Dear Izzy...

After you were born, I had fully intended to write you every month and here you are, seven months old! I can hardly believe it. You have grown so much and we are having so much fun being your parents. I love you so so so much!

When you were four months old, we moved away from Brooklyn and spent about five weeks visiting your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in California and Utah before coming to Tennessee. Now we've been in our new house for almost two months! We still don't have very much furniture, but you love rolling around on the new carpet. In the last week or so you have started to get frustrated that you can't crawl, but you have started to rock back and forth on your hands and knees and will launch yourself forward onto your tummy. You're so close! You are sitting up so well and hardly ever fall over after we sit you up now. You've also gotten really close to pushing yourself up to sit on your own a couple times. You crawl all over me and your dad; we're your personal jungle gyms! Instead of a chair we have a blow-up mattress in your room and when you and I are sitting on it you'll pull yourself over to the edge and (on a couple occasions) off the bed if I let you. You are very curious.

At your six month check up, you were in the 95 percentile for your weight (20 lbs), were off the charts for your height (29 inches) and you continue to have an average size head :). You are wearing 12-18 month size clothes and wear a size 4.5-5 shoe! You are a big boy and look and act several months older than you are. But, even with your size you have lost some of your baby chub (oh, you were a yummy, chubby 3-5 month old!). You also got a couple shots and I braced myself for a melt down (for both of us) but you didn't even flinch! I am so amazed at how brave you already are. You still haven't really cried after you bonked your head or done something that I expect to hurt and bring out the tears, you will just look startled and frown a little. You are still very easy to soothe. People comment everywhere we go on what a "good baby" you are, so calm and content to just hang out with mom.

You love water! Both to bathe in and to drink. Bath time is one of your and our favorite times of the day. I take a bath with you usually, in our big tub. It's like your own little swimming pool. You love to splash and swim around (with my help, of course). You started reaching for my water bottle a couple months ago and I would let you chew on the hard, square plastic spigot. One day, several weeks ago to both of our surprise, you got it to work and started slurping up the water! It was game over after that and you've wanted a sip every time you see water in a bottle or glass and you especially love drinking out of a straw (it keeps you entertained when we go out to eat). I finally bought you your own sippy cup with a straw. I'm not sure how much water actually ends up in your stomach, but you sure love to practice!

We have started giving you some solid foods. You've loved everything we've given you: avocado, cucumber, squash, apples, applesauce, sweet potato (and little bits of bread when we're out and you're desperate for entertainment). You are emotionally and dexterously ready, but we wonder if your little gut is prepared to handle it yet. The day after you eat solids it will take you hours and hours to push it back out, making it hard for you to nap at all and a little grumpy. Still, you hardly every cry (only if you are exhausted and hungry at the same time).

You have always been a very vocal baby and would have "conversations" with us as early as seven weeks. A couple weeks ago your repertoire of sounds started to take off. You started saying "Hi" at five months and since then you've added (in order of appearance) "Up", "Poop," "Mama," "Dada," "Buh" (when you hear a bird), and "Isth" (which I think is you trying to say your name). Last night we were at your cousins' house and I swear you were trying to say Adam (Ahum) and Max (Muh, Muh)! One thing I don't love is that you've started yelling at the top of your lungs. Sometimes when you want something, sometimes it seems you do it just to test out your vocal capacity. And it's always, "MA MA MAH MAHHHEEEE!!!" with a screech at the end. Wow! Kid's got pipes!

You have always been interested in interacting with your world, especially the people around you. You make friends where ever we go. Partly because you're such a looker! And partly because once you've gotten someone's attention you'll stare them down and smile at them until they are entranced by your charm. You love to FaceTime and video chat with family far away. And you've just started to become really interested in people your own size (other babies) and will try to talk to them in stores and at church.

It is very easy to get you to smile. When you are playing and you realized we are watching you, you burst into a big grin. You are very ticklish everywhere and love to be tickled. The other day you put my hands on your feet and started to giggle, inviting me to continue to tickle your toes while you laughed and laughed! You already have a sense of potty humor, crack up when we smell for a poopy diaper, with laugh when we even say the word "poop," and have laughed after you burp.

You still love music and have widened your appreciation to artists other than your mama. When you were younger you would cry if I turned on any pop music unless I was singing along. We can still calm you down just by singing primary songs. Your favorite song is "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" and you love songs with hand actions. Speaking of hand actions, you will give us a "high five." I've been teaching you that one since you were a little babe and started to put your hands up to grab at my face and arms when I feed you, which you still do all the time. We both love your meal times.

You are just the sweetest baby and love to snuggle and nuzzle and be kissed and to give monstrous, wet kisses in return. Oh how I love you! Sometimes I think I don't ever want you to grow up! I want you to stay my squishy baby forever! But then I think about all the amazing things you will do when you get older and how many people you will love and help with your sweet, fun personality and I think that I cannot be that selfish to want to keep you all to myself. I LOVE being your mama. Israel, you are loved beyond measure!

xoxo forever,

Dear Izzy...

You are one month old and I cannot believe how fast time is going already and how fast you are growing. Almost 11 pounds!! Good job son! Both your dad and I have waited a long time for you. As early as age three I've wanted to be a mommy and I never imagined I would have to wait until now. Every minute I've had the privilege of being your mom has been so worth the wait! You are so precious. I didn't know I could love as much as I love you. 

I wanted to give you the very best start to life possible. I tried to prepare my body to be a place where you could be conceived and grow unencumbered.  I even stopped highlighting my hair and switched to natural deodorant and hair products (though once we were well into your pregnancy, I couldn't stand certain smells, so I relapsed back to deodorant that worked. Sorry!). When it took longer to get pregnant than we expected, I started to really long for you. The month I stopped charting was the month that it happened. I waited several days before taking a pregnancy test and when I did and it showed a blue plus sign I wasn't sure if I could trust it. In my heart I already knew that it was true. Your dad didn't want us to get too excited just in case it didn't last but we were in our way to visit family and once one person found out (your aunt Bethany guessed) it was too fun to tell people in person to leave it a secret. 

When I first laid my eyes on you it was as if you've always been mine. Of course you look like  you because this is how you've always looked. And of course you look familiar because you are made from me and your daddy. Sometimes you look exactly like him and I see you making the same faces. Other times I think you look just like all the other babies on my side of the family, especially as you get chubbier. Speaking of, you are so lucky to have three cousins born within a couple months of you and two of them are boys like you! I can only imagine the fun you three are going to have as you grow up.  
You are very strong and have been able to hold up your own head since we were in the hospital. When we put you on your tummy, you already try to do little push ups and you push your little feet off of everything they touch, launching yourself forward. You are a really cute baby! When you show us your sleepy smiles, you have a dimple in the middle of each cheek and a couple smaller ones around your mouth. We are surprised that your eyes have stayed blue so far and your hair is growing in blonde! You're little personality has started to show through the newborn sleepiness. You are very vocal! You grunt in protest when we move you and you don't really want to be disturbed. You make a lot of noise when you sleep! Oh my goodness, your dad has to sleep in the other room, otherwise we would BOTH be sleep deprived and you don't need two grumpy parents.  You've already earned yourself a few nicknames in addition to the one we intended when we named you Israel. "Grunty McGrunterson" and "Toots Magoots", to name a few. 

You have been a very good baby with a mild temperament and have only just started to get a little fussy in the evenings or when your tummy hurts. We found out pretty quickly that you don't like it when I eat dairy (or broccoli!). So, I've cut out a few different foods and it seems to be making a difference for you. Being a new mommy has not been as easy and natural as I imagined and I'm sure being a new baby isn't easy either, but we're figuring it out together. Your dad has been so helpful and loves taking care of you in the ways that he can. When your tummy hurts he helps you "march it out" to the cadences he learned in the Army and you calm right down. 

You love to snuggle and will bury your head wherever you can, in the crook of my arm or my neck or under a pillow (we have to be careful with that one!). You also love to eat and are pretty insatiable. You really enjoy your meals and let us know with your "nom-nomming" and head bobbing (I'm already suffering from a bad case of, what the lactation consultant called, "nip lash"). 

You love music, especially when we sing to you. We sing lots of primary songs and church hymns--they are your favorite.
You did not like your first bath. Gigi was here staying with us while daddy went to a work conference in Hawaii (I know, rough huh?) and we gave you a short sponge bath but you got too cold. You love to be warm and you love light! You love the time you get to spend nakey in the sunlight! You love to stare at any light area of any room you may be in and spend a lot of your wakeful times looking at the windows. 

In your first month you were visited by your Aunt Emily who got to come to New York for work and your Gigi and Papa Scott. You've already been to the Hamptons and have already made one trip on the subway for a quick shopping trip in the big city. You are an urban baby and can sleep through almost anything. We hope that continues!

Izzy, words truly cannot express how humbled and grateful I am to have somehow been found worth of being your mama in this life. You were born to do great things and Heavenly Father will use your strength for great good! I could not be more excited to watch your life unfold. You are loved beyond measure!

xoxo forever,

Izzy's First Days

I think we are quite possibly two of the happiest new parents in the world! Oh how we love this little boy. 

 Our hospital stay was punctuated by a couple of events. One planned and the other a bit unexpected. Since Israel was born at nearly 11pm, we didn't get to our room on the Mother-Baby floor until almost 2:00am. Needless to say, we were all exhausted. The Captain tried to figure out the chair-bed (turns out that it was not put back together properly from it's last guest, poor guy had to sleep on a broken non-bed!) and we settled in for another attempt at feeding...though, lets be honest--this little guy was sleeping through everything. Thursday was pretty uneventful, though we had scheduled a procedure--step one in fixing my kidney issue--for Friday so we had a lot of interruptions. Interns and residents coming to ask the same questions that had already been asked so many times (I wonder why they don't just look at my chart?), signing release forms for surgery and not-signing for anesthesia (I had questions when I read that my only options were for a spinal or general anesth. that the resident couldn't answer so we waited to sign that one), pediatrician check ups and lactation consultations (both of which were welcome), meals (very, very welcome). But, it was all a little much when all we really wanted to do was hold our little boy and sleep.

In the wee morning hours the next day, I was awakened by a pediatric resident who tried to explain that Izzy's bilirubin count was elevated and they wanted to start phototherapy immediately. All of which to my exhausted brain was muddled and confusing.  The Captain was sound asleep on the cot which he had thankfully fixed, and didn't rouse until the end of our visit. I said I would need to discuss with my husband and asked if he could come back after I had fed the baby. It broke my heart to think of him taken away from me and put in a plastic crib all by himself, but there really wasn't any other option and frankly we were too tired to research it. We were told that Izzy needed more food to push the bilirubin through his system and that the lights would help break it down. I let them wheel my baby away and reluctantly fell asleep. I woke up with my mommy radar on high alert! I heard my baby crying--which was impossible since we were separated by many doors and walls--but I know I heard it. One of the nurses came in our room, looking a little confused, and said that my baby was screaming. "Bring him to me and I'll feed him, please!!" I said, a little shocked by her method of communicating the problem. If there is anything more heartbreaking that your newborn child's frantic cries, I do not know what it is. I gladly fed him and I could feel his relief even though we were definitely still figuring the whole breastfeeding thing out.

It wasn't long after the nurse returned Izzy to the nursery that we were told that they were ready for me in the O.R. I don't know why I wasn't given the option to pump breast milk (our nurse, who was wonderful, was on break while all of this was happening), and my lack of experience unfortunately didn't prompt me to ask, so we made the decision to let the nurses feed Izzy formula while he was under the lights until I came back from recovery later that morning. I did make sure they used a dropper instead of a bottle (too many fears of nipple confusion--which I have since learned is a real thing). Having Izzy under the lights and care of the nurses proved to be a blessing. As the Captain followed me down to the O.R. I couldn't help but get emotional. Being raised by a physician father, I am very comfortable in hospitals. Operating rooms and their surroundings are almost a second home to me. But travelling through that hospital on a gurney that morning, I couldn't help but think worst-case-scenario. Surgery is still surgery and general anesthesia -even in it's lowest doses--is still general anesthesia! There are always risks and, like it or not, there was a small chance I wouldn't wake up....
It took all of about five minutes and I was waking up, sleepily telling whoever was left in the OR that they did a really great job and that I was feeling great and was I intubated? because my lip felt like it had a laceration in it (they told me it was just an indentation). Coming out of anesthesia has to be one of the funniest feelings ever. So loopy!

 The Captain met me in the recovery room to check in for a few minutes and then went back to the Mother-Baby unit to be with Izzy. Once I was cleared to leave it took forever for someone to come and transport me back upstairs. I hated being away from my new baby. I finally got back upstairs and the Captain asked if I wanted to go visit Izzy. We walked around to the other side of the floor and there he was laying in a little bassinet under the lights with just a little diaper on and gauze wrapped around his little eyes. Even though he was very calm, it makes me emotional just thinking about it. All in all, he was only under phototherapy for about four hours. They continued to monitor his levels, which came back down to a safer number and we were both discharged Friday evening. (I'd love for the Captain to tell his version of what happened while I was away. Maybe I can convince him to include it here.)

Of course we had the same feelings as most, "Is this really our son? Our baby? And we get to take him home just like that? Yes, yes and yes. Now our home has been flipped upside down. Baby things have taken over our small apartment and it's never looked better to me! 
As we figure all of this new parent stuff out I am grateful for my life experiences that have prepared me for motherhood. Being the second oldest of six kids (I was 13 when my youngest brother was born), having 10 nieces and nephews on the Kartchner side (we have three nephews and a new niece on the Captain's side),  for being a member of a Church that teaches the importance of families and specifically of Mothers. As much as I never wanted to be an "old mom", I am glad for the time I've had to wait and want, to travel and study and grow. God is Good and His timing is perfect. 
Here's to the many sleepless nights and joyful days ahead!

Pregnancy Journal - Forty Weeks

Israel Cid Adams entered the world Wednesday, April 3 at 10:58pm, just an hour shy of forty weeks. Our little Izzy weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz and is 21 inches long. He has his daddy's chin and mouth and his mama's cheeks (dimple on the right included) and (maybe) nose.

Labor was interesting as I slowly dilated to 6 cm over the course of several weeks starting at week 28 when the OB found I was already starting to dilate and I was subsequently put on bed rest. All those weeks of "contractions" had only gotten me so far. I say "contractions" because now that I know what active labor feels like, though very important to my progress, they were a drop in the bucket compared to what I eventually felt.

When ever I told anyone that I was already dilated to a 6 (or a 4 or 5 for that matter) the reactions I received were always the same. "Why are you not at the hospital??" We knew that if we went to the hospital and I wasn't in active labor (meaning the contractions hurt!) they would want to induce me due to how far I had dilated. I committed myself to unmedicated childbirth long, long ago and the Captain had become fully supportive after some convincing. But, knowing that this baby was just getting bigger as my due date approached, we were getting more and more anxious to see more progress.

this is happening!
Wednesday morning I called my midwife and asked her about the prospect of breaking my waters manually as it seemed like it could take my body forever to begin active labor. She suggested I start with the infamous castor oil instead and then come in to get checked. I took two doses of the awful stuff and then waited for the magic. My contractions (still not painful) started to pick up and become regular (every 3-5 minutes) around noon. I went into the drs office later in the afternoon, had a quick consultation to find I had dilated a little bit more to a 7 and called the Captain. We decided that he would cancel his evening patients and meet me at the hospital. I had taken the subway to my consult, so he would also swing by the house to grab our hospital bag and then take a cab to avoid ridiculous parking fees.

trying not to "push into my face"
At the hospital, I handed my pre-filled in paperwork to the registrar and pointed out my handwritten note at the top stating I was already in the system and none on my information had changed. I was, for the first time in all of my visits, the only woman in labor in the waiting room. Yes, I have seen full term mamas waiting for a labor and delivery room or even just to be seen in triage. Once other waiting room patrons realized I was there to have a baby, the conversations seemed to change. "You're in labor?" "Uh, yep! (big smile on my face) "You seem really calm, that's amazing." What do I say to that? "Well, my contractions don't hurt..." Blank stares.

We were admitted and taken to a very spacious L&D room at 6:00 pm where we waited for my midwife whose office hours ended at 7:00 pm. I changed into a beautiful and flattering gown (hehe) and grippy bottomed socks and was put through some calisthenics by the Captain. He figured if we could get my water to break on its own, we'd be that much further ahead of the game. Lunges, squatting, work on the birthing ball, jumping jacks. Why yes, this IS our first child birth. How did you know? Next time I'll just relax and reserve my strength.

Elisabeth, my midwife, arrived just after 7 and broke my water at 7:30. The very next contraction took my breath away and the intensity just kept building from there. After having contractions for months, I finally felt what a real, working contraction feels like. The Captain says after the third hard contraction I  said, "I can't do this?" to which he laughed and said, "Oh, you're doing this!" I don't remember this conversation at all. :)

He was the sweetest birth coach, running from one side of the bed to the other, grabbing my ice chips, whispering encouragement, pushing on my lower back...once he starting pushing on my lower back I wouldn't let him do anything else. That alone provided the most relief. We had prepared for birth using the Bradley Method, which is all about the position you're in during labor (called "the running man position" lying on your side, almost stomach with the top leg bent up resting on a pillow) and total relaxation during each contraction...just breathing through them. With all my previous yoga practice, focusing on the breath is not difficult for me to do, but by about 9:30 pm I was having a difficult time breathing through them.

At this point, Elisabeth turned to me (she had been sitting by the monitors reading a book the whole time, periodically checking in and checking my progress) suggested that I was probably in transition and may feel better laboring in the shower and to come back to the bed when I felt the urge to push. Is was the best suggestion as the hot water pelting my body was so comforting and distracting, even relaxing. Because the bathroom was so steamy, the Captain brought his iPhone in playing the Caribbean channel on Pandora. So I transitioned imagining I was laying on the beach ;). Though that makes it sound like it was easy, which it was not. Not. One. Bit.

Once I felt the urge to push I waited for a break between contractions and made a beeline back to the bed. I moved through several different pushing positions. First in a full squat using a squatting bar. Then on my left side, then right side, back and back to my side and ended up on my back. But to say I was on my back is not super accurate since the back of the bed was elevated to about 45 degrees and  the Captain and our nurse were at each side holding my legs. I was, in essence in a squat without the help of gravity, but neither did I have to utilize any more strength trying to keep myself upright. On my side, the baby's progress would stall. He was caught on my pubic bone. Moving to my back helped, but his little heart rate would decrease. They gave me oxygen to breath during the rest periods.

The encouragement I received from our little team (the Captain, Elisabeth and my L&D nurse) was motivating, but the best motivation was the mirror I had asked for. Being able to watch the baby's progress and descent was what I needed to keep going and not give up. I could visually associate what a "good push" looked like with how it felt. I know it's not an experience every woman wants to have, but being able to see his little head crowning and then watch Elisabeth pull his little arm out, which was up by his head just like it had been for the last several months in the womb, and then his shoulders, torso, and finally his legs was nothing short of miraculous.

To say giving birth was the hardest and most painful experience I have had and ever hope to have is an understatement. But the thing is, as soon as Izzy's little legs were out and he was placed on my abdomen the pain was gone and wiped from memory. It is truly a miracle. I do have recovery pain, but this little guy is worth every ounce of ache.
juiciest lips!

Thus far he has been a calm and peaceful baby, so easy to sooth. He has brought new meaning to our lives and a deep sense of purpose.  His arrival was long awaited and I truly love being his mommy. Thanks be to God who in His mercy has found us worthy to be parents and to experience the best and biggest miracle.

Pregnancy Journal - Thirty-nine Weeks

Update: We are ready to go over here! The hospital bags have been packed for weeks. Every morning after I get ready I put my toiletry bag and my iPad charger back in and each night I take them back out again.
 How far along: 39 weeks, 5 days

Weight gain, body changes: I've definitely "popped". Lost one lb from last week making my final weigh in a total of 37 lbs. My face and hands have swollen up, as have my feet but that swelling is more subtle. I had to stop wearing my engagement ring early on and more recently have switched out my wedding band (I had the Captain purchase my wedding band a size bigger than my engagement ring for this very circumstance) for another ring that fits over my fat finger. I miraculously made it through without a stretch mark and my navel stayed inside.

the Captain figuring out
the carseat
Movement: The baby is riding very low now and I can feel him turn his head back and forth like he's telling me "no". I keep telling him "yes! It's okay to come out." His other wriggly movements are still pretty constant. Every now and then, when the Captain feels him move he'll look surprised and say, "He's right there (pointing to a specific spot on my belly)," and I'll say, "He's right there?!? Honey, he's everywhere!"

Sleep: I've been too excited to sleep. I'm like a kid on Christmas Eve.

Best thing about this week: Granted, this kid could continue to cook for a couple more weeks, but the up coming 40 week mark has me hopeful!

packing up my work
computer for the duration
of my maternity leave

What made you cry: This week was tear free. Maybe my first. Ever.

Food cravings: Everything. I am hungry all the time.

Something you miss: Is it possible to miss someone you haven't really met in person? I'm so excited to meet our son and get to know his personality, to learn how to comfort him, to see what color eyes he will have. (We only just found out that both of Tim's grandfathers had blue eyes. We were under the impression that it was straight brown all the way back-well at least as far as it matters for genetics and eye color. I just assumed all of our kids would have brown eyes.)

How's your mood: Pretty great! Anxious and excited. So excited. Did I mention I am excited?

Any surprises? Just that we've made it this far. I've been a little discouraged after being told that our little guy was going to come early, even "guaranteed" that he would be born last weekend. But my midwife mentioned something at my last appointment that I've tried to focus on. Full term (40 weeks) babies breastfeed better than 37 or 38 week babies. So, the longer we go the better, right?

just one of the many
activities to try to push things walking

Pregnancy Journal - Thirty-eight Weeks

Update: We're still cooking over here, though we have had a couple "false starts." Last night we timed my contractions at about 3-4 minutes apart from 9:30pm until well after midnight when I decided to get some sleep. The contractions slowed down after that. A similar thing happened about a week ago. My midwife continues to be surprised every time she sees me and it's not at the hospital.

We're following a fun regime of labor-inducing activities. The sweet Chinese lady who runs the closest produce market has gotten into the habit of saying, "Thank you, baby" when I come in for my fresh pineapple (it's on the list of things to eat!). Today, she got a kick out of me pretending to talk for the baby and say thank you back to her. I've taken up "curb walking" (aka: walking with one foot in the gutter). A good friend of mine who is a doula also said it's a good hip opener. The challenging thing in Brooklyn is that there are very few curbs that are not lined with cars and even fewer that aren't covered in dog poop. Apparently, when the signs say, "please curb your dog" pet owners around here don't also assume that means "and pick up after him too."

How far along:
38 weeks 4 days

Weight gain, body changes: Since my last post at 35 weeks, I've gained 9 lbs (37 lb total weight gain) and 2 more inches around my middle. I have no new stretch marks )that I can find at least). The straight vitamin E and coconut oil seems to be working. My belly button is still an innie, though it is extremely shallow.
Last Friday I was dilated to 4-5cm and 90% effaced. Really, this kid could come any day now, but I'm just trying to be open to any birthday he chooses over the next few weeks. Now that we're "in the clear" I'm extremely low risk. My strep B test came back negative, the baby's in a great position for a natural birth, I'm feeling great...we have no reason to expect any complications. On the 12th of this month the baby was estimated at 6 lbs 11 oz. He'll be measured again tomorrow, but I'm guessing he's about 7.5 lbs now.  Oh how I would love to not have to birth a 9-10 lb baby.

Movement: The baby's still moving really well. He's been in the same position for the last few months, but he's got lots of wiggle room.

Sleep: It's hit or miss, but the last few nights when I do sleep, I sleep really well it's just not for very long. On the weekends, I've been able to nap like a champ! That's been great, since I couldn't really sleep during the day before a few weeks ago.

Best thing about this week: Getting excited that he could come "tonight" or "tomorrow."

What made you cry: At my appointment this week, there was a couple in the waiting room with a 1 week old baby boy. He got hungry and started to cry, which totally made me cry. I couldn't stop! I'm not sure why I was crying, if it was just hormonal or if it was out of longing for our little boy to be on the outside. People keep telling me to enjoy being pregnant and that they are so much more work once they are born, but I just can't wait to meet this little guy and be his mama.

Food cravings: Sweets. They've been terribly difficult to resist. The last few days have been a little easier though.

Something you miss: I will be so excited to be able to sleep on my back again. My shoulders are really starting to feel it. And some tuna sashimi. That's going to be one of the first things I eat after the baby's born.

Anything making you queasy or sick: Nope. Finally. It a little ironic that the last few weeks of this pregnancy is when I have felt the best.

How's your mood: Very optimistic and excited. It's been nice to be able to do more and not be afraid of jeopardizing the wellness of my baby--book club, birthday dinners (and karoke!), and shopping trips to the city.

We went and saw Lion King on Broadway a few weeks ago. I was bawling like a baby during the opening scene. It was just so overwhelming and beautiful and brought back happy memories of my family. Sitting there for that long, however, was torturous. One perk was that they let me skip the line in the ladies room. That was fantastic!

The Captain and I helped out in the nursery at church yesterday (18-36 month olds) and it was all about getting down on their level (on the ground) or picking up and comforting the sad ones. He confided in me later that it was relieving for him to see that I was capable of being very pregnant and doing "mom type stuff." This pregnancy with all of it's restrictions and sickness, I think, had us both concerned for how I'll be able to handle subsequent pregnancies. I'm crossing my fingers they go a little easier.

Any surprises? After 10 weeks of being so careful to to keep this baby inside, it's starting to seem like he'll never come out! I know that's ridiculous because I haven't even reached my due date yet, but it's still surprising. 

Pregnancy Journal - Thirty-five Weeks

How far along: 35 weeks

Weight gain, body changes: 5 more lbs in the last few weeks bringing my total weight gain to 28 lbs. I've also grown another 1.5 inches around my middle. And the baby has started putting on weight like a champ, measuring in at an estimated 5 lbs at our ultrasound 10 days ago. If he's on track with the norm (an ounce a day), he's probably nearly 6 lbs now. He's definitely putting on the chub!

Movement: He may be running out of room, but it doesn't stop him from getting in his hourly exercise. Benching my kidneys and swinging from my least that's what it feels like sometimes. He's been pretty much in the same position for the last couple months though, head down with his back along my left side and his little feet digging into the small space between my right ribs and hip bone. I'm amazed by how responsive he is to touch. The Captain had a fun little game of push and shove going the other day where he'd push a little on one spot and the baby would push back on the same spot. WE thought it was pretty cute (and so advanced!! right? everything our kid does is going to be so advanced in our eyes), though I'm not sure if the baby thought it was a fun game. He may well have been saying, "Stop shoving me!"

Sleep: It is getting increasingly uncomfortable, but I'm sleeping pretty hard--until I have to turn or use the facilities. Lately, after my early morning trip (between 3-5am) I have a hard time falling back asleep so I'll read for an hour or so and then go back to sleep until the Captain wakes up and wants to play with the baby :).

Best thing about this week: A couple of my friends here in the BK threw me a lovely baby shower (though technically is was week 33). I had so much fun visiting with friends that I haven't seen since being placed on house arrest bedrest and friends that I just haven't been able to catch up with. Our friends, Ashlee and Nate, even came up from DC and stayed for the weekend. They have a darling 14 month old baby girl who tested out our new stroller and told us that it's a keeper.

What made you cry: I've felt pretty stable the last few weeks. Though, on the long days I can get a little lonely. Saturdays when the Captain is working are the hardest.

Food cravings: Nothing unusual.

Something you miss: That all too brief period when my digestive tract was feeling pretty good. Now that all my organs are squished I'm feeling a little queasy in the mornings (nothing like before though) and have not been able to train myself to eat smaller portions yet.

Anything making you queasy or sick: see above.

Appointments: Since my last entry, I've had another ultrasound and a couple of dr's appointments. We also did the 32 week "stress test" which the baby passed with flying colors. He does not like those monitors though and kept pushing them so hard they would slide around. We're moving into the appointments every week phase and I guess we'll be getting weekly ultrasounds too starting next week. I don't know if it's New York or if it's just because of his mild hydronephrosis (enlarged kidneys) but it does seem a little over kill. This baby has got to be setting some sort of record for pre-birth portraits.

How's your mood: Good! Getting excited to meet this little guy face to face.

Any surprises? I didn't realized how heavy my belly would be. When I roll over in bed, I have to make sure I manually push my belly too, otherwise it might not follow the rest of me!

Pregnancy Journal - Thirty-two Weeks

How far along: 302 weeks (I've been delinquent...again)
Weight gain, body changes: I haven't changed much so I'm just going to write about the baby here. At our last ultrasound the tech estimated (amazing they can even come close just based on the size of his head and the length of his femur) he's weighing in at a whopping 3lbs 3oz. That was 2 1/2 weeks ago, so who knows how big he is now. I, on the other hand, have gained 5lbs (+21 pre-pregnancy) and 1 1/2 inches around my middle.

Movement: This baby's still kicking, rolling, twisting and poking like a prize fighter. My midwife asked at my last appointment to make sure I can count at 10 kicks about 2 hours out of the day. I almost laughed because there are only about 2 hours that I don't feel him moving around.

Sleep: I've slept so much better lately. I don't know what it different...maybe working from home and not having the extra stress of having to get up, get ready and manage the whole morning commute. This doesn't have to do with sleep so much as when I'm up, but I've started downing a glass of water when I do get up in the night and I think it's helping to reduce my contractions.

Best thing about this week: Absolutely working from home. It has been such a blessing! I went into the office one day a couple weeks ago and had three contractions on the way there and three on the way home, plus several during the day. I had full intentions of going in twice a week, but after that it made me really nervous. My boss has been super understanding and is leaving it up to me to decide if and when I can physically come in.

What made you cry: I have felt really fortunate this week (30). I only had one "sensitive moment"when I let myself get discouraged at how little I can do right now (aka: I feel like a little tornado leaving a trail of clutter and dishes everywhere I go). And then the Captain reminded me that I'm doing a lot just by growing this baby and keeping him safely inside. Last Saturday I spent all day working on a new maternity skirt that ended up being a big fail. What a waste of a day! I was so frustrated, I cried. I have so little opportunities to do anything other than work and drink water that it was a big disappointment for that project to not turn out. I decided to set it aside and turn it into a non-maternity skirt later. I've also started watching Friday Night Lights on Netflicks, which has increased the amount of crying around here.

Food cravings: I never got my watermelon or mango last week, so they are still on my list,  but I have two mangos ripening up on my counter right now :). Auntie Anne's cinnamon sugar pretzel sticks. Buttery goodness. I found a copycat recipe online and made it twice. I'm pretty sure I ate one of the batches by myself.

Something you miss: Cleaning. Weird. I totally miss it. The Captain has really stepped up around here folding my laundry, doing the dishes, making dinner, taking out the trash, cleaning out the kitchen sink catch, doing all the grocery shopping.

Anything making you queasy or sick: I have been Zofran free for about two four weeks now. This staying inside thing is definitely helping with this.

Appointments: I had an ultrasound appointment to check the baby's kidneys. I paid attention this time and each kidney is measuring about .75cm. I don't even know if that's normal for how far along we are or not. I made another trip to L&D at the hospital. I had a morning of back to back contractions. They gave me some fluids and found that I have not dilated anymore from last time. Good news.

How's your mood: Much improved. Better sleep, control of my environment, make a big difference. As long as I can keep the cabin fever at bay, I'm good. I am learning how to crochet. The Captain went to the city a few weeks ago to run some errands and found a yarn store to pick up some materials (this was almost entirely his idea, by the way). Can you imagine him standing in front of towering rainbow walls of yarn trying to pick out a couple projects for me? What a trooper. He brought back six skeins of a multi-gray yarn for a mini afghan for the baby and a really pretty blue for a practice scarf--per the sales lady's recommendation. Once I started, he couldn't stand watching me have all the fun.  So we decided to make the baby a blanket together. He's doing a fantastic job. I, on the other hand, am letting pregnancy brain dictate how many stitches I miss. Ugh, we're going to have to take out the last 4 rows that I did and he's going to have to re-do it for me. I'm so glad I married a man who is handy and not afraid to think crocheting and sewing as just as tough as demoing a kitchen.
Any surprises? We found out my older brother's wife is having a boy, which makes three baby boys on my side of the family due within three months of each other. And here I had been afraid my kids would be the youngest of the cousins by a long shot.