Friday, August 31, 2012


When I started thinking about this post on Wednesday, it was titled, "The terrible, terrible, awful day". I am not sure if it was a wave of new mum hormones which amplified the issues, which were enough to make any women cry anyway, but it had been a lot of crying, self doubt, fear and feelings of failure kind of day.

I was struggling with breast feeding. Firstly, it seemed like Levi wanted to feed every hour and a half which just made it hard to do anything else and made me feel as though he wasn't getting what he needed. I felt as though we had to continue to supplement with formula to give him enough to eat. I hated that I couldn't give him what he needed. Secondly, I was so sore it hurt to even hold him against my body when I was clothed, and it was truly agony when he was feeding. It hadn't hurt to feed him for the first week, and the lactation consultant at the hospital had told us his latch was good. I just thought I needed to suck it up and tough it out, but the cracking and bleeding was only getting worse, and the pain was worse than my c-section recovery. I was pumping because it was more gentle and trying to feed Levi with expressed milk, but he would try to snuggle and root every time I was holding him, I knew that the bottle wasn't the same for him and that he wanted to nurse. He would cry, and I would cry and both of us would just be crying. I was certain he felt rejected as I let me parents and J hold him so I wouldn't get his hopes up. And the though t of that, meant I just couldn't get it together and stop crying. All day. Floods of tears, at every little thing...I took a shower at one point to try and help me relax and encourage my milk flow because my pumping wasn't being very fruitful. As I stepped out of the shower, Jeremy asked me, "Do you feel better now"? My response, tears and snot. And that was the start of a long desperate night.

This all happened after a night when Levi had slep all of about 10 minutes at a time after 45 minutes of rocking and shushing and singing.It was an exhausting cycle and left me exhausted and feeling as though I was never going to sleep ever again.

It was safe to say I was overwhelmed. The simple things like getting your baby to sleep and feeding them seemed beyond my capabilities. How was I ever going to cope once my parents leave next week? How was I going to have any time to nap, or eat when they are not here to help me by shopping and making meals and holding the baby so I can get ready for the day?  I know other people manage to do it but clearly they are just better at this mum thing than I am. See, self doubt all over the place.

I feel a different kind of overwhelmed as I think about the beautiful community that I have around me that really changed my perspective. Firstly, a simple status request on Facebook for prayer resulted in so many encouraging words, stories of others experiences and advice as well as a beautiful sense of peace which I believe came from the prayers offered on my behalf.

Then I had text messages from friends who I had contacted, people offering me advice and wisdom, as well as phone calls and emails helping me process what I was feeling, and helping me to make a plan to deal with the breastfeeding issues.

I contacted a lactation consultant who came over yesterday and was such a blessing. She taught me how to latch Levi properly, and said she is confident that once we figure this out the soreness will go away. She was very affirming of my ability to feed him and that renewed my spirit and my hope for what the future will look like.

Today, I went out to a restaurant for lunch with Jeremy, my parents and the baby and I even breastfeed while we were there (using my nursing cover). Levi had to latch a few times before he got a good one that didn't hurt me, but once he was on it felt great. Looking down at his sweet face while he was feeding was so sweet. Afterwards we went to get frozen yogurt and walk some of Greenlake before laying out our blanket and layed out in the sun while Levi napped in the stroller in the shade.

Today, life is busy, and tiring but it can have such beautiful moments. I am regaining my breast feeding confidence and seeing how well a god feed can make my boy sleep too. Last night he did a few longer stretches of sleep and so did I which was also helpful in finding a new perspective.

I wand to be the voice of affirmation in the live of other friends in the way mothers around me have spoken them to me. I am realising that in the early weeks when the learning curve in parenthood is the most steep, it is vital for parents to hear that they are doing a good job.

I am not perfect, but I am the perfect Mum for Levi which is why God blessed us with him, and he is perfect for us.

Thank you to all the women who have blessed and encouraged me in the last few days. It is very much appreciated.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Parenting a two week old in bullet points

Sleep deprivation leads to easily getting distracted. I just looked at my feet and realised that I had only clipped toenails on one foot.

In the shower, I managed to get shampoo in my eyes - yes, it does sting as much as kids would have you believe, and also to inhale some suds which then made my nose burn. Pretty sure both events were the result of literally falling asleep while showering.

Babies are unpredictable.

Babies can have gas which teenage boys would be proud of. I swear people think I am using my baby to cover my own loud gassiness...not that I am above such behaviour, but to this point they have just been genuine but loud baby farts.

It would be remiss not to mention the sore nipples. Don't worry, I won't focus on it, but it is definitely a significant development since my parenting journey began.

In other breast feeding news, the way my baby boy looks up at me with his big, beautiful blue eyes while he us feeding just takes my breath away. I am so in love.

Gas pains can totally change your baby's personality. And not being able to make their pain go away will reduce you to tears...or at least it makes me a blubbering mess. 

C-section recovery has been significantly less painful than I was expecting. I feel so blessed that this time has passed quickly and without much pain. I kept up with my pain meds for the first two weeks, but have been medication free for the past two days without any noticeable pain.

Turns out its a good thing we don't have too many newborn outfits, turns out there is little time to be spent getting an infant dressed. Our kid has been known to wear the same onesie for bed and then for the next day. Pretty sure when he is done with wearing an outfit he lets us know by peeing through it so we have no choice but to change him.

Communicating with my husband has been reduced to passing the baby back and forth, and playing Words with Friends. So far, I am winning so it's all good.

Trying to get a passport picture for an infants passport is not as easy as you would think. So far we have tried 3 places on two different days and still not found anyone with the equipment and/or ability to take it. Tomorrow we will give it one more shot...otherwise Levi will be staying with Grandma and Grandpa while we go home to visit England this fall!

My kid gets cuter every day.

It's really hard work, but it's all worth it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Dear Levi - 2 weeks old

Dear Levi,

Another week has gone by already! People always told us that in this season of life the days pass slowly but the weeks pass quickly, and they were right.

You had a lot of firsts this week; your first time at church, your first actual blow out, your first shot at the doctors, your first ride in a stroller and most exciting, your first time cuddling with your Nana and Grandad who are here from England to meet you.

You have enjoyed the extra cuddles, because you certainly don't like to be put down! You are a very social little guy and when there are people talking you are bright eyed and looking around to see everything that's going on. This is a fun quality in most circumstances, but at night you fight going to sleep like no one I have ever met. You are so strong willed. Daddy walks with you around and around, rocking and shushing and your heavy eyelids open and close for a very long time before you finally give in. We have learned that you have to be in a deep sleep before we place you in your bassinet or the whole process has to start over again.

You have a large appetite and I hope I am going to be able to keep up with you. I am pumping through out the day after you feed to try and get some extra milk. Originally I had wanted to make more so I could some day leave you in the capable hands of someone we love while Daddy and I go on a date but so far I have only made enough that we can give you an extra couple of ounces with your night time feed which settles you to sleep.

You are sleeping so well since we started giving you that extra before bed. You wake up every 2.5- 3 hours to be fed and then you pretty much go right back to sleep...usually Daddy gets up to change your diaper before you eat because you have a great habit of emptying your tummy right before it's time to eat. I guess you are just making room!

You do a long stretch of sleep in the early morning until 11.30 or noon so we need to try and talk you into making that a little earlier so it works for all of us to get a longer stretch of sleep, although I am not sure when i would take a shower if we did that!

You make the sweetest noises when you sleep, you have a quiet little snore which gives me a great peace of mind at night when its too dark for me to obsessively check you are breathing.

We have actually had time to change you from bedtime onesies to day time outfits this week and you have been very cooperative. I know it's not your favourite but you do a good job of letting me play dress up. You are the cutest little doll ever and everything looks adorable on you. I am sad that you will soon have outgrown lots of your newborn clothes.

At the doctors on Wednesday you had only put on 2 ounces so we have to go back next week to make sure you are still gaining weight. You are certainly feeding on a good schedule so I hope that the extra pumping will pay off when we go back.

A big piece of your cord fell off this week. I am glad because I am sure it was not comfortable to have it on there, you just have a little more left to come off but I am sure that will happen soon too. It seems so strange that that is how you were connected to me, that it was through that cord you got all the nutrition to grow you into the 8lb11oz bubba you were at birth.

You continue to give the sweetest little looks, and my heart just melts when you look up at me with those big beautiful blue eyes when you are feeding. I love feeling like I am still giving you what you need to grow healthy and strong.

Love you, Buggy

Mama x

Friday, August 24, 2012

Three years (and two days)

Wednesday was our third wedding anniversary. For the last two anniversaries we have spent the night at the same hotel we went on our wedding night. This year things were very different. I had hoped that I would have pumped enough milk to leave the babe with my parents who are here visiting so we could at least go to lunch or dinner. However, the evenings have been tough on our little man for whatever reason and my mummy's heart just could not bare to think of him being sad while we were gone - not that I can make him stop crying either but I didn't want anyone else to have to deal with him when he is like that.

My mum's birthday was the day before Levi was born, and we hadn't done much to celebrate because we knew they were coming to visit and we could celebrate in person, so Jeremy's parents and sister came over and after the pediatrician visit yesterdayand we got an ice cream cake and blended our celebrations.

Last night as we got into bed, separated by the baby-filled bassinet I couldn't hold back the tears. While I am overjoyed to have our little one, I am also balancing grieving the loss of 'just us' in our marriage. Through my tears I explained to J that we hadn't had a real conversation since Levi was born. That our interactions are now just passing the baby back a forth. We have a good rhythm at night, I feed baby and then J rocks him to sleep. After that when bubs wakes up I nudge J and he takes him to change his diaper while I set up the Boppy and other pillows so he can hand him back all clean, ready for a feed. I am awake longer at night because this boy likes to eat, but I so appreciate J's help with the poop changing. I know he has to get up for work, so this way he is helpful but not too tired to function. I can (in theory) nap a little during the day to catch up on sleep.

I remember at a marriage confernce we went to a couple of years ago that the speaker said that the best mothers were those who realised that the best gift they could offer their children was to be the best wives. I want to be the best wife. I want to continue date nights and making our marriage a priority. For my own sanity, but also because I want Levi to see us model a strong relationship. He is learning how to love and respect others from our example. The stability in our marriage sets the tone for our family, and I want him to feel secure in our home because he is confident in our love for one another.

I miss my husband.

Tonight, when the babe is taking one of his evening naps I think we are going to escape into the other room for a few minutes and have a glass of wine. Its a small step, but it's in the right direction...and something tells me that after a half hour we'll both be wanting to get back to watching the boy sleep and commenting about how cute he is! haha!

 Here is a pic of us on our anniversary, not quite as bright eyed as we were in the pictures taken a few years ago. And the reason? See pic below!
Adorable, right? And totally worth the bags under our eyes!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Newborn life...motherhood continued

Thank you for all your sweet words of encouragement. It feels so good to be a part of something bigger than myself. Learning together, struggling, encouraging, and supporting. I can hear your words and take them to heart. They especially mean a lot in the wee morning hours when it seems that the world is least I know some of you are awake too :)  I wrote this post a few days ago, and wasn't sure if I would post it after yesterdays but it seems to be a more padded out version of some of the experiences which I eluded to yesterday so I thought I would.

"How's it going?" A question we have been asked many time in the days since the birth of our precious boy. In all honestly, moment to moment our answer would probably change.

Before my milk came in, Levi and his appetite were having a hard time. Finding how to help him felt like our first big parenting decision. We consulted our pediatrician and she suggested supplementing an ounce or so of formula after each feeding to give him a sense of satiation. I had always heard how difficult breast feeding could be and how you can't bottle feed a baby because then they reject the breast etc. etc so we talked it through with the lactation consultant at the hospital who was very supportive of our decision as parents to do what we thought best, but she did mention some of the issues I was fearful of in terms of negatively affecting breast feeding. We decided we would try and stick it out just with the breast feeding and pray my milk came in soon.

However, later that night, when the answer to, "how are you doing?" would have ended in me bursting into tears because my son was frantic but wouldn't latch - that happened a couple of times, we changed our minds. We just wanted to soothe him . We had been given some pre-made formula samples when we left the hospital and at about 100pm when we couldn't take the screaming anymore, and the shushing and bouncing were not cutting it any more we broke down and tried it out. Consoling ourselves, that if he didn't like it or it didn't make a difference, we would have at least done everything we could. A few gulps of the magic juice and instant relief. He calmed, and was chill enough that when I offered him the breast again he took it without any problems. And

When my milk came in a few days later he was happy to latch without issue and has been totally content with that since. Looks like our formula days are over.

Sleeping longer than a couple of hours at night is already a distant memory but last night Levi slept so much better than he has before. He fed for longer periods and slept for longer periods in between too. He didn't cry once. His grunts let me know when he was hungry but otherwise he was super content. Waking after the longer stretches of sleep felt great! As I looked down at my son when I was feeding him, or rocking him to sleep my joy was overwhelming.

I am trying to rest and recover from my surgery as well as adjusting to being a mama. There is a lot going on. I have loved having Jeremy home on paternity leave. We have been trying to find the balance between resting and getting back into the world. We have run some errands and taken the baby on his first lunch date to Panera bread. This morning we walked to Starbucks and I had my first public breastfeeding experience along with my Java chip Frappuccino. I also hanged my first diaper in a public restroom, Levi wasn't heavy enough to keep the change table fully horizontal and kept rolling into the wall!

Even with the challenges the first few days have been thrilling, anxiety ridden, joyful, frustrating and every emotion in between. We are surviving :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I am typing this to the rhythm of the breast pump which I am currently hooked up to. I feel a certain affinity for cows having been strapped to this thing.
I wanted to capture this moment in time, this season of fantasy becomming reality. Motherhood. A reality I have wanted for so many years. I am a fairly organised person, but baby brain makes pregnancy brain look like a Mensa candidate. Add to that sleep deprivation, post-partum hormone surges and c-section recovery and these first 11 days have been far from a picnic.

My diaper bag has become my nemesis. Every time I leave the house I am confident that I have loaded it to get me out of any emergency situation I may find myself in. But so far it has only caused disappointment and frustration when I realise that the one item I need is nowhere to be found. Inconsolable baby - no pacifier; blow out - no spare outfit; you get the idea. And how did I cope with the lack of said items? I cried of course. Balled like a baby...sometimes with the baby. I felt like I failed. Like I was never going to be able to do this mother thing well if I couldn't even remember to bring the basics to care for my child.

The reality that my schedule is no longer my own in another hard adjustment. I love my son, but I feel as tough I birthed a teenager; he like to party all night and sleep all day. I am trying to be good and nap when Levi naps but that really is easier said than done. Mostly because he like to sleep when he is moving, so when I am taking a walk or we are driving somewhere, that's great, but not optimal for us napping. When he does nap at home, I confess I often take the opportunity to shower. I guess it's only one peg down the list from sleeping, but I figure if I have to be awake, at least I can keep my hygiene levels at a socially appropriate level.

So that said, I unhooked myself from the pump and baby is still sleeping so I am off to try and get a few minutes shut eye before he wakes.

I hope this doesn't sound too negative, there are many many wonderful moments too but I feel as though I will remember those without too much trouble. I just want to remember that it wasn't all rainbows and unicorns in these early days. I know it is early days, lots of adjustments, and perhaps my own expectations are what is really killing me. More lessons in surrender coming fast and furious in all the newness.

One thing I have no doubt about however, I love my boy and he knows it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dear Levi - One Week Old

Dear Levi,

Happy one week of life my beautiful boy! Already it is hard for me to remember a life without you, these past seven days have been the most amazing of our lives. Your Daddy and I have loved to get to know you this week; learning how you like to be soothed, and what makes you mad! So far you seem like a pretty laid back little man, only becomming a fusserson when you are hungry or have a dirty diaper. You also hate being un-swaddled if we need to change you or put you in the car seat or something, I think that once you are warm and cozy you don't like that to change, but who does?

You are a super alert little man, you hold your head so well already and are always looking around to see what's going on. You love to look up into the face of the person holding you and you study their face, taking in every detail your little eyes can hold.

You are feeding like a champ. You certainly took to breastfeeding without issue, which I am so thankful for. You were impatient for my milk to fully come in and we knew that your little tummy was hungry as it waited. There were a couple of moments when you had become so frantic and inconsolable that we didn't know what to do. We held you close and rocked you, hoping that you would at least find some comfort knowing you were not alone, when you looked up at me with those bright blue eyes full of tears you will have seen the tears falling from my eyes too because not being able to help you feel better just broke my heart.

I never knew I could love someone this much, this fast, but little man, you stole my heart from those first cries and each day my love for you just grows stronger.

We spent a couple of nights at your Grandparents house this week because there was a crazy heatwave in Seattle and our house was so hot that we we not sure how we wold keep you cool there. Grandma and Grandpa Blocher have a cool basement which was a wonderful retreat and you did so well sleeping there. We had a four hour family sleep time between 4and 8am today! You got lots of good cuddles in with both Grandparents and they loved having you so close.

When you are fed and have a clean diaper, you are pretty much the happiest peanut in the jar and will gladly receive lovin' from whomever is holding you at the time.

Daddy and you have had fun times too. He loves to wear you in the baby carrier and you snuggle your little body down and fall sleep. You like to be close to him, and love looking up into his face.

You have been doing ok with your sleeping and napping, but boy do you fight it sometimes. I think you are afraid that you will miss something if you close your eyes. I promise the world will still be here with everything you want to explore when you wake you baby boy.

Your beautiful blonde curls are a delight to everyone who sees you, Daddy wants to get you some hair gel so that he can give you a mohawk,  He just loved to play with you hair. Lots of times when you are feeding he will sit next to us and just stroke your hair. He loves you so much, another heart stolen there little guy.

I know they say babies don't start smiling until they are 6 weeks but I swear little one, you are smiley. I cannot wait until you have more control over them, and I know that you are smiling at me.

You are certainly hard work too little dude, our lives are no longer our own, but we wouldn't change it for anything. We love you so much and we cannot wait to see all the ways you will grow and change in the future, but please don't grow too fast!

We thank God for you, and His goodness in blessing our lives with such a precious gift.

Love Mama x

I love how you are looking at your Daddy in this picture :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What a difference a day makes...

I just laughed out loud reading through my post from Friday. Little did I know that our baby boy was indeed out to prove his cranky and impatient mother wrong. At about 5.30pm that night (Friday) what had been uncomfortable tightenings became much more uncomfortable. Dare I say painful? I had no idea what contractions would actually feel like, but on this side of it I am recognising I may well have been in early labour for a day or so without really realising it.

Anyway, in the early evening contractions started coming more consistently. I tried to take a nap but couldn't because the pain level and frequency ramped up pretty quick once it got going. At around 8pm we began to time what seemed like 'real contractions' (They seriously just felt like period cramps) and were surprised to see that they were coming every 3 minutes and lasting about a minute.

What about those 15 minute contractions that are supposed to warn you of impending labour? Not sure what happened to those.

By about 10pm they were strong enough that I had to be bouncing on my birthing ball and deep breathing. We called our doula and she headed to the house. We laboured there with the birth ball, and massage for another couple of hours before heading to the hospital - also around 10ish I thought my waters had broken so when we called my doctor she told us to head into the hospital soon. They were not overly concerned that we went straight in so we felt ok about staying home as long as I could handle it. As we were loading up the car to drive to the hospital another gush flooded and at that point there was no denying it, there went the waters. We were having a baby.

The hospital staff were amazing. We were the only labouring family on the ward that night! We were also very fortunate to get one of the larger rooms which has a jaccuzzi tub in the en suite bathroom. I certainly made the most of that for a couple of hours during labour!

Back to the story - we got to the hospital around 1am and were on the monitor for about 30 minutes to check me and the baby. It was actually very reassuring to hear his little hearbeat constant and strong, beating away.

After the monitoring, we used the birth ball in a different position, some lunging and the warm tub to help me breath through contractions. Our doula was amazing and kept me focussed. In the wee hours of the morning when even the hot water was not helping to offer any relief, the contractions were coming one after another, after another with little break in between and I was getting tired. While in the tub at around 7am I decided that I wanted the help of an epidural. I knew I needed sleep and I knew that we still had a long time to go in labour because I was only 4cm dilated.

The anesthesiologist worked his magic and in about 10 minutes from start to finish my pain was gone. I still had a good amount of feeling in my legs but nothing in my pelvis. Once the epidural was in I tried to get some rest, I was in bed from this point and on the monitors which was totally a God thing because the nursing staff were able to see that there was a pattern of baby's heart rate decreasing with my contractions. They tried to add more fluid into my uterus to see if that cushion would help him, and they had me move into many different positions over a few hours but pretty quickly they realised that this could be a big problem.

The doctor talked to us around noon about the fact that his heart rate was something she didn't want to leave too long like it was. We had been trying for hours to get him more comfortable but he was just not responding. I told her in no uncertain terms our only goal was to leave the hospital with a healthy baby and the decision for c-setion was made. We were in the theater at 12.30pm and he was born at 12.38pm.

Honestly, I was quite out of it from the different pain medications but poor Jeremy who was already in shell shock about the speed of getting into surgery had to watch them try to get the baby to breathe. Apparently he thought that was optional at first and so there was a scary few minutes of a blue quiet baby before they cleared his lungs, gave him oxygen and he let out a glorious scream. He  weighed 8lb 11oz and was 21 1/2 inches long and was born with a head-full of blonde curls.

I was a little stoned from all the meds so the afternoon passed in a blur of wonderfulness. Friend and family came to visit, I got to snuggle and breastfeed my baby boy, and Jeremy and I were in awe of all that God has done in our lives.

We had a wonderful birth experience in spite of all the unexpected events. It was our perfect ending...and our perfect beginning as a family. Here are just a few pics so you can see how cute our little man is.

Welcome to the world Levi - we love you so much.

(Above) Family pic - I am still about out of it from the medicine, can you tell?
(Below) First hair wash. Not quite sure what to think!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Go away, I hate everything

Not really, but I confess my attitude has seen better days.

I am getting pretty sick of hearing about how other people's babies are arriving early, seems everyone in the world is having a baby before me - due dates be damned. It's hard to have any sort of reasonable perspective at this stage in pregnancy but I am trying. I am hoping these less than gentle blogs help me to remember and empathize with other women in this position in the future.

I want to be the child that stamps her feet and shakes her head and screams, "it's not fair"!!!!
In fact, in my heart that is exactly who I have been.

Thankfully God's grace is there to cover me even in the middle of my tantrum. Because let's look at this big picture-wise. I am huge and pregnant with a baby. A miracle boy who is a gift from God. Something we were not sure would ever happen. An answer to prayer in the most awesome way. Even if I have another week of pregnancy, that's still just 7 more days.

Big picture is that we are having a son. We have way bigger things to fill our hearts and minds with as we prepare to meet him, than just when he will get here. Once he is here we have the huge responsibility of raising him.

This morning was our second non-stress test at the hospital. Baby was quite happy in there, good strong heartbeat and still moving like he is the size of a 30 week old bubba and not a fully grown 41 week one! That was the good news. The bad or disappointing news was that (get ready, for some talk about girlie parts - avert your eyes if you are squeamish) My cervix is still way up there, tipped back and closed. There might even be a padlock still on it. My OB met us at the hospital and was very apologetic on behalf of my clearly uncooperative lady parts which was nice, but obviously there is nothing she could do. I am not suspicious that she has been in cahoots with them to be this way - she would have been happy to deliver our baby today.

She decided to try inserting a teeny little pill close to the offending cervix in the hopes to trigger some contractions and get things moving. I had to stay attached to monitors for a couple of hours after to make sure baby and me were doing ok which I did and then we were sent home to wait. If it is going to do anything it should happen in the next couple of hours so we'll see if things ramp up. I am definitely noticing the contractions more in terms of tightness but no pain so far.

I guess at this point I am not very hopeful it's going to make a difference. My sense is that this kid is not going to come any time soon without some serious persuasion. But boy, this is one of very few times in my life where I would love to be proved wrong.

We go back for another NST and fluid level check on Sunday and assuming all is well, we would come back Monday night for another round of talking nicely to my cervix and trying to convince it to open, depending how that goes we would either stay overnight as the induction progressed or come back Tuesday morning to kick him out. For real. There is an end in sight!

In distracting news, I will be joining Jeremy on a trip he has to take for work to Florida this fall, and we just booked tickets. At least i will have a baby by then, right?! Thinking about flying out of gloomy Seattle for Florida's sunshine makes me happy - I am hating everything less already.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

41 weeks...but who's counting?!

I spent an hour and a half walking around Greenlake this morning hoping that gravity would help us out. If I am looking obsessively (which of course I am)I can say I have had a few encouraging symptoms that somethings changing but as I keep being reminded there is no time frame that I can count on. The only thing I can count on is that the baby will come out sometime. And at this point, he really is on borrowed time. They won't let me get to 42 weeks, so his days are certainly numbered.

We keep going back and forth about induction and I am realising its because I just want it to happen on its own, but at the same time I have less patience or endurance to wait as each morning post-term rolls around. I love Gilmore Girls and remember laughing at this scene when I watched it the first time as a single gal back in the day. The words keep rolling through my mind as the days pass and it still brings a smile to my face as I watch it today in the very pregnant state I am in. Enjoy!

Off to another acupuncture appointment this afternoon so I am hoping the needles do their thing!

Not the most exciting post but I didn't want a lack of communication to hint that we were actually having a baby or anything. I even chose getting coffee at a chain store where I could be anonymous rather than our local coffee shop because I just couldn't take the pity looks and conversations about how huge I am, how the baby should come out soon, "definitely tonight" or other predictions. I love that community usually but my ability to remain smiley is at a limit...and it would have been before I had eaten much too and if you add in that low blood sugar factor it could have been a blood bath with my muffin!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Non-stress test

(40 weeks 6 days pregnant - yes, that's 6 days late!)

Thank you faithful blog followers and readers - you have been so gracious to my self-indulgent and some what grumpy posts over the past few days.Your reward will come, like mine when there posts are filled with adorable baby pictures and humorous tales of J being peed and pooped on! Just to give you a little update from our tests today - The fluid ultra sound looked great, and the sonographer confirmed baby is head down but commented that he was moving around a lot for such a big baby - no kidding! As we left, he said, "Everything looks great, he's ready to come out" Apparently, this poor fella has not worked with many over due pregnant ladies because that's fighting talk. He may have said those words without any bad intentions, but the fact my waters hadn't broken by the time we got back to the parking lot was very disappointing and I proceeded to deduce that it was simply a statement that our baby was big enough to come anytime rather than a secret message that he saw an indication bubs was heading out in the next ten minutes! Clutching at straws here people!

Once we got home, we had a couple of hours before heading to the hospital for the non-stress test. I think it's funny that that is the name of the test. Pretty sure from all the floating around in the fluid, cocktail in hand, not a care in the world that the babe is doing it's safe to say he isn't stressed at all. Mama on the other had could really use a drink to make it until 'd' day.

We wandered over to the hospital and waddled into the childbirth center - oh how I long for the day we do that and leave with out baby on the outside!! Here I am hooked up to the monitor. It took little longer than average because baby was sleeping when we first arrived. They wanted him to be moving more, and of course after a little while when he woe up he was back to moving all over just like his usual wriggly self. Everything looked great and it was exciting to see the waves of contractions coming on the monitor. While I only felt a few of the ones that it recorded it gave us hope to hear how hopeful the nurse and my doctor were that something might happen by itself and in the not too distant future!

We have to go back on Friday morning for another non-stress test and depending ont hat result we will make more definite induction plans. For now, he's happy and I am coping so we are leaving him in there a little longer, and keeping the ball in his court as to when he shows up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


When we had our doctors appointment this morning there had still been no change. Baby is not making a move on his own any time soon. However, with this lack of progression starting aggressive induction carries a pretty high risk of ending in a c-section. If there was something wrong, or a medical reason to induce we would be all over it but as of now, its just me being a worry wort, and wanting this to be over so we decided to wait a little.

Knowing my anxiety, my doctor booked us in for a non-stress test and an ultra sound to check the fluid levels surrounding the baby for tomorrow morning. If those tests come back showing baby is in distress, they would induce. If they come back normal we will have to decide how to proceed. We could start with some medication to see if it would get things moving and if nothing happens we could stop and try again in a few more days. It was nice to know it's not necessarily all or nothing if we went down that track, we could still listen to my body and follow its lead.

In an effort to do all we can to get things started I went to an acupuncturist today. When it comes to conventional medicine vs. eastern or alternative medicine I would say I am Swiss (as in, neutral). I believe in the benefits of both, and I certainly believe that sometimes as Christians we can get so caught up in the religious stamp that some treatments have we don't allow ourselves to find the benefits. The body is a mystery, God's finest handiwork. It's not an eastern superstition that connects different points in the body or recognises that the body can heal itself in more ways than we in the west sometimes give it credit to do - it's God's perfect design. All that to say, yes, I think it is right to be cautions about what we open ourselves up to on a spiritual level, but I also do not believe we have anything to fear if we are going into any situation prayerfully. (Don't get me started on my yoga soap box)

Anyway, acupuncture has worked for some friends who were trying to convince their bubbas to come out so I thought it couldn't hurt to try. All I have to say is that this will not be the last time I participate in a treatment. I loved it. The needles didn't hurt at all going in, and you cant even tell they are in once the treatment begins. The wave of relaxation that flowed over me was amazing. As the therapist massaged certain places on my legs and back I could feel a heat sensation in my pelvic floor and felt even more relaxed. It felt rejuvenating and relaxing and I am hopeful it started to give baby boy a gentle shove in the right direction. We have another appointment booked for Thursday which I am hopeful we won't use because he'll be here already but if not, I will happily take that hour of relaxation and preparation!

I certainly threw a little pity party for myself this morning when the doc told me there was no change. In fact, I almost cried, but I have tried to walk through that as the day moved on and surrender once again to God's timing in this. This baby's name is written in His book, he knows the number of his days...including when that count will start, which is a good reminder of my own desire for control when God is asking me to trust.

So we continue to push on pressure points, drink raspberry leaf tea and take Evening Primrose Oil but ultimately, we are giving this birth to you, Jesus. Please guide our decisions, and help us to make them with full trust that you will bring our baby boy to us healthy and strong - whether its tonight or a week from now.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Nothing to report

Hello friends, it is I, the ever-growing one.

Sorry for the boring, complaining blogs recently. I realise even my own mother is probably fed up reading them by now. As much as I thought I was prepared for a wait to meet this little guy, I was/am not. My friend in the UK with the same due date as me had no symptoms and then went into labour and had her baby girl yesterday - well, today her time I guess. I am so, so, excited for her, but oh so jealous too.
Even the shiny gold medals that Team GB keep winning are losing their shining distraction powers.

Last night we put up the very final pictures and bookshelves in the nursery. So baby has no more excuses. I was willing to take some of the blame for his tardiness because of the outside possibility he was waiting for his room to be done, but now it's totally finished in there so there goes that "reason".

I should give some kudos to my hard working hubby because we discovered that having our nursery door closed for the past few days meant it had become a sweat box in there - even with the unpleasant;y hot conditions he faithfully drilled holes, touched up paint, vacuumed dust and finished off all the little tasks I had on the Daddy-do list. Me, well, I faithfully pointed out where things were supposed to go and then retreated to the cool family room with the fan aimed straight at me.

Last night I was hopeful things were starting to progress. I was getting some pretty uncomfortable cramping and pains and could not get comfortable to sleep. I kept feeling pressure and heading to the loo hoping that it was "it" but no such luck. The heat was not helping create good sleep either. Jeremy was sleeping and I went back and forth deciding if I should wake him up because of the cramps. I concluded there was nothing he could do. I wasn't ready to get out of bed to try to get the cramping to ease, I just wanted to sleep and having him awake wasn't going to help that. At about 4am I finally fell asleep on a huge stack of pillows so I was practically sitting up. When I woke up it was business as usual, no cramps, no pressure. Just a big belly. Pretty sure that this kid is a 9lb -er. I guess we'll find out soon enough. 

So in the last few days, my world has become pretty small. I am not wanting to venture too far from home period, but certainly not on my own or on foot just in case.

With all this time on my hands, I have lots of thoughts swirling in my head. If he is still in there this afternoon, I will try and form them into a post for tomorrow!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

40 weeks 3 days pregnant and record breaking heat

Yes, I would not normally consider that 40 weeks+ pregnancy and extreme heat go well together either. However, God's sense of humor never ceases to amaze me so I will take each of these sweltering days with a smile, and appreciate that while keeping my larger inflated body cool and I am not also having to keep a newborn from overheating.

The temps have been in the mid to high 90's the past two days and apparently that is close to breaking records here.

I am still managing to walk around, but clearly I look as ready to pop as I am because I have got lots of "Good luck"'s and other well wishes from strangers as I have been going about my day. My poker face is clearly not that convincing. I am uncomfortable and ready to have this baby, and it shows.

Luckily the Olympics continues to offer some distraction and I have been appreciating the efforts of Team GB and team USA to provide nail biting events to help initiate the labour process for me. I thought the Murray match this morning might do it but alas. He has his gold medal (and his silver one) and I am still carrying my golden boy on the inside.

Each morning I have Jeremy take a picture because I am hopeful it will be the one that can go in my pregnancy album as the 'final' belly pic. So far that's not working out for me, it just means I have a large collection of huge belly pictures. At least I take them in the morning before the heat makes my feet, legs and even my hair swell. I am sitting with my feet up to type this and everything looks normal.

Thankfully church this morning was cool, and then we went out to lunch with our friends and made full use of the air conditioning in the restaurant. Our house is survivable at the moment and the wet towel which I lay over me last night and the fan on full blast aimed in my direction is ready to go if the afternoon heat gets too much.

Here are a couple of pics from this morning. Does he look any lower? Perhaps that's just wishful thinking.
Hope you are all keeping cool - or soaking up the sun, whichever is your poison!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Due Date

Today is my due date. We made it kiddo. This is supposed to be your birthday...I guess you technically still have a few hours to show up but it seems you are content to stay exactly where you are. I wonder if you will make me eat my words and show up after all...?

The "plan" was always to go into labor naturally, be at home for as long as possible and then head to the hospital when I couldn't take it anymore and needed a change of scenery.

Looks like that might not happen now. Apparently you are quite happy in there and making no attempts come out anytime soon without some medical persuasion. Last night strong Braxton Hicks contractions had me wondering if something might be starting but I woke up with a belly still full of baby so I guess you were just playing with me.

My doctor will check me again on Tuesday morning to see if anything has changed, but if its all still very much closed for business then she will give me medicine to prepare my body for the induction they will start on Wednesday. She said sometime the preparatory medication can even start labor so we may end up starting labor at home in the end anyway, it would just be more manufactured.

Until then, I will be walking a lot and bouncing on my exercise ball like a fiend and rubbing acupressure points that are supposed to encourage labor!

It's funny how attached you can be to a date. August 2nd 2012 has been  etched on my heart since last November when we found out we were pregnant. At the time it seemed like a world away. Because of our history, it was a bit of a fantasy that the date would end up being anything more than a mark on the calendar that reminded us of something that didn't happen. Something that could have been.

And then we woke up and the calendar tells us we have arrived. It's August 2nd and my belly is swollen with a healthy baby just waiting to enter the world.

I feel quite sad that this will not end up being a date that we commemorate year after year. I will have to wrap my head around a new date that will hold such beautiful significance. The birth day of our first born. Now we just wait and see which date that will be.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

39 weeks, 6 days in bullets

Sunburn update. The farmer tan on my arm has faded into almost nothing. My chest burn is  pink around the edges but not so glaring on the rest of it. This tells me baby boy could make an appearance now. My vanity would allow it.

I have pretty much resigned myself to wearing a dress until the baby is here, and possible for a week or so after while things are sore and healing. If I owned a moo-moo I would wear it without a second thought, but alas I don't, this dress (and it's equally loose fitting friends) will have to do.

I keep making plans for the days ahead, trying to trick the baby into thinking I am not waiting for him so he will come. Not sure its working.

Yesterday 85% of my calories were from ice cream.

It is so fun to watch the Olympics, and I confess I am cheering for some of the US team as well as Team GB.  Also, I think us Brits need to remind ourselves that just because we are hosting the event does not suddenly make us good at sports! We will be much more impressed/less disappointed if we keep our expectations low, celebrate effort and small victories and be surprised when we do get medals!

I went to see my doctor this morning. I was not expecting any change from the last couple of weeks. I was right, nothing happening over here. However, they will induce before the end of next week so assuming he doesn't decide to surprise us and come on his own accord (still praying he will) this will be our last weekend as a family of two for certain.

We will be eating out a lot in the next few days, sleeping in, and making the most of our final pre-baby days. So excited!! For these days together and for knowing baby will be here for certain next week!!


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