Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Eve and 39 week update

In taking a break from wrapping presents, readying guest rooms, and cleaning the house I figured I would post a short update since I probably won't get a chance for the next few days.

Today's doctor appointment was uneventful and nothing has changed so I'll save the little questionnaire for another time. Baby girl Park is still sitting on my bladder and I am still only one centimeter dilated. If she hasn't come by Thursday of next week I'll go in for a 40 week check up and we will set an induction date.

Since we know our exact date of conception (another hidden bonus of infertility) they are quicker to do an induction because we know she's getting overbaked. I don't want a toasty daughter!

Her fits are getting stronger and I doubt she's any more comfortable than I am, but I am not anxious to spend Christmas Day in the hospital so I hope she hangs on through the weekend and then we'll start trying to do enough jumping jacks to jar her loose!

We wish we could be with both of our families for the holidays, but we are blessed that my parents will be travelling down to us this Christmas and that my little brother will be trekking across the valley to join in. Although I know it is nothing like what next Christmas will look like with the entire Toys R Us toy department under the tree, our family room is currently decked out with quite the pile of gifts and a huge, pink ornament adorned tree (in honor of she who has yet to be named (publicly)).

My southern husband misses his white Christmases and I assume we will resume our normal journey to the White Mountains next year where Sprocket and his little sister can be properly spoiled before they are sent out to frolic in the white powder together. I am terrified about the prospect of being a mother, but certain that there will be a million moments in the next year that will make the struggles of the last two years worth it.

We wish every one of you reading this a very blessed Christmas, and we hope that the new year is warm and full of even more gifts than this year was.

Friday, December 17, 2010

38 week baby update

How far along? 38 weeks

Total Weight Gain? 27 pounds. Back up a pound, which meant back up to the 150s. I am not excited about this at all and was hoping to finish this thing in the 140s, but it wasn't meant to be.

Maternity Clothes? That, or the double hair elastic on the waistbands of my jeans.

Stretch Marks? Still the one yucky one. I'm sure I'll get more in the next two weeks though because I don't think anything can stretch much further without serious repercussions.

Sleep? None. I don't mean to be a complainer because I am beyond overjoyed that she is still in there getting ready for her big day, but this has been the hardest part. I'm up all night long running to the bathroom and my stupid bladder is constantly in spasms. I am definitely looking forward to her not being planted right on my organs.

Best Moment This Week? Hmmm...Getting all of the out of town presents mailed off and the cards sent. I still have a few gifts to pick up for Corey and we still have my Dad's gifts to choose, but other than that I'm done.

Movement? Much less again. Doc says she's doing fine, and I can usually stir her up with a lot of ice water and some jiggling, but she's lazy.

Food Cravings? I ate some popcorn this week and it tasted good. I don't think it counts as a craving, but at least I kept it down! :)

Gender? Girl, girl, girl.

Labor signs? No additional dilation this week and the Dr. says he doesn't think I'm going to go too far ahead of my due date. He also acknowledges that there is no way for him to know this, but I'll take his word. Looks like we'll make it through Christmas.

Belly Button? Still an innie. A bruised looking, scarred, stretched out innie, but an innie nonetheless.

What I Miss? Sleep, hot baths, not waddling, and not seeing looks of pity plastered on strangers' faces whenever I go somewhere.

What I Am Looking Forward To? Meeting her. Pretty much everything else is in a stand-still.

Weekly Wisdom? Don't get pregnant in April. This Christmas stuff is hard work when you're a hot air balloon.

Milestones? I don't know that we really have many milestones left, but each day is a blessing! A big, fat, uncomfortable blessing, but a blessing nonetheless! :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The season of giving

If you know me, or have followed me for any length of time you know that the boy and I do our best to recognize how blessed we are, especially compared to others. Of course, just like everyone else, we take a lot of things for granted and specifically during Christmas we find it very easy to get caught up in gift buying, spending, decking the halls, and everything else that comes so naturally to those with privilege.

For the past three years we have put together boxes for Operation Christmas Child and we have adopted a family in our community (or in our state at least) for Christmas. Unfortunately, we have had terrible luck with adopting a family and every year we were left feeling very disenchanted with the experience, so this year we decided that we would opt out of it and add to our prayers that God would present a different opportunity for us to help someone.

Almost immediately we found out that not only would our church be a designated Operation Christmas Child location, but also that Christian Family Services had many foster children in the area that were in need of presents for Christmas. It is a strange mix of feelings that comes with this because we are excited to be able to help, but it is hard knowing that there are so many in need.

We make it a tradition to each pack a box for a child, and this year we thought that even though the baby is not quite here yet she should also have a box sent in her name. So, we packed up our usual boxes and then headed to the church to volunteer on the collections end.

While we were there we met an amazing woman who has been part of the Samaritan's Purse organization for years and we got to talking about what a welcome gift these boxes really are. She has gone out on distribution missions to give the boxes to children in Belize, China, Canada, and Africa and told us that these were literally the first gifts many of the children had been given. Not the first Christmas gifts, the first gifts, period. Can you imagine having never been given a present in your life?

She also reiterated something that my darling husband had already thought of and something that hadn't really occurred to me at all: the younger age groups get many more boxes packed for them than the older ones. I often get caught up in buying cute little girl toys and outfits, so I saw Corey's eyes light up a bit when she mentioned that the oldest boy group (ages 10-14) often has a lot of children that are forced to be men because they are the head of household. I knew that we would be packing another box, and sure enough we headed straight to the store to pack a box that we hope will end up with the right boy. Corey filled it to the brim with tools: a hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches and a bunch of other boy things that I never would have thought of.

When we got home he spent another hour trying to wedge all his findings into the small shoebox - something that could have only happened with divine intervention because there must have been twenty pounds of items crammed in there. And so, the members of our little family of *almost* four each sent a shoebox to Asia this year, praying that each will end up with a child who has been hoping for its exact contents.

We also were lucky to have chosen two local foster children to adopt, a one-year-old girl, and a sixteen year-old (again, thanks to my thoughtful husband who noticed that the older children's names were not being chosen) and we had a wonderful time shopping for them. And thanks to some ninja shopping skills we were able to score quite a bit of stuff for each of them while only going over the spending limit slightly! I only wish we could be there with them on Christmas to see their faces!

I'm sorry that this post isn't written very well - reading back I realize that it's all over the place - but it was important to me to share how thankful we are that we had two amazing chances to be part of a bigger picture this year. We were both concerned that with everything else going on in our lives (any day now people) we wouldn't be able to participate as much and instead we were blessed with new opportunities.

Sometimes getting what you ask for isn't a bad thing at all.

Friday, December 10, 2010

37 week baby update

How far along? 37 weeks

Total Weight Gain? 26 pounds. It's not much, but the half pound I lost this week made me incredibly happy! I'd love it if this was my fighting weight for the next three weeks!

Maternity Clothes? No change in this.

Stretch Marks? Yep - the one I thought I had last week is for sure a stretch mark. It's not a sweet little pink stretch mark either - it's one of those heinous ones that is on steroids. I can't wait to laser it off!

Sleep? The Beagador had issues this week, so when I wasn't up with the baby I was up with him. Luckily, he is on the mend so at least my boys are getting sleep.

Best Moment This Week? We reached full term! I cannot believe it - I'm excited for her to get here, but so nervous to get everything ready. Realistically, I will never ever be ready for her.

Movement? Much less this week. No reason to worry - we can still wake her up with a story from daddy or some ice water. She's just out of room.

Food Cravings? Still no appetite. I have to admit, I'm convinced that most pregnant women use the baby as an excuse to eat crazy things that they would have craved without being pregnant. We all crave certain foods, but I have not experienced ANY of those, "It's 2am and I just gotta have ice cream" kind of feelings.

Gender? Girl, girl, girl.

Labor signs? Not much new since last week. Today's check up didn't show much progress - still only one centimeter dilated, although he said I'm almost completely (90% or so) effaced.

Belly Button? Still an innie. A bruised looking, scarred, stretched out innie, but an innie nonetheless.

What I Miss? Laying on my stomach and super hot baths.

What I Am Looking Forward To? Decorating for Christmas this weekend, and getting the rest of the baby stuff done. Every time I think I've purchased everything I come up with another list of a dozen things. I have no idea how people afford babies without major planning!

Weekly Wisdom? Before you have a baby take what you think you'll spend getting ready for him/her and then triple it. Pretty much the same rules as vacation.

Milestones? Reaching full term is a pretty cool milestone if you ask me. Granted, I probably have another three weeks left, but I'm excited about her getting to this point. The Peanut is a rock star!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nursery pics

I've been saying I would take some pictures of the nursery when it is completed, but I don't think it's EVER going to be completed so I'll show you the work in progress. And if you're thinking to yourself, "You don't have much time..." Yes, you're right. And we know. But I'm in denial.

Her lovely swing. If a girlier baby item exists I am unaware of it - this thing projects little pink butterflies on the canopy for goodness sake.

The tree needs something so it doesn't look quite so foreboding, but Corey doesn't like the flowers I picked so we're still on the hunt.

Our insanely comfortable Dutailier glider (Thanks Mom and Dad!). I anticipate many sleepless nights spent in this thing. This was also the ONE thing that Corey picked out. We tried thirteen million of them, but he put his foot down and said we were getting Dutailier. My husband has expensive tastes.

We hired a wonderful little graphic designer from etsy to do her wall art - the middle one is missing because it has the baby's name on it and that is still top secret.

It may or may not contain this letter. And these wall letters may or may not be on one wall of the nursery.

And although this is the least feminine article in the baby arsenal, this is the world famous Fisher Price Rainforest Bouncer, widely regarded as the most wonderful bouncer in the world. It is also harder to get one of these than it is to get on the Birkin waiting list so I am insanely proud of the skills I used to procure this.

It is truly a miracle not only that I took these pictures, but also that I managed to upload them. Our new camera is wonderful, amazing, and harder to understand than the Honduran taxi cab driver with a lisp that we had on vacation this year. I spent the last twenty minutes pressing random buttons and hoping that they worked.

Corey swears he will learn how to use it before the baby comes, so I'm hoping he really does! Oh, and thanks again Mom and Dad!!

Still to do: Finish the tree (as noted above - any ideas welcome!), sew the crib skirt, curtains and her monkey quilt, finish washing the cloth diapers (quite the endeavor) pack the hospital bags, get the car seats inspected, oh and I still need to come to grips with the idea that we will be bringing home a baby this month. A tall order to be sure.

Wish us luck!

Monday, December 6, 2010

36 week baby update

How far along? 36 weeks

Total Weight Gain? 26.5 pounds. The weight loss wasn't meant to be a streak. This up and down thing seems to be a pattern, so I'm hoping that I won't have put much on at the next appointment. I don't have any room in there to eat, so I guess as long as my jeans keep fitting the same I'm not going to stress too much...

Maternity Clothes? Ugh. Just ugh.

Stretch Marks? I think I have one. It looks weird, and we thought it was a vein because it's blue, but it won't go away. Such a tragedy.

Sleep? Who needs it?

Best Moment This Week? Being one week away from full term! It's unbelievable really. We're dilated 1cm and 70% effaced, so I'm happy about that. The closer I can be to a normal pregnant woman, the better.

Movement? She rolls around and is searching for the exit on a regular basis.

Food Cravings? I wanted some peanut butter M&Ms the other day, but they were out. I have a feeling it was divine intervention!

Gender? As our house turns decidedly more pink I hope she's still a girl.

Labor signs? My contractions are getting more and more painful and more frequent, so I spent a week on bedrest. Since we're getting so close to due date though I don't think they're too concerned even if she comes today, so I've been given sweet freedom. Not that I have much energy to do anything though.

Belly Button? Only because of the unfathomable depths of my belly button is it still an innie. I just don't think that thing could pop out no matter how many babies were in there.

What I Miss? Eating or drinking anything without getting nauseous. I think this is what it feels like to have a lap band, and I feel awful for those people. A thimble of water? Half an egg? It's crazy!

What I Am Looking Forward To? The rest of the cloth diapers coming in today. I think that's the last thing on our to-buy list.

Weekly Wisdom? The last few weeks fly by so do everything early! I don't even have the bag packed yet! Yikes.

Milestones? Nothing really - but this is the last week that she would be considered premature. Hallelujah!