too. At certain times of the day, there's a part of my belly that feels harder than others. Like one side of the baby is scrunched up against my uterine wall. At first it freaked me out, but now I think it's pretty neat. :)
I haven't been able to see my feet for weeks, so it's actually a good thing it's summertime because I can wear nothing but sandals. I'm not sleeping all that well most nights, either. There's so much on my mind and it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a comfortable position in bed.

It's good to know I am not alone in this journey. It seems like every time I log on to post lately, another blogger announces her pregnancy! There will be quite the flurry of new births over the next six months. Last night I had fun filling in the first few pages of Baby Boy's memory book; a bit about mine and Gregg's backgrounds, how we first found out we were expecting, baby's family tree. As I was writing, it hit me again that from now on I will be referred to as "mommy". I still retain my first name of course, but as far as my little boy will be concerned I am just mommy.

We've finally compiled a pretty good list of names for him, names we'd both be happy with. They were hard to come up with, since there aren't many boy names we're crazy about. We have a whole slew of girls' names, but I don't think our son would appreciate it if we named him Emma or Hayley.

Here's my 33rd week pic: