Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Me at 38 Weeks

For those of you who haven't seen me in awhile and are wondering just how gianormous I am... here. Now you know. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Firsts and Lasts

We drove to Jefferson on Friday to see my Dad since today is Father's Day and he was leaving yesterday for Belgium. As we were riding in the car Josh observed that this might be our last trip out of town before the baby was born. And thus, it began. Since then, we have diligently noted the lasts. We went out to lunch today after church and said "Perhaps this will be the last time (for a long time) that we eat out just the two of us." Maybe today was the last time we'll go to church before the baby is born. This could be the last Sunday evening Josh mows, Monday could be my last doctor's appointment, Wednesday my last hair appointment. What will have been the last movie we saw in a theatre? Last night might be the last for a long time that we cook eggs and waffles at midnight. How many more times will I load and unload the dishwasher, vacuum the floor, bathe Gatsby...post on this blog? I remember thinking when we found out we were having a baby that suddenly my days were numbered. Whereas before time seemed every day to stretch out before me, endless...now there were only so many. I had so much left to do, I thought! I'd planned to really make a go of this being an artist thing; I was going to finish at least my first novel. I was going to travel; Josh and I had so many more memories to make just the two of us. But the truth is- all those endless days I thought I had before were numbered nonetheless as are all the day's I'll ever have. But it was the seeming endlessness of them that prevented me from actually doing what I'd planned. Motivation can be hard to come by when it seems you've forever to do something. One should always be aware of the brevity of life...and never take time for granted. I've had plenty of days to do plenty of things and really, when I think back on them...on all my days...I realize that even if I didn't get anymore, the ones I've had were more than enough. I thought for awhile earlier in my pregnancy that if I'd just had a little more time I'd have done something really great with my pre-motherhood life. And then it hit me, that maybe the something great I was destined for was this. That one day when my son is older and figuring out his own life, I will tell him about mine and I will say that I did do something great, regardless of what books or artwork might come. This something I did will have been greater than any of that; I will say to him then, "It was you."
So, while now we live from one last to the next, treasuring each of them because the passing of time demands we must, any day now, I suppose, we'll be measuring our days in firsts. And because we'll remember that those days, however endless they may seem are indeed numbered nonetheless- we'll treasure each of them, too.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Place For Soda

I thought that it might never happen, but the nursery is actually finished! YAY!! So here are a bunch of pictures. It's hard to get all the angles so maybe I went a little overboard trying...This wreath is from Rachel Boersma and was a decoration from my shower in April. Cute, huh?
This window seat is one of the first things I worked on for the nursery. It began life as this:It cost me $15 at my favorite junk store. I had to do some major cleaning and then lots of painting and, of course, reupholstering. It's painted chartreuse inside and right now it's housing blankets...but eventually it'll make a good toy box!The glider is, by far, one of my favorite things about the nursery and it's one of the most recently finished things! I couldn't find the exact one I wanted, so we got one close (a gift from Jim and Debbie) and then my grandparents had the cushions recovered in this cute fabric I found...big thank yous to all of them!! It's just perfect! It's actually a white and chartreuse houndstooth pattern...but it's hard to tell in the picture. Oh, and the chalkboard has the lyrics to Forever Young by Bob Dylan, just in case you wondered.All the murals were done by yours truly. :) It was great fun painting on the walls. I designed the murals even before we knew whether or not the baby was a boy or a girl. The designs were similar for both. I painted the little rocking chair, too. It has a mushroom and some little bugs painted on it. Originally it was red with white hearts...$5 at Goodwill. And my grandfather made the bookshelf...which is also perfect, I think!
So that's it...here's his room. Now all we need is a baby to put in it! :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Name Game Take Two (...or outtakes rather!)

While we actually do communicate (and I know you're all beginning to doubt that's so since we STILL have no name for our only child...thank God we're only having one at a time!) we have come to avoid the name question altogether. Occasionally one of us insists a decision must be made...and then ten minutes later we've talked ourselves in the same circle as always and we move on to something else. We did go to Books-A-Million this past weekend, however, because we had nothing else to do and I was looking for a gift. While we were there, I pulled a couple of baby name books off the shelf and we sat sipping an Italian soda and perusing monikers. I felt that what Josh's opinion lacked when it came to the name argument was breadth and depth that could only come from research. Though it was endlessly entertaining reading through these books, we left no more illuminated than before. (Unless you consider that we had ruled out a lot more names...in which case it was somewhat fruitful.) What I did leave with was a list of names I found terribly interesting. If I were a braver woman...or if I could be assured of having a future artist or rock star and not a doctor or a lawyer or something...I might use one of them. But I'm not...and who wants an accountant named Stash?

So here's my list for your entertainment:


A Note On Grumbling

Today finds me, while still pregnant, two days closer to being not so and in a somewhat sunnier disposition than my last post. There is no significant reason for the latter- perhaps just the ebb and flow of hormones? Since the time I have to use that excuse is waning I suppose I should employ it. Hormones or no, I was convicted about my grumbling and feel compelled to address it. It all started because Josh insisted I read The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis (it has nothing to do with marriage for those who aren't familiar with it...it's a fictional story about someone who visits heaven and hell) because he'd read it and needed someone to discuss it with. It's a short read...just a matter of hours...so I read it this week. (Good book- I highly recommend it.) There's a portion where there is this forlorn spirit doing nothing but complaining for a good two pages or so. Observers say of her that "The question is whether she is a grumbler, or only a grumble." and then explain the difference between the two as this: "...it begins with a grumbling mood, and yourself distinct from it: perhaps criticising it. And yourself, in a dark hour, may embrace [that mood]. [Eventually] there [may] be no you left to cricise the mood...but just the grumble itself going on forever..." So I must watch (and repent of) my complaining...for I want not to be a grumble. :)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fatigue- Day 258

According to daystogo.com I have been pregnant for approximately 258 days.
Let me reiterate that...TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-EIGHT DAYS. Which, on the happy side, means I have only 21 days to go. (Assuming he isn't late-and trust me, we're assuming that.)
Those 258 days have left me tired of a great many things and today, on day two-hundred and fifty-eight, I am airing greivances.
But first, I will begin by saying some things that have been good about my pregnancy, lest you think me ungrateful.
First and foremost, without even asking for one...I was blessed with a baby. Praise the Lord. :)
Second, as far as we know he's healthy.
We made it to 37 weeks which means he would be perfectly fine living on the outside were he born today (and he's in position to be delivered, my cervix is soft and had dilated some by last week.)
I have only gained 21 pounds.
NO stretch marks. You can just take my word on that.
NO high or low blood pressure, no obvious swelling in extremeties.
Beta strep and gestational diabetes screening were negative.
I'll stop there, but that is by no means the extent of my blessing counting. It's just all I'm going to bore you with.
Now- on to the ranting. Honestly, it isn't the being pregnant, per se, that is the problem at all. That (and all the physical stuff that comes with it) while not wholly pleasant-and a few of those unpleasantries made the ranting list, they have been pretty easily tolerated. It's the other stuff that's worse...
For instance- I don't want to hear from one more person that (and I quote) "having a baby changes everything". What kind of dimwit would I have to be not to know that? I also don't want to be told again that little boys are a handful. I'm almost 26 years old. Believe it or not, I've encountered children before...and many of them were male. I do not want to be approached anymore by strangers who offer comments to which there is no or only an awkward response. Like yesterday, I'm in a Shell station at the Icee machine and a middle-aged man stops on his way from the refrigerator case to the cash register. He points (with the hand not holding a six pack of Shiner Bock) at my stomach and says "Looks like this is about to happen any day!" Why must he do this? I think. What do I say to that? So I explain (without turning away from the fixing of my Icee) that I have about three more weeks. To which he tells me that they will be the longest three weeks of my life! The nerve of some people. I also find that people like to point out that I'm "really pregnant", too. Like I'm unaware. That's equally difficult to respond to. I am also tired of having to discuss my dog with people. I've grown weary of the smug reminders that I'll think less of him when the baby is born. As though we'll bring Soda home and suddenly forget that we've loved this dog like a person for more than three years and that he's been my constant (and I do mean 24/7 constant) companion and best friend for all that time. No one tells a woman expecting her second child how much less she'll love her first when that second is born. If you want to discuss Gatsby, you can give me advice about assimilating the baby into our existing family...(though that's not really necessary because I've done extensive reading on the subject and discussed this at length with his vet.) And, finally, I am extremely tired of being told how little sleep I'm going to get once the baby is born. Oh, please. Anyone who thinks I'm sleeping now has never been 37 weeks pregnant.
I am tired of not being able to pick things up off the floor easily.
I am tired of making lists and trying to cover every little detail of the house and the nursery and the hospital stay and bringing him home.
I am tired of doctor's appointments.
I am tired of dripping food on my shirt every time I eat because I cannot get close enough to the table.
I am tired of peeing ALL THE TIME.
I am tired of trying to think up a name for the baby...and of not being able to decide...and of explaining to people we still don't have one.
I am tired of avoiding coffee and mexican food and wine.
I am tired of heartburn.
I am tired of never being truly comfortable.

And I am tired of being tired...but not so much of being pregnant, per se. ;)

As before, this is by no means the extent of my ranting, either...it's just all I'll bore you with.


Fatigued in Longview

Cord Blood Donation

I was so excited that my Cord Blood Stem Cell Collection and Transport Kit arrived today! Now, I don't know how anyone could be receiving prenatal care these days and NOT have been bombarded by information about banking the baby's umbilical cord blood (but apparently it's possible because there were actually people in our childbirth prep class who didn't know anything about it). *Of course, I've subscribed to several parenting and pregnancy magazines, newsletters, emails, etc. so in addition to the pamphlets, brochures and posters in by Ob's office I've also been inundated with ads and articles about storing cord blood via various other venues. So, whether you know all about it or not, I thought I'd share what we decided:
Because I've considered everything I possibly could in regards to this kid- from getting the best OB/GYN to deliver him right down to the detergent I'm washing his clothes with- I put cord blood among the top items on my list of things to research. And research I did. I read and read and read some more. I even looked up medical papers about the research scientists are doing on cord blood now to determine how it's uses might change to Soda's benefit in his lifetime. And those are extremely difficult (not to mention boring) to read. But I struggled through them...because it's a big decision, really. Not just because it's precious, potentially life-saving material, but because it's a lot of money, too should you choose to store it for personal use. After considering the matter at length (like, 7 months) we finally decided against storing it in a private facility. And I have lots of reasons...I won't go into too much detail (but if you're trying to make a decision about this and want to know my reasons I'll honestly be more than glad to tell you- just email me at mailto:randielizabeth@gmail.com ...afterall, I did do quite a bit of research and I'm very pleased with the decision we've made.) While we did not feel it necessarily practical at this time to store Soda's umbilical cord blood for our personal family use (that's not to say it isn't a perfectly reasonable and necessary option for others at all), I could not bear the thought of throwing away such valuable cells. As much information as I received about storing it privately, very little was sent to me about donating it. So I had to research again. Many larger hospitals are affiliated with a local cord blood bank and accept donations on site anytime at no cost and little trouble to the parent(s). If we were delivering in Dallas, for instance, this would be the case. The hospital where we are delivering-while of pretty good size- is no such hospital. I found, however, that did not mean we could not still donate it. There was just more involved. I chose Cryobanks International because they accept donations from pretty much anywhere. I was able to download all the necessary paperwork from their website (like a bazillion pages of it- no, not really...there were a bunch, but it didn't take that long to fill out). There were a couple that had to be signed by my doctor (who will be doing the collection- and doesn't charge a collection fee...if you choose to do this you might want to check on that). Then I sent it all off to Cryobanks-International and they called a few days later to confirm it arrived. There were a couple of questions they had to ask interview-style and some things I had to verbally affirm before they sent the collection kit. And now it is here! It's packed with our hospital things as we'll be responsible for taking it with us. We'll have to call and notify them when I am admitted to the hospital and again within two hours of delivery so they can send a courier to retrieve it (restrictions apply to weekends and holidays for public donation only) and I have to submit to a blood test after delivery, but nothing is done to the baby. It's completely painless for him! :) And it's all done at no financial cost to us. Naturally, we're praying for a healthy baby and I hope he and his siblings never need the cord blood we're giving away. But what I do know is that while we could keep it frozen somewhere at our expense, on the chance we need it until it is no longer viable...by donating it we're putting it out there (it'll be in a national cord blood registry) to be used by someone's child who does need it for sure. And in the event it can't be used as a transplant, it will be used for research. I feel like this is the best way of ensuring it isn't wasted. It will make a difference somehow...if not directly by way of a transplant, indirectly by way of research. And while neither may affect my children...either might one day impact theirs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

This Little Light Of Mine

I am helping with bible school this week, which has been really fun so far (albeit very tiring). It just lasts until noon, but I come home exhausted. How are people pregnant subsequent times? Though I intend to find out, I can't imagine doing this again with one or two kids already. Much less more...and while I don't intend to ever know how that works I do have a newfound respect for women who have done it. This morning, I pulled my hair up with a yellow pony tail holder, put on a turquoise maternity top, ivory earrings, jeans, and my powder-blue Chuck Taylor's. I stopped to look at myself in the mirror and thought for a moment that nothing I was wearing matched...then kept right on going. Because it occured to me recently that I don't care. And neither does anyone else. I thought (as I was dancing away to a pumped up version of This Little Light of Mine yesterday) that I am someone different. Sure, I danced with kids before at bible school's and summer camps past...but then I was cooler- a teenager, a college student. More of an older friend to those kids than a grown-up. But I realized at this bible school that to these kids, I am a world apart from the high school students and college students who are also helping. (Even to them I am sort of old!) And right in the middle of This Little Light of Mine, with my crew of kiddos dancing along with me, I realized that was okay. I like not being cool, and it's okay if they think I'm old. Because that means that I can stand on the front row, 8 months pregnant in a mismatched outfit and dance like a dorkwad. Because to these kids...I'm someone they can relate without a front, someone they are comfortable with, someone whose hand they want to hold...because to them- I'm just someone else's Mom.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I think, therefore I am

I think a lot. That may come of having so much time to myself (I have a minimum of 10 1/2 hours alone Monday-Thursday, and 4 1/2 hours on Friday). I'm not sure if being pregnant has caused me to think more or just changed what it was I thought about. Whatever the case, I've had two seemingly unrelated recurring thoughts (among many, many others) which have simultaneouly been addressed and altered recently in one fell swoop. One happy thought I'd reveled in countless times was how wonderful it was going to be to have my parents (who moved just last year to a little town only 45 minutes away from us) so nearby once the baby was born. It wasn't just free babysitting. It was having grandparents to come visit or go visit just for the day any day. It was having my mom minutes away just in case I needed something...like advice or company or an escort to the grocery store. It was getting to share the baby with them; knowing that they wouldn't miss a thing. Knowing they were right here somehow made parenthood seem less daunting and more relaxed and exciting. Second, I'd mourned (a few times to the point of actual tears) the postponement (or more likely the loss altogether) of our trip to Europe. As long as Josh and I have been together (almost nine years now) we'd talked about travelling to Europe together. It was always this fantastic trip we could dream about, look forward to and save for even though we could never actually get the plans pinned down. It was more the potential of it that we cherished, I think. "When we go to Europe we'll see such and such or eat this or that or go here or there..." we'd say. It was always something that we were going to do before we had kids, yet it was always in our future. Then, this year came and the unexpected home repairs and baby came with it and I realized one day that we weren't going to Europe afterall. Our vacation money-the money we'd saved for our big hurrah before we started a family was now our fix-the-roof fund and a deposit on our new A/C and the money we were going to have to spend on the family we hadn't really meant to start yet. And so, being my usual thoughtful self I thought about these things at length. I mulled them over and then thought myself out of being disappointed about Europe in lieu of being excited about the baby and grateful for the fact that my parents were so close.

Then, not long ago, we found out my parents are moving to Belgium. Yes, like the country Belgium...across the ocean. And I had something new to think about. My parents weren't going to be close afterall. They were going to be an 8-10 hour flight across the ocean and a seven hour time difference away. We won't be visiting them just for the day any day. My mom won't be just minutes away if I need anything. We won't even be awake many of the same hours a day so I'll have to email for advice and Soda and I will be going many places alone. We are going to have to share the baby with them from afar and no matter how hard we try there are going to be lots of things they miss. My Europe trip no longer seems implausible, though. Now we will have not only an excellent excuse to go (along with help with the cost), but also somewhere to stay for free and someone to keep the baby so we can travel elsewhere from there. Not to mention the experience it will be for my parents (who have never been to Europe and will get to see so much of it while they're there!) It's an exciting traveling and cultural prospect for all of us- including Soda. And it isn't as though they were moving there permanently. They'll just be gone a couple of years, so Soda will be too little to remember they weren't here for his beginning. And they'll be here to meet him. Mom isn't moving until after he's born and my Dad will be back for a couple of weeks soon thereafter.
So now I've been thinking about these things instead of the former and in doing so have tried to think myself out of being disappointed that they won't be here and excited instead for all the opportunities this move opens up! Still, some days that's easier than others. I suppose this just isn't exactly how I imagined things would be when we had our first child...but then again not much lately has been the way I imagined it would be, and it's all been ok. In all my thinking I've always realized that the way things are isn't up to me...it's entirely up to God. And while things aren't likely to ever be exactly as I imagine them, they're likely to be better in the end.
"For we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,"
Romans 8:28a
So- all that being finally explained, Mom and Dad got to go to Belgium (to Hasselt- which is probably where they'll be living, though Dad will be working in Genk) for over a week to explore the area and do some house-hunting. They got back last Monday and came over this weekend souvenirs in hand! Here are the Belgian goodies we got: The little bottles with the shot glass are samples of a local specialty called Genever and don't worry- I'm not trying any. Chocolates, naturally...(I can vouch for their yumminess already); jewelry; and of course some adorable things for the baby- see the bib (from a store called Fred and Ginger- I love it!) and wash mitt (with an owl- yay!)...cute, right? That magnet, we've been told, says "He who laughs last, thinks slow." in Dutch- LOL. We had to get Dad to read it aloud for us since neither of us had ever really heard Dutch. He's really been trying to learn to speak it and to us his accent was great!
**Thank you guys! I look forward to shopping these cute baby places myself...with the baby! We're glad you're home again for now, but just knowing you're going back sorta makes me miss you already! :)**

I Thirst

I've been told that breastfeeding makes you thirsty. This makes sense. But I'm not breastfeeding yet- so what is up with this parched-ness? I am thirsty all the time. And I do mean ALL THE TIME. I rarely, if ever, have any desire to eat- yet, I am forever consumed with thoughts of liquids. I go to the grocery store and return with cases of water bottles or juices or popsicles that weren't on my list while food or household items that were on my list go forgotten. I think all day (and sometimes all night) about happy hour at Sonic and a half price large cranberry limeade. My day (and I mean this in the 24 hour sense because my nights are no different from my days anymore) revolve around drinking and peeing. I joke that surely this is one of Dante's levels of hell- where the condemned has a constant, unquenchable thirst combined with a perpetual, urgent need to urinate. Yes, everyone says breastfeeding dries you out...but no one has told me that the last few weeks of pregnancy do that, too. So how much worse can the thirst of breastfeeding be? I'll be sure and let you know.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

What's In A Name?

No- we still don't have one. And it makes me feel guilty. Without one, the baby seems somehow subhuman, but it's simply too big a decision. I think I've shorted out thinking it over so much. While I always anticipated the name decision as being an exciting part of expecting a baby, it's turned out to be one of the worst. I hate it- which could be why we're at a standstill...and have been for, oh, six months or so. Girl names would not so much trouble...or maybe we only think that because we have to come up with a boy name...(the grass is always greener, right?). I can't imagine there's a parent out there who has done more name research than I have. I've always been interested in names- and I'd done plenty of name-searching in the past for characters in my writing, but this is something entirely different...and far more important. I've read for hours (and I don't exaggerate) about name trends (past, present, and future), name meanings and origins. I know the most popular names for the past 100 years. I've yet to have anyone suggest a name I haven't already seen somewhere in all my reading. The Social Security Administration has been an excelllent resource. It has beaucoups of name information and there is even a feature on their website where you can type in any name and find out whether it has ever been one of the top 1000 names (since 1880, I think). I read in an article yesterday that said the vast majority of new parents choose their kids' names off a list of the same 500 names. Of course, this shouldn't surprise me, since most of them come off the same list of 10. I just can't do that to our son. Be that uncreative; put that little thought into the moniker he has to live with his entire life. My baby (who will, let's not forget, one day also be a toddler and a little boy and a teenager and a young man, and an old man...God willing...and throughout those stages will still have the same name we give him the day he is born) is going to be special. For the life of me I cannot fathom how parents look at their new baby, think he is the most special baby ever born, and then give him the same name half the other people in the maternity ward that day gave their "most special" new baby. I won't sentence Soda to a life as one of a million. I don't want him to be forever Jacob A. or Aiden A...just one in a sea of others people can only remember from one another by their last initial. I don't want to be too trendy, I don't want to be too weird, I don't want people to mispronounce his name, spell it wrong, tease him about it, shorten it to a stupid nickname. I don't want him to sound perpetually four or forty or eighty-two. I don't want him to have bad initials; I want his name to mean something to us and to him. I don't want to look back five or fifteen years from now and wish I'd named him something else. While I can't bring myself to name him something off the top ten list (or the top 1000 for that matter), I don't intend to do something too out there either (like give him a trendy or common name and spell it in some ridiculous way- i.e. Aydin or Jaycub) or name him something too hippie like Banjo or Cedar. (Though I have to say I like those last two better than most popular names.) So what's a name-conscious mommy to do? I can find something wrong with every name brought to the table...and it's becoming depressing. As a last ditch effort, I sat at Books-A-Million yesterday with a decaf coffee pouring over baby name books (to no real avail). My favorite, though, was one called A is for Atticus which had some great literary baby names...just fyi, if you're looking. It isn't that there aren't names I like...it's that there isn't a perfect name. I'm convinced we'll have to settle...and that makes me sad. And frustrated more than anything. Shakespeare wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but would an Aiden or a Jacob or a Josh and a Randi be the same people they are by any other name?

Need some name resources? Start here:


Friday, June 5, 2009

On a very happy Friday note, I am super-excited to announce that I just heard baby Anniston's heart surgery went "GREAT!" (and that's a direct quote from her sweet mommy- who it seems is doing well also)! So many prayers on their behalf have been answered in the past couple of days and we're so very grateful!

As for news from the Anderson pregnancy- there isn't much as usual, but I thought I'd say that our meeting with our prospective pediatrician went extremely well. Though I had a couple of others on tap to visit with in case we had trouble making a decision, we decided after meeting Dr. Hunter we'd just keep her! She came highly recommended, and we mutually decided that we couldn't imagine what else we'd be looking for in a pediatrician- she seemed wonderful and spent lots of time answering questions with us. (I had a whole list!...yeah, I'm one of those moms.) We really enjoyed talking to her, and there are several doctors in the practice (I've heard good things about a number of them) that will see our baby in the event Dr. Hunter can't one day. There's a very efficient phone tree system that diverts calls to nurses and aides depending on your needs during and after business hours, and they have separate well-baby waiting rooms so I don't have to sit waiting with our infant around sick toddlers. The waiting areas themselves are adorable- very colorful with big blocks of colored linoleum on the floors, different colored sponge-painted walls, clouds on the ceiling, rainbow leather seats and big aquariums in the center of each waiting room. No fabric so everything can be wiped off...I found this to be quite the consideration. Everything felt clean...and I like that a lot! Dr. Hunter also recommended this book (which I promptly went out this morning and purchased.) I've already read through the first 117 pages. For being a pretty large reference book it only cost $20 (minus my 10% BAMM discount, plus tax came to $19.49) which I thought was a bargain. It covers everything...I wish I'd had it before now! Overall, I was really glad we did the meeting with the pediatrician ahead of time. I have much more confidence knowing we've met with her and having seen the office, etc. before we actually take Soda there. He'll be in good hands, I think. We also came away with a new-parent goodie bag of samples and pamphlets which was very much fun to sift through!

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two-Fer Tuesday

Yesterday, was not only the first night of our Childbirth Prep Class, it was also La Leche day! Our local chapter of La Leche League (llli.org) meets the first Tuesday of every month so I attended my first meeting yesterday morning, and very much enjoyed it. There was another mommy-to-be there and a few women with kids already (one woman with 4!). Basically, we just spent two hours talking about mommy stuff. Tessa, our leader, had a list of questions new moms might be asking themselves and everyone just brainstormed about them. I got lots of practical advice and it was nice to just hang out with some other moms. Plus there was plenty of fresh fruit and animal crackers. :) I think I'll go again. Josh calls it The Milk Union, which makes me laugh, but it was much more than just breastfeeding support. However, there is a ton of valuable information for breastfeeding mothers on their website. (see link above)- like you can look up your state's laws regarding the practice and I even looked up what different state's laws are regarding breastfeeding and jury duty. Who thinks about that stuff?
Course 1 of Childbirth Prep went well too...just about as expected. It's taught by a nurse named Theresa who turned out to be very good at what she did...and funny, too. There are twelve couples (that was the limit) in our class most of whom remind me at least vaguely of me and Josh. We're divided evenly- six of us are having boys, the other six girls! Only one couple is due before we are- July 1st. The rest are more like late July and August. We did practice our breathing and massage techniques, but this isn't lamaze. It's very comprehensive. We have a book, but all the important diagrams, etc. she has blown up on posters or actual tactile aids (like a fake pelvis and baby-in-a-uterus!) She even had weighted backpacks for the guys to take turns wearing backwards so they could sympathize with all the expectant moms! We're supposed to have three 2-hr courses. Our two hours were full ones last night! We're going over different methods of labor and delivery, fetal monitoring, medication options, comfort measures and the role of the coach (which was heavily emphasized in last night's class), c-sections, our hospital's policies, and what to do with your newborn once you get it home...and we're supposed to get to take a tour of the maternity ward so we'll know where we're going when we go into labor! So far, I haven't learned anything I didn't already know...except that Good Shepherd (the hospital where we're having the baby) delivered 2,398 babies last year...interesting, no? But then again, I've been a bit overenthusiastic about research over the past few months. Other people- clearly not the pregnancy scholar I am ;) had lots of questions, though. Josh seemed to enjoy it, too. It's like being back in college for a couple of hours! I'm looking forward to next Tuesday!!
Finally- two-fer Tuesday continues with two birth announcements! Congrats to our friends Stan and Lindsey who's daughter, Anniston, was born on Monday... she's in Pennsylvania now for heart surgery so please keep them all in your prayers. Their story is such an inspirational one...you can follow it here.
And congratulations to our friends, Alex and Meagan, who's daughter, Sadie, arrived yesterday here in Longview!
We're so excited for you guys and we can't wait to introduce our little guy to these two sweet girls!

Monday, June 1, 2009


I figured up just now that I've had 12 OB appointments since November including my appointment today. I suppose I'll probably have four or five more at the most. 37 days on the countdown! Today's appointment yielded nothing new to speak of. I lost a pound since my last appointment :0 (which sets me back to having gained 21 pounds instead of 22). I even wore the same clothes I wore to my last appointment--so it can't be blamed on a difference in wardrobe. No one seemed concerned, so I am not either. All other measurements were right on track. It's just a waiting game now...and it's boring. I'm pretty much finished with work for awhile. I'm closing my online boutique and taking a hiatus from The Art of Happiness blog. We have all but about two things ready for bringing the baby home. We even put the bassinet together in our bedroom (complete with motion-sensor baby monitor all set up). All the things that need batteries have them installed. I have a laundry room and freezer full of groceries to eat in the post-baby weeks (I even researched what I should eat while breastfeeding so that I could have convenient and appropriate snacks on hand). I do intend to spend a few days cooking a couple of meals to freeze. I have the ingredients for lasagna and I found lots of great freezer recipes I want to try here: http://www.momsbudget.com/freezerrecipes/index.htmlI also purchased extras of other household items we might need (toilet paper, paper towels, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, paper plates...) so those would be a few less things we had to think about for awhile. I took Gatsby for an annual check-up and got heartworm pills for a year and I've also purchased stuff to make food for him for several weeks. I have washed baby blankets, towels, outfits, caps, socks, washrags and sheets. I've taken tags off of some clothes and toys and removed other items (like pacifiers and thermometers--yes, plural...I have two thermometers-you can't be too careful) from their packages so they are ready to use. I have two diapering stations set up complete with anti-bacterial hand gel and diaper rash cream. I have read countless books and articles about pregnancy, labor, delivery, your newborn's first 48 hours, circumcision, diapering, swaddling, the baby's first weeks, the baby's first year, vaccinations, feeding...(we even took a 3 hour lactation course at the hospital). We begin a three-class course called Childbirth Prep tomorrow night. I've arranged a consulation with the baby's pediatrician for this Thursday just to meet with her and ask some questions. I'm hoping to maybe squeeze in an infant/child CPR course even though I've been certified in the past. I've designed birth announcements and typed up a list complete with addresses of everyone I want to send one to. I plan to have envelopes stamped and addressed in the next week or so. The house is as neat as it's ever been. I spend much of my time keeping it that way. I am practicing always having the house as perfect as possible...exactly the way I'd want it to be when we bring the baby home so that no matter when he decides to arrive we won't be caught off guard with, say, dishes in the sink. I've been over several birthplans online and have decided what's important to me and how my ideal labor and delivery would go, but am not planning to type one up to take to the hospital in the interest of being flexible when the time comes. I filled out all the necessary paperwork to donate the baby's cord blood, I've pre-registered for our stay at the hospital so all we have to do is show up to have him, and I have his bag all packed and ready to go. (While I don't have anything packed for me or Josh yet, I do have detailed packing lists made out.) I'm still awaiting cushions for my glider...which I hear are going to be ready early this week. We'll see- I'm anxious to get them...they're the last thing I need for the nursery! So, you see, I've planned myself into a place where now...I've literally nothing left to do but wait. Just wait.
*So if you think of anything I've forgotten or failed to consider...please let me know! :)