Saturday, December 29, 2012

One Month.

Peyton's blessing day
December 23, 2012
Peyton was a month old on Christmas day. I can't believe she's already a month old. While I'm so overly tired that it feels like it's been forever, it still somehow feels like the last month went by really fast. It's weird & difficult to explain. Not important. What's important is that Peyton is a month old. & before I forget, I want to share what has been the biggest help to us with a crying baby. WHITE NOISE. Read (or watch, because there's a dvd), Happiest Baby on the Block. It works. Gabe is the master of the 5 S's. & I even downloaded a white noise app in my phone (tv static works even better). I stick it in her car seat when she's upset, or when we're out & she starts to wake up, & BOOM, happy baby. Or at least a baby in a daze, which is fine by me! Invest. It will save your life. I'm incredibly thankful to the women at church that introduced me to it. Life saver. MOVING ON!

4 weeks old.
Peyton lost 7% of her birthweight before we left the hospital. 10% is the max of what's acceptable. Since she was so close, I had to take her in the Friday after she was born (she was born on Sunday November 25th) to have her weighed. She was at 5 lbs 14 oz. She started at 6 lbs 10 oz. That's 12% which is clearly more than 10%. A lot of people have told me that's normal & not to worry about it. Yes, weight loss is totally normal. But her weight loss was due to the fact that she wouldn't eat. She wouldn't even take a bottle. She was too lazy to suck. My baby was starving & wasting away to nothing. Three doctors came to check out an abnormality at the base of her spine (which seems to be nothing), & two of them said I definitely needed to go up to the lactation specialist. So I did. It took an hour, but was completely worth it. She had me pump, which was nice because I was severely engorged since my milk had come in 2 days earlier & Peyton wasn't eating. I don't know if you've ever been engorged for 2 days, but my boobs were about 3 sizes bigger than any other day, were very red, had lots of lumps, & it hurt to just brush against something. (Seriously, if your baby won't nurse, invest in a breast pump asap. So wonderful.) Anyway. She had me pump so that we could run a small catheter into her mouth while she was latched on to me & use a syringe to slowly push some of the milk in to her mouth to convince her to suck. It worked!! I had to do that a few more times over the next 24 hours, but after that she had it down perfectly. Thank goodness!

Baby Burrito.
4 days old.

After that appointment, I got a call from the awful first year resident that Peyton's appointment was with that day that said the lactation specialist was really worried about Peyton (which she wasn't), & we needed to bring her in the next day, Saturday, for another weight check. That time she weighed 5 lbs 15 oz! She gained an oz over night!!! It was great. I had another appointment the following Monday, & she was at 6 lbs exactly! At her 2 week well-baby check up that Friday she weighed 6 lbs 1 oz. She was gaining slowly but surely. At that point, we had picked a good doctor, the chief resident, & we really like him. He wanted me to supplement with formula. I decided against it & waited to see what she weighed at her next appointment on the 18th. She was at 6 lbs 6 oz. Just 4 oz short of her birth weight at 3 weeks. The doctor I saw that day was not our regular doctor & I had a really hard time with her. Her tech recorded the weight down wrong. Apparently they had her at just over 7 lbs, but I had seen the scale & it was definitely 6 lbs 6 oz. She tried to convince me that the grams were what mattered & that according to the grams she was over her birthweight. That somehow the grams to pounds & ounces didn't matter. Uh. What? No. She was wrong. Horribly wrong. Anyway. Since she wasn't back at her birthweight at what she was calling a month old, she wanted me to supplement with formula. They wanted her back at her birthweight by one month. Which meant she had a whole week to get that last 4 ounces, but the doctor wasn't realizing that. I told her I didn't want to supplement because the whole reason Peyton lost all the weight in the first place was that she was too lazy to suck. So why on earth would I give her a bottle 4 times a day? That's way easier than a boob. Why would I give her that option? So I went against her advice, which is fine by me, & my regular doctor, because she was not smart. That's putting it nicely. I shouldn't have to argue with a doctor about whether or not grams converted to pounds & ounces would be the same thing. We went back to the doctor yesterday for another weight check & Peyton is at 6 lbs 14 oz! She is 4 oz over her birthweight!!! Now, this is in the zero percentile, but she's gaining weight!!! She also grew an inch. The doctor was pretty happy with it. She's just small. He wants her between the 5th-10th percentile by her two month well baby check up.
Bored while shopping.
11 days old.

Long story short, she's definitely still in newborn clothes, & she's now starting to fit in to them. Peyton makes lots of sounds, but luckily she's a very quiet sleeper. Makes my life easier cause that means she can sleep in our room in her pack 'n' play until she sleeps longer than a couple of hours at a time.

As for me, I'm doing alright. Super sleep deprived of course, but that's to be expected. I'm incredibly grateful my mom was here the first few weeks. I was able to hand Peyton off & get a few extra minutes of sleep every once in a while. Plus I didn't have to worry about Anya, food, or laundry. I'm dreading Gabe going back to work next week. I think I'm going to fall apart. I mean, I'll be able to handle it, but I'll probably have a mental breakdown at the end of each day. Ha! At least I'll wait until the end of the day to freak out! Gotta make sure Gabe is here to take care of the baby while I'm freaking out. I already have to do laundry almost every day just to keep up. Between Gabe's & my laundry & the baby's, it's a lot. I only have so much in the newborn size & since she has this new thing where she likes to spit up all over herself, I have to was stuff a lot. Lucky she's so flipping cute. Parenting is hard & she's only a newborn. Plus, when she's up, one of us have to be there of course. We have to moogie her, & rock her, & keep her entertained (which, she has the cutest little grin, I can't wait until she does it long enough to get a picture. When she's asleep, I either sleep, or I sit there relaxing, which means I get zero done. She's asleep right now. I should be sleeping. I'm totally exhausted. I'll regret this at 3am when she wakes up to eat.

Peyton & her daddy on Christmas Eve

I've already lost all of my baby weight. I gained 25 lbs in total. I lost 16 lbs within the first 5 days, & I'm now back down to where I was. It's nice to know that. But then I look in the mirror & I see this flab of skin & my tiger stripes & it's a horrible reminder that my body will never be the same. I even have hips!!! It's so crazy. I have a lady shape. Peyton is definitely worth it. She's a cutie & I love her.

Anya has come to terms with the fact that Peyton isn't going anywhere. Poor thing is depressed now that my parents are gone though. She gets significantly less attention than she used to. But I've been trying to get her to come lay next to me while I breast feed, so hopefully soon she'll go back to normal.

This past Sunday, the 23rd, was Peyton's baby blessing. It was beautiful. I cried a little bit. She wore a beautiful blessing dress made by Gabe's mom. I absolutely love it. Of course, when Lori got here she had to add ribbon so we could tie the dress back. It still drowned Peyton a little bit, but it was so adorable it didn't even matter.

Peyton & Grandpa (my dad).
Anyway. Peyton is asleep so I'm going to take advantage of this time & get myself some ice cream (which makes no sense because it's below freezing & we have a few inches of snow on the ground...but whatever). Holding her & scooping ice cream is not easy. I can do it, but I much prefer to eat my ice cream when she's asleep. I can't stop using my moby wrap around the house until she's a bit bigger. According to the directions it's not safe for little runts like Peyton.

I probably won't post again before the new year, so...

Happy Christmas! & Happy New Year!

Now I need some ice cream.

That is all.

- Alexa

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Labor & Delivery.

Peyton Marie.
Born November 25, 2012 at 12:50pm.
6 lbs. 10 oz. 20 inches long.

I didn't make it to my due date (which was December 1st)!!! I was thrilled about that. I went in to labor at 39 weeks to the day. My doctor really thought I would make it to December, which I really didn't want because then I'd be able to say I was pregnant every month this year & that is too depressing. But at my appointment on Nov. 20, I was 70% effaced and just a centimeter dilated. It was definitely looking like it'd be at least another week. But alas, it was not! I was only pregnant 11 months!

My mom arrived in Dayton the day after Thanksgiving, November 23rd. The next morning at 630am I woke up, as per usual, & I had a contraction which was also totally normal. 7 minutes later I had another contraction, which was also normal. I laid there wide awake because I couldn't get back to sleep & continued having contractions every 5-7 minutes. I thought nothing of it. After a couple of hours of these 5-7 minute apart contractions I realized they weren't going away. My mom & I thought it could be false labor since they weren't getting any worse, but my husband told her that he'd never seen me struggle that badly through contractions. My mom & I had made plans to get pedicures & go shopping that day. By 1030am I realized that I wouldn't be able to sit still during a pedicure. No way. I will forever hold a grudge against my daughter for stopping me from getting a pedicure before I went in to labor. I could've really used a foot rub. & it would've been nice to at least have pretty toes while I lost all of my dignity.

Holding Gabe's finger.
So my mom & I decided to just go shopping. My contractions were 5 minutes apart at this point, which is when I was told to call, but while the contractions were painful, I could still handle it. I have to say that shopping while you're in labor is not nearly as fun. However, you do get plenty of attention! Especially when every few minutes you have to lean against a table or wall to brace yourself for 45 seconds. After a few hours of walking around the mall I couldn't stand it anymore. But it was precious watching my mom tell people that I was in labor. She was so excited. But you should've seen the worry on people's faces. "Shouldn't you be at the hospital?!?" It was funny. By the time we started heading back to the car I was pretty miserable. When we got home I sat down for approximately 2 minutes before deciding it was time to go to the hospital. My contractions were 3-4 minutes apart at this point, & were definitely worse than before. We secured Anya's place to stay, grabbed the bags, & headed to the hospital. It was about 5pm by the time we went. I had been in labor for almost 11 hours, so we figured I'd have a baby within the next 12. HA! 

She loves her hands up by her face.
We headed to Miami Valley South, which just opened their maternity wing this past summer. We took the tour a few months ago & I LOVED it. It's nice & not at all crowded, so as soon as my doctor told me that I most likely wouldn't have any complications, I decided that would definitely be the one we went to. I'm so glad cause it was wonderful. They put me right in to a triage room & hooked me up to the monitors. I was hurting. Bad. Definitely couldn't talk, & I hated everyone & everything during my contractions. At this point, my mom was at the house. Gabe did all the counter pressure on my back stuff, which was fantastic. Well, as fantastic as it can get when you feel like your uterus is going to explode. When she checked my cervix it hurt like Hades. It's always fairly uncomfortable, but when you're in labor it hurts even worse. I was still only dilated to a 1. I cried like a little girl when she said that. I had been in labor for 11 hours & hadn't dilated any more. I was terrified they were going to send me home since I wasn't progressing. Luckily my contractions were every 2 or 3 minutes at this point, & I was obviously in pain so they kept me. When I went to change in to my hospital gown, I had the "bloody show" stuff. It was gross. I also discovered that having a contraction when I was by myself was awful because without Gabe telling me to breath or rubbing my back, the contractions felt even worse & I didn't breath. Very unpleasant. I am so so so grateful that I had incredibly supportive people around. Gabe was really really great, as was my mom. & my nurses!

Approximately an hour old.
The delivery room was enormous & nice. Of course, I didn't really care about that. I just wanted drugs. That was my single desire in life. They had to hook me up to an IV to give me fluids before they could give me the epidural. That took 2 long hours. I spent that time in a rocking chair hoping that these horrible pains would break my water or get me to dilate more. (Spoiler alert: neither of these things happened in that 2 hour period.) I commend all of those that do this naturally. But I'm so happy I didn't. By the end of that 2 hours I was getting 2 contractions in a row, & about every minute & a half. I relate these contractions to having a grenade blow up in your uterus. It hurts. A lot. At 730pm, they came in to do my epidural. I was petrified about the enormous needle (which I never saw), but I really really wanted it. The anesthesiologist talked to me about my health history, which is pretty extensive for a 22 year old, & decided she would have to put in the drug very slowly. But at least I'd get the drugs!!! They got me in to the curled up position on the edge of the bed & told me to stay very still. That's hard when you're having contractions. Really hard. She told me that the worst part would be the numbing shot. Um. No. I mean, I could feel it, but that wasn't the worst part of the epidural. When she put in the needle to put in the catheter, she had to go around my spine cause it's all curved and messed up. The pain from that radiated down to my right hip. I was excellent at staying still though. Compared to the contractions, all that poking was nothing. Having said that, apparently I passed out right after she got the catheter in. They thought that might happen when they put the drug in, but all it took was the catheter. Since I passed out without the drug, they decided to give me a low dose. Major relief. It was awful not being able to get up, but watching the monitor and seeing how often the contractions were, I was very very thankful. By 11pm I was starting to feel the contractions again though. Normally they just let you put the button yourself when you want it, but since I'm such a hazard I had to have my nurse in the room while I did it. They decided to up the dosage though. That was the last dose I got. It was intense. I spent the next 13 hours completely unable to feel my right leg. It was like being connected to a very heavy log. People had to move it for me so I could change positions, & if I punched it as hard as I could, my leg didn't care in the least. Nothing. At all. It was a really weird feeling. I didn't like it. But I preferred that to feeling contractions. By a lot.

Dr. Wood.
By 2am ish, I was dilated to a 3. YAY! Two extra centimeters after 20 hours of labor! That's when they started the first round of pitocin. I was checked again at 4am & she said that I was almost at a 4. So frustrating. I didn't get any further the rest of the night. I was just there. Contracting, immobile, for what felt like forever. At 10am Dr. Wood finally came in to break my water. I am told there was a huge gush. That really kicked things in to gear. They started me on the pitocin again & by noon I was at 10cm. Baby girl was still at a -3 station though (meaning that if I started pushing, it would've taken a while) so they put me in a position to make her drop more naturally. They also turned off all of the drugs going in to me so I could start feeling the contractions so I could push when it came time. At 1230 she had dropped plenty & they had me start pushing. Baby girl crowned on my first push. Within 10 minutes they called Dr. Wood to come catch. Within about 5 minutes of him getting in there to catch her, baby girl was out. It was fast. I'm so glad it was so fast. If pushing had been what is average for first time moms (2 hours), I would've for sure passed out. Pushing is hard & exhausting. Anyway. When he lifted her up & I saw her, I immediately started crying like a little girl. They put her on my chest asap, Gabe cut the cord, & I just laid there, apparently gushing a ton more fluid, staring at this perfect little thing that somehow came out of me. It was crazy! I still can't believe that this little girl was in me!!! (& at this point she's actually smaller than she was when I had her...weird.) So. 31 hours later, I finally had a baby.

I look rough. But to be fair,
I had just had a baby a few hours before.
I spent another 2 hours in the delivery room for recovery. Peyton was given her first sponge bath. She was weighed & measured. & she was passed around. All of the nurses that saw her couldn't believe how gorgeous she was. She really is a beautiful baby. But of course, I'm bias, as I am her mother. The post partum room was very nice. The bed was comfy, & I got to order whatever food on the menu I wanted. This hospital actually has good food. Walking when your epidural is fading is weird. Very shaky. But I was so excited about being able to feel my leg again. My post partum recovery in the hospital was great. The nurses took such great care of me. & my husband & mom. & of course Peyton, who didn't have a name until later that night. This hospital doesn't have a nursery that they keep the babies in. They are strictly rooming in. But when my nurses were all caught up on their work & had nothing else to do, they took her for a few hours in the middle of the night so I could get some sleep. It was really nice. & Peyton is a really quiet sleeper so having her in with me is not a big deal at all. I loved my stay & was really sad to go. Mostly because I got such good care in the hospital & I had to go deal with this in real life. It was rough.

Anyway. 31 hours of labor. I'm really proud of myself for going 13 hours without an epidural. & 11 not even at the hospital. & I'm really impressed with myself for being out in public for a lot of that. Passed the time quicker. I didn't enjoy 31 hours of labor. I'm sure glad I didn't have to feel all 31 hours of that. & I now know that I'm not afraid of labor. I can do it! I'm freaking awesome at it! Go me.

Oh boy. This is a long post. I'll leave you with this. If you're terrified of labor, don't be. Women have been doing it forever. You can do it.

- Alexa

Saturday, November 17, 2012


I finally finished the nursery!! It's nothing spectacular, but it took me forever since I've been so lazy. But I'm happy to say that it's finally done. There are a few bits & bobs that I'll add over time (ex: different lamp, something for bows, & a wreath or something with her initial once she has a name), but beyond that I'm really really proud of it. Especially since I had a specific colour pallet & patterns that I wanted to go with & I couldn't paint the walls. There are ten pictures.

View from doorway.
The crib (from my parents). There's also a small rocking horse to the left.
Pink thing over crib: 50% off @ Hobby Lobby
 chevron quilt: Gabe's cousin Rachel
Close up of the mobile I made.
Frames: 50% off @ Hobby Lobby
Storage for:
stuffed animals (yes, that's a stuffed airplane),
receiving blankets,
wipes (diapers are in the closet),
toys & books.
I'm in love with this quote.
My corner.
(Ignore the incredibly classy sheet chair cover.)
Angry bird was from dad last year. He thought it was going to be small. It matches.
Boppy: Walmart
chevron pillow: Target
quilt over chair: my Aunt Lynn
Mirror :$7 @ Target
I decorated it. Originally just a black frame
Dresser: $25 off Craigslist (Gabe redid it.)
Changing pad & cover: Target
Pink basket for diapers: Hobby Lobby
Temporary lamp: Ikea
Shelves: $14 each? Ikea
Some wonderful books!
Frames: 50% off @ Hobby Lobby
 K that's everything! I really enjoyed getting everything together. I even enjoyed folding all the crib sheets & blankets & putting them in the little linen closet in her room. & the little baby clothes! So cute. Everything is stashed away where it belongs. It took a long time, especially to figure out how I should organize everything, but I'm really happy with how everything turned out. I know it's nothing spectacular. It's not like we have a gazillion dollars. I wish. That would be fun. Every time I go upstairs I have to look in the room to make sure everything is still in place just waiting for baby girl to get here. As my sister said yesterday, you would think that with such a cute nursery she'd wanna get out & see it for herself!! Soon. Patience is a virtue that I really struggle with.

Anyway. That is all.

- Alexa

38 weeks.

38 weeks.
My due date is in TWO WEEKS!!! I hope I don't make it that far though, as horrible as that sounds. I'm hoping with every fiber of my being that I go in to labor this week. That would greatly upset my mom since she doesn't get here until the day after Thanksgiving (aka next Friday). She's demanded that I keep the baby in until she gets here, but my desire to get her out outweighs my desire to have my mom here for the birth. Never thought I'd say that. Ha! (Love you mom.) I really don't think I'll go in to labor this week. It's just wishful thinking. I'm pretty sure I'm in it for the long haul. Hopefully she comes soon. I mean, obviously 2 weeks is soon, but it feels like a lifetime. I'm so far passed the point of being ready to get her out. I'm not even afraid of labor now cause I'm so anxious. I'm sure once I actually go in to labor that I'll be tons more terrified. As will Gabe. Speaking of going in to labor, I'm actually nervous about one thing! The main thing they tell you to look for is contractions 5-7 minutes apart for an hour. Uh... I get those ALL the time. & they get worse over time. They last for hours. If I went by that I'd be calling pretty much every day. I'm terrified I won't call. I'm hoping my water breaks (even though I've read that only happens to something like 15% of women) & it's super obvious. That's a pretty clear cut sign that I need to go in. That's what I'm hoping for.

Every time I leave the house I feel like I'm being watched by everyone that sees me. Particularly if they know how far along I am. People look at me as though I shouldn't be up & around at this point. I was in Verizon the other day & the person asked me how far I am, then he kept asking if I was okay the entire time I was there. HELLO! I'm clearly not going in to labor. I'm just waddling. I'm fine. I've also heard a BAJILLION times this week that I don't look 38 weeks pregnant. That it's not fair that I don't look pregnant from the front from far away, or at all from the back. I'm pretty sure someone related me to a tooth pick at some point. I must take after my mom, cause I remember her saying she was an "olive on a toothpick" when she was pregnant. I suppose I'm blessed!

I have a sister-in-law who's due date was today. Yes, two weeks apart & each with our first baby. These cousins will be very very close in age. She had her baby girl on Wednesday! She's very cute. Ariel had the 6th baby in my family born this year (5 of those being Staples, & all baby girls), which means I'm next!!!! It's finally my turn. YAY! I keep on telling baby girl it's time & that it's her turn, but she's just so cozy in my womb I suppose. That should make me feel good, to know that I'm providing a safe warm home for my child. But really it just makes me feel like a host to an alien. Get out baby! & I mean that with love.

Yesterday I basically finished the nursery. I listened to Christmas music (because I can start up the Christmas spirit before Thanksgiving if I want) & spent hours in there folding, hanging, name it. There are still things that I will add over time, but I think it's really cute & I'm really proud of it. I have a few finishing touches to put on it today & then I will post a separate post about the nursery. But for now, that's a little preview at the left! The colours for the room are pink & turquoise. I tried to stay in that realm as much as possible. I made a few things for the room myself actually. I'm pretty proud of myself for being so incredibly crafty.

This week was also the week my phone's life ended. I guess the fact that it lasted through 8 & a half months of my pregnancy is pretty impressive. I lost it all the time. I dropped it a lot. I found it in the freezer once. & the final straw was the puddle at Hobby Lobby. It was barely a puddle. It was just a teeny bit of water in a crack in the pavement. I didn't even remember it cause my phone fell with the cover down & water only got on the back. I guess some splashed in to it though & it started freaking out a few hours later. So I got a new phone. The Galaxy S3. It was a hard decision between that & the iphone 5, but I made it & I'm really happy with it. It's a cool phone. But I'm scared of it because it doesn't have a case yet. It's so thin. Pretty sure my chubby pregnant hands are gonna crush it.

Also, I want to leave you with this little gem. Most people don't have the privilege of seeing this side of my husband. Luckily I do on a daily basis. He's an outrageously smart engineer type, but man is he a weirdo! I just love him. =]

K. I have nothing more to say, other than to hope & pray that this baby decides it's moving day this week. =]

That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, November 10, 2012

37 weeks.

37 weeks.
TERM!!!! 3 weeks until my actual due date (aka full term), but I am at term! That means that she would no longer be considered a pre-term baby if she was born now. Which means I am more than ready to evict her cute little toosh. I am well aware that she'll come when she's ready & not a second sooner, but I like to think I'm helping things along by walking, eating spicy know, the things that "induce labor." Makes me feel like I'm helping. Last week I was looking forward to having her by November 26th, but my doctor said that he won't decide yes or no on inducing me at 39 weeks until my 38 week appointment. He has to see if things have progressed at all. I was hoping with all these contractions they would...but nope! So hopefully by 38 weeks SOMETHING will have changed so they can give me a light at the end of the tunnel. Honestly I'm really hoping she'll come sooner. I'm so ready to get her out. People always ask me if I'm ready to have a baby. Absolutely not! I'm terrified. I am in no way ready to have a baby. But I am more than ready to get her out of me. Don't get me wrong, I love my baby, & it's really cool to feel her in there. But she's getting a wee bit big, & my uterus is not large enough to accommodate some of these moves she's trying to pull off. Strangely enough, I don't love being punched in the cervix (sorry) & kicked in the ribs at the same time. It's just not comfortable. & don't tell me I'll regret saying this, or I'll have a tougher time with a newborn. I'm well aware. But the grass is always greener on the other side. I just want to be able to bend over & get the socks out of the dryer when they're shoved to the back. & I want people to look at my face when I'm walking around instead of my belly. It's the simple things in life!

Okay, anyway. I'm doing fine. My weight gain has stalled & I've maxed out at 24lbs. It'll probably stay that way. Or at least I'm hoping so. It's not abnormal to stop gaining weight or to lose in the last month. Sounds good to me! Besides, 24lbs is actually under the recommended 25-35lbs! So I feel pretty dang good about myself! I still have a nasty cold, but I feel like that won't go away for a while. I can't take anything & I don't sleep, so my body is definitely in no place to kick any grossness out. I'm still having contractions. I've been having them for 3-7 hour spurts everyday this week. They're about 5 minutes apart & they hurt a bit. Every time I hope it's actually going to turn in to something but it never does. I'm hoping & praying that they turn in to something soon. On Thursday during one of those spurts, I was so pathetic that I couldn't bend down at the commissary to get a jar of pumpkin off the bottom shelf. Someone had to get it for me. & then people let me cut them in line. I'm going to miss that kind of treatment. My doctor has also told me not to drive anymore because of the passing out thing. He mentioned that it sounds like little seizures. I think that's a little dramatic, as is telling me not to I drive anyway. Gabe won't let me drive far though.

People that Gabe works with threw us a little baby shower on Tuesday. It was very nice of them. Mostly because there was chocolate cake. I love chocolate cake. Mmm chocolate. We got a very nice diaper cake (which doesn't sound delicious at all). It looks so pretty I don't want to take it apart. But I will be needing those diapers, & there are little toys & burp cloths on it that I need to go through, so I guess I have to take it apart eventually. It was nice of them to get gifts for us. & the cake. That was nice as well.

There's still a lot to get done. I need to clean the rest of my house, but it's really hard to get down on my hands & knees & scrub at this point. Mostly I just want to get the baby's room done. That's my goal for this weekend. I want to walk in to that room & see that everything is in place. People keep telling me I can do it after I have her, but I'd rather it be out of the way & not have to worry about it later. Plus, I'm pretty sure if I waited, it would never get done. Besides, it isn't like I have a TON to do. I just need to organize the drawers a bit better, hang some picture frames & the mobile I made, & figure out where to store anything extra. It's really not a big job. I just need to have the energy to do it. I should've done it yesterday. I had loads of energy, but I spent all of it going to Target, Pier 1, & Hobby Lobby looking at Christmas decorations. I feel like that's a justifiable trade-off. =]

To sum up. I'm term. I want the baby to be born asap. I'm sleepy. Contractions & no labor. I have a lot to get done. & I love Christmas! (Really, the last one is the most important. Other than the baby being born asap. That's really important, too.)

That is all.

- Alexa

Sunday, November 4, 2012

36 weeks.

36 weeks.
Four weeks until my due date. One week until I'm considered full term. & three weeks until they'll induce me. Baby girl Staples will likely be here the last week of November unless I go in to labor sooner...which I really hope I do. The doctor I spoke to this week said they would induce me on the 26th. But I'm going to see my regular doctor this week because the likelihood of that labor turning in to an emergency c-section is probably pretty high. I really don't want an emergency c-section so we're going to talk to him about that this week. I'm really hoping baby girl gets here sooner though. I am fully aware that having a newborn is going to be hard & I'll probably be pretty miserable. But I'm already pretty miserable, so I think not having a baby in my belly would be nice so that I could at least roll over. Plus, I'm having issues with my blood pressure again, so I'd like that to go away. I passed out a lot today from simple tasks like showering, & putting the bumper on the crib. I'd just like that to be over. So... baby get out of me!!!! Having said that, I think it's so cool feeling her move around in there. It took a lot of getting used to but I finally enjoy it. I particularly love it when she gets the hiccups. Husband thinks it's funny that her hiccups make my whole belly bounce. She gets them 6 or 7 times a day. She's very hiccupy. (As you can see in the above photo, baby has dropped.)

In other news this week, I'm dealing with a cold. It very rapidly went from my throat to my chest. That's no fun. Especially when I'm this big. But at least I have a voice for 95% of the day now! I just have a bit of a nasty cough. Hurricane/superstorm Sandy hit this week. Seeing pictures of New York & New Jersey is so sad. We had 50mph gusts & we're all the way out in southwest Ohio. I cannot imagine the damage in closer areas. We got a lot of rain for 3 days straight...which I loved. Reminded me of home. Cause you know, I consider England home & it rains 300 something days of the year there. I love the overcast rainy weather. It brings me joy. Oh! I also finished the mobile for the baby's room last Sunday. I'll have to get a good picture of it once we hang it. I'm pretty proud of it!

K, things are about to get serious. I don't mean to sound preachy or anything...but this has been on my mind for a long time & it really bothers me.

I realized a long time ago that people tend not to talk about their pregnancies openly. Most people just act like everything is perfect & they love being pregnant. Even Gabe told me that he didn't realize that pregnancy was so hard because he's only ever heard women say wonderful things about pregnancy. You rarely hear about the negatives from people. It makes other women feel awful for ever having doubts or issues. That's why I prefer to be open. If someone who's pregnant reads what I've experienced they'll know they're not the only one & not feel so bad about it! I've had plenty of doubts, fears, & issues over the last 34 weeks that I've known I was pregnant. Tons in fact. I don't feel like that's abnormal in the least. But people never talk about it so at first I felt awful.

This week it really hit me that people need to be able to talk about the realities of pregnancy. It's hard! There are always people that will have it harder, but you know what? You're not pathetic for thinking your pregnancy is hard, cause it's hard on you. & no one else knows what's going on with you except for YOU! My pregnancy has not been easy for me. I've had plenty of issues, but I'm blessed because as far as they can tell, my baby is perfectly healthy. & I'm going to be perfectly fine once baby gets here as far as we know! I love knowing that I'm growing a healthy baby girl. That doesn't mean that I've had it easy. I've been in & out of labor & delivery plenty of times. I've passed out way more than is good for anyone. My blood pressure is all over the place. I still get morning sickness. Among other things. You know what? It sucks! It could definitely be worse, but that doesn't make me think my pregnancy doesn't suck any less. Occasionally I like being pregnant, but for the most part, I really don't like it. I'm uncomfortable all the time. A few weeks ago I started this thing where I don't sleep any more than 30 minutes at a time, if that. I look pretty drugged thanks to the lack of sleep (& people notice...including strangers). I already have back problems, but my back has never hurt so bad. Yes, those last few are totally normal for pregnancy...but they are still bothersome, & I still feel like it's okay to complain about it. I've had a tough 8 months & I'm ready for baby girl to get here. Not just because I want to meet her, but because I really want my body back. I feel like I'm a host for an alien or something. That probably sounds terrible. It doesn't mean I don't love my baby, it just means I don't love being pregnant. I find that to be perfectly okay.

I hope that people try to keep in mind that it's okay to have insecurities & doubts when they're pregnant. That it's okay if you're having a tough time because you're throwing up, even though that other woman may have it worse because she's on full bed rest. That doesn't mean you're weak. Keep in mind that you're growing a human. It's not easy!! Whether you have no kids or six kids, it's draining. I admire women who have multiple kids & deal with being pregnant. I can't imagine doing that. I know I will someday, but the idea of it terrifies me. I don't even have energy to play with my dog. How could I possibly have energy for kids, a dog, & taking care of the husband & house? I guess I'll find out someday. But in the meantime I'm dealing with THIS pregnancy. This is the first baby we're bringing in to the world & it has been a long road. My long road isn't over yet. But in the next 3 weeks it'll all be worth it when we bring a beautiful, healthy, baby girl in to the world. Yes, she'll keep me up all the time, but at least she'll be out of me & I can love her & squeeze her! Right now I just cradle my watermelon belly. & when I put pressure on my belly she usually freaks out & ends up kicking me really hard in the hip so that doesn't happen very often. Anyway. The point is, don't make people feel bad about having a hard time when they're pregnant, even if you went through worse. Make sure they know it's okay to feel miserable. Especially with their first. This is the last time they get to pity themselves cause once that baby is born they have to suck it up & be a mom. (& for the record, if a mom-to-be is depressed, I don't think that's called self pity. Depression is a big deal & it can get a lot worse with post partum...& even before then given all those hormones.) I sulk around my house all the time, but I know that soon I'll have to put on my big girl pants & be a mom. In the meantime I'm perfectly content curling up in fetal position, hunched over on the floor, or propping my feet up. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Okay. Seriousness is over. I hope everyone is well!

That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, October 27, 2012

35 weeks.

35 weeks.
5 weeks til my due date. 2 til full term. That puts me at 8 months pregnant today. That's madness! (Some people say they're 8 months at 32 weeks, because 8x4 is 32. That's dumb. Most months have more than 4 weeks. & that would put 40 weeks at 10 months. Pregnancy is only 9 months people, keep up.) I'm hoping to get to 37 weeks, cause if I have to keep having these contractions for another 5 weeks, I'm going to shove a needle, or a scalpel, or something in to my doctor's throat. Okay, that's a little much, but I'll be really upset. I've been having contractions for 2 weeks now. Yes, they are just first stage of labor contractions, so they're not super painful (but occasionally they get to the point I can't talk through them). But they DO hurt. & since I have them pretty much all day every day, my muscles are sore. It's like working your abs for 3 hours at a time, 5 times a day. My hips & my thighs are also feeling the burn. & sleeping while pregnant is already horrible. Having contractions wake you up multiple times a night, moaning in pain, makes it extra unpleasant. The good news is that there has been SOME progress. As of this passed Tuesday, I was 50% effaced. The Wednesday before that there was nothing going on, so that's good! Bright side! I have another appointment this Tuesday, so I'm hoping these contractions are actually making something happen. Pointless contractions really upset me. I'm supposed to call my doctor if I have ones that hurt for a couple of hours. I've definitely had that, but I don't want to call. I really don't want to waste my time going to labor & delivery. But the good news, is if she DOES come early, they tell me baby girl is doing so well that she won't need to be in the NICU. So that's great! But I still have so much to do!! She has to wait a bit longer.

We bought our car seat this week. Gabe is going to install it this weekend. Our stroller also came in. I'm in love with it. It's the Britax B-Agile. It's really light, & it's super nice to put. I'm so happy we decided to go with that instead of the Baby Trend stroller that goes with our car seat. The diaper bag also came this week, which means I need to pack it. I haven't even put my hospital bag together yet. It's out, but empty. That'll be useless if my water breaks in the middle of the night. So I really need to get on that. My parents bought our crib this week. Gabe is upstairs putting it together right now! I'm excited for it. It'll make that room seem like it's actually for a baby, cause right now it has a dresser covered in baby stuff, & a computer chair in there. Doesn't really feel like a nursery. But a good friend of mine did come this week & help me sort through baby clothes. I washed them all & put them away. It's nice to have that done. Her sheets, towels, & blankets people have sent for her are done, too. Everything is so little! It took me a really long time to fold everything, or put them on hangers. But it was so worth it to be able to look back through it all & "aww" at everything again. But there's still tons to do! Must decorate! I'm making a mobile for over her crib. Yes. I'm making one! I saw one on pinterest I liked that someone was selling on Etsy for $179. That's outrageous!!! So I'm making one like it for approximately $15. Max. It's not done yet. I still have to make a few bows, but it's cute. I'm really proud of it.

Not much else has been going on this week. I'm pretty sure our lives basically revolve around getting things ready for baby girl (who is still nameless). I don't know if I said this last week, but it still blows my mind even if I did. I realized when I was in Arizona that I have been pregnant all year. Isn't that crazy? I got pregnant in January (with an iud) & miscarried in February. Then got pregnant a few weeks later, & I've been pregnant ever since. If I went all the way to December, I would be pregnant every month this year. Hopefully I'll only make it to November. But isn't that crazy?! I can't believe I've been trying to grow a baby for 10 whole months!! No wonder my body is so exhausted. Growing a baby is not easy!!!

Anyway. I hope everyone is well. Happy Halloween!

That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, October 20, 2012

34 weeks.

34 weeks.
Six weeks until my due date! If I make it, they'll take me in my 39th week, which is 5 weeks away. But it looks like baby girl wants to make an early appearance, so I'm trying to make it to 37 weeks. Three weeks away. November 10th. Seems like forever. When I was in Arizona, I started having contractions. Monday morning we were getting ready to leave the hotel & my parents were going to drop me off at the airport. That didn't happen. I started spotting so my mom took me to labor & delivery. Labor & delivery is never fun...especially in Sierra Vista. Baby girl is doing just fine. There's no known reason for the contractions. But they're accompanied by more nausea (that my miracle drug, zofran, does not touch) & incredible amounts of lower back pain. At the hospital they gave me two shots of terbutaline to stop contractions. I'm not allowed to have it anymore because of my cardiac history. The stuff makes you all agitated & raises your heart rate, & the baby's. I shook like crazy for hours. A few hours after I left the hospital my blood pressure started freaking out & staying conscious was not easy thanks to that stuff. At the same time, my contractions came back. But my doctor told me to fly home the next day, so I did. I saw my doctor on Wednesday & he's a little concerned. But at 34 weeks, more than likely they won't stop me from going in to labor. & since baby girl is doing so well, he said there's a chance I could have the baby in the next week, or couple of weeks. Preferably I would make it to 37 weeks, but it's completely dependent on how bad my contractions get. Sometimes they're really bad. I can't talk through them & I can't really move. Really I just moan & groan until it's over. I don't want to keep doing that. They're no fun. I've been switched to weekly appointments, so we'll see how I'm doing when I go in this week. My belly also dropped a bit this week (as you can see in the above photo). It was the first thing Gabe noticed when he saw me. I remember feeling something weird in my belly on the plane, & sure enough, that's what it was. I look even smaller now. & I can ALMOST see my toes again. But most importantly, I can breath a little better. I seriously have no clue how this kid is fitting in there. It doesn't seem like very much space. She must be super cramped. That or really really small.

Echo. (Mom's dog aka my brother)
This week has been really exciting for several members of my family. Obviously, the reason I went down to Arizona, was my sister getting married. So that was very exciting. & then on Tuesday after my parents dropped me off at the Tucson airport, they got in a car accident. A woman in a mustang side swiped them... or something like that... on the I-10 going 80mph. The cop said they're lucky they didn't flip. But it did crunch the front of my mom's Pilot pretty bad. I don't think they know yet if it's going to be totaled or not. They & Echo (the dog) are fine. They had to stay in Arizona a few extra days, but are now on their way back to Colorado.

So anyway. I'm obviously back in Ohio now. I really miss being out west. A lot. I miss mountains. I want to move back. But I'm really glad that I'm home with my husband. I hated going through all that pre term labor crap without my husband there. I was so scared I wasn't going to be able to come home to him, so I'm really thankful I was able to. It's nice to be home with him. & my puppy. My nesting kicked in this week as well. The downside is that a couple hours of cleaning & organizing makes my contractions seem worse. So that's no fun. But on Thursday I spent the whole day cleaning downstairs & reorganizing the kitchen cupboards. I had to put sticky notes on them so that Gabe can find things. I had big plans for Friday. The upstairs. But unfortunately yesterday was not a good day for me so that didn't get done. I'm freaking out that baby girl is going to come soon & my house won't be ready for her. Her room has her things in it, but it's all just piled in a corner. I haven't sorted through anything. PLUS we have another baby shower on November 6th that people Gabe works with are throwing for us. So I have to make it that far. I realize that these things aren't a a big deal. But I don't like the feeling of losing control & I definitely feel like I'm losing control. It freaks me out. No bueno.

I know that baby girl is doing spectacular & that's the most important thing. & I know that if she comes early they have a good NICU here & she would be fine. But the idea of her coming in the next few weeks really freaks me out. We don't even have a car seat yet. We picked on out though & we're going to go pick it up asap. We even went & picked out our stroller this week. I guess it's just a matter of priorities. But it's so hard to prioritize correctly when you're freaked out about having a baby. Our nameless baby girl will be here soon. Guess I better get used to the idea.

That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, October 13, 2012

33 weeks.

32.4 weeks

SEVEN!!! Oh dear. That's actually probably more like six because they should be taking me at 39 weeks. Holy crap. I have so much to do when I get back to Ohio!!! I really really hope I get bit by the nesting bug asap.

This week has been pretty dang great! I flew to Colorado Springs on Sunday, & I spent a few days at my parents house. I finally saw where the fire happened & how close it got to where Gabe & I lived. No wonder we would've been evacuated. Absolutely amazing. I was able to spend a lot of time with my parents (& with my dog, Echo). I loved it. It was great. On Thursday we began our drive down to Sierra Vista, AZ for my sister's wedding. That night we stayed in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Best town name ever. I almost wish I had had the baby there just so she'd be stuck saying she was born there for the rest of her life. But I didn't.

(Story time.) However, we did go to Denny's. Now, I don't drink very much caffeine. My favourite drink is Dr. Pepper, but since we can get the caffeine free kind on the east coast, I stick to A&W root beer. (It seems as though I may have a mild allergy or something to caffeine & when I drink it I usually end up with a really bad headache within a couple of days.) So anyway, I ordered a Dr. Pepper at Denny's. During pregnancy, after the first trimester, you're allowed something like 200mg of caffeine a day. A can of soda has an average of 30mg I believe, so that's well below the limit. & they're only concerned during the first trimester anyway, unless you drink so much you're giving your baby an addiction. I don't. So anyway, I ordered, & the woman "jokingly" but totally seriously said, "are you sure? You can have water, or milk, or root beer." Uh. No. I want the Dr. Pepper. Then she went on to tell me that she didn't think caffeine was good for pregnant woman. I'm sorry 50 year old woman in Truth or Consequences working at Denny's, are you judging me? When she brought me my soda, she told me that she hated the idea of a baby being born with a caffeine dependency. Hey, me too. You don't know my life. Are you really giving me pregnancy wisdom? Wow. I just couldn't believe it. Blew. My. Mind.

Family Tree, by Bret.
So anyway, the next day we went on to Sierra Vista. My sister's wedding was today. She looked absolutely gorgeous & I am so happy for her & Brendan. & their kids (especially Ayden, since she's 11, & the 2 year old probably has no idea what's going on) are really really happy. I was able to stand up as a bridesmaid, though it took some effort on my pregnant behalf. Wedding ceremonies aren't short, but man are they longer when you're this pregnant! Today is actually the first time I've lost my ankles thanks to swelling! Not pretty. Anyway. I teared up like a little girl when Michelle came down the aisle. & I almost lost it twice thanks to my dad. The first time when he came out before the ceremony to hug her, & the second when he gave his toast. There's something about my dad tearing up big time that makes me cry. He's a good dad. Really. The wedding was great, & the reception was too. I got to have my hair & make up professionally done (being doted on while pregnant is the best). All of the siblings were together for the first time in probably over a decade. It was cool. & I got to spend time with my nieces & nephews. They're rad. Seriously. (To the left is a photo of the picture that my brother, Bret, drew for our 7 year old niece, Sadie, explaining how the siblings in our family work. How our mom & dad are connected to each of us, who's half, who's step. The whole deal. I'm clearly the one that looks like she has a nasty growth on her stomach in the middle. That also only has bangs. Bret said it was because my hair was back today.)

Today I was also able to go visit Ed & Big Nina, Gabe's grandparents, briefly. They're so great. Gramma Nina told me my belly was too little the last time she saw me when I was 18 weeks, so I wanted her to be able to see that I've grown. She told me I'm still too small! hahaha. But she rubbed my belly regardless. They think it's really cool that someone they always felt was their granddaughter, is actually carrying their great grand baby. I'm glad I was able to stop by & see them, even though it was a short visit.

Unfortunately, yours truly has been having some belly issues. I've been going non stop for the past few days, from driving, to participating in weddings. My pregnant body just doesn't like it. I've spent the last 24 hours having painful contractions. I'm terrified of going to labour & delivery. I don't want them to tell me I can't fly home. So far I'm okay though. I was supposed to fly home on Wednesday, but my dad, being the great dad that he is, decided to send me home from Tucson on Monday. I need to get back to my husband & near my hospital. I miss my husband majorly. & my puppy. Though I've enjoyed being around family, I think it's important to get back to Ohio so I can take care of baby & I. & make sure everything is totally ready just incase she decides to make her debut early.

So anyway. Hopefully I'll have some photos from this trip soon. I'm glad I was able to make it. Currently I'm still in Sierra Vista, so when I get home I'll work on it.

Wish me luck with getting home before this baby tries to come out!

K. That is all.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

32 weeks.

By Rachel Bridgwood
EIGHT! 8 weeks left until my due date. That is absolutely insane to me. I can't wait for my 36 week appointment. That's when we'll find out if they're going to let me attempt pushing that baby out or not. If I remember correctly, there's a good chance I'll be induced in my 39th week if that's the case. But I haven't spoken to my doctor about in for about 2 months, so maybe things are different now. We'll just have to see. Anyway. I've offically gained 18lbs, which is rad! I'm doing amazingly well actually. My belly is currently 39 inches around. Baby is doing splendidly! I'm measuring right where I'm supposed to be, & she's moving all over the place. Gabe got really excited this morning because he finally felt more than just a bump from her. She actually pushed up against his hand. His reaction was cute. He couldn't believe it. & we also discovered today that if I laugh for more than 3 seconds, my belly button slowly starts to creep out. It hasn't popped out all the way, but it starts to roll out on the edges if I laugh. Luckily I can still poke it back in.

Also. MY DOCTOR APPROVED MY TRIP!!!! YAY!!!! After last week's contractions I was really nervous that he wouldn't. When I first brought it up at my appointment, he was a little skeptical, but eventually he said it was okay & gave me a note to fly. I leave at 635am tomorrow morning on my way to Colorado Springs!!!! I'll be there for a few days, & then I'm driving down to Sierra Vista, AZ with my parents for my sister's wedding!!!! She's getting married next Saturday. I'm so excited for her. & I'm really excited about this trip. I'm a little nervous though cause he said I will no doubt have more contractions, & I'll probably swell a lot worse in Colorado thanks to the altitude. Rad.

Which reminds me. This morning I was getting my haircut & the lady asked me how far along I am. When I told her 32 weeks she responded as everyone else does. Saying that I'm super small for 7 months & she guessed no more than 5. & then she said, & I quote "I should've know cause your nose looks big." Then she went on to tell me that it's normal for your nose to swell toward the end. Um. THANKS! I am aware my nose is swollen. Why on earth would someone think it's okay to say something like that to a pregnant woman? What if my nose was just that big? I mean, it's not like it's huge, but it's definitely swollen. I just didn't know it was obvious to strangers. I couldn't believe it. I just sat there & laughed because I had no idea how to respond to a comment like that. I understand "oh, it looks like you're about to pop" (I never hear that, because I don't look like that), or other comments about my belly...but my nose?! Couldn't believe it. Really it's funny, & she's lucky I wasn't highly emotional at the time.

This week has been great. Tuesday night, Anya graduated puppy school! She got the top score on the puppy test in her class which is amazing cause she was pretty much the wildest one in there when we started this class 8 weeks ago. After the baby is born we're going to move on to pre-agility I think. Poodles love agility & Gabe really wants to get her into agility so he can get her on the big ramps they have. Gabe was home all day on Wednesday since I had to take him in for a quick procedure at the hospital & he had to be drugged for it. Good news is he doesn't have ulcers. Yay! He's also clearly not on drugs very often. When they brought me in to recovery to see him, he woke up briefly & saw me, said "ZYXW..." & then started snoring. He has no recollection of this. But it was pretty funny. He slept for the next 6 & a half hours after we got home. Those drugs hit him hard. Then that night we went to our first birthing class. That's when I decided I don't want to go through labour. I mean, I've always known that, but that really made it more real. How do I get out of that at 2 months out?! You know in the original Willy Wonka where he has that machine that can zap the candy bar out of the tv & put it on the table?! They need to make one of those. For giving birth. Zap the baby out of me & put her on the table. Quick & pain free. Someone get on that. ASAP. I need it no later than December 1st.

Anyway. My flight leaves in 9 & a half hours & I still have laundry & packing to do. Goodie.

K. That is all.

- Alexa

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 weeks.

By: Rachel Bridgwood
30+5 weeks.
Nine.  Oh my gosh. Nine weeks until my due date. Crazy! This week has been very eventful! Monday & Tuesday are kind of a blur, but Wednesday we left on our 8 hour journey (which took 10 hours thanks to traffic & a flat tire) to Virginia. Road trips & pregnancy do not mix. I could only drive 2 & a half hours because my poor feet/legs got so swollen & crampy. & I just got uncomfortable. The excitement began when we arrived at Rachel’s place in Virginia.

About an hour after we got there, I started having cramps. They were unpleasant & coming every few minutes. I probably should’ve been more concerned, but I was tired. I woke up the next morning prepared for a day of maternity photo shoots. The cramps were still there, but only coming every 10 or 15 minutes, so I figured that was an improvement & ignored them for the morning shoot with Gabe. While walking around a grocery store, I realized how uncomfortable I actually was. On our way to Rachel’s mom’s house for the shoot for just me, I called my doctor’s office in Ohio & explained to a nurse what was going on to see if I should be concerned. Uh. Duh Alexa. You’re having actual contractions, of course you should be concerned. That’s not what she said, but she did tell me to go to labour & delivery asap. So naturally I told Rachel I could wait & we did the shoot with just me (which I’m glad we did cause the pictures turned out great). After we were done there, she took me straight to the hospital & husband met me there. As soon as they put me in a bed & hooked me up to the monitors, the contractions stopped. OF COURSE! So I was in this bed, contractionless, feeling & listening to baby girl slosh around violently inside of me. (The doctor was actually impressed with how rambunctious she was.) After I had my exam, a switch flipped & my body hated me again. I was having contractions every 1-2 minutes that were lasting 40 seconds-60 seconds. Um. Not cool. They hurt. I’m aware that when I go in to labour they will be worse & I’m definitely not prepared for that. Anyway. They discovered I had an infection. It came out of nowhere. They got an IV going with fluids & an antibiotic. The first attempt at poking me was awful. Pretty sure she hit a nerve cause when she asked me to move my hand I couldn’t. Not good. So anyway. When the contractions went down to every 10 minutes or so they sent me on my way. I continued to have contractions that night & was told to take it easy the next day. I’m glad we are back in Ohio. Heading in there I was terrified I was going to give birth to my baby during our trip to Virginia. They told me to keep her in there another 6 weeks. That’s it.

So anyway, that was fun. So Friday we were supposed to go to DC, but that didn’t work out cause I had to take it easy. So instead we drove to Stafford to see a good friend of mine. Linda! We went to junior high in England together. It was so nice to see her & catch up. We ended up going to DC on Saturday. I was feeling a lot better & I knew Gabe really wanted to go to the Air & Space Museum. So we went in to DC for the day. I was bound & determined to walk all the way to the Lincoln memorial after the natural history & air & space museums. I told Gabe that I was so determined that I would have the baby on those stairs. What an exciting story!!! But that was a no go. I barely made it to the Washington monument. If you’ve been to the mall in DC, you know that is a long walk. & I was just not having it. 

The main purpose of our trip to was our maternity photos. My good friend Rachel (also from England) is a photographer. Rachel & a friend of hers run a company, Sweet Root Village, that does photography, floral arrangements, & coordination.  She & her husband let us stay with them & their 3 month old baby girl Mia, who is easily the cutest baby I have ever seen. It was great to catch up with Rachel. & she took the most wonderful photographs for us! We did two shoots. One with Gabe & I, & another that was just me. It was a lot of fun. She’s so talented! It’s hard not to look good in front of her camera. She works some sort of photography voodoo magic. Anyway. It was really great & I’m thrilled with all of the pictures we got. So I’m sharing some in this post. As you can see. You can also go to these links (Maternity: AlexaMaternity: Alexa & Gabe) to see the ones she put on their company blog.

Anyway. I’m back in Ohio now, waiting to see my doctor on Friday so he can approve travel for me again this weekend. I’m flying to Colorado Springs on Sunday & then going down to Sierra Vista, Arizona on Thursday for my sister’s wedding! So excited. Hopefully everything checks out at the doctor so I can go.

Hope you’re doing wonderfully!

That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, September 22, 2012

30 weeks.

Monitors on my belly, IV in my hand.
TEN!! 10 weeks left. It's the final countdown. You know, this little girl is in there bouncing around making my belly contort in weird ways as I type, & it still doesn't feel real. I can't believe that my due date is 10 weeks away. That is just ridiculous. I'm not old enough for this. Too weird.

So this week was rough. On Monday I began experiencing "flu-like" symptoms. Nausea, inability to keep anything down, headaches, all over weakness, & my lower back has never hurt so bad. The nausea & throwing up happens with my morning sickness still, but this was so much worse. My doctor told me to go in to triage to get checked out. I wasn't too dehydrated, but they gave me IV fluids anyway, along with some Zofran (which I love) & Morphine. They had me hooked up monitoring baby girl & contractions. She kept kicking the monitors. It was so loud. But after they gave me the Morphine she calmed right down, which I thought was pretty funny. They don't know what happened. Maybe some sort of bug? If I'm still getting sick next week I have to go in. Morning sickness shouldn't be getting worse at this point. I'm feeling pretty good now though, so hopefully it's over. The good news is that baby girl is still healthy as ever! That's all that matters.

This Wednesday, husband & I are driving to Virginia! It's about an 8 hour drive, & I'm going to have to make lots of pit stops, but I'm really excited!!! Thursday my outrageously talented photographer friend is taking my maternity photos, Friday we're going to DC, Saturday we're going to visit a friend of mine, & then we'll drive back to Ohio on Sunday. Then the following Saturday I will fly home! Or as homey as it gets for military brats anyway. I'm going to Colorado! I'll spend a few days there with my parents, & then we're driving down to Arizona for my sister's wedding! So glad I get to fly at that point. I'll be two days short of 34 weeks when I fly back to Ohio. But it turns out that you can fly up until your last 4 weeks if you haven't had any complications. At least on most airlines. I'm really excited about all this traveling. It's going to be so fun! A pain I'm sure, but fun nevertheless.

Today I had planned on sorting through all of the things we have for baby girl. That didn't work out. It is my goal in life to get something done in baby girl's room before we leave for VA. Something. Anything. Hopefully I won't be otherwise distracted this week so that can easily happen.

One last thing. I would like to share that here in Ohio we are having sweater weather. I love sweater weather! I find it a lot easier to dress my bump when I can wear layers. Makes me feel like less of a cow. Or a whale. I hope some of you are also enjoying some fall-like weather.

K. That is all.

- Alexa

Saturday, September 15, 2012

29 weeks.

Bye bye toes.
11 WEEKS LEFT! Holy moly, that's scary. I have so much to do!!! There's a bunch of stuff in baby's room, but it's not at all ready for a baby. Need to get on that. I got my glucose/anemia test done yesterday. I'm sure I at least passed the glucose part. It wasn't nearly as bad as everyone says. Apparently people are way over dramatic about the glucose test. I got the lemon-lime? Is that right? Anyway, it tasted like a flat sprite with extra sugar. Not great, but not too bad. I had a really really short check-up yesterday so I didn't get to talk to my doctor much, but he did tell me that if I have a scheduled c-section (which is likely) I can have it done at Miami Valley South, which is the small, nicer one with the brand new maternity centre down by me. I don't think they'll let me have her there if I go in to labour naturally because they don't do high risk, but at least a scheduled c-section! So that made me happy.

Baby girl has been outrageously kicky this week. I like to put things on my belly when she's really active cause she likes to kick things off. Crazy girl. I think she is now head down... or at least dropped. Her jabs are really low these days. Uncomfortably so. & my hips are suddenly in pain & I am more of a waddler than a walker. I also discovered on Tuesday that I can no longer see my toes if I look straight down. I don't know when that happened. But my belly button is still in! & I've gained 15lbs, which is most excellent! I actually haven't gained any weight since my last appointment 3 & a half weeks ago. So I'm doing really well! Right on track to gain the recommended amount! & that's with all my ice cream & cookies. Yessss!

**This just in. I just discovered that my belly is 2 inches smaller (38") than it was at my baby shower. Holy moly I must've been holding a heck of a lot of water that day. Now I don't feel so bad about the pictures of me from that day. I can actually say I was bloated. Thank goodness.**

Today Gabe & I were up at 6am to babysit a friend's baby. It was kind of like a glimpse in to our future. Good practice. & our poor dog was so confused. She's having a rough day. I think the attention hogging baby made her nervous. Poor dear. She'll get used to it when we have one here all the time. The only part she enjoyed was breakfast cause the baby kept giving her cheerios. Anya is also in puppy school currently. She is doing a most excellent job!!! My feet swell really fast so Gabe works with her in the hour long class. She loves it. He gives her lots of attention. She's getting so good. I'm so proud of her. In fact, she was doing so well on Tuesday evening, & Gabe was being so so good with her, my hormones went crazy & I teared up. It just made me so happy!!! haha

What else has happened this week? Oh, my mom left. Sad sad day. So horrible. Like I said last week, she ended up having to have her gall bladder removed on the day she was supposed to head back to Colorado. So I got to keep her for 5 extra days. I miss her so much. I cried like a baby at the airport. Security actually came over & gave us some tissues. I'm such a pansy. Especially since I'm going to see her again in just a few weeks. In two weeks Gabe & I are going to Virginia to see some friends of mine, have a maternity shoot done, & go to DC. The weekend after that, I'm flying to Colorado. So flipping excited! I miss Colorado so very much. I'm really really hoping we end up back there at some point. I think there's a small part of Gabe that wants to go back & teach at the Academy, so maybe! Anyway. I'll be there for about a week, & then I'll drive with my parents (which I may regret) down to Sierra Vista, AZ for my sister's wedding the following weekend! So excited for my sister!!! It's going to be fun. A few days later I'll fly back to Ohio from Arizona. Then I'm not allowed to travel anymore. Hopefully everything stays great in my uterus so my doctor approves the flying the week I'm supposed to go. & so I don't have any problems while away from husband.

K. That is all!

- Alexa