Friday, December 26, 2014

A Letter To My Baby

Hi Baby Boy!

I can't believe we are now at 41 weeks. Your due date came and went, and you are still so cozy in my belly that you just aren't ready to meet the big outside world yet.  As much as this has been driving me crazy this week (your mom's a bit of a control freak), I know that this is OK, you are healthy and strong and content where you are, and you will be here before we know it.  There's no way around that!  

Even though I've been fixated on the when of your arrival, I also think all the time about YOU being here.  It's fun to imagine what our lives will be like, what you will look like, what kind of amazing little person you will grow up to be, etc.  A big part of me feels like the actual event of your arrival is still so surreal- a dream, almost. But I know it IS real, and that before long, we will hold you in our arms and wonder what life was like before you.  It is exciting to think about meeting a little being that no one in the world has ever met or laid eyes on before! 

Want to know a secret? As excited as I am to meet you, I'm also a little sad to think about it not just being you and me anymore- we won't ever be this close again. For 9+ months, I've had you all to myself.  We go everywhere and do everything together, but before I know it, you will be a little person all your own. People are so excited to meet you, but I have been the only one lucky enough to have known you all this time already. I can't wait to introduce you to all the people that love you so much already, but I'm also a teeny bit sad at the thought of having to share you. I just love you so much, and I have LOVED every day of it being just the two of us. But let's be honest- IT. IS. TIME.  So come on little man, when you are ready, come on out and join us- the world has lots in store for you!  

Your Mom

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41 Weeks - Baby, You're LATE!

December 25, 2014

Photo Thoughts: Merry Christmas!  Have you ever seen someone more pregnant than me?  41 weeks- sheesh.  Even the pregnancy websites and apps have run out of fruits for me to compare my baby to, so I will just settle for standing by our mini Christmas tree and holding the "My First Christmas" outfit that our little guy was supposed to wear today.  Womp. Also- Christmas day + reaching 41 weeks = no makeup, no real clothes for the day!

How I'm Feeling: On a positive note- I'm excited for Christmas of course! And I got to sleep in really ridiculously late today.  But aside from that, I have quite honestly been a total scrooge and just generally unpleasant to be around this week.  The end of pregnancy is rough- physically and emotionally.  And I'd say it gets even harder with each day past your due date you go.  I've been really emotional- just about anything makes me cry, I've basically stopped returning text messages or answering phone calls (no news mean, NO NEWS people!), and I'm just kind of feeling discouraged and frustrated with my body (why doesn't it know what to do?!).  I try to remind myself that having an overdue baby is much better than having a premature baby and that I should be grateful that I have had such a healthy pregnancy, but it is still HARD.  David, like most males I'd say, is generally at a loss of what to do when women get emotional, but he has been so supportive this week and has been a good voice of reason when I lose perspective.  

This photo was taken as I laid in bed after waking up on the morning after my due date. My view was the bassinet currently serving as a pillow holder, and the very gray and rainy weather outside.  Womp. Womp. 
Keeping this on file in my phone for the unlucky person that pushes me over the edge
Baby/Bump: No one has a comparison fruit or vegetable for me this week. Baby is the size of a baby that needs to come out- let's just leave it at that.  

The bump is getting more and more impressive by the day.  David is newly impressed each morning with my continued progress toward (and past?) "large and in charge."  

Symptoms: The usual- back aches, tail bone pain, sore ribs, and most of all ALL THE EMOTIONS AND HORMONES.

Weight: Same this week. Amazingly.  I've been pigging out on Christmas treats... although I seem to have less and less appetite for actual meals.  So at 41 weeks, my total weight gain stands at 27 pounds.  

What I'm Loving: I'm tempted to say nothing, but in attempts to not be a total negative Nancy, I will say that I am still loving and really trying to enjoy feeling these last (however many) days that I will get to feel my baby move in my belly.  Although sometimes it does feel like I am going to be pregnant forever, I know that I won't, and I know for sure that I will miss these movements.  

What I'm Anticipating: BABY'S ARRIVAL.  I mean, it's not like I'm looking forward to labor and delivery and that whole event, but I feel like I'm about 8943890 weeks pregnant, so I'm finally at the point of just being ready to be DONE. It is still so crazy to me that something that is such a major life event is so unpredictable and beyond my control.  It's hard not knowing.  But I do know he will be here soon, and I can't wait to meet this little stinker.  

Sleep: No problem sleeping, and I'm SO glad!  But I do get pretty sad for a few minutes each morning that I wake up and realize, "Oh, nothing happened last night. I'm still here in my bed. Stiiiiiill pregnant."
Exercise: Walking 1-2 miles per day and bouncing like a crazy person on the exercise ball.  I get very crampy and have some contractions while I walk, but as soon as I get home and sit down, they immediately stop.  I've also recently started forcing myself to climb the stairs 3-5 times each time I need to go upstairs.  This has also resulted in me finding every reason not to go upstairs.  

Movement: Baby boy is still moving a good amount, although it is definitely slowing down a little bit, as he is obviously running out of space.  I notice he is most active in the evenings.  When he does move, it is so strong, and I can tell that there is so little that is actually separating HIM from the outside.  Sometimes it feels like he is actually trying to break out of there!

Boy or Girl: Baby boy!

Milestones: Is reaching 41 weeks a milestone?  It should be. 

Doctor Updates: I had a 40w5d appointment with a nurse practitioner on Tuesday.  I'm still at the same 2 cm that I was last week, but I'm 75% effaced now- but apparently that means nothing to my body. I was so desperate for something to happen with this baby, that I even requested ANOTHER membrane sweep. I was convinced the one last week was going to be successful since I did have some good signs shortly afterwards (I'll spare you), but it wasn't. So desperate times call for desperate requests.  Second time's the charm?  Anyways, it was a generally frustrating appointment. I left with an induction date scheduled (which I'm not announcing btw- partly because I don't want it to be real, and partly because if I make it to that point, I'd like to still have some element of surprise in baby's arrival), but I wasn't happy about having to schedule that.  I was proud of myself for asking lots of hard questions of her, like "why is this considered medically necessary in MY case- especially since I haven't had any problems in this pregnancy, and both baby and I are still very healthy?" She gave me a generic answer about how when you approach 42 weeks, the placenta can deteriorate, and she kept throwing out the scare term of "risk of fetal demise."  I'm not one to mess around when people drop terms like "fetal demise," but I do feel like she was somewhat trying to scare me.  So I left with the official eviction notice, but told her I would like to discuss it with my husband and have the option to call the next morning if I wanted to postpone induction another few days. I talked to David when I got home, and we decided to go ahead with what is scheduled.  But fingers, toes, eyes crossed that this baby comes on his own before then. 

The official eviction notice. Let's just hope I can throw this away without use...
Final Thoughts: I think the biggest thing I'm struggling with is just letting go of this idea I had in my head of going into labor on my own.  It was a scary thought, but somewhat exciting too to wonder about where I would be when it happened, imagining waking David in the middle of the night or calling him at work, the hurried drive to the hospital, etc.  So it's difficult now to accept that there's a pretty good chance that my labor process and the beginning of the end of this pregnancy will likely look very different than I had imagined.  It's hard to think that maybe my body just doesn't know what to do. My pregnancy has truly been nearly perfect, so it's hard to accept that my labor might have to begin with drugs.  I'm in a big "trying to let go" mindset right now.  It's hard, but I'm working on it.  David is good at reminding me that the important thing is healthy baby and healthy mom- so I'm trying to just focus on that. 

But you better believe that I will still be hoping and praying to go into labor on my own up until the very minute that we have to arrive for induction. Wish us luck!

One thing is for sure though- there will NOT be a 42 week update! :-)    photo signature.jpg

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Family Pregnancy Reveals

Shortly after we found out I was pregnant, I started to think about how I wanted to share the big news with our families.  Because we don't live in the same city or state as any of our immediate family, I was a little sad at not being able to share the news in person, but that just meant I would need to be a little more creative in my reveals.  I also knew that it would be important to me to "see" and record their reactions.  This is where Facetime and Google Talk proved very useful.

For each of our parents and siblings, I decided that we would send a onesie with the appropriate "I Love My _________" printed on the front. For David's parents, we were actually able to be there for the reveal, so it was easy to just give the gift to them ourselves and then get the video rolling.  For our siblings I had send them by mail, but then make sure that someone (husband, boyfriend, friend, etc.) was aware that a gift was coming and enforce that they not open the gift before calling me.  A little suspicious, but it worked out without anyone suspecting what it was all about (I think).  And for my mom, I had my good friend Sarah deliver the gift on Mother's Day and record the event for me. 

I'm so glad that I was able to catch everyone's reactions on camera, so it was fun to put this little video together.  Disclaimer about my brother's video- I was an idiot and totally forgot that we were both using headsets to talk/listen to each other, so unfortunately what I videoed obviously has no sound.  Oh well, his facial reaction says enough.  

Video Order:
-My mom on Mother's Day (love the dogs freaking out)
-My brother and his scary beard
-My sister
-David's dad on Father's Day (and the rest of his family around the table)
-My cousins and aunt/uncle
-My grandma, Mimi (who was confused about the ultrasound picture I was displaying and though I was trying to show her a picture of a new kitten I got- HA!)

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Houston Baby Shower

November 15, 2014

My good friends who I met in Australia, Kim and Lori, and my sister-in-law, Renee, worked together to plan another beautiful baby shower for Baby H and I- but this time in Houston.  They chose a Fall theme with lots of "lil' pumpkin" references, and it turned out so cute!  They did such a wonderful job.  This baby shower brought together a pretty eclectic group of family, former co-workers, new co-workers, and friends from Australia.  It was so fun to have everyone all in one place.  I feel lucky to have met such great support networks here in Houston who all love and support Baby H so much already!  

Take a look at some of the great decorations, food, and activities they organized!


Clockwise from top, left: Guest favors (pumpkin coffee and pumpkin bark); guest sign-in; bib decoration station; "write Baby H a birthday card" and send your wishes to baby activities
And here are my lovely hostesses!

Renee, Lori, Me, Kim (& Sully!)
Some of the ladies who came to shower Baby H:

My mother-in-law and sister-in-law
My good friend and former co-worker, Yesenia
My sister-in-law, Christine
Sierra- present assistant extraordinaire (as you'll see in the photos below)!
My favorite teachers! 
Former co-worker and now fellow preggo, Sharon
My Aussie turned Houston girls- Casey, Lori, Me, Kim
David's side of the family- Renee, Fina, Me, Christine, Tess
And take a look at some of the great loot that we were so generously showered with:

Clockwise from top, left: My new Coach diaper bag!; so many cute baby clothes, present supervisor at work, baby Northface!
I received the most beautiful quilt put together by the group of girls I befriended in Australia. We are all spread across the world now, and somehow they managed to organize this quilt while in Australia, Indonesia, Canada, and the US.  This was SUCH a special gift! On the back it says, "Assembled with love from around the world by your mum's mates." 

And a closer look at some favorite gifts: Pee-pee Teepees, baby Northface, and Baby's first pair of Air Jordans!

Another great baby shower for Baby H in the books! It was such a fun and memorable day!

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Phoenix Baby Shower

DISCLAIMER: Yep, still pregnant. Since that's nothing I can really do anything about, I am trying to take advantage of this extra time I have and use it to catch up on some blog posts that I had intended to do, but never got around to. This is more for my memory and future photobook-making than anything else.  So apologies in advance for the mega baby blog post influx.  

October 11, 2014

In October, my mom, sister, and cousin threw me and Baby H the most wonderful Baby Shower in Phoenix. The theme was centered around Children's Books, and they did such a great job with everything.  It was perfect! I loved that I had the chance to celebrate back in Phoenix with so many of my family members and friends.  

Here are some of the details:

And here are some photos of my beautiful hostesses:
Hostesses at work- my sister is the best bartender!

Aunt and grandma in the making
My lovely hostesses

With my dad before we kicked him out
Some of the guests:

My grandma here to celebrate her 8th (I think) great grandchild
My cousin organized a fun onesie decorating station. I was SO impressed with how creative and artistic everyone was!  I'm excited for our little guy to sport these onesies!



Present time! Baby H was definitely showered with so many generous and thoughtful gifts!  And he has a GREAT start to his baby library.  

After the party was over, we caught this little thief trying to claim one of the gifts as her own!  Sophie the giraffe has mass appeal

Thank you mom, Lauren, and Lee Anne for such a perfect day! We are so lucky to have so much love and support!

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

End of Pregnancy Musings

A funny thing happens in your head when you wake up on the morning of your due date (and again the morning after your due date)... in your own bed... feeling totally normal- especially after a membrane sweep the day before left you hopeful it would be an eventful night.  As much as you tell yourself you're not in a hurry and as many times as you are reminded that "he will come when he is ready," you still feel like maybe you are letting people down, and you still start to worry that maybe your body doesn't know what to do.  It's a head trip for sure.  But that's kind of where I am now.  Where?  Well, all over the place, I guess.  So, over the past few days, as is to be expected, I've been thinking a lot about my pregnancy as a whole, the end of this pregnancy, and what unknowns lie ahead.  So, please bear with me as I share a sort of stream of consciousness about some things on my mind.

Ready But Not

In just the past couple days, I shifted from waking up each morning thinking "phew, I'm still pregnant" to waking up thinking, "oh, I'm still pregnant. Something must be wrong with me." And "Great- today I will have to tell more people who will surely ask that yes, I am still pregnant"  I always knew that I wanted to be a mom, and I was SO very excited when we found out I was pregnant.  I also really lucked out that I had such an easy pregnancy. Because of those things, it was very easy for me to enjoy being pregnant and to be really be proud of what my body was doing- it's an amazing thing!  So in that sense, I kind of felt ready in some ways.  However, despite all of that, I have really had a hard time getting my head on board with what it all actually means. The bigger picture of pregnancy and its obvious end result has felt very surreal and abstract to me this entire time. I mean, obviously I know what the end result is (and I'm SO excited, I really am!), but it's like I just can't picture myself actually there.  My head, and yes, sometimes even my heart, are having a hard time getting on board... especially as the end nears.  I'm ready, and I'm not ready. All at the same time.

Did I Appreciate It Enough?

Like I said before, I really have enjoyed being pregnant.  And I am so thankful that this experience has been such a positive one for both David and I.  However, sometimes, because of that, I wonder if I appreciated it enough  and worry that I took it for granted.  I've been thinking about that recently because in the last couple weeks, I've found myself already feeling somewhat nostalgic when I think about what it will be like when it's over.  Will I miss being pregnant?  Did I spend enough time rubbing my belly or just sitting with my hands on my belly and thinking about my baby?  I was never one to sing to, read to, or even talk a whole lot to the baby like I feel like everyone else you hear about does.  Will I regret that?  Did I spend enough time just feeling and watching the baby move?  Toward the end, I actually sometimes found myself getting annoyed when the movements were so much that they were distracting, or so strong that they hurt! How awful is that?!  Don't get me wrong, I DID spend my fair share of time relaxing on the couch, watching my belly move in waves and just being in awe of the little life inside me causing all that movement.  But I also would feel so much guilt when these same movements (especially the rough and painful ones) would start to actually annoy or distract me. I do know that I will miss these parts of pregnancy a lot though. So I'm trying to soak it up while I can!  And I hope that I am able to experience it all again one day. 

What Will It Be Like...

...To have the baby?  ...Once the baby is here?  I already mentioned that this part remains very abstract and surreal to me, as I'm sure it is for all about-to-be-first-time-parents. I mean, how can you know what to expect?!  Because I felt like it was totally abstract for so long, it was easy for me to just kind of not think about what it would be like.  I'm good at denial ;-)  But I am thinking about it a lot now (duh).  And it's just so hard still to think about David and I actually at that point.  I've read about a million birth stories (they're my favorite), but I cannot in anyway whatsoever even begin to picture myself in that position- on the way to the hospital, getting admitted, having contractions, etc.  There's no way around it, but I still just can't even begin to imagine myself at that point.  Which is silly because it literally could happen any minute or hour now.  I also struggle to imagine what life will be like with the baby here. Will I have that "insta-love" that you hear so much about?  Or might it take me a bit longer to become attached to this tiny human?  I know both can be totally normal reactions.  What will home life be like- especially when all the visitors are gone? Will I ever sleep again? ;-)  Very normal questions, I know.  But I guess somehow I thought I might be more confident in thinking about these things playing out.  

Wow, I'm a total head case.  And awfully hormonal.  But it felt good to get that all out there.  And I think this is something I will enjoy reading back over a couple months from now.  I'm fairly certain that I will wish that I could have told 9+ month pregnant Megan to chill out, relax, and swear to her that everything will be OK and turn out great- better than she even imagined probably.  I will also probably wish I could have told her to GO TO BED, and stop blogging her hormones at nearly 1 AM for crying out loud! :-)  

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Friday, December 19, 2014

40 Weeks - A Jack Fruit

Dec. 18, 2014

Photo Thoughts:  So THAT is what it looks like to be 40 weeks pregnant.  Nesting was a major theme this week, hence the crazy cleaning lady photo.  Also, can we just ignore the fact that I'm now realizing this outfit makes me look like a Duggar?  What can I say? Wardrobe options are very limited at this point. 

How I'm Feeling: Well, I am officially 40 weeks pregnant. This was a milestone that I wasn't sure I would make it to, but here I am.  This milestone has proven to be mentally rough for me.  I find myself questioning every little twinge or ache, wondering, "Is this it?"  "Will this be my last..." It's exhausting.  All at different times this week, and sometimes even all at different points throughout the day, I have felt: excited, nervous, annoyed, pressured, worried, disappointed, manic, etc.  The end of this pregnancy business is no joke- it has been a real emotional roller coaster for me. 

Baby/Bump: Nothing new or monumental with baby at this point. Just continuing to grow hair and nails, and develop his lungs.  It's crazy to think that I have a fully "ready to go" person just chillin' in there.  

According to David, my belly is getting noticeably bigger and rounder by the day.  He never really mentions things like that, so when he does, I know it must really be a change.  Plus, it sure does feel like its' getting bigger and rounder all the time.  I finally realized that this growing belly can be useful. The other day I was sitting on the couch entering addresses into my laptop for Christmas cards. I placed my iPhone on the top of my belly and realized it was the perfect little resting place for it. I could look up contacts in my phone book and see them easily while I transferred them to the website I was using. How useful!

Symptoms: A lot of the same as last week: tail bone pain, nausea the second I lay on my back, my ribs are STILL sore from those crazy kicks, and more frequent and more intense "lightning crotch."  I hope that means something is happening. Oh, and nesting to the extreme!

Weight: I was surprised to see I hadn't gained any weight again this week, especially because I've been indulging like crazy.  So, I stand at +27.0 total. 

What I'm Anticipating: The end!  Sometimes I can't wait for it to be here.

What I'm Stressing About/Worries: The end!  Sometimes I don't want it to be here at all!

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: I'm letting myself indulge in basically anything I want. It's a good time of year for that, too! If you can't indulge when you're 40 weeks pregnant, when can you?

Sleep: I'm still sleeping well! I get up once a night to go to the bathroom; however, now it is taking me a while to fall back asleep after that.  I'm pretty sure that is due to my brain immediately flipping through my to do list and getting anxious about what lies ahead.  It does take a while, but I always do manage to shut it off and eventually fall back asleep.

Exercise: I'm done. I threw in the towel this week.  For the past couple of afternoons though, I've been taking a little walk around the neighborhood in hopes that that might get things moving a little bit. If nothing else, it's nice to get out and enjoy the nice weather. 

Movement: Still lots and lots! I think I said this last week, but I'm starting to already feel sad about missing this feeling soon.  I always wonder if I took enough time to pay attention to him moving, to put my hands on my stomach, and to just enjoy it. 

Boy or Girl: Baby boy coming soon!

Comment of the Week: "But you look so wide to be having a boy."  Um, thanks? Sorry?  How does one respond to that?

Dr. Updates: I had my 40 week appointment yesterday. I was measuring right at 39 cm, which she said was fine (I've been about 1 cm behind most of the time), and everything else she checks each week looked good. She did the internal exam and found that I had finally graduated past 1 cm and am 2 cm now. Big timer. I was really emotional during the appointment and told her I was so scared to get induced, so I had been teary before she reported this, and I told her she didn't have to say I was 2 cm finally just to make me feel better. Haha. She assured me she wasn't just saying that. We also agreed that she would do a membrane sweep- which is about as unpleasant as it sounds.  But the idea is that 50% of the time, this gets labor moving within 48 hours, so we will see soon enough which 50% I am in.  We also talked about my least favorite topic- induction. The hospital won't allow medically unnecessary inductions before 40w5d- which would be Dec. 23 for me. I told her I really didn't want to be in the hospital over Christmas, so for now, we are tentatively looking at the Friday or Saturday after Christmas if we need to do that.  I think I get upset because it's like I think that just because we talk about the possibility of induction that that means I am going to have one. Logical, right? My doctor told me that really it is very likely that labor will happen on its own well before we get to that point.  I sure hope she's right...

Bored while waiting in the exam room at what is hopefully my last appointment
Highlights of the Week:

-Baby: Our friends Gerald and Nary had their baby! Nary was due on 12/13- just five days before me. I was so excited when I heard the news, but I also have to admit that it gave me butterflies in my stomach thinking, "OK, I'm next."  

-Last Day of Work: Friday was my last day of work. I felt good about leaving because I had completed all of my projects, so it felt like the perfect time to leave. I was only slightly sad to leave... I was mostly just excited.  It was a good role for me to be in at this point in my life, but it's time for me to move on. 

-Early Anniversary Dinner: David and I went out to dinner for our 4th wedding anniversary on Friday. We thought we better celebrate early, since our actual anniversary (Dec. 18) is also my due date.  

-Maternity Leave: Monday was the first day of my "maternity leave."  Sunday night I made the most epic multi-page to do list you've ever seen, and then Monday morning I hit the ground running. I am definitely trying to take advantage of as much time as I end up having before baby... especially since I was so far behind to begin with.  Nesting is no joke.  You just get these crazy impulses that some random task must be done.  Like that very minute.  I seriously felt like I was on speed... nothing was safe from me cleaning it, organizing it, etc.  If you want proof, check out what I accomplished on Monday and Tuesday...

Ignore the laundry piles

Monday: 4 loads of baby laundry, deep cleaned guest bathroom, sent out last minute Christmas cards, hung a curtain rod, post office run, recycle center run, clothing donation run, bank, completed a HUGE Babies 'R' Us registry completion run, unpacked and put away all items from that shopping trip.

Tuesday: 2 more loads of laundry, finally put up mini Christmas tree, called Australia to deal with some bank issues, assembled Rock and Play, hung some lights outside, felt an uncontrollable urge to clean the exterior of all first floor windows (seriously), cleaned master bathroom, deep cleaned the kitchen.  And more similar craziness insued on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Will there be a 41 Week Post?...

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