March 30, 2005

On March 30, 2005, Andrew and I became an official couple.  We had been spending time together for a few weeks before that and I remember gushing about him to my Bible study girls saying, “Even if we just stay friends forever, that would be okay because he is just so amazing; I am so blessed by his friendship!”  Well, we did end up becoming more than friends, and I am so thankful.

Anyway, he was studying for his pilot’s license but his flight instructor was moving away and we went to her going away party that night.  We didn’t stay too long, but when he dropped me off at home he asked me to be his girlfriend (I said yes).  I used to remember exactly what he said, and I’m sad that I don’t anymore.  I promptly jumped out of the car (I was afraid he was going to try to kiss me and I wasn’t ready for that yet, but turns out he wasn’t going to), went inside, and called a couple of friends.  At 11 pm.  I was excited.  And I’m still excited, because I now have the best husband ever.

Happy 8 years of being together, Andrew!

Then

Then

And now (or last year)

And now (or last year)

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Third Trimester

Baby Girl is now 28 weeks and we have reached the third trimester!  Woot woot!

She is still hit and miss with her activity, but I can always count on her to be moving around in the middle of the night.  I’m sure she’s had the hiccoughs by now, but I don’t feel them.  A week or so ago I got a massage for some sciatic nerve pain from a woman who is also a midwife, so I asked her to check the baby’s position and she was transverse, but when I asked my midwife today, she thought the baby is probably back in vertex.  She finds my ribs occasionally and I have to make myself sit up straight so that my rib cage doesn’t press on my uterus.  I do have muscle spasms in my back from time to time, which I’m hoping won’t be a problem in labor, though I suppose I’ll be in so much pain that it won’t really matter where it’s coming from.

Pregnancy has been pretty pleasant the last few weeks, which is very nice.  I’m trying to stay active and definitely learned last week that being sedentary (and not wearing support hose) for two days (I was at a work conference) leads to very swollen feet and ankles… not so pleasant.  On the plus side, while I was at said conference I got to meet up with my friend Megan who is also pregnant with her first baby.  I’m so excited for her and can’t wait to find out the gender of her little one!

And now for the belly shots!

25 weeks!

25 weeks!

27 weeks.  After taking this picture Andrew said, "Yup, you definitely look pregnant!"
27 weeks. After taking this picture Andrew said, “Yup, you definitely look pregnant!”

 

A Little Encouragement

I am currently reading Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth, and though I had to stop reading some of the birth stories that she presents in the first part of the book (they freaked me out too much), I love this quote that I just came across.

Remember this, for it is as true as true gets: Your body is not a lemon.  You are not a machine.  The Creator is not a careless mechanic.  Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo.  Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body.

I work in a place that is absolutely necessary and I feel really good about the care that I provide.  But a NICU is different than any other place and we often have a skewed view of birth and the things that are appropriate during labor and delivery, simply because we only see the bad and scary things.  My co-workers and I very rarely (if ever) see everything go normally and it taints our opinions.

I still try to avoid talking in detail about my birth plans when I am at work because there is so little support for natural childbirth, even when it is being attempted in the hospital environment.  On a side note, go figure that things rarely go as planned for women who want to have a natural birthing experience in the hospital, what’s a girl to do when no one supports her?  Anyway, people are still curious and ask various things about my plans (choice of OB, epidural, etc.), and most of them genuinely care about me and my well being, but some are just obnoxious and nosy.  One such woman who cares, but is also ridiculously nosy was asking me questions last week that I didn’t feel like answering, but tried to be as gracious as possible in the moment (which was just short of being rude), when she asked if I would be disappointed if I couldn’t do what I had planned.  My honest answer was, yes, of course I would be disappointed; this doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t still rejoice over the birth of my daughter, but we all like it when things go according to plan.  She then started to say something about needing to plan to fail (i.e. I would end up needing a C-section) but stopped herself, for which I am very thankful, because I don’t think my response would have been kind at all if she had finished.

I don’t want to make it sound like I have no support, because I do.  My husband, family, and a few close friends are supportive.  Although, if I’m honest, I think they’re all more scared than me at this point, but I am choosing not to worry.  I know all (well, a lot) of the horrible things that can happen both to mother and baby during labor and delivery, but I choose to trust my midwife and her experience; she is competent and humble and comes highly recommended.  I choose to trust my body, though this will be easier said than done when the time comes.  I choose to trust the knowledge that I have sought and acquired that tells me that the choices that I am making are actually the safest ones.  I choose to trust that the training that Andrew and I are undergoing through Bradley classes will prepare us well.  Mostly, I choose to trust God.  The God who wove and knit me together is also weaving and knitting together my precious baby girl.  While I protect her as best I can, He is ultimately the One who will protect and provide for her.  She is His, and He loves her so much for perfectly than I could ever hope to.

The view from above at 27 weeks.

The view from above at 27 weeks.

24 weeks!

I am 24 & 4/7 weeks now and our little ear of corn is growing well and moving around quite a bit.  Andrew felt her kick for the first time on February 1, which was so fun.  Today I thought that I felt hiccoughs, but after waiting a minute, I decided that’s probably not what it was.  She tends to be very active between 10 & 11 pm and around 4 am.  I figure if she sleeps in between those times once she’s here that that’s not so bad… 5 straight hours of sleep?  Not bad for a newborn (though I’m not holding my breath).

Two weeks ago I started feeling a lot of pressure and e-mailed my midwife about it.  At first she just told me to take it easy for the weekend, but when I still felt it (plus the sensation of having a tampon stuck “up there”), she told me to go to the hospital.  I was so scared and thought that I might have an incompetent cervix.  I was terrified that we would lose our baby girl, and terrified that we might make it to 23 weeks (the edge of viability) and then have to deliver and go through a NICU stay.  Now, here comes the TMI… right before we went in to the hospital, I went to the restroom and felt better for a few minutes, but then the pressure came back.  We were seen by an OB pretty quickly (and an attending, no less!  One of my other fears was that I would have to see residents) who said that I wasn’t dilated or effaced, and then did a quick ultrasound where we were able to see the top of our little one’s head and hear her beautiful heartbeat.  So we were given the “all clear” (praise God!!!!) and the doctor just attributed it to first time mommy just not knowing quite what to expect.  I agree, but I have another explanation as well.  Constipation.  I honestly think that the way she is positioned puts a great deal of pressure on my bladder and intestines, and whenever either one is even a little bit full, I start feeling the pressure.  I wish that I could move her up a little bit because it is uncomfortable, but hope that it means that she might not have quite as far to go when it’s time for her to be born.

I’ve also started to experience a pretty significant sciatic nerve pain and I started looking for a good chiropractor, but then my mother-in-law suggested a massage. Honestly, that sounded like a lot more fun, so I had one on Friday and I can definitely tell a difference.  While I still feel that pesky pressure, the nerve pain is pretty much gone now.  Yay!!

Her room is painted and her crib is set up, now what I’m waiting on is a glider, a wall decal, and shelves.  It’s so crazy to think that in just about 16 weeks we will have a baby that probably won’t be ready to sleep in that room, but it will be hers nonetheless.