Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I WILL Have a Baby When This is Over...Right?

I am fighting some hormonal rollercoasters. Nine months is a long time, so when you are at the end, even though intellectually I know I am at the end, I don't quite believe it. I keep wishing I could just see Ben's cute little face, know when he will be here, just to convince myself that this is happening. So I did the next best thing- I looked at some pictures of Scott and I and tried to imagine which features he will get. I don't have very many infant photos but here we are at around six months-ish:
For the record, I think he will look like his Dad, which is great. But I am hoping he gets some dimple action.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

38 Weeks and Shoot Me Now

(Saturday 8/28/10)
I am writing this at ten in the morning, after being up almost the entire night with nice, strong, uncomfortable contractions. They started at 6:30. I was reading my book and Scott was watching television and I felt the normal tightening of a contraction, that held, and then slowly lowered into what felt like a pretty decent, attention-getting period cramp. I glanced at the clock, and went back to what I was doing. Another one hit at about 7:18pm, and then another at 7:40, 7:50, 8:10... they would get closer together, farther apart, closer together. Scott jumped up and quickly decided to take a look at the packing list for the hospital. He started organizing things, finishing up the laundry, packing. That really brought it home for me. We called the doctor before we went to bed around 9:30, just to let him know. He said that sounded good, just call him when they were around 5 minutes apart, with pain, for about an hour and a half. Then we went to bed around ten.

I laid there, trying to ignore the contractions for about two and a half hours before getting up and puttering around trying to distract myself. Around 1am, still feeling the regular, rolling contractions, I sent a message to my sister that she may want to think about leaving in the morning. I hated the idea of dragging her all the way up here for a false alarm, but also I wouldn't want her to miss it! And she has such a long drive, about six hours in easy traffic. Good thing its the weekend, but she has school on Monday! Now the pressure is on. I finally got tired and after feeling a good painful rhythm around 2am, I fell asleep for about an hour. When I woke up I was starving! The contractions were still going, faithfully on, but the reason I couldn't sleep was the hunger pains! I woke up Scott and he went downstairs and made me some oatmeal. I ate that, felt much better, and was able to sleep again from about 4am to 6ish. Once I woke up around six, the pain was gone! I was still feeling some tightness, and some painless, infrequent contractions, but no pain! NO!!!! I was exhausted, my sister was already two hours into her trip, and I was feeling like an utter failure. I got a call from Heather, who told me that walking really helped kick her labor back in, and that its possible for there to be breaks and slowdowns. I dragged Scott out of bed, let him eat some cereal, and we started walking. Then we got some coffee, and walked some more. Sure enough, back on the clock, with some increased discomfort.

Scott has decided that its fun to get me riled up, so he keeps making these obnoxious comments and then laughs when I am appalled. He keeps suggesting that he will just step out for a little while, to go to the golf course, just to pick something up! And then laughs at my reaction. Loads of fun.... for him. ;) Steph arrived, and I'm feeling increasingly uncomfortable, but I think I still have no real concept that this is happening. We'll see....

(Sunday 8/29/10)
Steph and Kelly both got here, I was having lots of contractions, strong and good... walked all day, enjoyed their company... went to the hospital, got checked. I was at 2cm, 75% effaced and having strong contractions every seven minutes, with small ones every 2 minutes. The nurse said that the baby was really low and that this looked like early labor. I went home, walked some more and nothing happened. Went to sleep, nothing happened. During the night started feeling more trickles of fluid, but thought nothing of it. This morning I lost my mucus plug, and when I talked to my doctor, and wanted to send me into the hospital! He is concerned that my water has started to break and I haven't gone into active labor yet. So off we go! Will come back with a baby!

(Monday 8/30/10)
Oh wow, now I am starting to lose my mind. So yesterday, we get to the hospital and get checked into a room. The nurse treats me like this is all in my head, tries to explain false labor, and that I am early still, which I try to remember is understandable from where she is standing. I just want her to run the tests and call my doctor. I don't want to hear "this could be a few more weeks still". Thank you, I know. Would you like to take over for a couple of days? She inserted a Qtip (ow) and told me to cough (hilarious)... that amniotic fluid test was negative. She checks me (with difficulty) and says I am dilated only to 1cm, which makes me feel miserable but I don't say anything. She told me to get up and walk around and try to reproduce some of the wetness I had told my doctor about. Try? She said they are trying to find reasons to keep me admitted, but its so early that wouldn't I just rather go back home? I just came for an amnio test because my doctor told me to, I'm not trying to find reasons for anything.

So I am walking around, and getting increasingly anxious. All this talk has me agitated, and I feel like I have to 'perform' or like I am in control of this, begging for an early induction or something. Its making me crazy. Then I have to go to the bathroom and she hasn't returned yet, so I just go. LOTS of blood. She comes in, I report it, but she wants to see it, so I show her. She gets excited, like "great, its starting!" I'm shocked. Whats starting? I feel less activity than I did before, and up til now she's been talking to me like a child. So,  I lay down and try to de-stress. I listen to some music, talk to Kel and Steph and Scott. Just try to relax.

I get my blood drawn. She runs another amnio test, which is also negative. Then she gives me another speech about false labor, about how I shouldn't be so anxious to get labor started and being home is better anyway, and it could be a few hours or a few weeks...by the time she is done I am hormonal, frustrated, and close to tears. I know all of this, I am not the one trying to "make" labor happen... UGH. The doctor calls, and says he thinks its perfectly safe for me to go home for a few days but if I want to stay, he will make that happen, I just have to say the word. I tell him how overwhelmed and frustrated I am, but that I know thats not a good enough reason to induce labor and I wouldn't dream of it. I'm crying, just from pure emotional exhaustion. He spends a lot of time comforting me and telling me to call him whenever I want to, and then we make an appointment for the next afternoon (today). He of course knows I want to try and let labor come as naturally as possible, but wants me to know he is open to me changing my mind. Great guy, worth every penny. I get it together and go home. Kelly leaves to get back to her family, wishing me luck. Steph will be here until Tuesday.

When I got home I kept having overwhelming rushes of hormones- my skin feels like its crawling, I get chills, stomach ache, nausea, all of that. For about fifteen minutes I couldn't stop sobbing for no reason that I could see. Poor Scott, he had to take a nap after I was done crying, he hates seeing me that upset and with no way to help. We would both rather I just be having labor pains. So now its back to the doctor. I keep trying to look at Ben's little things and remember to be excited. My hormones are telling me that I will never have a baby and will just be in this miserable want-to-climb-out-through-my-eyeballs limbo forever. Its down to one minute at a time in here, and I am feeling every single minute. Sigh... patience.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

37 Weeks and Nursery Stuff

Phew! Fun week! We had two classes this week, CPR and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding was my favorite, though, the nurse was so great, both Scott and I learned a ton and I just got so excited to hold Ben!! I had a doctor appointment that went quick and easy. Ben is head down, ready to go. All my tests are normal and my weight came in at 150. He is super tight in there, but the doctor says there is plenty of fluid, so thats always good to hear. On Thursday I started the morning off with Bond and her roommate Arianna at Linnaea's, our favorite coffee shop here in town. They make the best waffles ever and we had some good laid back girl chat. Poor Bond, this was the morning after she was put to work by Scott installing out new entertainment center. There was a lot of feeding wires through the walls and I thought they were both going to lose it but they have way more patience than I do. After that I met up with Sarah and her beautiful daughter Felicia, who is so fun and lets me talk to her in high pitches and kiss her little cheeks while she takes everything in. She throws me the best smiles once in awhile and they can light up the whole room. Then we went over to the other Sara's house and babysat for her son Everett while she got her hair done. Tons of fun and plenty of laughs. Oh and I had a hair appointment in there, too. My hair was getting so long and I will need it out of my way for this whole newborn thing. The good news is I now have the cutest little pony tail you've ever seen with a preggo belly. They just seem to "go".
So after that crazy day, Scott and I had a wonderful Saturday together. We went to High Street Deli and got some great sandwiches, laid around together for a bit, and I got a ton of work done on the curtains for Ben's room. Now that I have all but one installed in his room, I think I probably could have just stopped at valances, but whatever. It was fun, and I completely accomplished my objective. Our future guests (and Steph, who already knows this) will be happy to know that we spent the majority of last night fixing that crazy awful loud fan in the nursery. It is essential to have a fan in there, but that thing is like sleeping next to a construction site. Steph lived with us for a month and never complained, she just dragged our spare in there and plugged it in, never said a word. Well, it does have a hum to it still, but is completely usable. We took it apart piece by piece (I was the holder and hander of small parts) and finally we figured it out. Scott McGyver-ed it a bit and now it is perfectly workable and we can banish the floor fan from the house forever. Fans on ceilings everywhere are a must.
How cute are these frames, just waiting for little pictures of Ben?
I bought these adorable wall decals from Etsy, they totally accomplished the look I wanted. Scott is skeptical about how long they will actually stay on the walls, but they are out of reach of little fingers, so I think they will make it.And don't worry, I'm not done with those curtains yet. They will not remain wrinkly and one-sided. Hopefully they will just peek out from both sides and not bother anybody. They are just for show. I asked Scott what he thought about them, and he paused, and I could see him trying to sneak a peek at his server on the top shelf (which the valance blocks from view). I said "Ahem, decorative opinion, not functional" and he immediately says, "Oh, well then they are great!" Haha, that server is a must-have but its ugly. I'm glad my cute valance hides it and all my not-cute accessories, like breast pumps and such.Although Scott thinks they are a little "girly". If we are still here when his macho-ness begins to be a concern, perhaps I will make new navy ones. Somehow I don't think its something I will have to worry too much about. For now, the adorable-ness of a little boy nursery has been achieved, in my opinion.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

36 Weeks and Introducing Dean Schmalbach!

What a day!!! Last night Smalls and Heather had their new baby, a BOY! Dean Tyler Schmalbach. She was scheduled for a C-section in two weeks, her 39th week, so he came early. I am over the moon with happiness and can't wait to meet him. Today Scott helped me hang a shelf, and we are prepping some wall decals, and I am hoping to get some work done on the curtains. We ran some errands, picking up some rods for the curtains. Tonight is Stephanie Owen's birthday, so we get to go out to dinner at Guisseppe's and meet up with a bunch of friends, always a treat.

I packed our bag for the hospital finally, thanks to Kelly reminding me. I wasn't too worried about it, but its nice to have that organized and off my mind. I still need to pre-register at the hospitals. I hope thats easy. Every time we are there it will be a night or a weekend, so I may have to go in some other time. I weighed in at 149 this week, and have been feeling pretty good, except for a few things. I have been on some medicine which has some interesting side effects that you don't want to know about. And some totally awful back spasms! They last about 30 seconds and I try to relax through them but they are crazy awful.  This week we have an infant CPR class, another doctor appointment, I have a hair cut on Thursday, and then breastfeeding class on Saturday, whew! It will be full and busy.

I can't believe its getting so close! Dean Schmalbach is already here!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Surprise! More Nesting

Not much to say besides everything is awesome, I love being home, and I had a bunch of material and ribbons left over so I made.... something.
I think of it as kind of a baby lounger-slash-tummy time mat. Its smallish, but I wanted something taggie for Ben to look at, pull on and try to eat. Most of the material was from my crayon costume a couple of years ago, and then some of that cute polka dot stuff is from the bear I made him, that you can see sitting in his crib a couple posts back. Really, I am gearing up to make some valances and curtains with this pile of blue dot material that I bought the other day. So much less complicated than the poofy taggie thing, but somehow more intimidating...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

35 Weeks- Decorating!

I still want to add fabric curtains and an inside valance
to hide that top shelf... someday when I get to
 the fabric store...
Preparing for Ben! I have been really enjoying myself this week. I am really comfortable now that I'm not traveling so much. I can't do too much walking, but a little bit is good. This weekend has been wonderful, Scott helped me hang some things in the nursery, and we just spent some quality time together. My weight is back up to 150, and when I saw Dr. Safarik he said everything was looking fine. Ben is head down and the doctor is pretty sure he will stay in that position. If he comes after August 19th, we will be going to French hospital, unless they are full.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Reveal of Some Gorgeous Maternity Photos

Okay, here they are! Dan Shaw's beautiful photo shoot. Click here if you would like to order: Dan Shaw Photography. Username and password are Thomas and Maternity.

We did these almost two weeks ago, and it was really fun, we love spending time with Dan, not to mention getting a pack of professional photos out of it! True to legend, after the shoot, Dan took off on some trips to Napa and Barcelona (he works as a cycling tour guide for a high end travel company). Oh, Dan, if you just hung around my life all day, my blog would look as awesome as my blog hero, who you can check out here, if you like. Well, maybe minus the luxury knits and flawless crafts and baking, but I have room to grow.

So, as promised (to myself), a list of things I love about my life, in true Kelle Hampton style:

I love the way the guys from Rayne tear in and out of my cul de sac/garage like the fate of the world depends on bringing me soft water.

I love Al-Anon, my kind, supportive and beautiful sponsors, and the doors it opened for me.
I love our huge bed at night. I love the way Skinny puts her little chin on my arm or her paw in my hand when we curl up to go to sleep. I love knowing that cuddling with Ben will be a trillion times better. I love laying in the dark, listening to Scott breathing (and sometimes snoring… Fatso also snores, but they haven’t become a chorus yet- really excited for that day). I love the sounds of the fan and the small noises outside. I love how we can have all the windows open all through the winter and stay cozy underneath my beautiful silk Pottery Barn bedding. I don't splurge on very much, but in my opinion, your bed is the thing to splurge on. I love that any time of night, if I nudge Scott, he will cuddle closer without waking. I love that when I come back from the bathroom and want him to turn over I just have to whisper "I'm the big spoon". Its the perfect hour for prayer, because its so easy to think of all that I am thankful for, just in that feeling of being tucked up next to Scott and the kitties in the quietness that is our town. Always feeling safe, warm and loved.

I love that something in our living room makes an inexplicable sound. For awhile, it sounded like a long lost cell phone, buried somewhere under a piece of furniture, that would vibrate at random. Steph and I scoured the place for it, only to find out weeks later that it was Scott's industrial grade Blackberry vibrating on the bedside table upstairs...(!!).... Now there's something new that sounds like a facebook chat- a little "pop", like one huge drip from a leaky faucet. Zero explanations so far.

I love the exciting, panicky, disgusting, exhilirating, painful experience of pregnancy. I would have gone without it if I had to. I would have accepted adoption as our path to parenthood and embraced my never-been-cohabited-body if that had been the case. However, it did arrive, and although yesterday and today have had their excruciating and icky moments (I'll spare you, don't worry), I do savor this. Especially when I pull together the energy to get my hair done and smile for Dan... because then pregnancy feels beautiful.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nesting and the Overwhelming Anticipation

I was all geared up to write this long romantic blog about how wonderful it is to get the house ready for Ben, and to know how soon he is coming... and Blogger almost sucked the life out of me by just being ridiculously hard to maneuver. Anyway. Vent over. Romance begins!

I rearranged the house and organized some of the crannies and nooks... set up lots of cute stuff so I could look at it. Some stuff he will have zero interest in for quite awhile, but still. I'll enjoy it.

His nursery is still underway, lots to do and figure out in there. Lots still in UPS trucks. Some stuff just plain lost, and I don't know how because I feel like I have gone through every box, bag and corner in this house. I keep starting a show while I'm eating and then noticing it about thirty minutes later, paused, and realizing I forgot all about it in my next excited project. I bought some airplane sheets and decals, decided they weren't the right colors and bought some more. Scott hesitantly asked me last night, "So, how much more stuff are you thinking you'll need?" I love how he words things very carefully, to let me know that whatever I 'need' is just fine with him, he just wants to know how big of a chunk of life savings needs to be transferred over to satisfy my hormonal whims. I list off the other things I just ordered while we were sitting together and then say that I think I am all done until after the baby comes. He swallows and taps away at Quicken, nodding cautiously. Its really not a lot. Boxes and boxes arrive, and somehow get sorted out until they dissappear into the house. We cleared out spaces for them, so they have places to live, which is good. But I sort of want abundance and clutter. No, I am sure organized and clean is just fine. Abundance and clutter will come later. Not that much later. I also got the cutest closet dividers... well anyway, I will take pictures of the nursery stuff later on and post those.

There is nothing better than summer fruit. It is my favorite season for eating. Peaches, nectarines, watermelon, and.... strawberries. The greatest thing in the world. I have to make sure that I have gorged myself on strawberries before they go out of season, otherwise I suffer all winter. And I have a confession: I returned to sunny-side up. I know, I'm breaking all the rules and could get some crazy bacterial something-or-other but I went eight and some odd months without my beloved breakfast and I just can't do it anymore! It's so delicious and wonderful and I imagine that I think better lately because of it. Its brain food. Don't send me hate mail, because I probably still won't stop. I'm almost 35 weeks and I am turning into a maternity rebel!
This is my view. Leaning way over of course. Look how little and far away my feet are! I keep thinking I am hearing the UPS truck and I get all ramped up but its just the garbage trucks (recycling, yard waste, etc). Wednesday mornings are such a tease.
This tiny lovely is Juliette's brand new baby, Jillian. I got to go visit her in the hospital yesterday (and ran into my OB-GYN outside by the nurse's station). While I was there, one of our friends Niccole (who is also pregnant) came in to visit on her break (she is an XR tech) it felt like home, being at the hospital again. The nurses are so friendly. Anyway, enough of that, on to Jillian. It was such a total experience being in the hospital with Juliette and Andrew, and little Jilli, knowing that in just a blink, this will be Scott and I, with Ben. Seeing her overnight bag on the floor, the hospital buttons and blankets and pillows. And Jillian, who is so tiny, but her tiny little eyes have so much thought in them! She studied me and made little newborn noises, and then floated off to sleep, warm and cozy. Her little feet pushed against my hand through the blanket and it was suddenly so real, Ben inside, pushing his little knee or foot or whatever it is out against my belly button. He kicked Jillian a couple times, hard enough to make her little body twitch up and down a bit, but she didn't seem to mind at all.
 I can't believe that just a couple of months ago, I went with her to a doctor's appointment (how surprised Dr. Safarik was when he saw two of his patients coming in to see him at once! He got double the questions, too, bless that man for not charging me a copay, he never gives you the feeling he is in any hurry at all) and the whole time I am watching him ask her questions, tell her whats coming up, I was thinking, this will be me at my next appointment. And that next appointment came very fast. Now here I was, holding Jillian, watching poor Juliette limp to the bathroom with help from the nurse, thinking... this will be me- any time now. Watching her get back in bed, just glowing and talking about how perfect and wonderful her little daughter is. That will be us. Any time now
Oh, yeah and the dishwasher broke.

Poor guy was up half the night trying to fix it... but he still smiled for the wife. Love him.