39 weeks

Oh man, I will have to take a picture later. I am not really in an acceptable state right now to journal this and actually want to remember it. But I can talk about what’s going on this week in pregnancy:

– Baby Ray has flipped from a posterior position to a normal one and is ready to come! He is head down and in perfect position. That’s the big news this week. I knew he had gotten in the right position one morning last week. I was getting ready to jump in the shower and I looked at my belly in the mirror and thought, “my belly looks lower … noticeably lower”, then in the shower I felt big, round, rolling movements under my navel instead of the little, sharp kicks and moves I’d been feeling all week and I thought, “I think he flipped back”. I had a midwife appointment that day and surprisingly, I was right.

– I am still very hot. I have remedied the situation by just making sure a fan is always pointing at me. So far, this is working.

– I hate to move. I was putting on my makeup on Sunday and Daniel was on the bed talking to me while I did this. He watched as I accidently dropped my eyelash curler. Instinctively I let out a little moan and looked pitifully at the eyelash curler on the floor in front of me. Daniel burst out laughing and came over and picked it up for me. Yes, I hate moving THAT much these days.

– I was not totally aware of this new phenomenom, but Daniel is: I am meaner. He says I snap at him and the boys more often these days. I didn’t believe him, because I felt no malice or anger toward them and wondered what he was talking about. He told me it was probably just because I was uncomfortable and maybe taking it out on them. I told him he was wrong … then he gave me examples (specific examples) of when I had snapped. I was wrong, I guess I am a bit short with everyone. I told him to stop coming up with examples and that I got the picture. So … I guess I am not very patient these days. Which brings me to the next point:

– I am very uncomfortable. Let me repeat that, I am VERY uncomfortable. And I’ll tell you why: my feet and hands swell up every day, I am the largest body mass I’ve been in 4 years (weighing in at 199 lbs, which is a total gain of 54 lbs), I am feeling regular braxton hicks contractions and a few actual contractions too, I have a hard time breathing and turning around because of my large baby belly, I’m tired all the time, I have to take 9 pills a day – all at different intervals during the day to prep my cervix for labor and I pee constantly. I don’t know if constantly is a frequent enough word for how many times I go pee … it’ll have to do though. Consequently, I go through toilet paper like nothing else.

– I have a hard time wiping. I actually stretched a ligament while trying to wipe this past week. It hurt.

– Baby Ray moves around a lot still. His favorite stretch is a diagonal one from under the right side of my rib cage to my lower left hip.

– In preparation for the baby, here’s what we’ve done this week: gotten a twin bed frame and box spring from my friend Leslie for my mom when she comes, practiced having Liam sleep on the floor (because he’ll be giving up his mattress for Grandma when she comes … by the way, he LOVED it. It was like a campout on the floor in his room), we bought an office chair (because over the course of my pregnancy, I have broken two chairs with my massive body), bought more diapers, sterilized some new pacifiers, packed my bag for the hospital, bought hospital snacks, bought humungeous sized “overnight” pads for after I have the baby, bought breast pads and lanolin for breastfeeding fun afterwards, and I finally found substitutes for my church class I teach. phew! Big week.

– I have had a lot of contractions since Saturday. But mostly they are just braxton hicks ones. This is how I know the difference between real contractions and braxton hicks ones: braxton hicks ones don’t really hurt – they feel like flexing my belly muscles (really its my uterus) and my belly gets tight, really tight. But actual contractions start in my lower back and radiate forward toward my lower abdomen and they hurt. They feel like menstrual cramps. Having all these contractions recently makes me think I am sort of close to having this baby, but my midwife doesn’t think so. She says it’s pretty normal to have more “practice contractions” with subsequent babies. She also said that Liam stretched out my muscle fibers a lot and I have more to contract to get this little guy out. She says he’s not as big as Liam was. Liam was 9 lbs. 7 oz.

– I am worried the baby and my mom will not coincide. My mom comes on June 8th and my due date is June 1st (but I always go late) and then mom is staying until June 18th. I don’t know, it seems like a safe bet and mom says it always works out, miraculously she has been at all 13 grandbabies’ labors and delivery, but I still worry. I asked Daniel last night how he’d feel if my mom didn’t make it to the labor and delivery. He said he thought he’d be fine, but that I might not. I asked why and he said I tend to listen to my mom while in labor more than I listen to him. It makes sense. It’s hard to trust what a man is saying during labor when he has no idea what I’m going through, but a mommy who has had 5 babies naturally, some of those babies (me) being 10 lbs. 6 oz …. yeah, mom does have more clout.

All in all, things are good. I am uncomfortable, but healthy and so is Baby Ray as far as we know. I am really technically prepared, but I never feel that way. I wonder if any pregnant  woman feels ready for labor. I know I sometimes feel fed up with pregnancy and want labor to start, but that’s not the same as being ready for labor. I still have lots of things on my to do list and it keeps growing. That’s good. If I ever clear my to do list, it means I will just be sitting around waiting for the baby to come and that is AWEFUL. So, I will keep putting stuff on my list and try not to be so impatient with all the men in my house.


38 weeks

OK, I know the above picture is a little blurry and I am in my PJ’s, but whatevs. I am documenting at least.

Here’s where we are this week:

– I have gained 51 lbs, ringing me in at 196lbs … and counting, remember, we have a few more weeks to go still.

– This week’s big news, is that the baby flipped around and is now in a posterior position, which is “sunny side up”, as my mom refers to it. This is bad. He has been in a perfect position, head down and everything, all pregnancy, and here we are, looking down the long stretch to the finish line and he flips around. sheesh. Evidently posteroir labor and delivery is very painful and loooooong and being that I do this naturally, I am extremely motivated to get this little guy to turn around. So I have been doing pelvic rocks, inversion positioning on my couch (basically leaning on my elbpws from the edge of my couch with my bum in the air … really cute move at this size and weight) and tonight I will be trying a “rebozo” jiggling thingy that I read online at “spinningbabies.com” …. seriously. My midwife suggested it and I am all in.

– I am now oscillating between two new feelings:

1. Do I pretend that nothing is happening and not wait around for labor to begin and just go about my normal life? Just keep on doing what I’m doing and make plans and ignore the upcoming event of labor by trying not to think about it?

2. Or do I prepare and fill my head with Bradley book info and read up about the stages of labor again and pack my bags for the hospital?

I don’t know if I should obsess about the major thing about to come out of me, or if I just try not to stress about it and not think about it? … I probably should pack my bags though …. but when you do that, it’s like you set the clock in your head and it’s just a waiting game … and you start wondering if you should wash those favorite stretchy pants every other day because you might go into labor and you want them at the hospital …. agh.

– I have started shaving my bikini line everyday … just in case.

– I bought wet wipes.

– I had Daniel move the pack-n-play into our closet, then I washed the sheets for it and set it all up.

– I bought a few more baby clothes at the consignment store … hee hee. I only spent $5 and I got another newborn onesie (sooooo cute – it’s Carters and dark blue with the tiiest little shirt pocket on it you’ve ever seen), a blue and white striped romper (also Carters), a tie and a 3 month onesie that has a giraffe on it that says “I [heart] long hugs”. Oh man, gimme this. I gotta soak up some happiness now.

– I am hot. all. the. time.

– I have dreadful dreams and remember them.

– Now that he is in a posterior position, it means all of his limbs are on my front, right under my belly button. So I am getting some crazy movement that is very noticeable. Little feet and elbows and knees keep pushing out the front of me and it’s kind of exciting to see little parts of him … except when it hurts … then it just hurts.

And that’s where we are right now. I am officially only 12 days away from my due date. But my mom is (wisely) not coming in until June8th, even though my due date is June 1st. So I should really think of it in terms of more like 19 more days, which is almost 3 solid weeks away still. Either way, we’re focusing on the goal line now.

37 weeks

Everything that happens in the bathroom has changed now: shaving my bikini line has become total guesswork, wiping is strenuous, shaving my legs has happened a lot less and the sheer number of times I find myself on the toilet has gotten ridiculous. really. ridiculous. I will go potty and feel like I’ve emptied my bladder, then 3 minutes later feel the urge to go again and 5 minutes later, again. I should stop drinking water altogether. Yes, that’s the answer. No more liquids for me.

I have started my regiment of Red Raspberry Leaf tea everyday and evening primrose oil caplets 3 times a day and some homeopathic remedies as well to get my cervix to soften.

I have started using the word “cervix” in normal conversation with friends and others.

I pretty much talk about or think about labor and delivery every day. People cannot see me anywhere without discussing my due date.

I groan every time I move, not on purpose, just involuntarily. Sometimes that’s embaressing.

I am wildly adding all sorts of projects to my “list of things to do before the baby comes”. I am truly torn between two feelings on “things to do” lately:

1. Should I sit back and relax and enjoy the last few weeks of no infant nursing and waking up all night long? or 2. Should I hurry and cram in as many things as I can – projects, trips, play dates before the baby comes and I am homebound for months?

I can’t decide.

I have an overwhelming worry that I haven’t prepared enough. I should read more about labor and delivery in my Bradley book and I should read up on the latest immunizations and I should buy a freakin car seat already because ours expired and I threw it out and I should get wet wipes … is it too soon to buy wet wipes? And I should pack my bags for the hospital, but will my fig newton treats last for three weeks? … it’s overwhleming, really.

Also, I don’t think I will have this baby in 3 weeks. I counted out 40 weeks from conception and came up with a due date of June 15th, but the due date my midwife gave me was June 1st. I am measuring at 35 weeks right now, so I am dead on for my due date, which means I probably have more than 3 weeks to go. Who knows if it will be 4 or 5 …. or more …. or less. Man, this last month is a doosey.

I really believe that the only reason you are pregnant for 9 months instead of 8 is an act of God. He knows you would only be willing to go through the pain of labor and delivery if you had already gone through the 9th month where you were so uncomfortable and antsy, you would do anything to get the baby out. I’m there now.

Good news: the baby’s head is down and he is in the right position, he kicks and moves a lot (so I know he’s alive and well), we have a name and the nursery is finished.

As much as I worry and whine, I have had a different experience with this little guy. I am more grateful and more aware of the miracle that is happening. I am also terrified that something will go wrong still. Time feels like it’s going too slow, but as soon as it feels like it’s speeding up toward delivery I think, “I’m not ready for this! Slow down! How did 9 months come and go so fast??” I am crazy these days.

Ready or not, we’re closing in on a due date.

Nursery for Baby Ray

OK, it has been a looooooong time coming, but I am finally posting pictures of the nursery I’ve been working on for months.

I still feel ike there’s more to do (like buy a crib … but we’ll do that after all the family comes to visit this summer and we actually move baby Ray into his nursery). But basically, this is it. I do love it. Especially when I was looking at the before and after pictures.

The hardest part of putting the nursery together?? … by far, picking the paint colors. The gray was super hard to pick and then I did, and then I asked my mom for a rug as her baby gift to me and the chevron striped gray and white rug came from urban outfitters and …. the gray on the wall didn’t match the gray in the rug. So, of course, it was back to Home Depot for more gray paint. I am a bit of a perfectionist (Daniel is laughing and saying “a bit??!”) Anyway, I made and painted or sewed everything in the room because I wanted everything a certain way. Even the changing pad cover. I wanted to make sure it didn’t sag but was nice and taut, so I made one myself after I ordered very specific yellow fabric online at fabric.com and added velcro to the back to make sure it didn’t sag … you get the picture. I will just show pictures now and then as we go along, I’ll describe my various projects:

First, the before pictures (I love this. It’s so satisfying and it completely bypasses about 6 months of work).

The room and closet:

 Then I organized all of the above craft stuff into my basement, here:

And then I did the nursery and here we go .. after pictures:


I sewed the elephant art myself after looking at etsy for days for a perfect elephant print and never finding it. So I combined ideas that I saw and this Dr. Suess quote and did it myself. The frame below it is something I made a long time ago and never used, so I put it away, then pulled it out when Noah made this little note for the baby (totally unprompted). Noah came up to me one day and said, “I made a card for thr new baby. He can open it on his birthday, when  he’s born. That’s his birthday right?” I love it. It’s one of my favorite parts of the room, and one of the smallest too. It’s the details that count. Look what he wrote inside:

I made these numbers … twice. yes. twice. I loved the numbered hooks I saw at potterybarn kids and land of nod, but they were so pricey. Then I saw some girl online that made her own numbered pegs by getting metal house numbers and hooks from home depot …. and this idea was born: to get wooden numbers and wrap them in yarn for a soft and textural affect, then use hooks below. The only problem was that I wrapped the numbers in the wrong color yarn. I didn’t really realize it until they were on the wall and the yarn color looked too teal. So I had to rewrap them and I did. And I love them.

The diaper bag was something I researched for a while and decided on this one. It is by Jujube and I love it like crazy. The best part? It is originally $225 and I got this one on ebay for $100 less!!! Woo hoo! I felt like I won something when I bought it. It was totally like the ebay commercial “shop victoriously” … seriously.

The hat is the infant newsie hat that Baby Ray will wear on his blessing day. I got it from Children’s Place at Easter time. Daniel asked me if I was really going to “make” him wear it. of course I am. sheesh. Silly question.

I saw something similar to this mobile online but they didn’t have the right color scheme, so I just got a large hole puncher and I already had some fishing line (who doesn’t?!) and I made it myself. It’s perfect.

These shelves and picture above were something I had been planning on doing from the very beginning. The print I bought off etsy from Lisa Barbero. I adore it. Daniel thinks it’s not that cool.

These shelves are spice rack shelves from IKEA. I’ve had them forever and used them in various ways and here’s another – as a baby library. I have been adding new board books over the past few months, because the baby books I’ve kept form the other two boys have been basically ruined – torn apart, chewed through, ripped and I thought this little guy deserved a few good books. I have lots of little favorites in these shelves:

the Sophie the giraffe toy I got form my sisters,

the Sandra Boynton “Hippos Go Beserk” book in the perfect colors of the room (aqua and yellow)

the Matthew Van Fleet “Heads” book seemed especially appropriate since Noah’s first baby book he received was Matthew Van Fleet’s “Tails” book,

and my most recent addition: the colorful tiny board books of feelings. Adorable. I love this part of the room.

It may seem silly to take pictures of the closet, but scroll back up and see those hideous before pictures of the closet and you will be as impressed as I was when it was all complete. ahhhhh, I take a sigh of relief everytime I open the closet door. This will probably be short-lived, since I will actually start using the closet soon and then it will all be destroyed, but for now – it looks divine.

Do you see the blessing shoes my sisters got me on etsy?? They are the crocheted ones, fourth ones in from the right. Wha? Too many shoes for a newborn that can’t walk?? I don’t think so.

This little elephant came from Daniel’s mom. I love it. She brought it home to Liam from the British Museum in London and when you blow on one end, it sounds like a mini horn. It’s all wood and just pretty. Liam is just loaning it to the baby room.

This has to be the easiest, yet biggest impact project of the room. Made from paper and sewn together on ribbon. It’s so cheerful.

And there you have it. I always love it when people put lots of details and pictures of their homes, so I did. Maybe too many. Oh well.


not complete until now

Yesterday I got a package from my sisters (I will refer to “my sisters” in the rest of this entry – I must clarify, this includes my mom. She’s one of the “grillz”/my sisters). I was not expecting it. It was chalked full of baby stuff and had this note inside, written by my little sister, Mina. She is a lyrical genius …

Yeah. I cried. Granted, I’m very pregnant, so I cry at lots of things … like diaper commercials, but this was actually  a meaningful cry. I love my sisters.
This is baby boy #3 and I really don’t need anything cuz I have bins and bins of baby clothes and stuff piled up in my basement from the other two boys, but there were things I wanted. Things that were extra. Stuff that didn’t matter, but seemed nice. I thought I was all ready for Baby Ray (I think that’s what we’ll name him: after my grandpa, Ray), but I was not completely ready until now.
It feels different to know my sisters think this is important. Enough to celebrate and do something about it. It was just nice. Really nice and it makes me miss them dearly. Thanks girls.
All of the things they got me were very specific to things I had talked about wanting, and even a few things I didn’t mention but had thought about. Seriously, how do they do that – know me so well?
How did they know I had looked at Sophie the giraffe and thought, “that’d be cool. That’s supposed to be the coolest teether in the world, but soooo ridiculous to spend that much money on a little teether … whatever, I have teethers. I got them from the hospital when Noah was born. I’ll just wash those”. Just amazing.
And the muslin swaddling blankets – perfect for a summer baby. The rubber blocks I didn’t know I needed until I saw them and held them in my hands … and of course, the crocheted loafers from etsy that I wanted to bless him in – they were even better in person than they were online.
The one thing not in the picture are the newborn diapers. You always need at least one package of newborn diapers and these have the cool cut out for the umbilical cord, but are also equipped with a “poop pocket”?? It’s like an extra protection against baby tar poop blow outs. If you have a kid, you know what “baby tar poop” is.
They also added the wrap shirts that you get in the hospital. The ones that don’t cover the umbilical cord, but have the mittens at the end of the shirts so the baby doesn’t scratch himself. The girls got me two sets – long and short sleeved. The attention to detail was impressive. That’s my sisters. The girls in my family are very detail oriented individuals …. yes, we’re all crazy (if the bros-in-law were reading this, which they wouldn’t, but if they were, they’d be nodding … crazy).
Last night, after Daniel got home, I laid out the blessing outfit (complete with newborn newsie hat and now the crocheted loafers) and just made him stare at it. He smiled and said encouraging things. I was delighted.
Noah keeps running through the nursery and then stopping, squeezing Sophie the giraffe, giggling and running off. In fact, as I am writing this, I just heard Sophie the giraffe going like gang busters in the nursery and I asked who was playing with it. Noah said he was. I asked him to leave it alone. Noah giggled and said, “If I were a baby, I would LOVE to play with this awesome giraffe”.
I thought everything was set up and ready for this little man. But I was missing a little bit of sister love. Now I’m ready. K, baby, you can come now …