Friday, February 27, 2009

Just an update

Flowering bush
Hi friends!
I'm pleased to tell you that Little P's ultrasound and checkup went great yesterday! She is sizing a week ahead and is in the 85th percentile for her measurements, so she's still growing great! They listened to her heart rate while she wriggled around and we heard the beat go from the mid 150s to the mid 180s after all her action. They told me it was just what they wanted to hear. The ultrasound was something! Now that she's so big it's hard to tell what I'm seeing on the screen. We can only usually see one body part at a time and it takes me a bit to understand what I'm looking at! At one point, we saw Little Ps face (and her leg/foot in front of it!). How flexible! I could see the chubby skin around the bones of her face and could kind of make out what she looks like (sort of). I noticed right away that I thought she looks like Chris and has his facial structure. It fascinated and humbled me to breathlessness. It was one of those moments where time stops around you. heavy. Another issue: I head to labor & delivery in 2 weeks where I will start my non-stress test routine...I'll go twice per week every two weeks. For anyone not familiar, they will strap a belt thingie on me and monitor the baby's heart rate for about a half-hour and also check for contractions/movement. They'll want to make sure her heart rate goes up appropriately after any movement to make sure the placenta/cord are working properly and that she's getting the oxygen she needs. Add this to the ultrasounds and regular appointments and I'll be quite busy at that hospital for a while! We also started our childbirthing class the other night...it's for 5 weeks at 2 hours per session. It felt very surreal sitting there listening to the woman discuss the intricacies of the pelvis and uterus when it seems like yesterday I was sadly watching everyone else heading off to their classes. And now there I am staring at diagrams of a 3 cm cervix vs. a 10 cm cervix in relation to my own birthing experience coming up. It's a whirlwind. I don't think my emotions have yet caught up with what I'm experiencing. Maybe I'm afraid to feel too much until she is here and safe? I just know that hope is a strong emotion that has carried me when I was too weak to move. Hope has been my magic carpet. There's a lot in my head I need to work through. I'll be back soon with some other little thoughts and bits going on around here. I'm happy it's the weekend and I hope you enjoy as well!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Soothsayer

rockport sunset
Hi friends!
I've been thinking about last year and what we were doing at this time; how we had just learned of my T-shaped uterus and the obstacles that come with it. I remember wondering if the future would ever bring me a biological child and I felt so lonely. I felt so far away from everything I wanted. We forged ahead and it was hard. When I had my fourth miscarriage in July last year, I remember writing about how calm I felt. How a peace had come over me. I also wrote of how sure I was that "5th time will be the charm." (read more here if interested) It was true...something had come over me. A little voice inside said it was all just fine and everything was over now. "everything" being the pain of the miscarriages and the worry that came with all of it. I told my husband, my friends and my family that it was all going to be ok and to not worry because it was all over and the next time would be THE time. I remember talking to my brother and telling him I was SURE the next time would be the charm. He told me he just didn't want me to get my hopes up too high only to be disappointed again but I assured him that I just KNEW it would be ok. This all happened on my 30th birthday and my husband had taken me to Rockport, MA for a few days to be near the restorative powers of the ocean and beautiful sights...the photo is a view of the sunset from our room window as we sat with the windows open and felt the cool breeze on our skin. That photo was taken in a moment of such peace and hope...I really felt wrapped up in a hug. During the day, we took a short drive into Salem, MA and did touristy things there. On our walk back from viewing the House of the Seven Gables, I made Chris stop in this random New Age bookstore with me. I have no idea what compelled me to go in there since I haven't been in a place like that since my pre-teen years of angst. I'm not sure what I was looking for but I wandered quickly around and spotted a tiny sign on an index card that said "Tarot Card Readings here." Well, I'd NEVER had a tarot card reading before...I never was interested. But I just felt like I needed to do it, so I asked the clerk and she sent me behind a small curtain where a man sat. He reminded me of a guy you'd see in a Harley biker gang...he was perhaps in his late 50s and had a Harley t-shirt and jeans on. He had whispy graying hair pulled back into a long low ponytail. He had a friendly face and had tanned weathered skin. I sat down having no idea what was going to happen...he smiled at me and explained that he was going to do a Tarot reading for me and that he used the cards and his small amount of psychic abilities together to see what he could. I'm pretty open-minded so I simply agreed to move forward as I picked the cards out from the newly shuffled pack (I got to shuffle them too!). He put them face up one-by-one in a pattern and he sat quietly for a few moments. He launched into what he saw in the cards; telling me about career plans and my home life. He became quiet as he looked puzzled and said "do you have any children?" I snorted and said "NO!" I was going through my miscarriage at that exact second, so needless to say I was a little bitter sounding. He was quiet a while longer and said..."you sound so sure!" And I said "I'm pretty damned sure!". So, he cleared his throat and continued to look around the cards. After a bit he finally said "I'm just confused. You seem to not want children, but I'm seeing them here and I don't know what to tell you." I looked up at him and said "No! I DO want children! I DO! I'm pregnant right Now, but..." He cut me off to congratulate me but I continued on..."I'm going through a miscarriage so it's not really happening." He told me how sorry he was and stared more at the cards. He said "I don't know what has been going on with your journey to get here and I don't really need to know. But I CAN tell you that you will be pregnant SOON if you aren't already. You already told me you aren't so I can only say that it is happening RIGHT away. As in next month. I know you are probably scared, but I can tell you that it will work out great. I see children here for you, I can see them. And I see more than one in your future; I cannot always say that for everyone. You will be blessed soon with the child you have been waiting for and it will be healthy. See?" He then pointed to the cards that lead him to believe this and what they meant. He also told me his "spirit guides" were telling him so and the cards confirmed his thoughts. He looked so proud and excited. He pointed to a card that showed the back of a man and a woman holding hands as they faced a rainbow and sunset over a beautiful landscape. In the foreground were two children dancing in a circle with their arms linked together. (square dancing style). The rainbow was made up of several golden chalices. He said that is the card that, for him, meant a baby is on the way. It was a card of prosperity and dreams coming true in terms of happiness and family...looking to the happy future. After the reading was over, I walked out feeling good. I think it was because the reading validated the sure feelings I'd already been having that things were going to be ok. I felt even more at peace. And I conceived exactly one month later.
Did he really see what he saw? I'd never know for sure. But I CAN say it was just what I needed to give me that little boost of hope in a time of loss. I took what he said with a grain of salt, and deep down I already knew what I needed to know and that was inside of me all along. It DOES make for an interesting story in my history and whenever I feel a little bit worried about things, I think of the friendly man with the ponytail and how he told me it was all going to be just fine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Little Pea

Little Pea
Hi friends!
This past weekend, Chris and I were roaming my favorite store when he happened upon this book. He held it up to me with this excited and surprised look on his face...and I promptly gasped with glee and we both decided we had to have it. He read it to our Little P. that night and she thoroughly enjoyed it (according to her wiggling response). It's a very cute story written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by the great Jen Corace. You can find it and learn more about it here.

Page from Little Pea

Monday, February 23, 2009

30 Weeks

30 Weeks
Hi friends!
Here is a crappy McCrap-quality photo of me at 30 weeks. Yay! I took it in a dusty mirror and see all my lovely laundry I need to put away? These are things I should get to. But probably won't for a bit. Why? No real reason except for laziness. I figure I'll get to it...it's just a question of whether or not it will be within this decade.
In pregnancy-related bits: it's getting much harder to breathe and I pant after the slightest movements. After I take a sip of my water I find I need to take a break to breathe. It's worst after I eat of course...all proof that my organs are now squishing together desperately; like on the elevator when everyone begs to fit just one more in. And they each pray the other doesn't fart.
I've also officially moved my "spot" in the living room from the couch to the big stuffed chair. My husband always sits there but I've now deemed it impossible to get up and out of the couch without wanting to jump off the roof, so he has sweetly offered to make the couch his new spot for the rest of my pregnancy. I have severe pain in my right hip and I partly blame the soft couch for this. My husband's hip acts up on him as well after sitting on that couch, so it just makes it nice that he's switching with me. You'd think we'd just get a new couch, but we all know it's just not that easy. It goes on the "someday" list of things that would be nice. I have a doc. appointment this week to check Little P's growth and see her via ultrasound. Hopefully she is continuing to do just fine; my belly seems bigger and she is still practicing her audition for that show "So You Think You Can Dance," so all signs point to her doing ok. I'll be sure to keep you posted! I'll be back soon with a sweet children's book we found the other day and a story or two from last summer. Be well!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On mothering...

beetoflowerDear Little P.,
I must tell you that with each passing day my joints hurt a little more and my body gets a little more tired. I feel like I have 2 wooden legs and hips. I have little red dots all over my body...burst blood vessels that remind me of all the extra blood I'm pumping through the 'ol machine to help you grow. My belly gets quite achy much of the time. As my physical body gears up for the rest of this third trimester my mind is turning its attentions to the future and how you'll be here in the blink of an eye! I know you've been listening to Dad as he reads you Dr. Seuss and you hear me yelling endlessly at the dog. You are able to listen in on my every conversation, joke, and thought. But I don't know what YOU are like yet. What does your voice sound like? What do you look like? What is your biggest wish? How will your belly laughs differ from your giggles? Will you scream loudly all the time? Or will you let off lots of littler whimpers instead? Are you laid back or sensitive? Will you be cheerful? Or perhaps more quiet and thoughtful? It will be such a treasure and joy to discover all the little things that make you who you are. All of this makes me wonder what kind of mother I will be. No, not in a "will I be strict or laid back" kind of way...but more of a "what kind of life do I want to give you" kind of way. I've spent a lot of quiet time thinking about this and here is what I know: I want you to be happy. I want a happy family...a happy "we." I want to create an atmosphere for a magical and imaginative childhood...one you can look back and think fondly on all the fun things we did at home, outside, in the neighborhood. I want to make simple moments into big memories. I want us to have lots of laughter and joy in our home. I want to give you the space you need to be a kid...to imagine, create, think, and make discoveries. I want to "show up" for you. Time goes by so fast and I will savor each moment we have together making magic until you will be doing that all on your own. Life is filled with obligations and daily grinds. I will certainly be strict enough. And I know there will be plenty of moments we will each cry or scream. But I promise I will do something each day to make it special for us rather than let it slip quietly away...and I will choose to focus on the positives because the negatives don't deserve such attention. My love for you is positive and something I'm positive OF. So no, I don't know all about you yet. But I know what is to come and I'm giving you my smile as I write this. I know you can feel it too.
Love always,
Mama

Sunday, February 15, 2009

29 Weeks!

29 weeks
Hi friends! Firstly, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!!! (a day late). Secondly, we wanted to say "WOW!" Thank you so much for all your wonderful and kind comments about our new nursery! We were so touched and blown away by the lovely things that were said. It has been a true labor of love and the result of much plotting and planning. We can't wait for Little P to be here so she can enjoy her space...the room just isn't finished until she is here to sleep in it, scream in it, poop in it, etc. :) For now, it's quiet and empty and I like to go sit in the chair and think about her and the new chapter we are beginning. I'm also making sure to enjoy its clean and organized state...I know that it won't last much longer. I can't take all the credit for the room: I was the planner and plotter and Chris was the brawn who painted and assembled EVERYTHING. He was also kind enough to just agree with everything I picked out. haha! Seriously, I'm lucky we are a good team. But he did all the physical work and I'm very grateful.
Yesterday was Valentine's Day and Chris surprised me by booking me an appointment for a pregnancy massage at a local spa. It was heavenly! He also gave me a gift card to Anthropologie (my favorite store). There were lots of flowers waiting for me when I arrived home after the massage. He even got Little P. a gift: a cute pair of pink pajamas and a pink fleecy sleep sack. He got Maren the Wonder Dog a pink canvas bear with looooong legs that had squeakers at the ends. She loves her new toy and the photo shows her running at great speed through the house with it as she showed it off.
Maren's Valentine
We ended the day with getting dressed up to go out to dinner...a lovely meal where I stuffed myself silly. The photo shows me at 29 Weeks and dressed for dinner. There's a quick fun photo of both of us in the bathroom mirror just before we left. We came home and Chris had made my favorite dessert: Chocolate Torte. I managed to get the tiniest sliver in before I thought I would surely explode (that would have put a damper on the day). Thanks so much Chris, for a lovely day! I love you! (I didn't mention that my gift to Chris wasn't as spectacular as HIS to ME...I got him a gift certificate for a throrough interior detailing for his SUV and exterior wash...he'd been mentioning wanting to have his car detailed for a while now (where they clean the interior crevices so much that it looks brand new off the lot). Once spring comes and the salt is off the roads, his car will look like new again. I also gave him some chocolates...and I've managed to avoid sampling them. :)
Pre-Valentine's dinner
P.S. Speaking of chocolate: I failed my first gestational diabetes screen and went for the 3-hour glucose test. I passed and officially do NOT have G. D. Yay! While the 3 hour test SUCKED, I found that I DID enjoy the orange glucose drink. It was like sweetened Sunkist soda. Little P. delighted in it as well. Everyone was warning me about how gross it was, but I was thoroughly enjoying it....and sad when I finished it. Can you tell I like my sugar?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Nursery!

Nursery from doorway
Hi friends! The nursery is basically done! We're still waiting on the area rug but only God knows when that will come in. :)
In the meantime, I took some shots of the space to share here. Sorry for the long post, it's lots of pictures! You can also view the slideshow of the nursery at my flickr page here.

We had our $9 Salvation Army thrifted swivel-rocker chair custom-fit with a yellow/white slipcover and we're pleased with how it came out! I added some fabric in embroidery hoops to the wall by the chair to add more warmth to the space. It's a fun and inexpensive way to add art. A favorite detail of mine is the "hooray" banner above the shelving unit...it's a word I love and it adds to the goal of making the room cheerful. I got it from Caitlin at her Etsy shop called Nice. Check it out, she's got some lovely things there. If anyone has any questions about where things came from, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will be happy to leave a comment below in return. I hope you like it! More importantly, I hope Little P will like it! Much love to you!
Nursery
Nursery Chair
Crib Wall
Crib side
Mobile
Dresser
Hooray Banner
Nursery and Maren

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Old Navy

The Green CoatThanks Old Navy! For making a coat that only has buttons up at the top. My belly has had plenty of unrestricted room to grow this winter. And the choice of green you made is my favorite part of this coat. And although it's not technically a maternity coat, I have made it such and it has been a pleasure. Going out to walk the dog is a more stylish event than it might otherwise have been, so thanks again Old Navy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Heirlooms

Hello friends! My parents came to visit us on Saturday and my Mom brought me these treasures. They were all mine when I was an infant and she's saved them for me all these years! I had no idea! What a thrill and surprise this was! yellow blanketsweaterThe yellow blanket with matching sweater and bonnet were all knitted for me (she can't remember who made them though)...and the shade of yellow is the exact color of the crib bedding! I've been looking for a little sweater like this, so I'm happy it's here now.
knitted oldies
The pink and blue blanket was knitted by my great-grandmother (Little P's great-great-grandmother) when I was an infant and she died not too long later. It's ultra-soft and I'm excited to use it. My Mom was named after her grandmother and it's so lovely to pass down these special priceless things that she touched. The white and orange "stork" blanket was knitted by my Mom's friend and neighbor just after my birth. The front is covered with all of my birth status information...like a birth announcement on a blanket. Pretty cool to see, and Little P will get to use it now too. And everything is machine-washable/dry-able so we don't have to worry about damaging the fabric. I love blankets and think hand-made knitted ones are so special, unique, and lovely. And great heirlooms! I don't think you can ever have too many. Thanks again Mom, what a nice surprise!

Friday, February 6, 2009

wee details

Another lampshade in nursery
Lampshade in nursery

Hi friends!

Thought I'd show a few more nursery details.
I found some cool adhesive ribbon at Michael's crafts from the Martha Stewart craft line and decided to line the bottom of the pull-shades with it. It's a small detail, but I like little surprises like that. We got the lamps installed and together as well.

Adhesive Ribbon
LEFT TO DO:
Our chair slipcover is coming on Tuesday and tonight we're hanging the valances. I have some artwork I'm putting together for one wall, and a few other small little things left to do. The big thing that will pull the room together, the area rug, is on backorder and the arrival date keeps getting pushed out. *sigh* It's no big deal, but when you're excited to finish something and it's the key piece...well...you just have a hard time waiting. At least I do. Perhaps it will be here by the end of the month. I guess you never know!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Not so wee...

Dear Little P.,
Hi sweet one! I got back from the doctor a little while ago and I got to see you on the ultrasound! Boy, are you cute! You waved your arms at me and I noticed they look like real, plump little baby arms! You are growing so well. Any chance I get to take a peek at you is a real gift. Anyway, after seeing you, the doctor came in and told me you already weigh 2 lbs. 8 oz. and are in the 90th percentile for your growth. He said you are a "big baby." He didn't seem worried, rather, he was thrilled at how well you are doing and said that your growth may level out later on so just because you seem large now doesn't mean you will be the same when you are born. I'm just so happy you are thriving and kicking. I swore I saw a disco ball in there, but I think you hid it from me at the last second. That's ok, I know you need your own privacy so I won't snoop around. Today they also screened me for gestational diabetes and I'll find out the results sometime tomorrow. I fear your size may have a link to g.d. but we'll know for sure later. No point worrying yet! Daddy is excited about the appointment as well and he's looking forward to coming home from work to talk to you and make you wiggle. I know how you love his voice...you are most active when Dad is talking to you. He thought he could hear your little heart beating when he listened through my stomach the other night. It's just another way we get to interact with you a little before you come out. We're just so excited! I have a lot of thoughts on my mind about you and your upcoming arrival, but I won't write them all here just now. I know your little eyes can only see so much and your Mama likes to yammer on and on and on. Just know that we love you so much and want you to stay safe and warm in your little cocoon for as long as possible. We think of you always and love you the same.
Love,
Mama

Monday, February 2, 2009

27 weeks

27wks pregnantHowdy folks! Today marks 27 weeks along. Not much else to say than, "yay!" That, and it's just starting to get really hard to get out of bed in the morning. There's a lot of grunting and struggling as I try to untangle myself from the blankets and the array of pillows I've arranged just so. It's quite the project to get my legs to swing over the side and stand up. Such an invigorating workout to start the day. And forget the couch. I need to pencil time in my schedule to allow for getting out of that damned thing. Maren the wonder-dog likes to go out several times per day, and I'm now finding that I can't quite bend down to get her leash on. Luckily, she's been amenable to jumping onto the kitchen chair to allow me to attach her leash without so much struggle. She can give me that much after destroying several pairs of underwear and shredding tissues all over the house. But that's another issue entirely. This week marks the first of my bi-weekly doctor's visits and I will have my dia-beetus screen as well as an ultrasound to check Little P's growth. She seems ok since she's break-dancing in my stomach as I type this. She's using a 1980s style boom box to set the beat and there's a snazzy sweat-band around her head. They will be surprised to see this during the ultrasound, but I won't be. I'm unsure if there is a disco ball, but my money is on "yes." I'm very curious to know how she is positioned in there. I have no idea which parts of her are tapping at me, but they are usually always in the same place. I'll keep you posted on what we find out...the appt. is on Thursday this week. See you soon! P.S. This weeks' photo comes to you from the mirror in our bathroom just to give you a break from the washing machine usually behind me.
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