Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time....slow down

Has it really been almost 6 months?!  Holy smokes, I feel like we've jumped into a time accelerator from the moment we left the hospital with Jaxon!  It's hard to write this update and try not to make it sound like one big cliche after another.  I never imagined I'd have the lifestyle I'm now living.  Five years ago my mind was set that I would never get married and I definitely wouldn't have children.  Ummmmmm... John blew that thinking all to pieces!  We constantly ask each other what the heck we did to each other!  Life has changed drastically for us over the years and it's all been for the better.

It's been nice hearing how many people enjoyed my pregnancy journal!  I'm glad I was able to shed a light on some of the things to come for those that were/are expecting.  After the experiences I've had since finding out I was pregnant all the way though postpartum, I've decided that someone needs to write a book about all the crap no one tells you!  I've learned that a lot of women are tight lipped about the realities of pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. It's definitely not all bliss filled with 24-hour perma-grin plastered across your face!  Just mention the words first poop to any mother and just see the look of pain run across their face!  Yeah ladies, you know you just cringed a little thinking about that moment when you broke out in a sweat and prayed God wouldn't take you out in such a manner.  But, you survived so how about warning your expecting friends?!  No one will complain if you take the element of surprise away when it comes to something like that! 

I feel like most days now it's a struggle to feel confident about my appearance.  We have a trip coming up soon and we'll be attending wedding.  Every dress that I've tried on, I've looked like a busted can of biscuits (even the dresses that weren't tight).  Things are so awkwardly out of shape at the moment.  I know, I know, I'm well aware that I've had a baby and it will take time but still it's not easy.  It's definitely a struggle.  I think the most confident
I've ever been in my life was when I was pregnant, I actually miss the bump (not the pains)!  I've also realized that God has a sense of humor once again and it's directed towards me.  After all the shameless prayers for no stretch marks, I've found some as my body has been readjusting.  I have stretch marks on my rear...yep, my bum!  Not only are they there but I have a symetrical pair of marks on both sides.  Go figure. Well played stretch marks, well played….. All the weight that I was told would "fall right off," no one told me it would be in the weight of my hair.  Thankfully that has subsided for the most part.  For a while there I was thinking that I was going to end up bald.  Seriously, HAIR EVERYWHERE.

Life with baby is definitely different.  No more spur of the moment ventures, even a trip to the grocery store requires proper planning and timing.  Sleep is a thing of the past.  Notice it's been almost 6 months since I posted and almost 6 months since he came into this world this is by no coincidence. In only 5 short months he's already changed so much that I'm begging for time to slow down.  He has such a personality now.  He's already nonstop and he can't even walk….

Life is forever more in fast forward

Homemade Caramel Pie

Out of all the holiday "normals" that one can pick to be their "normal" I sure as heck picked a time consuming treat!  How can you resist caramel pie though?  Seriously, I want to know?!  Here's instructions on how you too can fall into the task of having to bring the caramel pie to the holiday festivities…..

Homemade Caramel Pie
2 cans Eagle Brand Sweetened Milk
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (optional)
1 pie shell or 12 mini shells
Milk Chocolate Chips
Chopped Pecans
Whipped topping

Instructions:  Remove labels from the cans of Eagle Brand Sweetened Milk and place on their side in a large pot.  Fill the pot with water so the cans are completely submerged.  Add 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil to the water.  With the stovetop on HIGH bring water to a boil.  Once at a boil, turn the cans 180 degrees and replenish the water (it does evaporate, keep those cans completely covered at all times) every 30 minutes for a total of 3 hours.  Once the cans have boiled for 3 hours remove from heat.  Keep in mind these cans are HOT, I typically pour the cans out into the sink while I'm draining out the water.  Allow the cans to cool for 2 hours.  Once cooled, open cans and spoon into a pie shell(s).  Top with whipped topping, chopped pecans and chocolate chips.

*Yes, the stovetop must remain on HIGH for the whole 3 hour boiling period.  Look at it is as though you are getting a free pass to the spa because your kitchen and home will turn into a moist sauna!  

*I say the Olive Oil is optional because I read that it helps the caramel boil more evening.  I've never tested whether this is actually true or not because I'm not spending 3 hours to find out if no olive oil equals lumpy scorched caramel!  

Not a fan of pie?  No problem!  Use the caramel as a topping for ice cream, apples, etc. 

I secretly enjoy making these pies only because I know how delicious my family thinks they are and I think they are pretty scrumptious as well!  


Sunday, June 8, 2014

40 Weeks

How far along? 40 weeks

Weight gain? 42 lbs

Baby is the size of - a watermelon

Stretch marks? I'm seriously beyond shocked (as I'm sure some of you are as well) there have been no signs of stretch marks

Sleep? There is no sleep anymore, it's more like quick naps interrupted by excruciating pain.

Miss anything?  Sleep, having energy, being pain free

Cravings? Apples covered in about half a jar of peanut butter, sea salt and Nutella.  Sweets as well.  I had some Reese's cups packed in our L&D bag for John while we are at the hospital but I couldn't resist the urge anymore, they are now in the fridge and quickly disappearing!

Anything make you queasy or sick?  Nope, other than things prior mentioned

Symptoms? Pain, pain, pain…  so much pain that I'm actually looking forward to delivery day knowing that it's the only thing that will make this pelvic pain go away!  I've had some mild contractions this week but nothing major.

Belly button - In or out? My "turkey timer" says he's done…hehe!

Wedding rings - on or off? They are still off

Any movement? Jaxon still isn't slowing down, he's full of movement and stretches all the time.  Sometimes my stomach gets hard as a rock and I'm unable to move because of his position.  Take the hint Jaxon, you need to come on out!

Happy or moody? I've been more moody this week but I try to control it.  At this point in pregnancy, I would love to know of someone who's full of sunshine so I could find out what kind of drugs they are on!

What emotions have you been experiencing this week?  It's been an emotional week for me.  We went to our appoint on Friday (40 wks 2 days) so excited and left feeling completely deflated.  So much excited, not to mention so much pain and we both had in our minds that this was the weekend we'd welcome Jaxon into to the world.

Looking forward to - Seeing John hold our son for the very first time.  I know it'll absolutely melt my heart a million times over.  Maybe this sounds a little selfish, but I'm also looking forward to not having to share my body with Jaxon; it's getting beyond painful.  I'm looking forward to bringing him home and starting our new chapter in life as parents.

Week 40 Fun Fact - Jaxon IS stubborn just like his momma and his daddy agrees!  Also, this will be the last pregnancy blog update since I will be induced this coming week at 41 weeks & 2 days.  We're hoping and praying that he naturally makes his appearance before he's forced out but either way, he'll be here by next week!

So our "due date" has come and gone with no signs that Jaxon is ready to come out.  Since our appointment Friday was past our due date I was hooked up for NST monitoring.  NST is short for Fetal Non-Stress Test and let me tell you, there was no stressing on this momma-to-be either.  I got to kick back in a recliner as John and I listened to his heart beating.   I had a few mild contractions while hooked up but nothing crazy.  Jaxon's heart rate stayed around 130bpm with a high of 158 and low of 95.  We were told everything looked great on the monitor so we were put into an exam room so I could be checked for dilation.  Still only 1.5cm dilated.  The excited feeling completely drained right out of us upon hearing that.  The OB told us that she'd have her assistant schedule us for induction at the hospital in the coming week and that I would need to check in the night before for cervical ripening.  It took all I had not to completely fall apart at that point and the rest of the day to be quite honest.  We'd planned to go out for eggplant parmesan after the appointment but after hearing that I wasn't dilating I didn't know if it would be safe to induce labor.  Since they won't induce me at the hospital without dilating me first I wasn't sure I should try it.  If anyone knows if it is safe or not, please let me know! If not, and if things don't progress naturally, we are scheduled to check into the hospital on Thursday and I'll start pitocin early Friday morning.  In ways I think that it would be nice to go in the night before and have that time for just me and John and have everything more on a schedule (I'm a scheduled type of person) but on the same token I know every day he's in me at this point the risks get higher for him.

Saturday was John's birthday and unfortunately he had to work.  Boooo.  I'm really loving that he's not in Afghanistan anymore but I'm not loving the fact that he's always working.  He headed off to work and I tried my best to find a comfy position to get some more sleep.  I woke up a few times but laid in bed the majority of the morning just trying to relax.  Although the later in the day it got, the harder it got to relax because all I could think about was how I wished Jaxon would make his appearance for John's birthday.  It was a hard realization to come to and there might've been some tears momentarily shed over my disappointment that it wasn't going to happen.  People mentioning how they hoped he'd be born on his birthday only made it harder.  I know there was nothing I could've done to had changed it but deep down I couldn't help but feel like a total failure that it didn't happen.   After John got off from work I met him at Biltmore Estate where we took a nice waddly walk, yes, I waddle I have no shame to admit it at this point, and then we got some ice cream before heading to dinner.  We had Italian at Pomadoros.  It was our first time eating there and we will definitely be going back!  We headed home after that where I surprised him with some gifts and a Smores Blizzard ice cream cake from Dairy Queen!  Part of his birthday includes what will possibly be our first night out after Jaxon's arrival.  We will be going to see ZZ Top perform at the Biltmore Estate in July.  Yes, a babysitter is already lined up for us to get away for a couple hours that night!  It was a good day after I was able to be with him.  He has a way of putting a smile on my face when no one else can, especially the past few days. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

39 Weeks

How far along? 39 weeks

Weight gain? 40 lbs

Baby is the size of - a watermelon

Stretch marks? I'm seriously beyond shocked (as I'm sure some of you are as well) there have been no signs of stretch marks

Sleep? Sleep, I get it when I can.  I've found my best sleep comes in the early evening when I'm too exhausted to stay awake any longer.

Miss anything?  Sleep and moving with ease

Cravings? Apples covered in about half a jar of peanut butter, sea salt and Nutella.  I've devoured a canister of toasted coconut almonds this week.  I'm still eating Lucky Charms daily and craving Dr Pepper.

Anything make you queasy or sick?  Nope, other than things prior mentioned

Symptoms? Pain, pain, pain…  so much pain that I'm actually looking forward to delivery day knowing that it's the only thing that will make this pelvic pain go away!  I've done lots of deep squats and sat on a large exercise ball this week to help ease the pain and it does help momentarily but I can't do that stuff around the clock, although, the thought has crossed my mind!

Belly button - In or out? It's an outie and it's definitely not cute by any means! (You can see it poking out in this weeks picture)  My "turkey timer" says he's done…hehe!

Wedding rings - on or off? They are still off

Any movement? Jaxon isn't slowing his movement down just because he's out of space.  The OB says it's a great thing and that most people don't feel their baby moving much at this point.  I sure hope she's got good hands because she's going to have to catch a circus monkey any day now!

Happy or moody? I've not been a beaming ray of sunshine but I've not been a thundercloud either.  I've tried to laugh as much as possible and not let my uncomfortableness show so much.

What emotions have you been experiencing this week?  This week I've still been stressing over going back to work after Jaxon is here.  I finished up my FMLA paper work and got it turned in this week, it wasn't easy I won't lie.  I'm in disbelief that this is (possibly) the last week, I'm nervous, I'm scared, I'm excited!

Looking forward to - Seeing John hold our son for the very first time.  I know it'll absolutely melt my heart a million times over.  Maybe this sounds a little selfish, but I'm also looking forward to not having to share my body with Jaxon; it's getting beyond painful.  I'm looking forward to bringing him home and starting our new chapter in life as parents.

Week 39 Fun Fact - Jaxon is still continuing to gain weight with each week.  He's in position and according to the OB, he's pretty far down into my pelvis already.  The last part of that was of no surprise, trust me, I know he's down there! (But exactly how far down down was a surprise, continue reading)

Me & my cousin Leslie.  She found out this week that she is having a little mister as well.  His due date is in October! 

Week 39 started off pretty easy, I thought that I'd finally figured out how to ease the pelvic pain after positioning myself differently two nights in a row and waking up pain free.  Much to my disappointment, that only lasted two days…bummer!  But oh my, those two days of relief were AMAZING.  It was so nice to be able to move around with ease and feel human again!  We had another visit with the OB on Friday.  I like our choice of for an OB in that they let you have options as far as whether or not you'd like to be checked for progression during the visits.  At our last visit I was disappointed to find out we were only at 1/2cm and no effacement so I was on the fence about being checked this week, I didn't want to disappoint myself again if there had been no progression.  But, if I was going to have to go into the office, I was going for more than just to pee in a cup, check of the weight and BP and be informed that our due date is getting close.  It was a pleasant surprise to find out that I'm now dilated to 1.5cm, 70% effaced and he's down to a +2 station.  The OB said that he was at a +2 and mentioned that he was really far down into my pelvis.  I didn't think much of it because all anyone ever mentions is dilation and effacement.  Well I googled what the stations meant and holy smokes a 2+ looks like he's just ready to fall out according to the chart I found!  If only it were that easy but it definitely explains why the intensity of the pain has increased so much lately!  For anyone that is like me and only paid attention to dilation and effacement, I've added a diagram to show you the different stations.  After seeing this diagram, I'm ready to camp out in the parking lot of the hospital! No joke! I'm not the woman that wants to forgo the drugs, I don't want to feel him coming out.  Trust me, I know I'm a woman and I know what an amazing moment it will be to deliver Jaxon but I don't need to feel everything to know and appreciate what an amazing thing my body has done!

Yet again this week I've had returning to work heavy on my mind.  I finally got the paperwork finished up and turned in to HR.  It was beyond hard to turn in papers saying that I would return to work in only 9 weeks.  9 weeks…that seems like such a short amount of time at home with my little fella before returning to work.  Thank God they are willing to let me work from home initially when I return so I'm not stressing over a pump/work routine in the office.  At least I'll be at home and I'll be able to more easily transition.  I know that nothing is going to take the sting away completely but being allowed to ease back into work won't be as traumatic.

Jaxon's room has completely transformed over the past few weeks!  It's amazing to see the transition from a plain room to a Gamecock inspired nursery.  I did have my doubts when I agreed to using garnet and grey thinking that it would be too USC for me because everyone knows I'm a Vols fan!  The nursery turned out really well and we are both proud of it!  Here's a few pictures!  I made the crib skirt and the curtains.  My mom helped me out with the curtains since every time I'd get in the floor to cut fabric or measure my feet would swell up horribly.  Mom also hand knitted the quilt that is wrapped over the railing of his bed, we both LOVE it! 

This week also marked an important date for John & I!  Four years ago, I sent him an email telling him that I recalled him mentioning that he'd be home for R&R around the first part of June and that I would like to see him while he's home.  He'd tried for the longest time, years actually, but something told me that day that I should take a chance.  Just as luck would have it, the very day I sent the email, he was on his way back to Afghanistan and he'd just finished up his R&R.  It was disappointing at the time but now we know it was just part of God's plan.  It would now be 6 months before we could go on that first date so while we anxiously awaited those months to pass, we sent novel sized emails to one another daily.  When I picked him up at the airport that December, it felt more like I was picking up my best friend and soulmate moreso than picking up someone I hadn't seen since high school.  So where was our first date you might asked?  It was to Boston and New York!  His cousin was getting married and as anyone in contracting or military knows, you make the most of every single day of R&R leave and that is exactly what we did!  4 years and it just keeps getting better and better! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

38 Weeks

How far along? 38 weeks

Weight gain? 38 lbs - Holding steady this week with no weight gain

Baby is the size of - a small pumpkin

Stretch marks? Still haven't spotted any!

Sleep? Sleep …. I only wish I could sleep.  Currently I'm running on 4 hours of uneasy sleep.

Miss anything?  Sleep and moving with ease

Cravings? Fruit mostly this week and Dr Pepper

Anything make you queasy or sick?  Nope, other than things prior mentioned

Symptoms? Insanely intense pelvic pain.  Getting up at night brings me close to tears it's so painful.  I look like a pokey old granny doing the two foot shuffle instead of walking when I have to get up at night.

Belly button - In or out? It's an outie and it's definitely not cute by any means!  Haha

Wedding rings - on or off? They are still off

Any movement? Jaxon is still trying his best to stretch my belly out to accommodate him better but it's not working.  Obviously, he's uncomfortable and so am I!

Happy or moody? I've not been a beaming ray of sunshine but I've not been a thundercloud either.

What emotions have you been experiencing this week?  This week I've been stressing over going back to work after Jaxon is here.  It's upsetting already, I know I'll have to do it but it doesn't mean that I have to like it.   

Looking forward to - Seeing John hold our son for the very first time.  I know it'll absolutely melt my heart a million times over.  Maybe this sounds a little selfish, but I'm also looking forward to not having to share my body with Jaxon; it's getting beyond painful.

Week 38 Fun Fact - Jaxon is still continuing to gain weight with each week.  At this point his head is about the same circumference as his abdomen.

Our hospital bags are packed, his room is finished and now, we wait…. We had another checkup this past Friday with McArthur.  We are now at the "full-term" mark.  Yay.  Strangely enough, I've stopped gaining weight even though Jaxon is continuing to gain weight weekly.  It's been a struggle with food lately because I know that I need to be eating a lot more than what I tend to do on most days but I feel so full already that I have no appetite or when I start eating I fill up after only a few bites.   I had contractions most of the night Thursday night but nothing that stayed consistent.  The OB checked me for dilation but I haven't dilated anymore than I had three weeks ago when I was at only a fingertip dilated.  Not the news we wanted to hear but on a positive note, it's looking like he's definitely going to be a June baby.  John would love to share his birthday week with Jaxon and it's looking like there's a very good chance of that.

This whole week I've been struggling a lot with the thoughts of having to go back to work after just a few short weeks after Jaxon's arrival.  It's been on my mind a lot and it's hard to put those thoughts on the back burner while I'm filling out FMLA forms and realizing just how quickly my time with him, being fully focused on him and not work, will be.  Growing up, I was never the girl that wanted kids (funny how things change).  A lot of that was due the the fact that I didn't want to be a working mom but always knew that times had changed from when I was born and most mom's work now.  Paying someone else to spend precious time with my child was something I didn't even want to think about, but now I have to think about it.  I know that being a full time stay at home mom is not in the cards currently but it doesn't make the idea settle any easier with me.  Lots of prayers are being said that when the time comes to go back, that I will know without a doubt that I'm doing the right thing and what's best for our family at the time.

 Yesterday was Memorial Day so we were both off from work.  It was a beautiful day to get out and enjoy the sunshine and our freedom but not forgetting those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  The North Buncombe High School Band set up a flag display of 600 flags.  They were absolutely gorgeous to see.  Flags could be purchased in memory of or in honor of our military veterans.  We purchased one for each of John's papaws as well as one for a fallen hero John had met during his time in Afghanistan.  My papaw already had one placed in the field for him but we made sure to find it.  In the picture of the two of us in front of the flags we are actually standing next to papaw Coy's flag.  It's hard thinking that Jaxon will grow up never knowing him, he was such an amazing person, but I'm sure I'll be telling him all about him over the years.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Dear Jaxon…. A letter to my unborn son

Jaxon Miles Bratz,

I can't believe that we are a week and a half away from your due date!  Momma and Daddy are so excited to meet you.  I'm sure from now until you are born will be the longest days of my life with so much anticipation built up.  Everything is prepared for your arrival, now we just wait.

The waiting gives me time to think and reflect back on how much can change in a person's life due to one thing.  That thing can simply be wrapped up into one word, LOVE.  You see, your daddy and I never imagined we'd ever be anxiously awaiting the arrival of a child of our own.  We never imagined as individuals that we'd settle down and get married either.  Nor did we ever imagine that we'd end up moving back to our hometown.  Yet here we are living in the town we grew up (for the most part, your daddy lived in NY for part of his childhood before moving a mile away from me).  It took your daddy some time to convince me to let him take me on a date, years actually, but it was all in God's timing and His timing was perfect.  Our first date, to Boston and New York, was beyond words but I knew that your daddy was unlike anyone else I'd ever met.  I knew he was the one God intended me to be with.  Our relationship fell into place with no reservations and no doubts.  After a year into our relationship daddy called your granddaddy from Afghanistan and asked if he approved for us to get married.  Of course granddaddy said that he wasn't giving me away but your daddy could gladly join our family. We were married while daddy was home for R&R from Afghanistan.  It was a small wedding in Nashville, TN, that's how we like to do things, even if it did upset some.  When we found out you would be coming into our lives, we were so excited and now we are anxiously awaiting your arrival.  Some days your daddy just looks at me and says he wished he could send me a picture of how life is now to my former self 5 years ago.  Love changed everything about the way we lived, saw life and looked at the future.  One day you too will see that love changes everything, even in your own life.

The first thing that your daddy said when I let him know that we were expecting was, "Please God don't let it be a girl."  Your daddy prayed hard for a little mister and he almost hit the roof (literally) the day he heard the words, "it's a boy."  Jaxon, your daddy loves you so much and he has big plans for you two.  He talks to you daily so I have no doubt that you will know exactly who he is on your birthday and you will already have a special bond.  Which is a good thing, because I'm not so sure he's going to share you once he gets his hands on you!  I can't wait to see you with your daddy.  He's awesome, which you will soon find out.  He has a heart of gold and will give his all in everything he does and you little one will be no exception to that.  

Your middle name, although not a family name, has so much meaning for me and your daddy.  You see, there were several thousand miles that separated us for years while he was in Afghanistan, but it drew us to one another.  We learned who each other was in ways that most spouses never get to.  We are thankful in that sense for the miles.  They drew us so close to each other and we proved that distance means nothing when someone means so much.  One day, we hope that you will keep in mind just what the Miles means and know that there was a lot of love behind the meaning of your name, it wasn't just a name we saw and liked.  Miles was part of our definition but we used it to make us stronger not pull us apart.  And you, Jaxon Miles, are making us even stronger than we could imagine and we still haven't met you.

As you grow older, I hope you have the patience with us that we will have to have with you as you learn about growing up and we learn about parenthood.  We are a little terrified that the hospital is actually going to send us home with you to raise but we are looking forward to the challenge.  

I can't wait to meet you my son!

Love - Momma 

Monday, May 19, 2014

37 Weeks

How far along? 37 weeks

Weight gain? 38 lbs -Yes, I lost weight this past week.  A 4lbs loss was definitely shocking!

Baby is the size of - a watermelon - yikes!

Stretch marks? Still haven't spotted any.  From the feel of my skin stretching from the weight of my belly, I'm completely shocked and still praying that I don't get any!

Sleep? Sleep ….remind me what that is again?  The best sleep I get is after I hit the snooze

Miss anything?  Moving with ease.

Cravings? Fruit and meat.  The look on John's face when he noticed I'd sat down next to him on the couch with a half of a watermelon and a spoon was priceless.  Hey, this girl wanted some watermelon!  

Anything make you queasy or sick? Still the aftermath of giving birth makes me queasy…

Symptoms? Pelvic pain is back and in full force.  It has been a miserably painful week.  So painful that I've resorted to sleeping with a heating pad between my legs in hopes to get even just the slightest bit of relief.  It doesn't really help but I keep telling myself that it might be more painful without the heating pad.  I'm seriously trying to fool myself into believing that…

Belly button - In or out? It's an outie and it's definitely not cute by any means!  Haha

Wedding rings - on or off? They are still off and I'm slowly coming to terms to that they will be till after delivery. Have I mentioned how much I miss wearing them?!

Any movement? He's been working on his leg muscles a lot this week.  We've found humor in my insanely crazy shaped belly, especially when he completely stretches his legs out!  We press against his feet and the other side of my belly (his butt) will protrude even further out.

Happy or moody? I've definitely not been a ray of sunshine this week, but I wouldn't consider myself moody either.  It always helps to have a husband that's as awesome as mine to keep be going and smiling when otherwise I wouldn't feel like it.

What emotions have you been experiencing this week? The holy smokes they are really going to let us take a baby home to raise emotions have been hitting me hard this week!  Of course since day one we've known that life is going to change so much with a baby but it's really sinking in now that everything is done and we're just waiting now.  I'm thrilled, I'm excited, I'm scared but most importantly I'm really looking forward to this adventure known as parenthood!   

Looking forward to - Seeing John hold our son for the very first time.  I know it'll absolutely melt my heart a million times over.

Week 37 Fun Fact - Jaxon is still continuing to gain weight.

There's not much to highlight for this week.  I did start my weekly appointments this week with the OB.  Nothing says you are getting close to delivery day like knowing you have weekly appointments from here on out and noticing that your belly has "dropped."  Our bags are packed, including snacks for L&D for John and afterwards for the both of us.  John has the carseat loaded and secured into the Jeep, he even took it by the fire department to have it inspected to make sure it was correct.  We are ready and we are as prepared as prepared can be when it comes to bringing a child into the world.  I don't think anyone could ever honestly say they are fully prepared, but we are as much as possible.
Jaxon, we are beyond excited to meet you! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

36 Weeks

How far along? 36 weeks

Weight gain? 42 lbs

Baby is the size of - a honeydew melon

Stretch marks? None! Yay!

Sleep? Sleep has been an absolute struggle once again this week.  I'm sure since Jaxon is head down and constantly putting pressure on my pelvic bones that it's not going to change until he's out.

Miss anything?  Moving with ease.

Cravings? Fruit.  I think I could eat my weight in honeydew this week, which is kind of disturbing considering that Jaxon's size is comparable to a honeydew.

Anything make you queasy or sick? Lately I've been looking past the delivery day and the actual recovery and how I'll feel during the process makes me a little queasy.  I have my supply for making "padcicles" and they will be made soon and waiting for me in the freezer.

Symptoms? Pelvic pain is back and in full force.

Belly button - In or out? It's quite the outie anymore

Wedding rings - on or off? This has been the first full week without them.  Have I mentioned how much I miss wearing them?!

Any movement? He's still making my stomach look all sorts of abstract this week.  Poor fella has ran out of room but boy he puts in a strong effort to stretch!  He's going to have some strong leg muscles!

Happy or moody? It's overall been a happy week.  Being this uncomfortable, it's hard to be a ray of sunshine all the time anymore.  Little things and comments sting a little more than usual, but I bite my tongue.

What emotions have you been experiencing this week? I've had to keep my emotions in check this week, as I'm sure I'll have to do for the rest of the pregnancy.  I'm quick to speak my mind with no filter but to add constant uncomfortableness into the mix, I've found that I just need to bite my tongue more than usual.

Looking forward to - Seeing his face and holding him for the first time!  We are so antsy to have him here!  I'm looking forward to this coming weekend as well, John is off from work for the whole weekend!  You have no idea how happy this makes me….seriously.

Week 36 Fun Fact - Jaxon's continuing to fatten up at this point.  His lungs are still developing but he could survive outside the womb at this point.

This week marked my first "unofficial" Mother's Day.  With all of Jaxon's stretching and movements he made sure that while I may not have him to share with everyone else yet that yes, I am in fact his mother.  He made sure to keep me extra comfortable at times just so I didn't forget that I reckon.  It was a good day overall, even if John did have to work the majority of the day he was able to spend spend the last part of it with me.  I even got a special pot of flowers from church for having the "youngest child."  Mother's Day was something I thought I'd never share personally as a mother.  Crazy how love and years can change a person's mind.

This week was also the start to my weekly OB appointments.  What a milestone moment that they like to commemorate with the Strep B test.  Sweet heavens I'm glad I googled that before I went in to the appointment!  After she'd completely violated me with a cotton swab, the OB asked if I wanted her to check to see if I had dilated any.  Of course if I'm going to put the effort into getting my clothes off and having to put them back on, on top of being violated, by all means make it completely worth the effort and pain I thought.  I'm a fingertip dilated, don't get excited y'all it was only a fingertip!  He's in position though.  Poor Jaxon may come out cross eyed from the OB shaking his head back and forth between my bones just to "make sure it was his head."

And for those wondering, our bags are 95% packed now.  I had to order Jaxon an extra diaper bag since the one I really wanted is still on backorder and has been for over 3 months now.  Seriously, how does one get their heart set on a diaper bag only to find it's been backordered?!  Only me, only me…. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

35 Weeks

How far along? 35 weeks

Weight gain? 40 lbs as of last week

Baby is the size of - a small roasting chicken

Stretch marks? None! Yay!

Sleep? Sleep is getting harder and harder.  I tend to take pretty long evening naps nowadays since it's hard to get comfortable enough to sleep through the night.  Everyone tends to ask if it's because I have to pee so many times during the night and the answer is no, I usually only get up once very late into the night to pee.  I always wake up anytime I move because my pelvic bones get so stiff.

Miss anything?  Cuddling with John on the couch; my belly is entirely too big for that now.

Cravings? Lucky Charms are still topping the cravings list again this week.  Also cranberries.  And Dr Pepper, some days I've not been able to stop at one can but I forced myself to stop after two.  Today we had chicken for lunch and I wanted it dipped in sour cream.

Anything make you queasy or sick? The thought of getting Jaxon out is starting to make me queasy but in terms of actually being sick or queasy, there's nothing that does that.

Symptoms? Pelvic pain is back and in full force.

Belly button - In or out? It's poking out a little more this week

Wedding rings - on or off? I finally took them off.  John was getting nervous that if something happened they'd have to cut them off.  I can't wait to have them back on!

Any movement? He's been trying his best to stretch out and get comfortable but the last two days getting comfortable seems impossible for me and him.  Sorry Jaxon, God blessed me with several things but a long torso was not one of them!

Happy or moody? It's been a trying week….

What emotions have you been experiencing this week? I've had such a trying time this week, his size along with the extra pregnancy pounds have been increasingly getting more uncomfortable by the hour it seems like.  I'm not one to cry but last night I was so miserable I could've bawled for hours if I would've let myself. Just moving my leg the slightest would set off the most horrible pelvic pain.

Looking forward to - Seeing his face and holding him for the first time!  We are so antsy to have him here!

Week 35 Fun Fact - Jaxon's immune system and nervous system is still maturing and he's continuing to add fat that he'll need to regulate his body temperature.  Everything else from his toenails to the hairs on his head are all completely formed.  If born at this stage, there's a 99% chance of survival!

This past week has been pretty eventful and busy.  I finally finished his adjustable crib skirt and got the furniture arranged in his room to allow for maximum space.  It still looks so cramped in there but I think it will be better once we get everything organized and put away.  The final touches should be added this coming week once I get his curtains and the wall art finished up.  John also got his carseat base/carseat put into the car.  Yay, now we can [legally] bring him home once he's here!  I also started getting things prepared for the hospital.  It's not in a suitcase or bag yet, but there's a little pile next to the suitcase.  I just can't bring myself to put it in there just yet.  I keep thinking that if I don't pack it, delivery day won't come.  Yes, I know, I delusional.

After the tumor was removed
What's that gross thing on your back?  Oh it's just a pregnancy tumor.  What?  Yeah, I'd never heard of such a thing either.  I had a spot on my back that in about 6 weeks time went from the size of a tiny pimple to bigger than my fingertip.  It wasn't pleasant looking at all either.  So embarrassing.  If I left it uncovered it usually hardened and but looked super gross and if I covered it with a bandaid the top would fall off and it would be oozing.  Neither of which were attractive or what I wanted on my back so I ended up at the dermatologist where it was cut out and sent off for a biopsy.  Luckily, the biopsy was negative but it was still considered a pregnancy tumor nonetheless. I've decided that if there's an oddity to be add during pregnancy that I'm sure to get it!  First "broken crotch" now a pregnancy tumor what's left?  There's still time for something else…haha.

Monday, April 28, 2014

34 Weeks

The toy trucks are from John's childhood Hot Wheels collection

How far along? 34 weeks

Weight gain? 40 lbs

Baby is the size of - a butternut squash

Stretch marks? None! Yay!

Sleep? Sleep is up and down.  I can nap like no other but when it comes time to actually lay down and sleep at night I have the worst time falling asleep and staying asleep.  A lot of this can be attributed to my ever growing belly.  If I don't have a pillow positioned just right underneath it it's impossible for me to fall asleep because it literally feels like my skin will rip apart.  I know it won't actually do so, but that's how it feels.

Miss anything?  Does vacations count?  I'm dying for a trip to the beach, even if it was for a weekend but I know that my window for a vacation has passed and there will be none of that.  It's looking like Orlando in December for a wedding will be our next getaway.

Cravings? Lucky Charms sounds wonderful for any meal or snack lately.  I've had two bowlfuls already today.

Anything make you queasy or sick? The thought of getting Jaxon out is starting to make me queasy but in terms of actually being sick or queasy, there's nothing that does that.

Symptoms?  Uncomfortableness.  I hurt when I sit too long.  I hurt when I lay down.  I'm exhausted but I can't sleep.  There's so much I want to get done or do, but it's hard to find the energy to do it after working a 9 hour day. I did have one day of super "nesting" this week.  I put together his changing table, Rock & Play and also his bouncy seat.  That should count for something right?

Belly button - In or out?  It's poking out a little more this week

Wedding rings - on or off? I've had them on all this week but they are tight

Any movement? He's been moving quite a bit this week.  He still likes to tickle my hip bones but I reckon that is better than him kicking my ribs!  He likes to make his presence known and likes to poke his butt and head out where it's very noticeable.

Happy or moody? It's been a happy week, only because I've had to suffocate my come and go moodiness.

What emotions have you been experiencing this week? I've had mixed emotions this week.  I think it's because I'm so uncomfortable and struggling with the fact that I want a getaway in the sunshine.  I feel uncomfortable and for the most part useless.  Some days I feel like such a complainer and that's not me.  Guess I've been super whiny the past few days because the last two times I've complained in the least bit, John's said something about it.  Not in a jerk kind of way, put your claws back in ladies.  I know he has to be ready for me to have Jaxon so he won't have to hear the complaining anymore.

Looking forward to -  I'm still looking forward to some pain-free sleep!  But, will that ever happen?!?  

Week 34 Fun Fact -  Jaxon can now recognize and react to simple songs.  I read where it suggested that we can start practicing singing him lullabies so he'll recognize those frequently sung and they'll be soothing after birth. (Note to self: download some lullabies on the iPod and start playing them for him.  Anyone that knows either of us knows that we are tone deaf and couldn't carry a pitch in a bucket)  Or, maybe I'll just start playing Aerosmith for him all the time!

I had another checkup with the OB on Friday.  Everything is looking good and Jaxon's heart is sounding great!  I'd love to have another ultrasound soon so they could do another estimated weight, although that information may scare the crap out of me more than anything!  I ended up getting a shot, I felt like such a champ since I didn't even get light headed!  You have no idea how impressive that is for me!  I also discussed a spot on my back that is growing at super speeds.  I have an appointment set up tomorrow to have it evaluated and hopefully removed by a dermatologist.  Now that tank top and lower backed clothing weather is here I constantly have to have a bandaid on my back to spare everyone else from having to see this disgusting spot.  "Ewwww, that's really gross," were the direct words from the OB that I met Friday.  Yes, yes it is very gross.

We met with a pediatrician on Friday as well.  We interviewed with Dr Templeton with French Broad Pediatrics.  He was very personable and the staff was great as well.  We really liked the set up of the office, there is a sick side and a well side and neither cross each other's paths which I thought was a terrific idea!  It's nice knowing that if we are taking Jaxon in for a checkup that we won't be risking his health to do so because from check in to check out, he will never be in an area were a sick child has been through or seen.  Dr Templeton also believes in communicating with the parents as much as possible so there's no "quick visit" time limits.  He or his partner also answer all calls after hours, which I really like since it takes out the middle man and saves on time when assistance is really needed.  We left the office feeling very confident that we had found Jaxon's pediatrician!  Relieved for that and another check mark on the list of things to do before his arrival!  

We had birthing class on Saturday.  That was definitely interesting and not a total waste of time.  We learned a few things so hopefully we'll be prepared for different situations during delivery.  The class was held at Asheville Women's which meant that we were sitting in their waiting room chairs all day.  After 45 minutes my back was hurting so bad that I was breaking out into a cold sweat.  You would think considering that the majority of the patients there are pregnant that they would invest in some comfy waiting area seating like my OB office has.  I moved and twitched more than any hyper child in a church pew could ever imagine (thank goodness we were sitting on the back row so I wasn't a distraction to everyone else)!  

Monday, April 21, 2014

33 Weeks

How far along? 33 weeks

Weight gain? 36 lbs as of last week.  I haven't been on the scales this week.

Baby is the size of - a durian fruit, 4.2-5.8lbs

Stretch marks? None! Yay!

Sleep? Sleep wasn't easy this week.  I'd lay down and my upper back would hurt and once I'd finally get to sleep I'd wake up any time I'd move from pelvic pain.  Whoever said, "sleep before the baby gets here" obviously didn't have these issues! There is no sleep.

Miss anything?  Nothing new to add this week

Cravings? I've had quite the desire for Easter candy this week...can't imagine why...

Anything make you queasy or sick? Not until today.  I've had an upset stomach all day.  Hoping that it's not the beginnings of preterm labor.

Symptoms?  This week the uncomfortable factor has been uped along with upper back pain.  The back pain comes mostly at night when I lay down.  It's not pleasant at all. 

Belly button - In or out?  It's starting to poke out.

Wedding rings - on or off? I've had to take them off some this week.  They are pretty snug but I'm not a fan of having to take them off.  While at home, I've not worn them as much but I always try to wear them anytime I'm out.  The worst-case senerio keeps playing through my mind and all I can think is that if an emergency does happen they won't take the time to lotion up my finger to get them off, they'll just cut them off.  I know, I'm a bit crazy but I think of all the possibilities!

Any movement? Not as much, which is normal at this stage, but when he does move....OUCH!  John actually got to see Jaxon shake my whole entire belly this week and yes, it was as uncomfortable as it looked!

Happy or moody? It's been a happy week.  The uncomfortable factor has been upped this week but overall, it's been a happy week.

What emotions have you been experiencing this week? Excitement!  We had two baby showers this week, it's hard to be a constant worry wart about delivery day with all that going on....but it still crosses my mind and absolutely freaks me out from time to time.

Looking forward to -  Honestly?  A couple a hours of uninterupted pain-free sleep! 

Week 33 Fun Fact -  Although Jaxon's bones are continuing to harden, the bones in his skull aren't fusing together.  This makes it easier for him to fit through the birth canal (...that's great, but what about those shoulders as well...).  The skull bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as the brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.

We had not one but two showers this week!  My coworkers held one for me and another expecting coworker and then we had a family and friends shower at the church!  We were completely overwhelmed by both of them!  I may be sorting and organizing for weeks and there are no amount of words that could express how grateful we are!  Jaxon is going to be one spoiled and loved little fella!

I will elaborate more on our showers at a later since I'm feeling so rough tonight I'm going to call it a night.  But for now, here are a few pictures from the showers….

Monday, April 14, 2014

32 Weeks

How far along? 32 weeks

Weight gain? 36 lbs

Baby is the size of - a squash

Stretch marks? None!  Yay!

Sleep? Sleep is still hit or miss, but with this belly I can't expect every night to be blissful and dream filled.

Miss anything?  I outgrew my pre-pregnancy bra collection weeks ago but now I'm limited on underwear too?!  Seriously?!

Cravings? This week it's been Lucky Charms.  They seriously are beyond magically delicious!

Anything make you queasy or sick? Nope!

Symptoms?  Nothing new this week.  I did have to work in the office this past week.  I made it 2.5 days out of 4, I feel like that was an accomplishment considering how bad I swell every time I step into the building! The picture shows how bad the swelling was after just one day in the office!  It isn't nearly as painful as it looks but it's definitely not comfortable and when my blood pressure elevates as well, it causes me to worry.  But, the OB doesn't seem overly concerned and has instructed me to keep my BP in check and unless it gets too high just to write the swelling off as "normal."

Belly button - In or out?  Mostly flat but there are some parts that are starting to poke out pretty bad.

Wedding rings - on or off? They are still on!

Any movement? He's still been pretty active.  When he's not active, he's pressing constantly as hard as
he can against my belly and side, which is very uncomfortable at times!

Happy or moody? It's been a happy week!  More sunshine was forecasted this week and the weather has been beautiful!

What emotions have you been experiencing this week?  Excitement!  We will be welcoming Jaxon in 8 weeks, give or take, and we can't be more excited to meet him!

Looking forward to -  This coming week, we have not one but two baby showers this week!  We are really excited and hope our friends and family are just as excited to celebrate with us!

Week 32 Fun Fact -  Jaxon is still gaining roughly half a pound a week.  He'll gain a third to half of his birth weight during the next 7 weeks as he fattens up for survival outside the womb.  He now has toenails, fingernails and real hair (or at least respectable peach fuzz)  His skin is also becoming soft and smooth as he plumps up in preparation for birth.
This week has been such a busy week.  It seems like there's been no downtime at all and I feel like I've hardly got to spend any time with John.  Since he's started working at his new job, the weeks that I go into the office, I never see him except for when I kiss him good day in the mornings before I head out the door.  I miss him lots during weeks like that! 

I had a checkup this week with the OB.  I'm beginning to really hate having to pee in a cup at every appointment.  I swear I end up with more pee on my hand than in the cup!  Everything looked great and his heartbeat sounds strong!  She told me I was definitely "all baby" after measuring me.  (Dear  God, please PLEASE let him be super long and slender with skinny shoulders)

On Sunday we met up with one of our friends for some maternity pictures.  I can't wait to see them and share them with everyone!  I did take my camera with us (like I could ever leave that thing at home) so I'd have a few to post on the blog now.  I'll share the ones from Kristen's camera soon! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

31 Weeks

How far along? 31 weeks

Weight gain? I haven't been on the scales this week. 

Baby is the size of - a pineapple

Stretch marks? None!  Yay!

Sleep? Sleep has been a little better this week but I still have sinus issues going on so it hasn't been all that great.

Miss anything? Nothing new to add to the list this week

Cravings? Fruit seems to be the only thing I want to sit down and eat nonstop.  I have had quite an addiction to Betty Crocker's Cotton Candy frosting this week as well.  If you haven't tried it, you are missing out!

Anything make you queasy or sick? Nope!

Symptoms?  Nothing besides the usual pregnancy pains I've experienced already.  Rolling over is getting increasing harder with each night!  At this point having a memory foam mattress seams to be more like a cruel prank than a luxury!

Belly button - In or out?  Flat with a couple wonky areas that are starting to poke out.

Wedding rings - on or off? They are still on!

Any movement? His movements don't seem as nonstop as they have been in prior weeks, although, he's making his presence increasingly more uncomfortable.  He's definitely growing and I can feel his size and yes, I'm VERY nervous about how big he's really going to be!  He's found his way to my ribs this week.  I'm not sure if it's his butt or his head but he likes to cram up against the right side of my ribs but it definitely has me wishing that I had a longer torso!  

Happy or moody? It's been a happy week!  The sun has been out and I've been able to get out more this week and that always helps improve anyone's mood, pregnant or not!

What emotions have you been experiencing this week?  Excitement!  I seriously cannot wait to meet the little mister and neither can John.  Of course I'm still absolutely terrified of delivery day but I'm trying not to think about it!

Looking forward to -  The fabric arrived this week for Jaxon's bedding and I'm so excited to get it started!  I'm hoping that it turns out well.  I'm a complete amateur when it comes to sewing but I'm going to give it my best shot!  I quickly found when searching for his bedding that it was all generic and all blue, neither of which was what I was looking for.  I know, I'm ridiculous when it comes to some things but hey, I know what I want and I won't be happy settling for less!  I also can't wait to dress him up in the massive amount of clothes that we've aquired since we've found out we were expecting!  I think John likes to shop for him stuff just as much as I do and if y'all know me, you know that's not always a good thing!  Hello explosion of awesomely cute clothing for my child!  We've also received a lot of hand-me-downs from family and we can't begin to express how thankful we are for those things including clothing, a crib, a rocker and even helpful advice!  Thank you everyone, it means so much to us!

Week 31 Fun Fact -  Jaxon is entering a growth spurt.  For the next eight weeks, he'll gain weight faster than he increases in length, he'll grow at the rate of about half a pound a week. Stretch marks, I beg you, please please please don't...just don't!

Looking up a week 31 fun fact definitely put just how close Jaxon's arrival is into perspective. At the end of the page it said that now would be a good time to start preparing for his arrival and to start packing things for the hospital. HOLY COW, time to momentarily flip out! Ekkkkkk! We don't even have carpet in his room yet and yet I'm supposed to start packing for the hospital?! (Yikes! note to self: get on it! Get on everything including carpet, bedding, washing some of his smaller clothes, hospital bag…so much to do!)  After the OB nurse asked me the other day if we had the car seat ready I'm sure I had the "deer in headlights" look on my face and had to tell her no but it was on our registry.  I do feel a lot more relaxed now after we decided to go ahead and purchase the car seat and stroller ourselves instead of waiting to see if would be purchased from the registry.  I didn't want us to be "those parents" who were completely unprepared for the arrival of their baby when they show up to the hospital for delivery.  I'm sure there's nothing to completely prepare first time parents but hopefully, we'll be on the right track by the time he arrives.

We had a little getaway over the weekend.  We went to Lake Keowee with the family.  With John's new job and so many things left to be done it seemed like we wouldn't get a mini getaway at all before Jaxon's arrival.  Luckily, John didn't have to work overtime this weekend and we were able to spend a night away and enjoy ourselves as well as soak up a little sunshine!  I debated before we left if I should take a bathing suit or not.  I ended up packing one but I didn't wear it.  The weather was warm but I was comfortable enough in my tank top and short cotton skirt on Saturday.  The water temp wasn't warm enough for swimming so no suit needed, but I do have a picture of me in my suit (at the very bottom of this post).  The scenery was gorgeous, spring has sprung in upstate and everything was in bloom and absolutely gorgeous!  We might've sneezed nonstop and came home with a yellow SUV stead of a black one, but it sure was pretty see all the spring blooms.