Friday, February 22, 2013

Barefoot and Pregnant

38 weeks
I've decided this baby will come April 1. Because it all seems like a joke now, that whole lay-on-the-couch-for-10-weeks-to-stop-labor.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Baby Story

With each of the girls, I've written a story about their pregnancy, labor and delivery, telling about the scary moments, the exciting moments, the happy moments.

This baby is going to have one big story.

I’d say it starts back to last January/February, when we had a miscarriage. That further affirmed that we were ready for one more addition to our little family.

Fast forward to July, when baby ran his/her first race. I was just a bit pregnant when I ran the 5K Color Run in Kansas City. I knew it, and took it easy and drank lots of water because of it.

Fast forward to August, when we had a big scare. While on vacation in a cabin at a park in Nebraska, I woke up to a big bleed. I thought for sure the pregnancy was over, and per our doctor’s orders, went to the nearest ER for evaluation. I couldn’t see the screen while they did the ultrasound, but Jay could, and his face lit up as he recognized a little heartbeat. I was diagnosed with subchorionic bleed, which thank goodness stabilized. It meant I needed to take it easy, no more running for sure, and just relax. It was kind of nerve wracking for a few weeks, but then things calmed down and I thought that was the worst this pregnancy would throw at us.

October we had our ultrasound and left the appointment confidant and happy. The baby looked to be fully developed, everything where it should be. But, later that week, we got the call that there was a questionable spot on the baby's heart. Oh, and we won't be able to do a good follow-up until January. But, doctor thought the spot was just due to baby's movements, wasn't concerned. I tried to relax, but it was scary. Definitely scary. The January follow-up ultrasound proved doctor right, and baby does in fact look, in Mary Poppin's words, "perfectly perfect in every way."

Then, December 4, contractions started to come closer and closer until they were every 2-3 minutes. I tried drinking water, taking a bath, walking, laying down, all the usual tricks. Then, I headed to the doctor’s office, then to the hospital for monitoring. We got the contractions slowed down, and I headed home. The next day, more contractions, another trip to Manhattan, more drugs, but again successful… as long as I stayed laying down.

And that began a very long ten weeks, most of which I spent laying down on the couch or in the bed. Thank goodness for friends and family, for helping Jay with the girls. Thank goodness for Procardia, for weakening the contractions I was having. Thank goodness for a doctor and nurse who were patient with me, reassuring, calming. Thank goodness for donated books and the iPad, for entertainment. Thank goodness for AFLAC and retirement, to get us through what would become 4 months of no paycheck from me.  Thank goodness for an employer who understands and is holding my job for when I return.

At 36 weeks gestation, the meds stopped and the restrictions were lifted. I think we all thought the baby would come shortly after. But, no. I progress at a snails pace. I am ahead of the game compared to the girls’ pregnancies, progressing at 36 weeks where I usually am at 38 weeks.

Now, at 37 weeks 4 days, dilated and on the edge of true labor, we had a snow storm. A big one. An expected snowfall of 22+ inches, at one point. We debated back and forth for days about whether I should go to Manhattan and stay in a hotel to be closer to the hospital, knowing Jay would need to be here to take care of the girls and his garden. Contractions picked up Wednesday and other symptoms made me think things were close. And so, I spent a quiet, expensive night in a hotel. Then, I spent a nice day with my cousin at her apartment, also in Manhattan. Then, I looked at the roads and the radar and actual snowfall (more like 6-8 inches) and forecast and the slowed contractions, and I drove 45 miles to get back home to my family…just in time for the next snow band.

Now, things feel normal. After the drive home, I’m confidant Jay can get me back to Manhattan if need be. The roads were really not that bad, and even a few extra inches would make it a difficult trip but not impassable. Contractions are about every 15 minutes but nothing to call about. I’m not even breathing through them. And I’ll be able to make Natalie’s birthday cake tomorrow, for her big day Saturday, and enjoy watching the girls play in the snow tomorrow.

You see, this is the third time they’ve had the chance to play in the snow, but the last two, I was stuck on a couch. This time, I might even get to bundle up myself and get out in it, help make a snowman or snow fort, truly enjoy at least one day of this winter.

Maybe Natalie will share her birthday with baby. Maybe the next big low pressure system (Monday?) will bring baby. Maybe I’ll be pregnant in March. We don’t know. But for now, we are the calm IN the storm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Funnies for the Grouch

Oscar has nothing on me. I am one grouchy mama.
Lainie and I had matching attitudes this morning
But I am trying to find the humor in things.
Mags is always ready for a silly face

Like this morning, when Natalie threw a fit because I wouldn't let her wear her jeans backwards. "but moo-oom, I like the rainbows (on the back pockets) better than the flowers!"
Tidbit of atti-toot-ie this morning

Or Natalie this morning walking around and around the kitchen with her stocking cap pulled down to her nose. "it's otay, Mommy, I can still see...enough.".

Morning silly faces
Or last night at supper, when I was again the target:
Lainie: Wow, mommy, you are fast!
Katie: What?!
Lainie: Mommy is fast!
Katie: oh, I thought you said she was fat.
Maggie: Well, she is that, too. Sorry, mommy, but you kind of are.

Gotta love them, right?
Watching for the bus

On a side note, Katie has finally kicked her four day virus. She's sitting up this morning, eating, and even talking. Thank goodness!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A little closer

A week later and not much has changed. I'm about the same size, about the same grouchiness, about the same soreness, and trying really hard to be patient. Baby looks good, heartbeat is strong, active at times.

We have a big snowstorm coming Wednesday, maybe, probably. Maybe that will kick this prodromal labor into the real deal?

Meanwhile, I'm trying to make the most of the pre-baby non-restricted days. I went for a walk last week. We watched a basketball game, and visited our friends' new neice/cousin for a little baby-fix. We made 4 meals worth of pigs in a blanket and put them in the freezer, and hopefully I'll make a bunch of waffles and get them frozen tomorrow. We had movie night on Saturday, and church and 4-H on Sunday.And, I have almost everything ready for Natalie's birthday Saturday, and have a menu and clothes laid out for this week, in case baby decides to come.

The girls have kept things lively this past week, too. Friday, Maggie scratched Natalie's eye, resulting in a corneal abrasion. Sounds bad, hurts bad, heals quickly, thankfully. Saturday night, Katie came down with what looks like influenza. I didn't take her in, because she was feeling better Monday morning but she's still sleeping...since Saturday.

And then there are the things that have come out of their mouths.

Katie, working on a family metaphor, was asked if Daddy was the bowl, because he holds us together. Her answer: "No, Mommy needs to be the bowl, because she's big and round."

Natalie, trying to help me through a nasty batch of contractions during the basketball game, said, "I know why your tummy hurts. My tummy hurts when I need to poop. I think you just need to poop."

Another Natalie-ism, when asked if she wants a brother or sister, said, "I think it's a girl, because a boy would just be weird."

At this point, boy or girl, I am just ready to meet this little one. Any day now, baby. Any day!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Comfort vs Discomfort

Comfort is...reading time with sisters. Thanks to our local library's reading program, the girls were all about books tonight:

Discomfort is...fighting through nightly contractions while your daughters take pictures. Oh, and wearing your husband's pajama pants, because they don't have a waistband:

Saturday, February 9, 2013

By the numbers

36 weeks
43 inches around
36 cm fundal height (as it should be)
12 inches wide
35 pounds gained

4 canvases
4 painters
2 hours
countless colors




 2 parks 
2 hours
countless giggles
1 tired mommy
4 happy girls

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Smooth move, exlax

Wow. Haven't heard that phrase (smooth move, exlax) in years. But oh, did I have a smooth move. I tried walking out to the car, with only my purse in my hand, and did a header. Or, maybe I should call it a belly-er, since that's what hit first. Five hours in L&D and a day later, and I have a happy still-gestating baby, a road-rash belly, a sore shoulder, and a hurt pride to show for it. Baby is still baking away, none the worse for wear. In fact, baby jalapeno reassured me within minutes of the fall, doing a little jiggle-kick. But wowza, that was scary and painful and not something I want to go through again. 

The annoying part is I have been so careful walking up and down the stairs, making sure to hold the hand rail, especially since I haven't seen my feet while standing for weeks. I wasn't trying to text and walk or even talk and walk. I wasn't distracted by anyone, since I was the only one home. I wasn't even chewing gum! I was just walking. Apparently, walking and gestating is too multi-tasking for me, at this point.

But all is well now. Next doc appointment on Friday, just two more glorious days of Procardia.

And I leave you with what is apparently my family's definition of "looking ginormous":

Saturday, February 2, 2013

42 or less

We made it to 35 weeks. Just six more days of Procardia. Then, we'll get to see what all these contractions can really do.

35 weeks. Nat showing off her belly, too.

This week, we finished up a few more essentials before baby arrives. Jay and I both got haircuts, and we went out for a night on the town for a family date night. We packed the diaper bag, complete with take-home outfits (one boy, one girl). We got the carseat ready to roll. I charged up my ipod shuffle with good labor music, which is awfully similar to my running/workout music.

We got the crib ready, complete with our wall art:

And, oh so important, we got the Big Sister shirts made:

The front of the shirts say, "Team Slick Big Sister"
I've been blest with some friends and Jay who have distracted me, as much as possible, from the contractions. We've ate out for lunch, had a birthday party, brought over an exercise ball (to bounce out the contractions), sent random Web pages to waste time, and so much more.

Speaking of friends, I've got a few friends going through some difficult times: losing a grandparent, coping with a sick parent, waiting for a diagnosis for themselves. They are too private for me to share names, but just please say up an extra prayer for comfort, strength, and if at all possible, only good news.