Monday, August 24, 2009

36 weeks, 160lbs

As Charleigh's arrival gets closer and closer, I can't help but remember the three times prior to this when I imagined this would have happened already. The three times I pictured myself holding my sweet babies. I guess Sunday kind of got me thinking on that topic. Sunday would have been Baby Butterbean's 1st birthday. Now, I am not one to celebrate death more than I celebrate life, I am TRULY focusing on the new life of my sweet baby girl in the next 3 weeks! But, I do want to share what I (with the help of the Lord) have been pondering lately on this topic.
I don't want to forget where I've been. Where I have been makes me indescribably thankful for where we are about to go. Sunday morning, as I'm am briefly thinking about little Butterbean, Leo gets up in the middle of worship and reads from 2 Corinthians. I leaned over to Justin and said, "I bet he reads from chapter 12". I am going to tell you right now, that I have NO idea why I said that, or why I knew that...and sure enough he followed with, "chapter 12, verse 7". I was tuned in now, I needed to know what this said, apparently God was trying to get me to pay attention. And here is what he read:
"...even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud. I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
2 cor 12:7-10

Well, I've read these verses before, and no one really knows what Paul's "thorn" was, some say a sickness of some sort. But, I KNEW what my "thorn" had been...these miscarriages. And when he went on to read how he begged the Lord 3 times to take it away, wow, I'd definitely say that after all three babies were lost, I got on my face and begged the Lord. 3 times.
Okay, so, I'm making my own parallels here but, it's just that it fit so perfectly with my thoughts for that morning. In those dark times he did teach me that his grace is sufficient, he is ALL I need, and no child will fill my voided heart, yes, even my precious child will let me down at some point in her sweet life...and that is okay, because he has taught me that only HE is all I need, and that he works BEST through my weaknesses. It's just a beautiful revelation to my heart right now. I am so grateful that the Lord has removed my thorn...and that we will be holding a sweet child of our own very soon. I celebrate Charleigh's life!

But, this too got me thinking...A couple weeks ago we had a guest speaker from Romania. It is a man whom our church has prayed for, done fundraisers for, and followed for the last few years. He was told that his little 2 year old daughter had a cancerous tumor on her spine and, as you can imagine, probably wouldn't make it. I had heard their story before, like I said, our church was VERY involved in trying to get little Tori well, and tons of prayers for the sweet little girl. But, to hear it in his broken English, coming from the mouth of the father of that little could NOT hold back emotion. And I could not help but think of my husband having to tell that story about our own daughter, I could feel my heart breaking for this dad, all over again. But, it was the next story that he told that really meant something. He said, that day, he and his wife took little Tori out to a field. They both held her up to God and prayed. My natural prayer for this girl would be for healing, of course, but, that is not what they prayed. He said, "God, you gave us baby Tori. But she is not ours, she belongs to you. If you want her back, it will be hard for us, we don't want to lose her but, it is okay with us. Thank you for letting us have her for the short time that we have..." Woah, I mean, we ALL would like to think that we would react in such a humble, classy way I started thinking about all the worries I have for baby Charleigh. I guess because of so many letdowns in this area, my heart keeps bringing up thoughts of what MIGHT happen...stillborn, rare illness, SIDS, cancerous tumors...etc. I try to immediately squash these thoughts but, I know that I am not promised September 14th, and neither is Baby Charleigh. I know that my father in heaven WANTS to give me good things, and loves to shower his blessings on me, but, I have to remind myself that Charleigh is not mine, she belongs to God and whatever he chooses to do with her life, is something I will choose to accept.
Well, there is so much more in my heart about this that I can't find the words to describe. So, I'll leave it at that for now...

On to less "deep" conversation. Have you heard of the hormone Relaxin? It is released during pregnancy in order to relax all the cartilidge in your body. The reason cartilidge needs to be relaxed is so that the cartilidge that holds your hips and pelvis in place can stretch to make room for the baby to be born. So, Relaxin is doing it's job on me these days. Many of the times I wake up in the night are because my hips are aching...they don't stay in their sockets very well anymore because of this darn hormone. But the funniest thing is that it affects ALL the cartilidge in your body, that is why a woman's nose will "spread" at the end of her pregnancy (it relaxes because it's made of cartilidge) and why their feet get bigger (the cartilidge in their feet spreads out), and it is apparently why I wake up with ear pain! I know, what? Yeah, If I lay on one ear too long, it starts to hurt really bad, bad enough to wake me up in the night...haha, I just think that sounds so funny. Did anyone else experience this during pregnancy? So weird.

Well, Charleigh, Justin and I got some maternity pictures made last week. Amy Harrod ( is a young photog in our church who has recently started up her own business. So, we got with her and loved what she was able to do in her cute little studio. She was very easy to work with, and took what I said to heart (even though she is the professional and I am NOT), she didn't just dismiss my ideas...she tried them all! I just thought that was sweet. So, here are some of our favorites :)I posted even more pictures on facebook if you want to see more :)

Well, this week mom and dad are coming for their last visit before Charleigh gets here. My mother cannot stand to stay 3 hours away, she needs to check and make sure everything is done and ready for her grandbaby...haha, she's crazy. And she's bringing all the artwork Charleigh needs for her walls :) Can't wait to post pictures of that next week.

Our c-section is officially scheduled for September 14th early morning. So, I've let the fam know and everyone is making their travel arrangements...exciting! I guess there are a few good things about having a c-section. The extreme "planner" in me is glad to know exactly what will happen and when, our family will all have time to take off work and travel to be here for the event, and I won't have to get all sweaty and endure labor pains...I'm trying to focus on these positive things. Our appointments are now once a week but only for the next couple of weeks because in 2 weeks and 6 days....we'll have a BABY!

I go visit our pediatrician tomorrow. It will be my first meeting with her and I have a LONG list of questions to ask. Any moms out there have any I should make sure to work into the conversation??
I finished my hospital gown! I'm pretty proud of it since I went in clueless on what I was doing. I just pinned and measured a million times and hey, it turned out fairly cute :) It looks like it's mainly red but, oh no, it's definitely HOT PINK!
I added snaps all the way up the back so that the doctors and nurse could have know for epidurals and what not. Then I made sure it overlapped in the front so that I could just untie one side for breast feeding.

I also whipped up a new pillowcase to take with me to the hospital :)
I also managed to make her a hair bow holder!
I added two pegs in the front to hang her headbands on.

So, I survived our newborn parenting class solo. Yes, I was the only one there that was But, everyone was so friendly. I didn't learn too much information that I didn't already know but there were a few things the nurse cleared up that had been puzzling me. Like, you are NOT supposed to use baby powder at all, can clean the umbilical cord with alcohol or not (apparently it really doesn't matter if you mess with it at all), and she suggested NOT using vasoline during diaper changes, which I had heard was a good idea...hmmmm.
I am definitely looking forward to taking Justin with me this week :) muahahahah!

Any expecting moms out there (Joanna and other friend I cannot name), I'd have to suggest the book "The Baby Whisperer Solves all Your Problems". It was suggested to me and I LOVE it so far. This little English lady answers all my questions before I think them. I had planned to read and follow "BabyWise" but I couldn't find it at the bookstores I went to or at the library. So, I got the Baby Whisperer book and everyone I've talked to basically says it's a lot like Baby Wise anyway. I love this woman's ideas and concepts, anyway, thought I'd give you a heads up on that one!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

35 weeks 158.5 lbs

So, this week was supposed to be the BIG, not when Charleigh is due, but the week we find out, for sure, if we will need to have a c-section or not. We waddled into Dr. Maher's office (well, I waddled, Justin just walked) hoping for the best. So, here is the deal...I have a low-lying placenta (that's the little organ type thing that attaches itself to the side of the uterus in order to nurish the baby with blood, food, nutrients, etc.) Well, in most pregnancies, the placenta knows to attach itself to the top of the uterus, mine attached down at the bottom. This doesn't hurt the pregnancy at all, it just make delivery complicated. You see, if the placenta is too close to the cervix when it starts to dialate, I could start bleeding uncontrollably. Or if it is delivered before the baby, it could mean bad news for Charleigh. Huh. My regular OB, the one who will be delivering me says he doesn't feel comfortable having a natural delivery unless the placenta is AT LEAST 5 cm away from the cervix, the high risk doc, who will NOT be delivering me says it only has to be 3cm away. Well, mine measured 3 cm away this week. What that means......??? I guess since Dr. Mehta is delivering me, I'll be having a c-section. I thought I would be totally okay with this verdict, especially if it is the safer way to go. But now, a little part of me is sad that I won't get to try it the natural way, that I'll have all that recovery time and that maybe, just maybe...I COULD do it the natural way if we tried...

Well, I just want to be safe. I don't want to push for natural and then have something happen to my baby girl...or myself I guess. (sigh)

So, Dr. Mehta told us last time that if we scheduled a c-section it would be on Sept. 14th. Now that, my friends, makes me happy. To have a date! woo hoo! And if she decides to make her appearance before then, I wouldn't be mad at her :)

At our appointment this week we also got to see Charleigh again :) I love watching her. But, the ultrasounds are getting much less interesting, she can't move as much cause she is packed in there (I don't realize how tightly she is packed until I see it sometimes), and you can only fit very small parts of her body on the screen, so, they are getting harder to make out. Not to mention her head dropped way below my hip bones so we couldn't even get a good picture of her face this time, no profile picture at all :( So, all that was to say, we have ultrasound pictures but, they aren't very good. But the good, and scary news is...she weighs 6 lbs!! And the entire time she was practicing breathing, the tech was very impressed with her. Don't all parents think their kid is advanced (I know better, I taught high school ya know).

About the nursery, I did decide to cover the closet. (Thanks for all your input blog readers) I made a polka dot curtain. Instead of a regular curtain hem at the top, I added ribbons for tying so that it would have a little pink in it.
So, I've also been busy making my designer hospital gown, me being the designer. haha. I love it so far! I'll post pictures when I'm done. Not that I'll be wearing it out on the town or anything but, I figure it may make me feel better when I'm laid up in bed. Plus the pictures will be much more colorful don't you think :)

Well, this weekend we are going to have a garage sale! We HAVE to get rid of some stuff before Charleigh comes...and a little extra cash wouldn't hurt either. If you're in my area, stop by :)
Oh, another purchase I am pretty stoked about is the Angel Care movement monitor we got. I am the queen of all paranoia and I understand that having a child is only going to make this worse soooo...we got a video monitor. But, that apparently wasn't enough. I started worrying really badly about her not breathing, and just horrible things like that. So, I heard about these mats you put under the mattress that detect the slightest movement (like the baby breathing), and if there is no movement for 20 whole seconds it sends an alarm to the monitor in my room. It really works! Justin and I tried it over and over and it seems pretty sensitive.
Okay Okay, I have to tell you about the Mother/Daughter Retreat our ministry put on for the high school girls this last weekend. It was a blast. Well, Satan was seriously trying to mess with us (I guess he knew it was going to be good!). The first night, all the girls start to arrive and our speaker shows up too (Ruth Geertz from Atlanta...she's awesome in case you wanted to know). But our musician, who was supposed to be there an hour earlier is still no where to be found, and we can't get in touch with her! I was really worried something bad happened to her but it turns out, her calendar just got out of whack and she was still up in Bham! haha, from what I've heard that is just NOT like her at, I am sure it was a little trick by the devil to mess us up but...he must not know bout us...
So, I called in some favors from some local talent who ROCKED the weekend! Test #1 passed!
Then one of our church vans wouldn't start..what? Oh, and once we got it started, there was no AC!! but we perservered! test #2 passed! Sooo, we load all the girls into the vans and relocate them to our amazing beach, it sleeps like 50 people...the coolest! I had all the girls gather in the living room and just let them have a discussion about the night's topics...I just love sitting there listening to them. They have hearts for Christ, they want to help each other and they are ALWAYS looking to learn more. They inspire me to keep learning more too. So, after an hour and a half of discussion on Purity and waiting for the man God has in store for you...our conversation ended and they all headed out to the beach for a late night walk and pictures. And queue the streaker....seriously, a naked college boy runs by...luckily he was pretty fast and the girls didn't see much but still...really Lucifer? So, they all ran back in screaming, haha, test #3 passed! After syrup fights, the hugest pancake breakfast, and awesome mother/daughter time and just turned out to be a sweet weekend.
Tomorrow I head to our first newborn parenting class...Justin will be out of town with work so I have to waltz in there alone :( My baby is going to look like a bastard child...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

34 weeks, 157 lbs

34 weeks brings exhaustion. Swollen feet. the waddle. I'm so happy to be in this place, even with all the "conditions" that accompany it. I feel very blessed to have this sweet girl and that I'm not having to be on bedrest or anything!! Well, it's offical, this last week she DROPPED. That doesn't mean much except that things are WAY more uncomfortable now...remember the whole story of how I was already carrying extremely low?? Well, now I feel as if there is a watermelon between my legs at all times (TMI?) which accounts for the new waddle I've picked up and the ever-present groan I let out every time I go from sitting to standing. Dr. Mehta said I am not dialating yet so, Charleigh's debut will not be this week :( Sleep is not very possible as muscles are aching in the front, bones are aching in the back, my hips hurting because they are so loose, and the bladder, well...Charleigh has let her know that there ain't enough room in this town for the both of them.

Again, I assure you that I am rejoicing on the inside :)

Funny story, I went to see my regular OB this week. I had been running errands all day and was wearing was SO hot. I put my legs up in the stirrups and literally, at the same time, Justin and I said, "Holy Lord!". My feet looked like water balloons, and each little toe an individually tightly packed sausage. I've always told my mom she gave me her cankles but I had NO idea what cankles were until now. haha, I am trying to drink more water and kick my feet up (but there is SOOO much to do and I feel like I am running out of time!)

Justin is on belly button watch. He is constantly checking to see if it has turned inside out. It still has a way to go. I don't think it will. It's pretty close to flattening out, but, I'm not counting on seeing an outtie :)

More fun topic....CRAFTS! Here is a lamp I made to match Charleigh's room. I painted the ceramic base black and cut out some of the damask fabric that matches her bumper pad. Embroidered it with her initials and then added some hot pink binding to finish the edges. I'm looking to make her a night light too...we'll see when I get around to that...
Speaking of her nursery, a lot has changed since I last posted pictures. I finally got some supplies for her changing table...i.e. her changing pad and cover, and a cute polka dot basket that I painted and added a ribbon to. I added her hot pink little hamper in the "hamper hole" that Trey left in her furniture for me (who in their right mind requests a hamper hole?) and to the left you'll see an organizer in he damask print. It's where I will pick out her outfits for the days of the week...this is my plan anyway. I still want to embroider the actual days of the week onto this, look out for that update :)
And the long awaited crib skirt! Woo Hoo! It really ties the left side of the room to the right side. I LOVE it! Big Mama and I made this fabric! We had to sew strips of black and white together and it turned out, they do not sell black and white striped fabric in the wide stripes ANYWHERE!
You may have noticed in the picture above that we now have our GLIDER! Here is a close up. It's black with white little polka dots and oh-so-comfortable.
Okay, here is my latest dilema. To curtain, or not to curtain? We took the door off the closet because, as you can see, there is just NOT enough room for all Charleigh's furniture AND the closet door to swing open. Mom and I painted the inside so that it would be mildly attractive and I searched high and low to find matching baskets that would not be offensive to look at. So, here is what this side of the room looks like now:
Do I need to make a curtain to cover the closet? The only reason I ask is that everyone that comes into the nursery says, "What are you going to do over the closet?" To which I reply, "I hadn't planned to do anything..." I was afraid to add ANOTHER fabric (even if it matched the others) would be extremely busy but...maybe it needs it. Anybody out there have an opinion? Not saying I will take it, I'd just like to gather some thoughts :)
So, I started talking about crafts and got off on the nursery, back to crafts. Here is the dress I made for Charleigh to wear home from the hospital! I didn't have a pattern so I made one up myself. What do you think? It's pink seer sucker, the little ribbon is a brown polka dotted type thing which is what I appliqued the big "C" on with as well. The sleeves have velcro closures and it's lined with a thin flannel (just in case it is a bit cold when she comes).
Now, some of you might laugh at this next craft. My husband did. But, I figure it might be hard for Prissy to go from our numbero uno to "just a dog". So, I want her to love Charleigh and be ready for her arrival home. So, I took a burp cloth and made it a Puppy Cloth! I just embroidered Prissy's name on it and added some ribbon that says "Furry Friend". When we are at the hospital I plan to wrap this tightly in Charleigh's blanket and let her smell get on it. Then Justin can bring it home and give it to Prissy the day before we bring Charleigh home. Maybe just getting used to her smell, and it being something that is HERS...she will think positive thoughts about her little sister! Hey, it can't hurt.

So, we went to our very last birthing class. It was kind of sad because we have become friends with some of the couples. Our reunion is October 5th, where we get to bring our babies back and show and tell about our labor stories. FUN!
Today, I got to have lunch with Audrey and my friend Claudia, whom I haven't seen all summer. We had to bid Audrey farewell as she heads off to Southwestern in Fort Worth (I'm secretly hoping she meets my cousin who is also in seminary there and they fall in love and she becomes my cousin-in-law) but, whatev....haha

We go to see Dr. Maher on Monday. He will do some measurements of the placenta and we will pretty much know for sure if we will be having a c-section or not. I'll keep the blogger world updated!

Well, tomorrow starts a busy weekend. It's the weekend of our Mother/Daughter retreat for our Girls' Ministry. We rented to world's biggest beach house (no seriously, it sleeps like 50 people) and have an amazing speaker, musician, and workshops for the moms and daughters to enjoy. I'm praying it goes off without a hitch! But, there is no doubt I am going to be SOOO tired running around crazy trying to make sure everything is in order. Pray for us!

This week I am also getting some maternity shots done! I'm not sure how much I will like "fat" pictures of myself, but, it's such a special time, and who knows if I'll ever get to experience it again. I want to remember it, for me and for Charleigh. I'll post some of those when I get them.
It's late, I'm tired.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

33 weeks, 154.5 lbs

Well, last week started off by my sis Jessica and her fiance coming to visit...I think that is where I left off in my last post??? Well, we had a blast, just relaxing really, trying to get to the beach when it wasn't RAINING.

On Friday we had a doctor's appointment with my regular OB, he just measured and what-not. I'm still measuring a couple cm behind but that baby is measuring over so, they aren't worried about that at all :) That night everyone came over for our "Desserting Us" party for Jen and Felipe! Since they are moving to B'ham we decided to give them a hard time for desserting us and used that as our theme. Everyone brought desserts (my favorite!)
Yes, Jill and I read the same "party planning" blogs soooo, she kind of stole my thunder already, haha...heifer! Anyway, when everyone came in they were stopped by a note and a table at the door. It read, "Who Will You Miss Most?" I made pin-back buttons (yes I have a friggin' industrial button maker...what possessed me to buy that anyway) with Jen or Felipe's pictures on them. Each guest had to pick which one they were going to miss the most and wear their button all night! (Don't worry, Jen and Felipe don't get their feelings hurt by that kind of thing, they think it's funny)
The guests came in and we enjoyed the usual social gathering, converstaion, rockband/other boy video games, and FOOD!
All the cupcakes had little signs that read a sweet saying of "goodbye" in all the ways I could think to say it! And all the desserts had a clever name that wished our couple farewell...(too many desserts to show all of them but some of my favorite names were, "On the Rocky Road Again Ice Cream", and "Bon Bons Voyage", etc.)
Anyway, we all had a great time and sadly said goodbye to our friends...but, since my fam lives in Bama, I know I will still get to see them!

Then came Saturday tired. But, mom and dad showed up bright and early and Mom wisked me off to my Breastfeeding class at the hospital. Okay, now, this is the one area I am most scared of...I feel like no matter how much "research" you do on it, you just have to experience it to know what you are doing. Well, the class was BORING. We had these cute little plastic babies laying all swaddled in front of us the whole time and I got excited thinking we were going to practice how to hold them, etc. But we didn't touch the darn babies the whole time. The lady just talked and talked. Well, I touched my baby, I unwrapped and re-swaddled him many times in my boredom. I was really tired when I walked out of there. So, regardless, we rushed back home, got fixed up and headed to my SHOWER at the church. My girlfriends did SUCH a great job. Everything was black and white damask and polka dots and HOT PINK! Woo Hoo! So cute. They had tons of food and just impressed everyone with their planning skills.This is me and my mom opening gifts, well, I opened and she wrote them down :) And this is when I found out I was getting the big comfy, adorable polka dotted glider I wanted SO badly!!! Check out that face, it was followed by a scream. Big Mama's side of the family went in together and got it for us! This frame I am holding is too funny. The glider had to be special ordered, so it wasn't going to be here in time soooo, they took a picture of it, which was NOT in the right color or pattern, so they drew polka dots all over a green chair (trying to make it resemble the one I wanted), then they decorated all around the rocker to look like Charleigh's nursery, and to top it off, they wanted to represent Charleigh IN the glider chair soooo, they cut out a picture of MY body (in a cheerleading outfit none the less) and Justin's head (when he was a baby, and topped it off with a pink bow....I think I cried, I was laughing so hard!
Here are some of the GLIDER culprits! Big Mama and her kin folk. Justin's cousin Wendy and his Aunt Polly drove all the way down from Mississippi and Atlanta just for the shower...wasn't that the sweetest thing! Plus Wendy HAND QUILTED a black, white and pink quilt for Charleigh...cutest thing EVER!

Some of the guests at the shower...

PT and his wife wanted a picture...I was glad they didn't make me stand up because that chair was making my butt sweat...TMI?
This picture just makes me laugh cause Charleigh is WAY out there.
All my adorable gifts!
Jus did not want his picture taken since he was just there to load up the gifts...but I MADE him...for the child.
Granny and GrandMaMa
Everyone at the shower wrote a little note to Charleigh on a diaper, so that when I change her for days to come, I can smile at the thoughtful (and some, not so thoughtful) wishes everyone had for her!

We got home and mom and I went through all Charleigh's gifts again! I love doing that :)

Sunday rolled around and we headed to church and then lunch with the rents. Sadly, they had to head back home right after lunch :(

Monday we had our 5th night of childbirthing classes and it was pretty un-eventful. We did learn a lot about C-sections, which was helpful since we just may be having one! Justin was a little disturbed by how they do the surgery. He decided that there are two options of getting this baby out and he didn't like either of them...How does he think I feel!

Tuesday was our last night of GmCGR bible study :( It has been just awesome, those girls have grown so much and so have us leaders! Thanks to Leah Taylor for working with me on this and all the great insight she had. Amazing!

Wednesday I headed to the beach with Audrey, PJ, and Jill. It was just what I needed after a LONG few weeks. We all got to catch up and have fun together :) I need to take more pictures...(Jill, hook me up with that picture you took of me and Kennedy in the know, the one that she is totally NOT paying attention to me in???)

Thursday was filled with meetings...not too formal though. Girls' ministry meeting over strawberry crepes at Village Inn, had to get a small rip in the leather on my car repaired during lunch and then headed to a dinner meeting with Jaime and Jen to say our goodbyes on a smaller scale.

Whew, then it was Friday. Hung out at the pool with Big Mama, Jill, Kennedy and her mom. I think Kennedy basically loves me. I refuse to believe she loves everyone that much, instead I will tell myself it is my amazing charm and good looks that attract her especially to me....Afterwards, Kennedy needed a nap so they headed over to my house and tested out Charleigh's new Pak-n-Play, I think it worked fine. Meanwhile, I got to hang out with Jillian just a little bit more before she heads back to the Natti!

This morning I am getting some laundry done (Charleigh's laundry of course), updating this thing, and sending out mass emails to prepare for our Mother /Daughter retreat next weekend!! ahhh, already?? Tonight is UFC party!