Tuesday, April 26, 2011


31 weeks!

Last week, like the last several before it, zoomed by. With adjusting to my return to work, trying to stay on top of housework and dealing with a super active baby, I stayed pretty tired and had to grab naps when I could.

Speaking of squirmy-butt, I'm curious to see how her patterns of movement change in the next few weeks. Dr. W told me to expect her to slow down towards the end as she runs out of room- I think she's trying to get all of her wiggles out of her system now. She has been a little nut the last few days! This afternoon I was jolted out of a nap by her little rambunctious monkey feet beating a staccato in my side and I don't mean a few gentle nudges - she was going to town! If her personality in utero is anything like what it will be when she's here, Jeremy and I are going to have our work cut out for us.

My appointment last week with Dr. G went well, like everyone else in her practice she seemed competent and was really nice. I am still (extremely) partial to Dr. W, but if Dr. G ends up being the one to deliver I know I'll be in good hands.

Work is going well enough - I'm not working complete days yet because the club won't open until the 1st but I still find myself exhausted by the end of the shift. I have been doing a lot more bending, cleaning, organizing, etc., than will be required normally because we have to get the kitchen into shape after a winter of disuse so I'm hoping that when I have a more 'normal' workday I will be able to keep up for the whole day.

In other news, we will be going to the beach after all! We will be staying for free in a house that a friend of the family owns and bringing food from home so it will be cost effective enough for us to be able to swing it. Although we were both prepared to give up the babymoon, I think it's going to be really good for us to be able to get away and relax before she gets here. We're leaving on Saturday, coming back on Thursday and I plan to spend a good bit of the time in between laying out on the sand like a beached manatee! It is unreal that this will be our last trip together as just a twosome. The next time we leave Boone we'll be parents of a baby girl.

Our project this week is to get my hospital bag put together. With our preterm labor scare, we don't want to be caught out of town without it in case she decides to arrive ahead of schedule while we're on vacation. The biggest problem is that I'm not really sure where to begin and I'm a little trigger shy about purchasing some of the things I'll need. Buying a nursing bra scares me- I've already gone through a significant change as far as cup size is concerned and I don't want to sink the money into one to have them balloon even more when my milk comes in. I might try to get away with buying a structured nursing tank to keep in the bag at least until I'm a little bit closer and I have more of an idea what things look like.

By the way, her dresser is DONE!! Thank you to both sets of grandparents for facilitating the refurb - my parents sent a gift that covered the costs of the materials to sand/fill the gouges, paint and hardware and my mother in law did a beautiful job painting it. It took some doing, but after a little elbow grease the 34 year old dresser from Jeremy's nursery has new life. We changed the outdated hardware for some simple white porcelain pulls. I agonized over the paint choice but ended up going with a light green shade called "Lantana Lime". It looks so great, as soon as I have it home I'll post a picture of it. I feel like her nursery is finally starting to come together.

Jeremy and I had a great Easter Sunday, we went to church together (a rarity as Jeremy almost never gets off on Sundays) and had a meal with his mom's side of the family. Even though I pooped out early and retreated home for a nap, I had such a good time spending time with everyone.

Another event of the week...


Yep - I see the tell tale signs of them sprouting around my belly button - I can't wait for my belly to look like a giant target - Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, here I come! In all seriousness, though, like every other irritant I've experienced during pregnancy, it is a tiny price to pay for the most precious gift I've ever been given. 9 weeks and counting -- can't wait to meet you, baby girl.

Monday, April 18, 2011

First day back...

Happy Monday!

Carys is officially 30 weeks today - (maybe less than) 10 more to go!

As of today, her mommy is also officially a working stiff again. This morning was my first day back to work at the country club in a small kitchen that offers lunch fare for golfers and guests. We're not officially open until May, so we're basically just cleaning and organizing. A new executive chef has finally been hired along with a new food and beverage director and I had the opportunity to meet them both today. The F&B director seems to be a lot more engaged than the previous one, and is a nice enough man. There have been a lot of changes made to the chain of command to 'streamline' things in theory - only time will tell how things work in practice. I'm afraid the new chef has no idea what he's in for- the management has saddled him with a tremendous amount of responsibility- part of their plan includes him doing the jobs of two people. He will essentially be responsible for inventory, menus, staff, etc., for two restaurants. The new board of members (the club is member equity owned) are determined to pinch pennies until they bleed, too, which adds an entirely different set of difficulties and challenges in an environment where people are spending an exorbitant sum of money yearly for the benefit of membership and expect a certain level of luxury.

Physically, returning to work will be about what I expected, I think. I went in for about 4 hours today and spent most of the time wiping down shelves/refrigeration units. Outside of the obvious difficulties (balance, fitting in close spaces, getting back up after I've gotten down... ha ha) it wasn't too bad. I was pretty pooped when I got home, though - energy level might become more of an issue the closer I get to my due date. Luckily, my boss has been and is continuing to be really accommodating to me. She has a realistic expectation of the things that I can/can't do and I don't feel pressured to push myself any harder than I am comfortable with. I still plan to work as long as I can until I deliver, then will hopefully be able to return to finish out the remainder of the season. There are still some variables to my return that won't be sorted out until the time comes. If all goes as planned, though, after my six week leave I'll work until October.

One thing that I'd forgotten about that is a huge financial help to us is that since it is my third year returning as an employee to the club I will be eligible for health benefits 90 days into the season! I'm not clear on the details, but my boss tells me it is paid 100 percent by the club and is year round- it could end up being a real boon for us and if I can handle all the changes/shenanigans at the club this year things might line up for my original plan.

Carys spent most of the work day sleeping peacefully, although she did get squirmy around lunch time like she usually does. I think she is getting more cramped in there- sometimes she wiggles like she's trying to get comfortable and can't (poor little thing). I was hoping to get a nap in when I got home to recharge my batteries for the rest of the afternoon/evening, but as soon as she wasn't being lulled to sleep by my movement she was awake and ready to play. She's rolling around happily and pushing her feet against my side as I type.

My 30 week appointment is tomorrow morning, Dr. W wanted me to be seen by the only physician in the all-female practice that I haven't met yet. All of the other doctors have seen me at some point over the last 3 years- Dr. W said she wants me to be somewhat familiar with everyone (even though she's still my OB) in case something happens and one of the other doctors has to deliver. Dr. G joined from another practice a few months ago and seems to be highly esteemed. After my appointment with her tomorrow, I will see Dr. W for the remainder of my pregnancy. Two more appointments after this one and I will be moved to weekly checks!

70 days and counting...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Out of control.

Today, for the first time since Jeremy and I embarked on this journey together, I found myself genuinely afraid. Not the varying levels of anxiety I've experienced along the way- I'm talking about throat-tightening, sweaty-palm, gut-twisting FEAR. Before you worry that this is baby-related, let me put you at ease- Carys is perfectly happy, healthy, oblivious to her surroundings and is currently fast at work punching a hole in my side.

Reality kind of hit me today- Carys' due date is bearing down on us faster than I am ready for and I have to admit- I am petrified. She used to seem like an idea or a daydream, but she is real-THIS is real- and the time that she will be completely dependent on us for her every need is coming fast. My mind swirled with panic today... what if I get her home and I don't have what she needs? What if I don't know what to do? What if we can't provide for her? What if we're not enough?

I am also coming to terms with the fact that I may not be able to stay at home for part of the year- it may be necessary for me to work year round to help support our family. We're not in over our heads, financially, but without an additional income we're treading water. In order for us to move successfully towards getting out of debt, it may be necessary for me to work at least part time for the entire year.

This morning, staring at our budget, the realization that my plan may have to change started slowly sinking in. The other realization that sunk in- we cannot afford to go on our 'baby-moon' in a couple of weeks- the beach will have to wait. These two pieces of information combined with my swirling fears hit me like a sack of bricks and soon I was brewing up one doozy of a pity party.

I am ashamed to say that I spent a couple of hours wallowing in my self pity before a conversation with a close friend snapped me out of it. I felt sorry that we weren't going to get to go on vacation, sorry that I might have to work year round, sorry that Carys' nursery may not be exactly what I want it to be, sorry that the babyhood I imagined for Carys might not materialize precisely as planned, the list goes on. I was sitting in the foyer of the dining room at SP with Jeremy waiting for our lunch buddies to join us, when my friend walked by and saw me in tears. We chatted for a while (well, she chatted, I mostly blubbered for the first part) and she helped me see some truths (some she shared, and some I concluded after thinking about our conversation). I appreciate her friendship more than she knows, and the fact that she is willing to offer me sound advice in love without passing judgment. So, without further ado, what I learned today:

  1. Things are not as bad as I imagine them to be. Despite money being tight right now, we are so much better off than we were even a year ago. We may not have enough for extras, but God has provided for every one of our bills. There have occasions in the past where we didn't know how we would pay for food or utilities, and although we don't have everything we want right now, we have everything we need. I have a feeling that understanding the distinction between the two will be an important tool in the next few years.
  2. I am the one with the expectations, not Carys. She doesn't have any presumptions about her own childhood, or about my capabilities as a mother if I am not able to give her everything I think she wants or needs. The important things will be covered- food, shelter, and more love than she'll know what to do with. If I don't have the nursery of my dreams, she won't care, because she has no preference. She'll be just as happy sleeping in her crib whether it has the set I fell in love with or not. She has no such designs on her surroundings/clothes, etc. She'll eat, sleep, cry, poop, pee and spit up in a mismatched nursery just like she would in the one I've been fantasizing about.
  3. I am not the only mother that has ever had to work, nor will I be the last. It will not somehow be more difficult for me to return to the workplace than it has been for any other mother and in the grand scheme of things, Carys has it pretty good. Most of the days in the week that I'll be working she'll be able to stay home with daddy, and the days our schedules overlap, her Granna or Nanny will be there for her (which brings me to my next point). I'm sure it won't make it any easier to leave her in someone else's care, but making sure she has the things she needs is taking care of her, too. Jeremy and I are better husband and wife to each other when we're not desperately struggling to keep the lights on, and I bet we'll be better parents, too, without the added stress of constantly being behind on bills.
  4. I have an amazing support system. There are a plethora of family members/friends that have offered to watch her throughout the week and she won't ever have to be put in daycare. Staying with her grandparents or aunt/uncle (honorary and otherwise) one day a week while I work part-time will not in some way hurt her development or lessen her love for me. If anything, it might encourage her to be social and help foster a closeness with her extended family and that is something that is so very important to Jeremy and I. I was close to my grandparents and my dad's twin sister and I miss them all the time. One-on-one time with her grandparents and other trusted family members will help her form a bond with them and it's a precious gift to her, not a slight.
  5. Parenting means sacrificing my desires when it is for the good of my child. Part of the transition is understanding that our needs come second now. Would I have loved to go the beach? YES. I have been thinking about sinking my toes in the sand for months and the whiny dramatic side of me would say that a part of me died a little when I realized it wasn't going to be feasible. But would it be responsible for us to go anyway, knowing that we don't have the money to blow on the trip? No. As I've mentioned at least four million times since starting this blog, Carys is coming. We need to do everything we can to get ready and shelling out money we don't have to cater to my want to get away isn't in her best interest. There will be other opportunities for us to get away and relax, but this isn't it right now. And most importantly:
  6. God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. My life is largely out of my control. There are choices I make that will influence it, but ultimately there is one Architect of my future and He is far more capable than I could ever hope to be. He also said that the thoughts he thinks toward me are thoughts of peace and not evil. Allowing myself to be afraid will not change the fact that I am only a tiny drop in an endless sea and all my panic and worry will not change the course of our future. My saving grace is that He knows our names, and the name of our child and He loves us. It's a cliche', but the phrase 'let go and let God' keeps replaying in my mind. The best thing I can do for my baby is to let God have control in our lives and He can't take the helm while I have a death grip on it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The results are in...

I don't have gestational diabetes!!

Although I knew there was a high likelihood that I don't have it, I was starting to get nervous. So, if little Carys isn't so little, she'll get there on her own strength and not because my blood sugar is out of control. :) I'm glad, too, considering the size of the cinnamon roll I had on Monday.

Jeremy gave me a prenatal massage for Christmas and I finally used it yesterday - I've never been to a professional masseuse before but it was worth every penny. My back has really taken a beating during this pregnancy (to the point that I've had to be on muscle relaxers as needed since the beginning of my second trimester) and it felt so good to have the sore muscles worked. The masseuse, Susan, gave the most incredible foot rub, too - before getting pregnant I HATED having my feet touched but swollen, sore feet have plied my resistance. I can't remember the last time I've been in that deep a state of relaxation. Carys was unimpressed, however. I was on my side for the massage (obviously I'm not going to be lying on my stomach any time soon) and while Susan was working on my back she did this thing where she put one hand at the base of my neck and one at my lower back and kind of gently rocked me- as soon as she started Carys started flipping out and kicking me forcefully in the side. She was pretty wild throughout the whole hour. I think she thought it was bedtime, and therefore time to play.

My energy level is still pretty low despite taking an additional daily dose of iron. I'm hoping I won't have difficulty adjusting back to having a full work day- when I wake up in the mornings I'm finding that I'm still tired/lethargic for the most part. Exercising does provide little bit of a boost and I'm sticking with that (especially since the weather has warmed up of late) and hope that things improve or at the very least, don't get any worse. The added benefit is according to my pregnancy books, walking strengthens the muscles I'm going to use in labor and it might provide for more effective pushing. I have become accustomed to napping in the late afternoon, too, and I'm not sure there will be time for that with work and trying to keep up with my responsibilities at home. The blessing about living in a smaller place is that it takes so little time to clean - I deep cleaned yesterday and it took me all of 45 minutes to wipe down all the surfaces, scrub the bathroom from top to bottom, straighten up, vacuum all of the rooms and dust. I predict it will be more of an energy issue than a time issue, though. I am a little anxious about returning to work, but am looking forward to it for the most part. There have been a lot of drastic changes at the club, though, and although it's my third season I don't know exactly what to expect.

I am really looking forward to the extra money - our bills will be tapering off soon for the most part, and we're looking to be in a good place financially when she gets here. We haven't started on her nursery yet with the exception of prepping the dresser for painting and I'm anxious to start getting things pulled together. I keep seeing pictures on baby forums of nurseries that well on their way to finished before the mom is halfway through her second trimester and it reminds me that all I have for her is a bare little room! I know it won't be the end of the world if she comes home before it's completely finished, but I want to be able to relax and enjoy the space with her and not be thinking about what I still need to do. After my first couple of checks I'll be able to start buying the little things I want for her room. Hopefully I'll have the time to get everything finished on my agenda before she gets here - I can't believe we're already in the middle of April. It seems like 2011 just started and we'll be halfway through it in 1 1/2 months.

Karen and I are going to paint the dresser tomorrow, probably - we picked a light spring green and I'm going to buy white porcelain knobs- the old hardware were bronze pulls that looked a little dated/grown up for a baby's room. I had a set picked out that matched the comforter set, but I need 10 pieces and at $5.75 a pop, it's just too expensive. I like the simplicity of the porcelain, too, and they're substantially more affordable than the alternative. It'll pick up one of the accent colors I've picked for her, and I love the idea that it was in Jeremy's room when he was a baby, too.

Today is mowing day for J and baking day for me - I found a recipe for banana bread that I love and I'm going to be sending a loaf along with some other goodies to my younger brother. He's in the USMC, stationed outside of New Orleans. He's going to be getting leave soon, and we're hoping he will get a chance to come see us for a couple of days. He's not too manly to sleep in his niece's room for a bit - she won't mind.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Still waiting for the results...

(This Monday's blog will probably be a little short, as I'm exhausted! I will post a longer blog when I find out the results of my GTT)

29 weeks today!! 9 weeks until Carys is full term...

So, last Thursday I had my three hour glucose tolerance test. It was every bit as awful as I anticipated, and I was thrilled when it was over. Then began the long wait for the test results - I didn't hear anything on Friday, and it looks like I won't be hearing anything today, either. I suppose no news is good news - it seems like it would be fairly urgent if I did have gestational diabetes.

In other news, I start back to work next Monday at the country club - I'm anxious to start earning some extra money for the baby, and I'm looking forward to having something to do during the day. We are actually doing okay financially right now, so I don't have to work to keep our heads above water, but the extra money will go a long way to putting back a nest egg. It'll be nice to have that cushion after she's here. The plan is to go back 6 weeks after delivery and work until the end of the season, in October. Next year is up in the air, still, but if all goes according to plan this year I'd like to return for a fourth season.

The rest of this week I'm planning on getting the house in order (deep-cleaning) in preparation for my return to work, painting the dresser that will go in baby girl's room (will post pictures after it's done), and taking these last few days to relax before I'm back in the swing of things. I have a prenatal massage scheduled for tomorrow (thank you, Santa) that I'm pretty excited about and hopefully I'll hear back from Dr. W on the GD front.

So, just a short update today - I walked 2.5 miles with Jeremy at Greenway Park (followed by a massive sandwich and a cinnamon roll the size of a hubcap smothered in vanilla ice cream) and I'm pretty pooped. I'm off to recharge my batteries!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two thirds are behind us...

Happy THIRD trimester!!!

As of today, the countdown is at 84 days (12 weeks).

We had an appointment today with Dr. W, and she decided that we have been doing so well that it is no longer necessary to do bi-weekly fFN tests! We briefly discussed my birth plan, and I feel as though we are on the same page. I have thought long and hard about the way I want things to go and have come to a conclusion - I trust my doctor implicitly. She made a point at our last visit to tell us about her birthing 'style', but wanted me to also know that she is willing to do whatever I want as long as it doesn't endanger the baby- her line in the sand is when the mother is insisting on a course of action that will harm the baby. She mentioned that she had a previous patient insist that she not use suction to clear the baby's airway after delivery - she said she understood that women need to feel a sense of control over their labor and delivery, but she told the patient that she needed to find another doctor. Although I am making it to be my business to be educated about the birthing process, she has done this hundreds and hundreds of times and we have a great doctor-patient relationship. I know she won't do anything to endanger me or the baby, and I know she won't insist on anything that she doesn't absolutely believe is necessary.

So essentially, my birth plan is as follows -- let Dr. W help me birth this baby in the safest, most effective way possible. She knows how I would like for things to go, but I am also trying to maintain a level of flexibility to ensure that things go smoothly.

As far as Carys is concerned, we had an ultrasound today and she looks great. Her growth is right on target (with a small exception), and she's as squirmy as ever. This week she is breech, but Dr. W assured me Carys still has plenty of room to move and that it won't be considered worrisome until around 37 weeks. We got to see her yawn (complete with sticking her little tongue out), and smack her lips despite her hands being up around her face (as always). Dr. W noted that her brain was developing symmetrically, she had a great heart rate, her kidneys look good, and the amniotic fluid was at a good level. On a personal level, she has the cutest button nose and darling little chubby cheeks.

Her exception to comparisons with fetuses of similar gestational age was her weight - Dr. W said most babies around her age weigh in a few ounces over 2 pounds... Carys is about 2 pounds, 11 ounces!! Dr. W said that she thinks Carys will be 8 to 8.5 pounds. She was really pleased with her size, and so am I. Carys is obviously getting the nutrition she needs! The facts are, bigger babies typically do better as preemies than the smaller ones do, so if I do happen to go into preterm labor and have to deliver, that extra half pounds are going to go a long way to ensure her survival.

Besides, roly-poly babies are adorable! I am glad I haven't bought too many newborn sized articles of clothing - she may not be in them for long.

I will be scheduled this week for the three hour glucose tolerance test - I was supposed to have it done week before last, but the nurse said I didn't get placed in the 'scheduling bin', so it got overlooked. I meant to call last week and check, but it was kind of a busy week (and I admit, it's easy to forget to do something you aren't excited about). Hopefully things will go smoothly and I won't have gestational diabetes.

J and I got to take a walk at the local park today, the weather was beautiful. Birds have been singing like crazy, so hopefully we'll be moving into more permanent warm weather soon- we're looking forward to getting to do some things outside this week. He's working third shift tonight again to cover for a co worker so he'll be asleep long into the afternoon tomorrow, but Wednesday we're planning to get out and do some yard work together. He won't let me mow, but I might be able to rake grass clippings or something. If all else fails, I can sit on the porch with lemonade and get some sun while keeping him hydrated. :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Ordinarily, I'd wait until tomorrow to blog because it's Monday, which means the beginning of another gestational week for Carys. As my blog title implies, however, today is somewhat of a benchmark and I feel like it deserves its own (however short it may turn out to be) recognition.

Today is the last day of my second trimester.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have mixed emotions about 2/3 of my pregnancy being over already. Part of me is getting tired of being pregnant (probably the part of me that suffered all day yesterday with cramps in my left leg because Carys found a nerve and sat on it) and wants the rest of this experience to whiz by so my baby will be here already. The other part wants this experience to go a little slower, because when it's over, there's no going back.

My life and how it relates to others has already begun to change, I can't deny it. Thoughts that used to be solely dedicated to myself and my needs have been permeated as much as my body has by this tiny little person -it is a truly unique experience. A friend once described pregnancy as a real life version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", the one fundamental difference being that the 'pods' that show up in real life are not alien lifeforms that drain emotions, they are crazy-makers that increase them tenfold. Joy, fear, frustration, pride, etc., all are intensely magnified by the presence of a being that begins life smaller than the tip of a ballpoint pen.

In addition to what I assume are the normal anxieties of impending parenthood, through the experiences of others I am beginning to gain recognition of just how much our lives are going to change when she gets here - this simultaneously thrills and terrifies me.

The ushering in of a new trimester reminds me that;

a) Carys is coming.

b) There's not a thing I can do to slow it down.


c) We are in for a wild ride.