Nursery Reveal!

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Decorating Brady’s nursery was probably my favorite prep ‘work’ of this pregnancy…

No, scratch that…  It most definitely was my favorite!  Seeing the plain, spare room transform into a nursery for our baby was exciting and something tangible that I could actually see come together, as my baby boy safely grew inside my belly.  (Not that his growth isn’t tangible, because – trust me – I can most definitely feel and see my big ol’ belly quite easily these days).  :)  Still, there’s something absolutely precious about immersing yourself in adorable baby things and dreaming of the day when your newborn will be there to snuggle with you in a room decorated just for him.

I’m sure that those who know me are as surprised as I am that the nursery was actually finished before baby Brady’s arrival.  I tend to be quite indecisive and particular when it comes to decorating my home.  In fact, it only took me about three years before I picked out paint colors for the house we now call home, and many of the walls are still bare.  ;)  Sometimes it’s due to budgeting, and it just takes awhile to save for the décor we really want.  But to be completely honest, I most often don’t know what I want and am determined to hold out for the perfect thing.

It’s not necessarily a bad trait, because – in the end – I do always love my choices and so there are no regrets when it comes to home improvement purchases.  But at the same time, at this rate, our house probably won’t be finished until Nate and I are retired.  (And by finished, I just mean that there will actually be things hung up on all the blank walls).

But somehow, when it came to the nursery, my vision just came together.  I did run into a few budgeting bumps in the road (and time constraints), which forced me to tweak my plans just a little.  (And my dad – an amazing carpenter – is still working on a homemade toy chest for us).  But for the most part, I was able to run with my ideas and to pull my nursery together… before the baby arrived.

Nate says that we made a good team, because I was the creative ‘genius’ while he was the muscle.  If we had our own decorating show, we’d have a clever name, like Belly and the Brawn.  But since we don’t, we’re still just Nicole and Nate, partners for life.  It just worked out really well…  Nate can’t stand looking at wall hangings and paint colors, while my idea of getting a room painted is bringing Nate a brush, snacks, and a beverage.  It just all came together, and – even if we finished at last minute – the important thing is that we finished!

I decided to go with a jungle-theme, although I didn’t get too carried away with it.  I decided to just use it as inspiration.  I had known, from the beginning, that I wanted to paint the walls gray; and they matched perfectly with the elephant curtains and quilt that my bestie Ashley sewed for me.  My parents had very generously bought us the mocha crib and changing table from Babys’R’Us, so Nate and I saved up for the dresser that matched.  And the beautiful mirror that my uncle had bought us as a wedding gift (still not hung up on any of the walls in the house) looked perfect above the dresser!  See, I had known all along that we’d find just the right spot for it!

The majority of the other decorations were gifts or purchases from Etsy.  (I had never shopped from Etsy before, but it was a great experience!  Plus I loved that I was supporting small business)!

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out…

Now we just need an itty-bitty baby for the room!  :)

 

 

 

 

Preggo Journal – Last One!

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As I reach the last week of pregnancy before my due date (November 26th), I thought that I’d do one more Preggo Journal, just to make sure that I fit it in!  (At this point in time, who knows when I’ll go into labor!  Ha, ha).

CAN YOU BELIEVE HOW FAST THIS PREGNANCY FLEW BY?!?  :)

 


How big is baby:  During last week’s ultra-sound, the tech said that she measured baby Brady as being 8 1/2 pounds already!!  And during this week’s ultra-sound, she kept commenting on his chubby cheeks and little, fat rolls.  So it seems as though he’s going to be a big boy who likes to eat!

Total weight gain:   I was spot on with my weight gain until my amniotic fluid started to get out of control.  In fact, last week (in just one week), I put on 9 more pounds!  Nine!!  I didn’t think that was possible (especially since I hadn’t changed my eating habits), but apparently the fluid is just building and building.  It’s all in my stomach!  So after that started happening, I kind of stopped keeping track, because there’s nothing I can do about the water-retention weight gain.  The doctors are just keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t cause any complications…

As always, all that matters to me is the health of me and my baby!  :)  And so far, Brady’s vitals are strong and healthy!

 Maternity clothesI’ve had a very easy pregnancy, and I can honestly say that I didn’t hit the I’m-super-uncomfortable stage until about a week ago.  Since then, I’ve been living in yoga pants, comfy sweaters, hot pink sneakers, flannel pajamas, and my fuzzy bathrobe.  ;)

Although I still take out my favorite maternity jeans and heeled boots on occasion, because – well – they’re cute.  And I’ve fallen in love with sweater dresses paired with leggings and fuzzy boots!

I’ve also raided my hubby’s closet.  I don’t have a winter coat that fits around my belly, and some days have been pretty chilly.  So when I go for a walk with Nate to get some exercise, I usually pair his over-sized sweatshirt with my winter vest.  I totally think it’s going to become a fashion trend…  ;)

 Sleep:   I’ve had bouts of pregnancy-related insomnia, but it usually hits for a few days… and then goes away for a few days.  This past week has been a good week for sleep, other than the waking up every other hour to use the bathroom.  In fact, I’ve been falling asleep earlier and earlier these days, with bedtime two nights ago being as early as 8pm!

Awkward moment of this week:   This isn’t an awkward moment as much as it’s a we-weren’t-really-thinking-moment.  :)

One of our favorite places to go walking is a State Park in the area…  Well, as always, we were walking through the woods (about a mile from the car) on a lovely afternoon, when I suddenly stopped, looked up at Nate, and said, “Wait, what if I went into labor right now?  What if my water broke?  We’re over a mile away from the road or help!”

Nate instantly looked panicked and said, “Do you need to walk slower?”

I replied with, “No, no, I’m fine.  But what if…”

“Then let’s walk faster,” he said, cutting me off and instantly turning us around.

It was actually a little scary on the way back, because I had a few good Braxton Hicks contraction cramps.  All I could think about was going into labor in the middle of the woods and how uncomfortable that would be.  Ha, ha.  Thankfully, we made it back to civilization… and let’s just say that we’ll stick to the campground roads that have car access, from now on!  :)

 Best moment of this week:   Finishing the nursery!  YES, we finally finished the baby’s room yesterday, and pics will be up the minute I take them!  :)

AND we put up white Christmas lights in the window!  :)  I took a nap on Monday afternoon and woke up to find that Nate had put them up for me and had set up the baby swing in the living room.  I was over-the-moon excited… and the room felt oh-so-cozy!!

 Food cravings:   Seafood!  If I wasn’t restricted as to the amount of fish I was allowed to eat, I’d eat it every day!  And honestly, I’ve been on a veggie kick too.  I just want fresh food… and chocolate!  ;)

I really do always want chocolate… but that was kind of a problem before I was pregnant.  Ha, ha.

Symptoms:  Slightly swollen hands and feet, but they’re really not that bad…  I’ve been getting quite a few Braxton Hicks contractions every day (but nothing really painful)…  My back is sore by the end of each day…  And I had my first pregnancy-related migraine the other night.  It was no joke, especially since I couldn’t take anything to make it go away.  (Actually, I learned afterward that I could have taken Tylenol, but I didn’t realize that at the time).  I thought my head was going to explode, and even just resting my head on my pillow hurt too badly.  So I ended up sitting on the downstairs couch all night, praying for the pain to go away.  Needless to say, it was a long night!

Happy or moody most of the time:    Still happy!  (I tell Nate ALL the time that he should be very grateful for the fact that I didn’t have a moody pregnancy)!  :)

Labor signs:  Just those Braxton Hicks contractions.  And I know my due date is soon, because my mom now calls every day (several times a day) to find out how I’m feeling (which I’m fairly certain is her way of asking “Are you going into labor yet?” without actually asking that).  :)  It’s cute, because I know that she’s as excited as we are.  And I’m blessed to have a family that cares so much!!

Sadly, at Monday’s doctor appointment, the doctor told me that I’m not dilated at all yet.  Pooh!  :)  And apparently they don’t induce for big babies, so he could be cooking for a couple of weeks yet if he decides that he doesn’t want to come on time!  So it’s still a waiting game!!  :)

Final thought:  I seriously can’t wait to meet baby Brady!!!  :)  I can’t believe that I’ll be a mom so soon!

Celebrating Nate’s Birthday… 13 days early

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In years past, Nate’s birthday has kind of slid by under the radar, seeing as how it always falls directly before or after Thanksgiving.  In fact, last year, it fell on Thanksgiving.  So as special as my husband is to me, and despite how much I adore and love him, I’m often shopping for his birthday gift the day before his birthday.  *Insert sheepish grin*

It’s just that previously, I’ve worked a full-time job, and his birthday always fell right before Quarter End (the pull-out-your-hair stressful season). And then there were the pies and side dishes I had to whip together for family get-togethers.  Oh, and Black Friday shopping had to be accounted for too.  ;)  (In other words, the end of November is usually insanely busy without a birthday thrown in for good measure).  And although I’m always sure to make him his favorite meal and dessert of his choice, I do feel as though his special day isn’t as special as it should be.

Nate has never complained, but I did know that I wanted this year to be different.  Then I found out that my due date was two days before his birthday…

“Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas, Nate!  You get a baby this year!!”

Actually, if you ask me (or him) that’s a pretty amazing gift, but I still wanted to do something to celebrate his special day.

So despite the fact that his birthday isn’t until November 28th, I decided to ‘kidnap’ him this past weekend for a yummy lunch, Christmas shopping (so that we wouldn’t miss our usual tradition this year with the baby coming), and a movie of his choice.  (AND I’m happy to report that I’ve already picked him up a few birthday gifts… but he can’t open them until his actual birthday).  :)

Every year, Nate and I go Christmas shopping together to buy a new Christmas decoration for the house.  (If you watched my vlog the other day, then you know that I also already squeezed in Christmas shopping with my sister)!   :)  This year – Nate and I both agreed that we had to buy a tree skirt.  We’ve been married 6 years, and we’ve yet to have a tree skirt under our tree.  Shameful, I know.  Ha, ha.  So we checked that one off of our list right away, so that this year’s tree wouldn’t have to face Christmas half-dressed.

We also bought a gingerbread house kit!  I’ve been putting together a Christmas bucket list of festive, fun things that we can do, even with a newborn arriving in the next week or so.  And this pre-baked, all-inclusive kit will be an easy way for us to have a fun evening of cookie decorating without it being too time-consuming or too much work.

Throughout the course of the day, we found a Christmas ornament with baby’s name on it (although – to be honest – we didn’t buy it)…

…we enjoyed a delicious lunch out….

… AND I splurged on a decaf, gingerbread Starbucks latte, served in a red holiday cup.  (Oh, how I love those holiday cups!  Somehow, hot chocolate and latte’s just taste that much more delicious in them)!  :)

Nate picked out a movie, and we finished our date at the theater.

I’m SO glad that we had this special day-long date to celebrate his special day, even if we celebrated it early.  AND it was good practice, since we’ll have two birthdays to celebrate next November (Nate’s and Brady’s)!!

Hmmm, maybe next year I’ll have to throw a joint birthday party for my big guy and my little guy!  Although given my track-record of not always being on top of November birthdays, maybe I should start planning now?!?  :)

Let’s Get it Started in Here

10

As I got ready for this week’s ultrasound and non-stress test (to keep an eye on my amniotic fluid levels since I had too much last week), I found myself wondering if maybe – just maybe – I wouldn’t pass the test and therefore maybe I’d be induced.  (Between you and me, I’ve been against induction for my entire pregnancy, because I’ve heard that the contractions can be more intense due to the medication used to induce labor).  At this point in the game, however, I’m more than ready to ‘get this party started’, no matter what the doctor suggests.  Being pregnant actually was a much better experience than I could have imagined, but I’m now ready to meet my baby… and to be able to touch my toes again.  ;)

It’s amazing how one takes touching their toes for granted until they can no longer do it!

Now the doctor has never mentioned induction to me; but – still – as I did my makeup, I wondered if maybe this was woman’s intuition telling me to bring my hospital bag with me to the hospital.  Just in case!  And even if I was wrong, there was no harm in being prepared!  Better to have my hospital bags and to not need them, then to need them and have to go without.

I casually mentioned to Nate that we should probably bring the bags with us, just to be prepared, since we’d be driving the 20 minutes to the hospital.  I didn’t want to make him nervous or too excited, so I didn’t mention why.  Apparently, however, he had already come to the same conclusion, as the bags were already stashed in the Jeep.

On the drive to the hospital, he took my hand and said, “I’m so excited… and I’m proud of you, Babe!  Are you nervous?”

Nervous for an ultrasound and a painless, non-invasive stress-test?  No, not at all.  So I shook my head ‘no’, although I now knew that he was thinking the same thing as me.  Maybe today would be the day!

The ultrasound lasted an hour, and – as always – wasn’t painful.  BUT it was really uncomfortable for me.  Every so often, Brady would stretch out his little legs, pushing against my rib cage and straining my abdomen muscles against the wire in my bra, making it feel as though I was about to pull a muscle…or crack a rib.  ;)   Whenever I felt my muscles tense up like that, I’d try to adjust my posture to find a bit of relief, figuring that the way I was lying on the table was probably tensing my muscles.

I was a little disappointed to learn that my amniotic fluid levels were up even more, since they had already been too high before.  But I was relieved to learn that Brady is still doing well.  That’s all that ultimately matters!

Upstairs in Labor and Delivery, I was hooked up for the non-stress test. Again, I could feel the sudden tensing in my upper abdomen, near my rib cage, and the tightness around my bra strap increased.

“This bra is going to be the death of me,” I muttered to Nate, pulling up my bra a bit so that it didn’t strain so tightly.

Just then, the nurse came back in and asked, “Did you realize that you’re having contractions?”

Wait, what?!?  All this time, I had thought the tensing was just baby Brady stretching out against my ribs, when it was actually my body contracting!  This type of contraction was different than the other Braxton Hicks contractions I had experienced, which were more like light cramping.  Now that I knew it was a contraction, it made sense to me, as I really could feel the tightening muscles!  When I told the nurse that I had thought that my bra was just too tight, her eyes widened and then she just started to laugh.  At first, I felt kind of stupid.  But then, images of me going into labor and popping off my bra thanks to a really strong contraction came into my mind, and I started to giggle too.

Now that would be a story to tell one day!  ;)

The test lasted about an hour, and I had several light contractions during the course of it.  One of the last contractions was particularly strong (although not painful), so I told Nate that they did seem to be getting a bit more powerful.

“Are you timing them?” Nate asked, sitting up straight, the TV forgotten.  “Is anyone timing them?”

His concern was really sweet, but I quickly assured him that they were hardly five minutes apart or a minute long.  These types of contractions can go on for days before labor!

Another nurse walked in then as if sensing my husband’s concern and said, “You are free to go home now!”

My blood pressure was elevated, but not so severely that they were overly concerned.  But still, it was the first time in my pregnancy that it was actually high.  :(  But again, Brady wasn’t showing any signs of distress, so it was okay for us to go home.

Now that I knew what the light contractions felt like, however, I was more aware of them.  And I realized that I was getting them quite frequently throughout the rest of the day.  So even if it’s not quite ready yet (and even if Nate and I needlessly brought along hospital bags to my appointment), my body is definitely preparing for D-Day… which will be SOON!

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s doctor appointment to find out if I’m dilated at all!!  :)

 

 

Bits o’ This and That

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#1.  ‘Red Carpet’ by Sally Henson is my favorite nail color for November!  It’s a gorgeous, candy-apple red speckled with the tiniest flecks of glitter; and it’s perfect for the holiday season!!  That being said, don’t be fooled by the ‘Hard as Nails’ label.  I have to touch up my nails every morning, because this polish chips easy.  So it’s perfect for a one-night wear or if you have time to do that quick touch-up before your day gets started.  Otherwise, I’d recommend passing this one by… even if it is really pretty.  :)


 

#2.  My point-and-shoot camera AND my laptop both decided to die in the same week.

*Insert moment of silence for these two electronic devices that have been such a helpful part of my life over the past three years*

I tried not to panic, but not having a laptop meant using the much slower computer in the bedroom (which won’t be at all convenient once the baby arrives).  And, well, I don’t need to tell you what not having a camera would mean.  Because of this blog, I use my camera every day, several times a day (which is probably why it only lasted as long as it did).  AND I’m still learning how to use my large, manual camera; so I was instantly afraid that not having a small, point-and-shoot camera would mean less baby pictures, once Brady arrives.

Noooooooooo!!!

I convinced myself that it would totally be okay, but Nate instantly went online and found me a refurbished laptop (which is coming in the mail) and a point-and-shoot camera (which arrived just the other day).  He said that he understands that catching up on my favorite blogs, blogging, and photography will be major hobbies of mine in December when I’m home recovering with the baby.  I was left completely overwhelmed that he knew this without my having to say so.

He is seriously SO good to me!

So far, the Canon ELPH 150 IS is a lot more complicated to use than my other camera was (may it rest in peace).  I actually had to read the user-manual for this one and am still figuring it out (in order to know which functions to choose for the appropriate lighting / setting).  But I’m pretty sure that – in the end – the quality of photo’s will be just as good, so the $120 on Amazon was well-spent!


 

#3.  I am addicted to homemade gingerbread cookies!  I made a batch with my sister last weekend, and then baked a whole new set this week so that I could freeze them to enjoy after the baby arrives.  :)  They have the perfect crunch and blend of holiday spices to hit the sweet tooth without feeling too heavy.

Soooo delish!


 

#4.  I did it!  I finished reading baby book # 3!!!  :)

You know what that means?  I’m officially ready for baby Brady to arrive, whenever he decides that he’s ready!


 

#5.  Coffee shops are coming out with their holiday beverages and hot chocolates.  It makes me possibility giddy with happiness!  :)


 

#6.  I was starting to get pretty tired of wearing the same maternity outfits, so I was beyond thrilled to discover that a few of my sweater dresses (which aren’t maternity) are stretchy enough to fit!  Granted, they look more like long sweaters than dresses, thanks to my rolly-polly baby belly.  ;)

BUT they fit, and that’s all that matters!  Ha, ha.


 

#7.  How funny is this hand-towel?  And maybe a bit true?  ;)

Have a GREAT Monday, my friends!!

 

 

 

It Snowed!

3

It snowed here in New England last night!!!

And while I know that by February, I’ll want to curse the white stuff, and wish it were spring, and try to convince Nate that we need to move to Florida, there’s nothing like the first snow flurry to make me feel like a kid again.  :)  I was so giddy with excitement this morning that I jumped out of bed by 6:30am.  And by 7am, I had convinced my hubby that we just had to go for a walk before it all melted away.

Much to my happiness, Nate was up for a little adventure before breakfast as well.  :)  I love how the snow creates an entirely new world.  A marshmallow world, as the song says.  And most definitely, a beautiful world!

“Since we’ve no place to go,

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

Happy Friday!!  :)

The Waiting Game

9

This pregnancy has been so unbelievably smooth and uncomplicated that I was thrown for a loop a few weeks ago, when the doctor began to suggest that Brady was going to be a big baby.  I mean, that’s not even a complication or something to be alarmed about!  But considering how easy these past months really have been (with just the typical pregnancy discomforts thrown in for good measure), I somehow convinced myself that baby Brady would be a tiny little guy.  (Not that having a small baby means that the labor and delivery will be easy, but – somehow – I had convinced myself of that, so expecting a big baby was slightly traumatizing for me)!  Ha, ha.

(A special ‘thank you’ to everyone who assured me that a big baby doesn’t necessarily mean an especially difficult delivery or recovery)!  :)

However, when my doctor was concerned at how big I was measuring this past week, I began to feel just a tiny bit uneasy.  Now she wasn’t just talking about Brady being on the large side.  She was talking about me having too much amniotic fluid, which – she said – could be nothing… Or could be the result of a medical complication in the mother or even a birth defect in the baby.

So she scheduled me for an emergency ultra-sound…

Nate and I kept saying that this was maybe just a blessing in disguise, because it gave us the opportunity to ‘see’ our baby once more before he was born.  And honestly, the peace that has been with me this entire pregnancy really did continue, much to my surprise.  I just really knew that it was going to all be okay…  But still, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t feeling a little nervous.

As usual, baby Brady cooperated for the ultrasound, waving his chubby little hands around and waving at us.  :)  The technician agreed with my doctor’s prediction that this is going to be a big baby, pointing out his chunky cheeks and thick arms.  In fact, she thinks he’s already 8 1/2 lbs, and he’s still 2 weeks away from his due date!!!

Nate was all like, “YEAH, that’s my football player!”

And I was all like, “Yeah, easy for you to say, because you don’t have to push out the football player.”  ;)

The important thing is that Brady looked healthy and had a strong heartbeat!  However, I do have too much amniotic fluid, which can cause some serious complications if not carefully watched.  So I was instantly placed on a High Risk Pregnancy list, diagnosed with Polyhydramnios, and ushered upstairs for a non-stress test.

By this point, I was pretty nervous and wondering what had just happened to my stress-free pregnancy.  Honestly, I’ve always known that one shouldn’t face labor with the idea that everything will go according to plan, because it rarely does.  Apparently, however, pregnancy is the same way.  Things can change pretty quickly, and you just have to stay calm, pray, and put your trust in the able doctors around you!

The stress test, thankfully, had a good result too.

But still, the doctor on call said they won’t take any chances (because of those complications that could still arise), so I have to go back on Monday for another ultrasound and stress test… followed by my routine checkup on Tuesday.

I’m beginning to change my mind about going late…  It may have taken my stomach a good while to get going, but – at this point – I can’t help but think that I’ll go into labor early (or AT LEAST by my due date)!  I’m definitely carrying around a full watermelon at this point… ;)

We shall see!

 

Christmas Shopping, Cookie Baking, and Olaf Vlog!

5

With Brady due just two weeks from now, I wanted to fit in a bit of Christmas shopping last week, so that I could immerse myself in all things glittery, red, and green before I buried myself in diapers and  lullabies!  :)

As promised, I vlogged about my afternoon / evening, and this craziness is what followed!  Ha, ha.

It was definitely a fun evening!  I got to see Christmas stockings, trees, accessories, and decorations.  (I totally splurged on some festive nail polish, so please don’t burst my bubble by telling me that painting my nails will be the last thing on my mind, come December.  ;) Oh, but in the video, I say that it’s a silver color… But it’s actually more of a shimmery gold.  Ha, ha). Also, my sister Sarah and I baked gingerbread cookies, which is a Thanksgiving tradition of ours… going back to when we were just kids!  It’s crazy (and exciting) to think that when we bake the cookies next year, there will be a one-year-old to help us decorate!  (We both came to the conclusion that Brady will probably – at that age – already be better at decorating than us).

AND last but not least, there was a whole lot of Olaf involved.  :)  I mean, you can’t get much cuter than Olaf, and he was everywhere!!

Oh, and as usual, there was a ton of giggling and silliness too…  because we can’t get together without a whole lot of that!

 

 

La, La, La, Lamaze

4

Spending eight hours of my beautiful Saturday stuck inside a classroom while taking a Labor and Delivery class was just what I wanted to do this past weekend…

No, seriously.  It’s just what I wanted to do!  :)

One of my biggest fears was that I’d go into labor before I took the class, mainly because I wanted to learn Lamaze breathing and comfort techniques.  I hear that it’s quite important to breathe during labor.  ;)  And it’s amazing how there can be so much dedicated to breathing in such a way as to get your mind off of pain!  Since I’ve heard from many people that focusing on the specific breathing patterns really does work, I am very happy to report that – although my class was scheduled a mere 2 1/2 weeks before my due date – I did make it.

*Insert HUGE sigh of relief*

One thing I wasn’t prepared for, however, was just how humbling of an experience the class would be.  By 9am, I was sitting on the floor, focusing on my husband’s water bottle as a focal point, and panting like a dog.  At the guidance of the instructor, Nate was sitting by my side, rubbing my legs, telling me to relax, and breathing along with me.

Actually, Nate got the Lamaze breathing down faster than I did.  He was in perfect sync with the instructor and breathing extra heavy for my benefit, so that I could follow along easier.  I was slightly embarrassed that he seemed to get it all figured out so quickly, while I was raising my hand and asking the teacher to run through the breathing steps once more.  Mostly, I was embarrassed that I was sitting on the floor, staring at a water bottle, and breathing like an asthmatic poodle.

But I knew that it would help on D-Day, so I kept a blank face as though I did this sort of thing on a regular basis.  Everyone is doing it, I thought.  It’s okay.  This isn’t so bad…

“Now, Men, it is your job to be the coach and to comfort your wives,” the instructor said in her high-pitched, sing-songy voice, “Let’s pretend that your wife is in labor…  I want you to stroke your wife’s face and tell her to relax.”

“This is awkward,” I thought to myself as Nate cupped both sides of my face, squeezed inward, and rubbed down as though he was sanding a piece of wood.

I moved my eyes away from the water bottle to meet Nate’s gaze, starting to feel a bit irritated…  And we both giggled a little bit.  This whole ‘comforting on demand’ most definitely felt very awkward.  Note to self: remember to tell Nate that gently squeezing my face doesn’t really relax me all that much, so he might want to leave that out when I go into labor.

Of course, the awkwardness rose to a whole new level, when we had to practice labor positions.  ;)

But we made it through…  And I definitely felt more prepared for labor because of it.

The rest of the class, however, left us both feeling a little overwhelmed.  The remaining 7 hours were filled with graphic labor video’s, discussions on what could go wrong during labor, and information regarding what methods the doctor will use to deliver the baby if these complications do arise.  It wasn’t anything that I didn’t already know, thanks to the books I’ve read, but having to sit through an 8-hour class on such topics?

Yes, overwhelming to say the least!

The minute the class was over and we climbed into the Jeep, I burst into tears.  I wasn’t suddenly terrified… nor was I terrified at all, really.  I was just tired of seeing pregnant women on the television-screen moaning in pain.  And tired of hearing about all the negative, scary things that sometimes do happen.

Nate immediately reached over to take my hand and gently said, “I’m overwhelmed too, but it’s going to be okay.  I understand why you’re crying.  You have the right to!  But know that it’s going to be okay!  And I’m going to be the best support that you could possibly need.  I promise!”

It was so sweet!  And I instantly knew, in my heart, that although the Lamaze techniques were beneficial for both of us to learn, Nate didn’t need a class in order to learn how to comfort me.  He knows, because he knows me.

And while I was embarrassed in the beginning to be sitting on the floor and practicing specific, breathing techniques or labor positions that looked like yoga moves gone wrong, there is no one else that I would have rather done that with.

This is all very new to me – this need to have a supportive coach by my side to cheer and comfort me on, when the going gets tough.  Usually, I’m accustomed to being tough for others and have never really needed this level of support.  It’s humbling, but it’s also crazy special…

I am SO blessed to have a man like Nate by my side.  :)

 

Bad Kitty!

13

As of today, I am officially on maternity leave, as my decision to take 6 weeks off from piano teaching slowly morphed into 12 weeks.  ;)  (I chatted with a few friends from my previous job, just to get a feel for what’s normal maternity leave; and they said they were given 6 weeks… with the option of 6 additional weeks if they opted to file for FMLA).  So I decided to go for the full 12 weeks and to just enjoy being home with my baby and to take advantage of the extra rest it will provide me.  As my friend Sylvia said, “You’re in a unique position, giving you the opportunity to take that time if you want it.  So why not take it?” 

Who am I to argue with such logic??  :)

I feel really good about the decision, not only because it will give me more recovery time but also because it will hopefully provide me with a bit more time to rest before baby.  I’ve been so busy that sometimes (as silly as this sounds) I forget that – technically – I could go into labor any day and that we really are only weeks (possibly even days) from meeting our baby boy.  I sometimes forget that this belly o’ mine isn’t an accessory that I’ll be carrying around forever.  :)  There’s really a baby in there, and he’ll be here before I know it!

I’ve been so focused on getting things done (prepping freezer meals, teaching piano, tidying the house, finishing the nursery, and washing baby clothes) that I haven’t really had that chance to settle down and remember that this is all leading up to an actual, precious baby!  On one hand, that might be a good thing, because I’ve been too busy to feel the least bit nervous.  :)  But on the other hand, I really need to make sure I’m ready.

‘Cause, you know, I should probably pack my hospital bag ASAP!!  (Oh, and my labor and delivery class is this Saturday, so that’s pretty important too)!!  AGAIN, sometimes I forget that labor could start at any day, because being pregnant just feels like a part of life.  Then I remember that soon I won’t be feeling little kicks in my belly anymore…  I’ll be holding a baby in my arms!

Soooo, it’s a good thing that I’ll now have a bit more free time to finish up what I need to… and then hopefully get some chillaxin’ in.

Up to this point, I’ve tried to get a little bit done every day, which means baby things have slowly begun to show up around the house.  A carseat is now securely fastened onto the backseat of the Jeep.  A highchair has appeared at the kitchen table.  (I know we won’t need it for awhile, but it makes me happy to see it).  :)  A baby swing found its way into the corner of a room.  The crib was fitted with sheets and a cozy quilt.

Little by little, Nate and I have installed, assembled, and displayed.

The two fur-babies of the family, however, have quickly made it very clear that – as usual – they think they run the house.  And they also seem to think that everything we put together is… for them.  So let’s just say that they haven’t really helped to move things along up to this point, despite our best efforts to teach them that furry paws on baby things =  naughty.

Stitchy is the worst culprit of them all…

The minute I set something up, he has to test it out.  And then I have to take a picture…  And then he promptly gets a quick spritz of water, which – hopefully – says something along the lines of, “This is for baby, and you are not allowed to touch this.”

He got a spritz of water AND a very stern scolding, when I found him testing out the baby crib.  This is major taboo, and normally the nursery door is closed shut to keep it from happening at all.  But I left the door open, while I folded baby outfits.  And apparently he decided to hop on into the crib for the first time.

Really, he just doesn’t learn until he’s been sprayed at least once… or twice.  He seems to think that he’s the official tester of all things baby.  (And while I’d like to think that he’s doing a safety-check, I’m pretty sure that he’s testing it for comfort levels).  So, while I’m putting together baby things and getting them all organized, I also have to keep an eye out for this fuzz-ball, so that he learns – very quickly – that he isn’t allowed to crawl into these specific items.

He really is learning…  It just takes him a little while.

And as for Highstreet, he’s just his usual dare-devil self and giving me a heart-attack most days.

“Look, I can balance on the upstairs railing!”

So it’s getting there, bad kitties or not.  But they’re sure keeping us on our toes… and maybe preparing us for a mischievous little boy.  ;)

Tomorrow’s goal is to pack the hospital bag, so here’s to hoping that one of the cats doesn’t try to sneak in and become a castaway!!